Saturday, June 27, 2015

June 22 Winter During Summer

Well sounds like school's out for summer at home! But here in Lusaka we are freezing cold! It is winter in June and July here. So the morning and night are very cold but yet it's still hot and sunny during mid-day, so I still get roasted and my nose is constantly red! But all is well! Hope you all enjoy the sun!

This week was great. Nothing too out of the ordinary happened, just working hard all day everyday. We had a really successful week that's for sure.

I will tell of our investigator, Norah, again. She has been preparing for baptism on July 19th, but now her step-father is saying she can't be baptized and even though she is 23, it is causing her big problems. She knows this is true and has a burning testimony, but she is in her last year of schooling and her father apparently pays for a portion of her schooling, so she is afraid he will cut her off and/or kick her out of the house if she is baptized. We are all praying for her father's heart to be softened, but of course, our Heavenly Father has given us all the freedom to choose. It is just unfortunate this man is using his agency to restrict someone else's agency... But we will see how it all works out in the coming weeks!

Transfers occurred this weekend and Elder Ssengooba and I are staying together here in Matero and there were no changes with Elder Chiliza and Draycott in my district either, so I'm very happy about all that. Things are great.

Elder Grant Hiltbrand

We "fixed" an entire cake at District Meeting.

The biggest stadium in Zambia is in our area. We pass it every day multiple times.

Monday, June 15, 2015

June 15 Exchanges Finally!

This week was another good one. We had Zone Meeting where I got an opportunity to instruct and it went pretty well. The STL's (sister training leaders) also instructed on managing stress and we all did this breathing and relaxation exercise so that was pretty fun. I wont lie, you do get pretty stressed on mission, but sometimes thats good because it always pushes me to do better and work harder. But yeah we need to relax as well so we dont go crazy right?

Lusaka Zone Conference.  Still the tallest!

After 4 months of not having exchanges, I finally got to go on an exchange! I was with Elder Draycott while Elder SS was with Elder Chiliza. Elder Draycott is a great missionary and we were able to find a few families to teach together and just had a good time throughout the day. Its always good to switch it up a bit.
My comp and I are really tryign to look for families to teach recently. Our teaching pool was mainly YSA's, which is okay I guess, but the Church will be established much better when families join the Church. And looking at how the gospel has blessed my family, I definitely want that for others' families as well.
Yesterday we had a funny experience. We were walking by a Jehovahs Witness Church and a good-hearted, over-zealous man came out and saw us walking and came and tried to contact us and give us his card, but then i pulled out our card and got to show him the BOM on it - something he had never seen before and then we got to testify and teach a bit then he took the card (JW's dont usually ever take anything from us) AND we set up an appt with him! There is power in the BOM. And it makes sense that God would bring it forth during the Restoration as spiritual evidence of these things. The BOM is always like my shield in this work haha. Theycan give all these reasons we are wrong and try to shake us or deny us, but if they read the BOM they can not prove it wrong. So yep I hide behind it at times haha!
Today we just attended a funeral of the sister of one of the members of our ward. It was very powerful. It was awesome to see her family all bear testimony of the Plan of Salvation to a large congregation with lots of non members. You could just tell that they had a peace and comfort durign this loss as well. Of course death is painful right now, but they have that hope and knowledge of seeing her again. Im grateful for these truths and the opportunity to share them with others!

Good to hear Rushton got home safe!

The one and only, Elder Hiltbrand

Power outage this week, meant we had to cook over charcoal.
Do a bit of service...Slashing -- African lawn mowing. My blister is still healing.

June 8 Have a safe flight home Rushton!

Well this was the last week of having 2 "Elder Hiltbrands" in Africa! My brother, Rushton flies home tomorrow to rejoin family and friends. So grateful for his example and for the almost 10 months we served only one country apart!

Last Monday we visited the Kabeya Family in the ward and shared the message about the Sabbath Day and the mother, who hasn't come to church for a long time, was touched by the Spirit and has decided to start coming again. So grateful the Lord was able to work through us in helping her start join her sons at Church again!

On Tuesday we got a new addition to the Matero District. Elder Draycott! We lost Elder Barton who has now gone to be ZL in Lilongwe, but Elder Draycott is great! He is one of Elder Chiliza's previous companions as well haha.   It was funny, we discussed inviting people to church using our little pamphlets and right as my comp and I left District Meeting, a man came up and asked us "how do you worship" so we got to apply those things right away!

A few days prior, my comp had felt prompted to call a man we met with and had a very spiritual lesson with, named Benson, but after that lesson we couldn't get ahold of him and just figured he wasn't interested or his parents stopped him. But we called him randomly and he picked up and we set up an appt. On Tuesday we went and found out his phone was actually just mavuto (problematic) and that he was interested and he took our coming back as an answer to his prayers. So awesome.

Later in the week we met another young man who told us of his parents passing away and how he no longer knew if God was there or loved him. Although we didn't immediately convince him of God's love for him, we had a very spiritual lesson and my comp was able to share his experience of losing both of his parents and how God has helped him. It was powerful and helped me see that truly, people are prepared for us and I'm just so grateful to be touching lives here in Zambia and helping all come unto Christ everyday.

My comp and I did some much-needed service on Saturday while waiting for the Bishop. We cleaned the entire meeting house thoroughly. We mopped everywhere, cleaned chairs, cleaned the nasty fridge that smelled like a freshly slaughtered chicken, and wiped the walls, but yet there's still so much to do. We just want to make the house more inviting for the Spirit so the Sabbath day worship is more spiritual and faith-promoting. "Cleanliness is close to godliness" right?

Mom you won't be happy to hear more about sickness I'm sure, but on Sunday my comp and I both started feeling really weird in the stomach and had runny stomachs. All was okay but then in our first visit with a member after church my comp couldn't take it any longer and we just decided we needed to go home. He was hit much much worse than me, so don't worry mom I'm fine! (; I blame the restaurant we ate at on Friday though..sharwamas can be dangerous...

Despite the runny stomachs, though, the Sabbath was a delight! (Isa 58:13)
Elder Hiltbrand, jr. (Last time signing that way!)

Monday, June 1, 2015

June 1 Running all over...

Sorry I didn’t write last week..ya know we just got a bit busy going out to lunch at one of the nicest restaurants in town… (benefits of having a big abwana companion!) (I think Abwana means bossman -- because his companion owns a couple businesses in Uganda.)  It was my first time having steak in 9 months! I prefer kapenta though (Kapenta means fish like sardines?  Not sure on that, can't imagine him preferring sardines.)… Last week was great though, just like always. Sorry I sing that same song every week…(;

The week flew by because we were just running all over- District Meeting, Zone Leadership Meeting, and Immigration this week so that was fun waiting in the government office for hours..but I was with Elder Cahill and Elder Mwangi so that made it so fun. {Elder C and Elder M are office elders so they have to take care of all that fun stuff for all the missionaries. It's great being around Elder M again since he was my ZL in Blantyre for awhile! And Elder Cahill..that guy is just the greatest.}

We also had Zone Conference on Thursday which took all day, but it was a day filled with the Spirit. We are focusing on helping everyone as missionaries, not just focusing on investigators all day everyday. My comp and I have been doing that already and have had most of our success because of that, but this conference helped us fine-tune and refocus.  Actually last week, Sister Zulu, introduced us to a family friend, Nora, who had previously interacted with missionaries a year ago and has desired to join the church now for a year but had been at school. So now we have the privilege of teaching her! That’s a blessing of working with members! Also the 1st presidency and quorum of the 12 are putting more emphasis on the Sabbath Day and believe that through better Sabbath Day worship, faith will increase and more people will make it to the temple.

On Saturday the YSA’s were having a tea party so we decided we would eat our lunch with them then head over to visit with Sister Zulu. So I ate a bunch of bread and sandwiches and tea (herbal of course) then we went to Sister Z’s to find she prepared us a large lunch of nshima and chicken and beans…I was so stuffed already though but ate as much as possible to not be rude…I was so bummed though since her lunch was way better than bread dipped in tea… this is a common problem on mission stomach has for sure stretched. But good news is my comp and I started exercising again!

Well my brother, Rushton, otherwise known as Elder Hiltbrand, goes home in 1 week after 2 years of service in Kenya! I will no longer be Elder Hiltbrand, jr…but rather the one and only! I'm bummed that I'll be the only Hiltbrand walking the streets of Africa (well I guess he’s been driving for some time now) for this next year, but I'm also so excited for him!

Elder Grant Hiltbrand

Not just any ordinary grasshopper!