On Tuesday we received a call from the AP's telling us that we need to cancel our appts. and go to the computer and print off a sheet that was sent to us. The sheet was a list of 71 baptismal records that were missing in our mission. Missionaries hadn't turned in the papers for people who were baptized so they weren't inputted and weren't yet official members of the church, so when President Erickson found out there was that many missing he said that the whole mission must stop teaching appts. or having any mtgs. until all records were in. Well everyone started scrambling and got most of them in! The only ones left were those that had some special circumstances, such as Margaret, the one Elder Barrett and I taught. She actually asked the sisters to just rip up her record because she lost her testimony due to anti-Mormon literature...that was pretty sad to hear.. but they haven't ripped it up and are still working with her so we'll see...
My birthday this week was great! We went out to dinner with the AP's on Tuesday to 'Chang Thai' then went to the same place the next evening with the elders in our district. I've wanted Chinese food my whole mission but Thai food was even better so I was so happy!
It was also Nebby's and Teddy's birthday on Friday so we got them a nice Church DVD and baked some muffins and sang to them. I'm sure they were happy because I don't think that is really part of the typical culture here.
I'm just going to skip to Sunday sorry haha. Easter Sunday was amazing. I was feeling the Spirit so strong in the sacrament meeting and then I got to teach Gospel Principles this week and went into depth on the events of the Atonement (The Garden of Gethsemane, The Cross of Calvary, and The Empty Tomb) and showed some of the Churches wonderful videos such as 'Because of Him' and 'He is Risen' and 'Hallelujah'. (Click on highlighted link to view.) John's mother who we recently started teaching seemed very touched even though her English isn't 100% and she may not have fully understood all the words.
After Church we had the baptismal service for John, Nebby, Litambezi, and Mazuba. It was the best baptismal service I've attended on my mission. We printed programs - which they never have- and baked cookies for refreshments after! Our first few batches burnt because of the darn oven and we were close to just surrendering and sleeping since it was late already, but we continued and it all worked out in the end!
Many of our other investigators were in attendance at the baptismal service like the Mwembas and Lukopeshas who are working towards their dates of the 16th April, so I'm excited to go this week and hear their impressions from what they saw!
We had an amazing lesson this week with Sister Lukopesha and her daughters. She said that after her husband passed away she had gone 6-7 months without going to church and she's been looking for a church and that's when we came along and she feels this is all true and right for her and she bore testimony saying '"I will never leave this Church" and we were reading in the Book of Mormon with them for that lesson and helping them understand better and she said, very boldy, "and i will read this Mormon Book until I understand it." It's amazing to see how the Spirit works in people when we are not there. I can tell her testimony has come mostly outside of our teaching appts. Two of her daughters attended seminary on Saturday with Mwansa Lukopesha as well and Martin Jr Lukopesha also went to institute!
I am so grateful for what is taking place in my life because of the Savior Jesus Christ. In Him I truly have found new life and now I am seeing others also find new life.
Love you all. Happy Easter! Praise ye the Lord! (English for Hallelujah).Elder Grant Hiltbrand