Thursday, December 11, 2014

Nov 24 Growing Up!

Well yesterday was my last week of 'training' and doing the 12-week
program! I'm no longer a child on mission!

This last week was kinda of a down week pertaining to the work though..but not our spirits! We didn't get to teach very much and have been struggling to get members to work with us, but part of that was because the colleges here are having exams this next week so people are 'busy'. My companion and I were very optimistic, though, and still kept a smile on our faces. We were able to do a lot of finding and talked to some amazing people and found some great families that we hope to help come into the fold!

We got to do some service again this week for Sister Chikapa once again. We were moving bricks again! We didn't have as much work to do as last time so we weren't sore the next day which I was thankful for! It was really fun working alongside the Beals, our new senior couple in the branch.  They are such a help to us both in the work and also in helping the branch. We took them teaching with us a few times this week and theyre so great. Elder Beal reminds me so much of Dad with the goofy jokes he makes and also with the way his head got super sweaty (you're welcome dad) and just many other mannerisms.

We had an elders quorum activity on Saturday. The first one this branch has had since it was created 3 years ago! But we had a spiritual lesson then they gave everyone a mountain of rice and nyemba (beans). We didn't have utensils so we had to eat with our hands, I'm getting pretty good at eating with my hands! And when I come home I'll now have an excuse for having bad American manners! I'll just say I served my mission in Malawi!

Sunday was District Conference, so the all the branches in Blantyre got to meet in the nice chapel and watch the conference where Elder Bednar, Uchtdorf, and Gay of the 70 addressed all of Southeast Africa where they said there's something like 80 stakes and 70 districts? The church is growing in Africa! They spoke more on adopting the gospel culture instead of following cultural traditions and such. It was very uplifting and I loved seeing the chapel overflowing! I got to sit back in metal chairs in the overflow section even! (Dad you always said we're a metal-chair family right?) I'm sure many people are wondering about Thanksgiving here so: it doesn't exist. But! We are still celebrating it! We had all these great plans because Elder Hunter, one of our flat mates, loves food and was making great plans, but we got transfer news this morning and he's leaving. The day before Thanksgiving! But we will still be celebrating, just not as elaborately. I think we are slaughtering a turkey and braing (that's what Africans call barbequeing) it!

I'm grateful for many things this season and could sit here for the whole day writing things I'm grateful for but I'll sum it up: I'm grateful for my family, I'm grateful for Church of Jesus Christ being restored in these days, and I'm grateful for the privelege to share the gospel and news of the restoration  with the people of Malawi!

I love you all!
Elder Grant Hiltbrand