Sunday, April 17, 2016

Apr 11 General Conference Weekend

This week was a bit of a roller-coaster, but by the end everything was calm and pleasant. 

In the beginning of the week Martin told us that his family had elected him to travel to the village for some family councils which would take at least a week - especially since the village is on an island so he has to take a bus and then a ferry. He was also scared to delay the trip until after the baptism because he had a job offer in which they may call him in 2 weeks time so it wouldn't be good if he was out of town. We encouraged him to put God first, family second, and work third. And now it sounds like everything will work out just fine and he will be baptized and then travel next Monday.

That wasn't the end of it though. One of Sister Mweemba's neice/daughter decided not to be baptized. That was heart breaking, but I figure she'll come along in the future as she sees her sisters good examples and blessings.

Then Sis Mweemba told us that her daughter Natasha wouldn't make it for the baptism because the brother signed her up for boarding school for a month while public schools are closed on 'holiday'. The brother signed her up without informing Sis Mweemba, but because he'd already paid they couldn't deny. So Natasha left yesterday, crying and complaining, but Sis Mweemba is determined to go get Natasha and bring her back to be baptized and then get her back to school on Monday. So it will all work out just fine!

We are all so anxious and excited for the baptismal service this Saturday!

This weekend we viewed the General Conference with the ward. It rained Saturday and was soooo cold so not as many people came but we had a few investigators, but then on Sunday it wasn't as chilly so we had 14 investigators in attendance and they all loved it.

I loved the conference so much. I am so grateful for Apostles and Prophets to lead and guide us today. I love how the Church does not bend or change for the desires of its members, but only follows God's commands. I pray that each of us may learn God's will and follow it wholeheartedly. I pray that we may choose the harder right and not the easier wrong as our Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, encouraged. (Read or listen to his inspirational words in his short message by clicking here.)

Now we are off to Mission Leadership Council! It will be starting today at 16:00 and continue tomorrow as well. This will be the last MLC with President Erickson. He has less than 3 months left...

Elder Grant Hiltbrand

Apr 4 My friend Leif

I hope everyone heard Elder Andersen mention the Zambia Lusaka Mission in his Saturday afternoon General Conference address! He spoke of Elder Ssengooba, my previous companion, as well as my friend Leif, or President Leif Erickson, my mission president! We actually knew he was going to be speaking about Elder Ss beforehand, so President gave us and the Assistants permission to stay up and go to the mission office to watch it live!
(Read or listen to Elder Anderson's comments about Grant's mission companion, Elder Ssengooba at this link.  Elder Anderson.)

Elder Ssengooba and President Leif Erickson
Elder Ssengooba has such an inspiring life story and it was awesome to hear an apostle speak of him so the whole world can also look to his, as well as Elder Walusimbi's, example! President Erickson also has an inspiring story, but Elder Andersen just mentioned him a bit.

Another highlight of this week was April Fools Day. We got pranked by some of the sisters in our zone and by Elder Sagers/Ssengooba..They said they were in the office in the morning and that they found 2 packages for me and we could collect them that night. So all day I was excited for my packages but then when we got to the mission office, I found a box of pizza as my package...not what I was expecting but it was still a nice surprise I suppose.

I think Elder Malinga and I did the best prank though. Usually it is my rule that we do not ever joke about transfer news but just this once I broke my rule...Elder Tippets, Elder Malinga's last companion, is always asking questions about leadership in the mission like if someone can be an AP whilst still training, so on April Fools we called him and said he was transferred to be the new Assistant with Elder Ssengooba. He believed it! He was so mad when we said April Fools haha oops! Picking on the greenie...

Wednesday was a great day. I had an exchange with Elder Tayembi in Libala. It was another amazing exchange where we taught many of our investigator families and so from seeing that, Elder T was really encouraged and inspired. It was also just really nice because Elder T and I weren't very close but after that exchange we are great friends and have great respect for each other.

This sunday we had the confirmations for all 4 of those baptized last week and they bore powerful testimonies afterwards! I was especially shocked by Litambezi who is always a bit reserved and quiet but when he went up there he boldly shared his whole story of how his father restricted him from being baptized and his conversion up to that day.

Now we are preparing for the baptismal service on the 16th of April! I'm so excited for that.

Things are going so well for us here. John's whole family came to church on sunday as well. So now we have the Kanema Family too!

Love you
Elder Grant Hiltbrand