Monday, September 21, 2015

Sept 21 Best Week!

This week was probably the best week of my entire mission so far. We are teaching constantly and are enjoying everyday! I'm sorry I won't write much other than this haha! I'm growing so much and have grown a lot this week. Especially in my faith.


Elder Grant Hiltbrand

 A few excerpts from his letter to the family:
The weather is hot, dry, and windy. Very very windy. and Zambia is very very dusty so if were walking against the wind it's like walking in a dust storm haha.

We are now teaching a ton! All day. It's so exciting rushing from appt to appt and our lessons how been powerful. Things are now going really, really well.

And yep I actually was able to internalize what the ZL said and was able to see I DO need to increase my faith. I need to pray for and have confidence in the Lord's miracles. And I have been focusing on that this week and my vision has been raised so much. I apologized to the elder for my reaction to his challenge to me to increase my faith and he also apologized for the way he had conveyed it. I have read Hebrews chapters 11-12 and it helped me a ton. Chapter 11 talks about faith and 12 about the Lord chastizing us as he did for me. I'm learning and growing so much.
I do believe I told you all about Elder Zimene (his companion) maybe you'd forgotten or maybe I didn't but I'll do it again. haha  He is the only member of his family. On the 27th it will be 3 yrs since he joined the church. His family also says it is true, but his father is 2nd to the pastor in their African Methodist church (much much different than the Methodist church we are accustomed to when we visit Bibi and Grandpa in Pennsylvania. haha They dance and sing and shout here.) His mother said she will be baptized if the father will as is typical in Africa.
But yeah Elder Zimene is the best. This is one of my favorite companionships. And he is helping me grow a lot. He's not afraid to be honest with me and tell me my weaknesses so I can improve - which I appreciate! Even if it is hard to hear at first ha. For example being able to say sorry when it's needed and thank you when it's needed. Basically, humility. And I look at that and am grateful he tells me because for sure I'll need those skills in marriage!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sept 14 New District!

Hello! We had another good week! We finally have gotten more good investigator families and are really filling our schedules. Now we just need to find out how to eliminate fall-throughs (when people who aren't there when you come for the appt). It just makes it difficult when people don't have their phones on because there's been power cuts lately.

Oh yeah thats something I haven't talked about haha I guess it's just become totally normal to us. They call it "load-shedding". Zambia does not have enough power and they don't have enough money to import power I guess, so what they do is they shut off power for periods of the day to shed the load. So most days we  wake up without power and when there's no power there's no water so we just use our back-up jugs which lately have been getting some alge due to the heat as well.. yes mom you'll suggest to put some bleach in to keep them good - beat you to it (;. Or we will come home at night and we won't have power and we do everything by candle light and then cook on the "mbaula". So basically we live the same way as many of the Malawians and Zambians - bucket showers, candles ,and mbaula! Its not too bad actually. But for sure we rejoice when there's power!

Making samosas on the mbaula because there was no power.


There was transfers this week and no changes for us (thankfully), but like I said last email we got Elder Sagers and Elder Kibirango in our District. They are such great missionaries, or "Powerful Servants of the Lord". I'm sure they enjoyed Church on Sunday haha The Matero ward is one of a kind! I'm excited to work alongside these elders and I'm sure I'll learn a lot from them.

On Thursday I woke up sick but we still went to the area and tried to take it one lesson at a time but eventually after I felt like I had done what I had strength to do, we went home. On Friday I woke up sick still and was getting worried that it was malaria because the symptoms were similar - no appetite, headache, nausea, etc. So I was advised to go get a check. The ZL's asked us to find a clinic in our area which I was fine with because I never like taking other missionaries away from their work for me. So we went to a local government clinic since we have to walk pretty far to go anywhere from our flat and it was closest. That was an intesting exprience hahaha! Everyone was excited to see an azungu there waiting in line for a free government clinic that's for sure. Well I told the Dr I wanted a malaria check and he told me I didn't have it and asked lots of weird questions and stuff then scribbled some diagnosis and sent me to the pharmacy to get free pills, but not knowing what the pills were and what sickness they were for I didn't take them..

The ZL's decided to take me to a private clinic where I was told it was a flu. My bad..but it's good to at least be sure it's not malaria first. After resting for the rest of the day, I woke up perfectly fine the next day and proceeded with the work trying to make up for the lost time!

Our street contacting has been proving successful this week. We taught many great fathers and even one pastor. Usually when teaching pastors though they want to bash or just want to learn from us to use it for their gain, but with this one he was captivated by the Book of Mormon so we discussed the Restoration and focused on the BOM and it seems he is humble enough to search that scripture with "real intent". We're are starting to see miracles occur often in our area.

I love this work and love you all.
Elder Grant Hiltbrand

Sept 7 Did I forget to write last week?

I want to share an experience that we have been having with a sister we are teaching. She lives with a LA member family and we have taught her previously but she wasn't willing to read the BOM or come to church so it wasn't going anywhere. But we went back another time to visit her member cousin and got into a small discussion with her about controversial topics like gift of tongues and the like which we then led into how there was an apostasy and people interpret things different but that the truth is back and that's how we know all of this. It sparked more interest in her to search if these things are true so she read the Book Of Mormon and we read with her once and she said she believed it to be the word of God and we explained how that means this is Jesus Christ's Church on earth - the only true church. And she couldnt grasp the doctrine of the ONLY true church. She believes it is a true church, but the only? And so we have continued with her and explained it more and she now gets it. She doesn't believe it yet of course, but now she wants to REALLY search if that statement is true. So she is reading the Book Of Mormon and will come to church. That is what everyone needs to do to experience conversion. What we teach and testify as missionaries is that Christ's Only true Church is back on earth. That is either true or it is false, but everyone needs to find out for themselves from God.

I am excited for this sister. I know if anyone really, truly searches and prays the Spirit WILL manifest the truth!
We had exchanges this week and I was with Elder Draycott for his last exchange. We began the day with street contacting - something I have done seldomly on my mission. Separating time to stand or walk on the street contacting everyone in sight. Usually I contact people as we walk, yeah, but specifically doing that for an hour or so hmm? Usually I just tract. But actually it was great! It allowed us to find some great people. I'll definitely start doing it more now. We even found one boy wearing a CTR (Choose the Right) ring hahah.. I guess he's been attending another ward sometimes and now moved to this area..pretty awesome!

Elder Draycott goes home next week and also his comp, Elder Chiliza will be tranferred to Lilongwe, so that means I will have 2 new elders in my district and the mission will have 2 new AP's! Elder Sagers (Provo, Utah) and Elder Chipirango (Kampala, Uganda). I am excited for a change! This will be the second time Elder Sagers is in my district!

Things are going well. I love the work.
Elder Grant Hiltbrand