Monday, May 11, 2015

May 4 Started from the Bush and Now I am Here!

I woke up at 3:50am on Tuesday for my flight to Lusaka. I flew in with Sister Proctor who has served her whole mission so far in Malawi as well and we were both so shocked with what we found here! This is the change I was hoping for I guess, but wow its a CHANGE. Zambia is so much more developed than Malawi...  There're busy streets everywhere and there're so many other things I almost forgot existed! (Street lights, paint on the streets, ceiling fans, malls to name a few haha)  It's SO different from Blantyre!  It's like I'm in a new mission haha! I'm now in the Zambia Lusaka Mission!

Malawian water filtration system.
Malawian water filtration system.

Zambian water filtration system.
My new companion is Elder Ssengooba.  Elder Ssengooba is awesome.  He is from Uganda and is SUPER RICH.  He started his own businesses and what not and has his own house and stuff even though he's only 21, but it's causing him some problems lately with the government and he almost went home but stayed and is working it out, so all is well. He's an orphan. His parents died and he took care of his 4 younger sisters. He's an inspiring guy. He wrote about an experience he had when he was in school and it was printed in the September 2014 edition of the Liahona, a church magazine.)  Click on this link to read it:  "I Knew What I had to Do"

He's only 11 weeks on mission so I'm finishing up his training so I hope I can set a good example!  Training is for 12 weeks meaning I will be a trainer for 2 short weeks!  I hope I set a good example as we work together.  He is humble and has so much energy it's great!  He's super funny and the ward loves him so much.  Speaking of which, yeah, I 'm in a WARD now. (Grant was in a Branch before which is a small congregation.  A ward usually has 300-500 members.)

The Matero Ward is so powerful! We meet in a meeting house, but it's about 3 times bigger than the Zingwangwa meeting house so I'm not complaining at all! The members are strong and there are many in our area (something new to me)! We almost always have a young man working with us each day so that’s a huge help. They also have activities each week like devotional and FHE and then we even had a big ward activity on Saturday. We had some gospel instructions and then played games and the Relief Society prepared food (they told me that it's not a meal without meat here! haha! That’s another difference from Blantyre!) “When Mormons meet, they eat!” – Quote from one of the members in the ward. My comp and I had the ward do an egg toss which was super crazy and out of control but everyone loved it haha!
Ward Activity

Ward Activity Egg Toss

Ward Activity
So as for my new area: It seems I'm still in the ghetto but even the people who are struggling are not like those in my last area. It’s a really big area compared to Chilobwe so that’s exciting, but we WALK. My legs have been so tired this first week, but at least it's flat! I haven’t gotten to tract much yet since we already have some investigators and we visit many Less-actives (something new to me). We actually have a baptism coming up next Sunday of a man named Eric which is cool!

There's an area called Devil’s Street in our area as well, but I won't explain that too much. But you can just guess what it's like based on the name haha!

Oh also it's hotter here! My face has gotten a bit more red this week… I don’t want to include negative things about the country but eish its dirty here and smelly! And the immodesty is so much worse haha it's like I'm in America again! Also the people are way more prideful and don’t even respond to me when I greet them or wave at much different than the humility and kindness I experienced in Malawi!

I'm so excited for this area and for my new companion. Also for my new district that includes my former comp, Elder Chiliza! We’re going to “smash it” in this area!
My new District.  Elder Ssengooba on left of Grant and former companion Elder Chiliza to the right.
Elder Grant Hiltbrand