Monday, October 12, 2015

Oct 12 I'm Bussyyy!

I sound like the Zambian women do when we are tracting: "Im busyyy" ha!

First full week as a Zone Leader! I love it! We are super busy all the time and I love that. I never like down time on mission, so the busier we are the happier I am. And funny thing is, although we have so much to get done all the time, I have not experienced much stress. (But maybe that’s just because it was the first week so everything is still a bit of a daze? We’ll see!)

As a Zone Leader we have to take care of all the missionaries needs: if someone gets sick or hurt, we take them to the hospital; if they need more materials such as copies of the Book Of Mormon, we deliver them. We also have to deliver water to all the flats probably once a month. Also here in Lusaka we have extra duties with immigration. When missionaries in the Copperbelt area need to go to immigration the ZL’s up there send them down on a bus and we pick them up and they stay with us for a night and they go to immigration then we send them back up. So that took place this week and we have 2 elders with us and then this week we will have another 3 coming down. I actually enjoy those duties because I love interacting with missionaries and getting to know more people. Also we have to do baptismal interviews for people taught by District Leaders, and now that the Zone is baptizing a ton we have to do a lot of those! And we have to do exchanges with all the District Leaders and the Assistants once every transfer. So yep lots of things to be done!

As for the Ng’ombe area, I’ve gotten to know a few more members and investigators and it seems we have a lot to work with here. This is the first branch/ward I've worked in that members help us a ton with our work! One woman, Sis Jane is so amazing. She's like 4 feet tall. We went there and made chipatis (tortillas) with her and her husband and her neighbor even came in to watch me make them so she could learn how. Ha they're learning to make African food from an azungu (white foreigner)! Another family, the Zulu family are the best. The father was actually a Pentecostal pastor, but in 1995 he stepped down and joined Christ’s church with his family. Now he works at his home with his wife as tailors and everyone knows them in the community and he is always giving us referrals. I think with every customer that he gets he invites them to learn from us or come to church with him. If everyone was like the Zulu’s, the Church would grow exponentially faster.

Oh! Also in Matero, Sister Bwembya was finally baptized! Baptized by her husband even! Wish I could’ve been there to witness but just knowing that it took place makes me so happy.
Now we have 3 more coming soon in Ng’ombe!

I love this work.
Elder Grant Hiltbrand

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Oct 5 Surprise!

Bizarre week! On Tuesday, we had an awesome district meeting and set district goals to baptize 12 people in October, which I know we could do. We then proceeded to have a great day...until we got a call late at night from the ZL's (Zone Leader's). I picked up thinking they were just calling to tell us more about the presentation we would be doing the next day in Zone Conference, but instead it was transfer news telling me I was called to be a ZL in Lusaka with Elder Barrett.  Elder Ford, one of the current Zone Leader's (Elder Barrett's companion) would go to the Copperbelt Zone. It was a huge shock because we weren't even half way through the transfer and because I wanted so badly to stay here to reap all that I had sowed over these months rebuilding this area, but the Lord has different plans and I'll go where He wants me to go.

So yep fast forward and they picked me up on Saturday and then we tried to take Elder Ford to the bus but we were too late and he couldn't leave until today (Monday) in a few hours. So we've been in a 3some for the past days and it's been just really weird for me but it'll be over in a few hours and all will be back to normal so it's fine.

We will be in a nice pickup truck, driving, because we have to run errands for the whole zone - the biggest zone in the mission. Elder Barrett will drive though, which is fine by me. It's going to be a great experience taking over this new assignment and I'm excited to learn and grow and help the zone to as well. The zone is already going in a great direction and should baptize around 30 people in October which is about all the whole mission baptized in the past 2 months. No credit to me though, I've only been a ZL for 2 days now ha! But also I don't believe that the big increase is just attributed to leaders either anyways.

My new area is called Ng'ombe, which being interpreted, means "cow".

It is a great area with many awesome members. I remember being in this area on an exchange a few months ago and I loved it.

We also now meet in the Lusaka Chapel.  First time in a chapel on my mission, it's awesome.

The Lusaka Chapel

Elder B seems to be a character. He has a huge personality and firmly believes he will someday be the President of the USA. He's a hard worker and we should accomplish great things together until he goes home in January. (unless he gets the extension that he has requested to extend his mission until June).

Well needless to say I'm super excited for this new responsibility! If you have questions about my duties and the like please ask questions.

Also we had Zone Conference on Wednesday and we are changing the way we do missionary work. President has declared November to be "No tracting November". We don't want to tract anymore ever again in this mission. We want all finding to be done through members because that will allow us to be more effective and have more people join the church. It will be difficult to make the transition but it should be great!

I love you and I love this work!
Elder Grant Hiltbrand
Leaving the Matero Church Building

Sept 28 Traffic

(In response to my telling him about an accident that happened to me on my way to the temple.  A car ran right into the back of a semi.)

Wow as I was reading the email I was just expecting another car problem or something which seems to happen to you all too frequently, but I'm happy to hear you are safe and well. Truck drivers here are crazyyy. Actually ALL drivers here are crazy. We have to be pretty careful walking home because we walk along the busiest road in Zambia where all the trucking and traveling takes place. But ironically, I have seen less accidents here than at home. But that might be because there's less people or I cover less area in a day than at home?