Monday, July 20, 2015

July 20 Curfew Extended

This week a lot of our investigators were busy so we didn't get to teach a lot of investigators, but instead got to visit a lot of members and less actives which was good since the ward is struggling a bit. We are focusing a lot on teaching everyone about eternal marriage and pointing them towards the temple, because if you have a goal of going to the temple, you start to do the things the Lord expects of you and your family. Even in Elders Quorum yesterday, Elder SS and I presented on eternal marriage using the "Proclamation to the World" to help the men see they won't be exalted without their wives so they shouldn't be coming to church without them either. It's really interesting being in this ward, but I'm learning a lot and I feel we are really helping.

So Tuesday we had Zone Meeting which is at the main chapel in Lusaka, which is the furthest area away from ours.  The meeting finished at 12:30, but we got home at 16:00. Public transport in Zambia is difficult. But we still got out and made the most of our day!

They have changed the schedule for us here in the Lusaka Zone lately. Usually we come home at 19hrs but now it's been extended to 20hrs because they feel it is safe enough and nobody has really had any problems in the past so they're testing it out in our zone now. This will help us to be able to see more fathers who are working during the day and their families which is great because those are the people who really help in the establishment of the church. So we have been coming home at 20hrs most of the days this week. It's really dark but we walk on the main roads so it's fine. (Don't worry mom we only got robbed twice this week no big deal! jk)
Love Elder Grant Hiltbrand

Saturday, July 18, 2015

July 13 Trials make our Faith grow stronger!

The title for this week is not pertaining particular to me, well it could because there's always trials on mission and my faith is definitely growing stronger, but it's about what Norah is going through. Her father had permitted her baptism a few weeks back but now went back on it and even her mother is now supporting him because she doesn't want to deal with problems over Norah's baptism. So now Norah is definitely going through a trial of her faith. She has to choose between the truth she has found from God or her parents. I know if she chooses the right and follow the truth that God has given her she will be such a help to the Church here, but also will be blessed in her personal life tremendously. It reminds me of all the struggles the Pioneer saints went through being persecuted and yet they pushed forward and eventually "ate the good of the land" as the scriptures would say ha. So once again we are at a moment of suspense with her!  We also found some other good people this week, but the search continues to find those families that are prepared by the Lord to accept the restored gospel!

We did a service project this week for Nandi, a less-active member.  She had grown up in the church and her mother was a Relief Society President or something but when her mom passed , the Church didn't do a funeral service I guess so the family all got offended and stopped attending church and found themselves off "the straight and narrow"...but we are trying to help her come back to the fold!  We cleared out a giant heap of trash that was in her compound and burned it (they burn all their trash here so don't be thinking we were just trying to be pyrotechnics or something!)  It wasn't burning quickly though and would've taken a day probably because all of the different plastics and such (Ozone layer? what ozone layer?  Toxic fumes?) so we couldn't just leave a burning heap of rubbish on her doorstep and leave so we shoveled it all into wheelbarrows again, this time while it was burning and smoking haha, and dumped it on the road side.

Sorry to say, 3 rats were killed in the process..RIP. (the pictures shows our makeshift weapons can also see our gloves we used to pick up all the rubbish with:plastic bags tied around our hands.)

On Friday I went on exchanges with Elder Chiliza. Pretty cool working with him again! We have both improved in our teaching so much since the time we were together. The Spirit was very strong in all our lessons and just throughout the whole day. He's a great missionary its awesome working around him again!
Love, Elder Grant Hiltbrand


July 6 Interviews, J-Dubs, and Braii Masters

Pretty intestesting week this week!

Everything started out just fine, teaching lots, a great DM (District Meeting), and all the normal good stuff I talk about until Friday when every appt. we set except for the last one all fell through haha! So we tracted all day and I don't know what was with the area we were in but it seemed everyone was a Jehovah's Witness and they don't listen to any other Christian message or take anything so they just reject you, but it's funny because they don't want to just be kinda rude and say no in a direct way so they try to beat around the bush and give funny excuses and such, so I enjoy kinda playing around with them when they do that to help them see that no matter how you say it, you are still rejecting us. But actually through doing so we got to set up a few lessons with them to come and bring the BOM, that's what always gets them, the Book of Mormon.

We had interviews with President Erickson this week. This interview was so great. It was nice being able to have an interview while everything is just going really well because the last interview I was going through the refiners fire haha! President is definitely happy with Elder Ssengooba and the missionary he has become and he made some hints at us possibly being split soon so we will see.
On Saturday there was a ward activity and we got to help do the barbequing (or 'braiiing' in African English haha). We focused on helping ward members see their role in helping people who are coming to church for the first time feel welcomed and loved. We even did some role-plays with them which was comical..right when we told them all to stand and pair, so many of them bolted for the door. I guess they just all needed to use the bathroom right then or something..haha

(Red tie, white shirt, blue trousers, happy 4th! The only american at the activity...Elder Draycott is from Canada)
Sunday was a great day. Fasting on mission is never easy, but today made it a bit easier because we were so busy. After church we took 3 RM's (Return Missionaries) and had them show us some of the LA's (Less Actives) around Matero. We got to visit 3 and every one of them was so happy to have us all there and felt so loved. One young woman asked us to sing her favorite hymn, "High on a Mountain Top", ALL 7 verses haha..I have never done that and I have been hearing that song since I was in the womb!

We finished the week visiting the Tanzanian family I mentioned last week, the Asawiri Family. We read the BOM with Bro Asawiri, him reading swahili and us reading english. So awesome.

The Church is True
I love you
Elder Grant Hiltbrand

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

June 29 It's a Miracle!

I'm reluctant to write this week and tell you about my week when you didn't, but I still will. (Yeah I'm being dramatic about it because I think it's funny.)  Mom note:  all 4 of us at home forgot to write him on Sunday.  We felt very bad as we really look forward to hearing from him as I am sure he does from us.

This week was great! Before I tell anything though, Norah has been permitted to be baptized! Sister Zulu, an amazing member in the ward, is a friend of hers and met with her and told her she needed to make her own choices and not let others restrict her. And so she went and talked to him and he allowed her with no problems or restrictions of any kind! So we will be having a baptism next month! Truly this was a miracle.
We had an interesting experience this week ha. So there's this drunkard that always comes up to us as we pass his home on the road and he yells at us telling us "God will smite you! How can you just leave me here like this to suffer, look at me!" And so the first time we gave him a Word of Wisdom Pamphlet and then invited him to church. He continued and then this week we went to his home just to greet him while passing. His home was something else and we found 2 beautiful young children with him there...with him smoking by them. We of course took his cigarettes. And we decided we would come clean his home. So we told him to buy soap and prepare for our coming. We went on Saturday and found he had taken all his furniture out of the house and had bought soap and was sober! So we went to draw water and get brooms and mops from a nearby member and came back to find him drunk again.. but we cleaned his small house very thoroughly and washed all his dishes as well. I got the job of dish washing...I was just working hard and cleaned a cup but when I pulled out the sponge I found it was coated in was his spit cup I nasty. and to make it worse I tried to shake it off but it flipped up all over my arm! hahaha...but all in all it was a great service and we helped this man a lot. And his neighbors had asked him when we came "why did you bring the satanists here?" but I don't think they will ever be able to think we are satanists again after seeing what we did for this man!

Matthew 20:26-28
 26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
 27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:
 28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
 After we had redressed. (Forgot to take photos during the work, but it was quite the sight.) Also that's Joseph Kampelya a young man who is preparing for mission who works with us as often as his work schedule allows.
Also Rushton, I am completing your work here in Zambia. We are teaching a Tanzanian family and they are reading the Book of Mormon. We are even gettign the father a swahili Book of Mormon to make it even more understandable. This could be the family I've been searching for my whole mission haha! I've just been baptizing YSA's (Young Single Adults) so far!

Love you all! (even though you didn't email me)
Elder Grant Hiltbrand