Saturday, July 23, 2016

July 18 A week of tender mercies...

Bho bho from Blantyre!

OH MAN we are BUSY! Ha it's so fun though! Such an amazing experience to conclude my mission.

I'm back in Blantyre as we conclude our travels with President Kupu. We just arrived about 20 min ago after driving from Lilongwe where we spent about 4 days. We flew over to Malawi this time instead of having to drive and then they gave us one of the extra trucks to drive for the remainder of the trip. We will fly back directly from Blantyre to Lusaka on Friday morning and then I will have about two weeks to focus on teaching before I conclude my mission!

Whilst in Lilongwe, we had the Meet the President Mtg again, President interviewed all the missionaries, and President held a member fireside on Sunday for all the members. In the time when we weren't assisting President we got to go on exchanges with some elders in the zone.

One evening I went with Elder Maele and Elder Slade and we had some amazing lessons and then the next day I spent the whole day with Elder Ntsekwa and Elder Stark - a good friend. That was a great day with them and then to top it off we got a call from a member named Kimberly who asked us to meet her at the meetinghouse.
Kimberly was a girl I accidentally called when I was serving in Blantyre. I was trying to call one of our investigators but typed in the wrong number and called her and instead of hanging up I told her we were missionaries etc etc and then the next day she called back asking for more information about the church in Lilongwe. Cutting the story short: she was baptized because of dialing the wrong number!
When we went to the meeting house we found 4 people with the Branch President. One of them introduced themselves as Kimberly and then the other 3 were her cousin, Patricia, and her brothers, Yamakani and Herald. All of them have now joined the Church... Well actually Herald is getting baptized next week haha. But that was a tender moment for me to see how that not-so-wrong number actually affected multiple lives!

Patricia, Kimberly, Yamakani, and Herald

On Sunday we attended the Kawale Branch with the Zone Leaders. This branch is the newest in the mission I believe. They meet in the branch president's humble home. Now that the branch is growing, many people have to sit outside and do their best to listen to the program. Fortunately they are about to move into a bigger house that the Church is going to rent. That church service was one of the most special meetings Ive attended on my mission. It was amazing to see the members' vigor for the gospel.

Now to add to all of this, Kimberly and her family were in attendance, but also Rosalia, the second investigator I baptized on my mission! She moved to Lilongwe a few months after I left and has been a strong member in the Kawale Branch. She was excited to introduce me to her younger brother Carlos who was baptized a few months ago as well.
Also, Rosalia is getting married! A missionary from Kenya that served here came back and they were just engaged this last week. She was leaving to Kenya after Church, so it was so lucky that I got to see her before she left!

Rosalia Sinjani...soon to be Rosalia Njeri!

Now for the reason I didn't get to email yesterday:

We were traveling with Pres Kupu to make connections for President Kupu to meet with the King of the Chewa Tribe. Elder Andersen asked President K to pursue this and directed him to a man named Moses who was a graduate from BYU living in Malawi. Moses is close with the King and will set up a meeting in the near future for President to meet him. One of the purposes of this is to get permission for the Book of Mormon to be translated into Chichewa in the future! Chichewa is spoken in Zambia, all of Malawi, and parts of Mozambique, so that will have immeasurable effects on the growth of the Church here if the BOM is translated. Of course it will take quite awhile, but its still so exciting.
I am so grateful for the Lord's love and mercy. I know that He loves each of us and is mindful of our lives.

Love Elder Grant Hiltbrand