Well it has been a good but interesting 1st week in Zambia. I got to spend 2 nights in Lusaka with the aps while I was waiting for my companion to show up. It was good to meet my trainer Elder Lusk. He is from Virginia and has been serving for about 14 months so he knows how things go. He has only been in Zambia for 6 weeks though but he is the dl now. Prior to that he spent about a year in Malawi so he has told me lots of stories about there. It has been a crazy week though with transfers going on. We have had a lot of missionaries finish up and head home and about 16 new missionaries within the past two transfers. So practically everyone is training right now.
Elder Blanchard, Stein, Lusk and myself made the 8.5 hour bus ride from Lusaka to Kitwe where we will serving for the next transfer or so. While we were waiting for the bus to leave there was a stow away that snuck on without a ticket so they had to carry him off kicking and screaming so that was eventful. There are only 6 missionaries in our zone so we are very spread out. We live in a flat in a little community called Riverside. Everyone's houses are surrounded by a brick wall and we have 24 hour security so we are in a pretty safe place. I have been told that we live in the nice flat for Elders because the Sisters used to live in it but I can see why they don't anymore haha the first time I went to take a shower the water was freezing cold and 3 cockroaches crawled out of the drain... So yeah that is why the sisters don't live here anymore. Oh and the plumbing is bad and so the bathroom flooded after the shower. But they say it is actually one of the better flats in the mission. We are the only missionaries with a washer and a dryer. I am glad that I got such nice flat to live in because if this really is one of the nicest then the others have to be pretty bad. We had lizards in the flat when we got there and the spiders here can be the same size as the palm of my hand so I spent quite a while going around clearing out all of the bugs. And the previous Elder just leave all of the stuff that they don't want so there is junk lying around but we crammed it all into one room. So lets just say the place looks a lot better already. We are hoping to get some hot water soon. That is one thing I really took for granted back home.
The missionary work here is kinda hot and cold right now. We are whitewashing the area which means starting all over again because no one in this mission actually uses the area book so yeah we are trying to revive the area. We do get help from our branch missionary leader which is very nice. Oh but we are teaching 2 people right now. When Elder Lusk was here the past 6 weeks he met a guy named Gabriel and began teaching him and we should actually be baptizing him this Sunday that is very exciting! Also we followed up with another investigator named Kasawa and we extended the baptismal commitment to him and set him to date for the 24th. So if all goes well we could already have 2 baptisms this month! This area has a lot of potential and sense we don't have many people to teach we are talking to everyone and working hard, so hopefully we can revive this area very soon. The only thing that is hard is getting people to keep commitments and come to church sense most people don't have a lot of money to travel. If someone has a car here they are rich. But we actually just went to a new part of our area on Saturday and found a pretty rich community, at least compared to everywhere else, so we are excited to start working there. We hope to make a stronghold there is Kwacha East with a lot of self reliant people.
We are going into the hot season right now so it gets pretty brutally hot from 9-16 hours. Oh by the way we go off military time here. So yeah it gets pretty hot during those hours and we have to walk everywhere we go. No bikes allowed in our mission and only the aps, and zls, get trucks. We can take taxis but we don't have a lot of money to spend on transportation so we walk everywhere so that we can still have money for food. But there are little shops everywhere here that will sell you snacks and drinks so that is how we get a small lunch everyday.
All in all I do like it here. I am ready to start teaching more and tracking less haha because its hard work. Teaching is easy here compared to walking around. But I am starting to learn a lot about the culture here. The English isn't really English though hahaha it made church interesting because I only got about every 5th word but it was still good to see the members at church. I got to bare my testimony during sacrament meeting and help teach the gospel doctrine class. The church is true everywhere you go but some places need a little bit of help as far as running the services. Elder Lusk and I got to demo how to pass the sacrament for all of the priesthood brethren because they had some questions for us. It made me take for granted how smoothly the ward runs back home. We really do have a lot of good leadership in Utah.
Well that's about it for this week so more to come next week! I finally get more time to email now haha! The church is true! Sending love from Africa! I miss you all!