This week was another busy eventful one! We received 24 new missionaries to our mission from Madagascar due to the plague outbreak there. On Wednesday our Kitwe District doubled in size from only 4 Elders to the now 8. It has been so nice because we have been able to really spread out and cover more of our area. We have 2 new Elders staying with us in our flat, their names are Elder McCormick and Elder Armstrong. They are both awesome missionaries! Elder McCormick has been out on mission for about 15 months and is very fluent in Malagasy. He lived in Japan with his military family just before his mission but he will return home to Washington state. Elder McCormick is training Elder Armstrong who has only been on mission for 4 weeks now so brand new, but he is also an amazing Elder from good ole Pocatello, Idaho. They have both been a blessing to our area even though they will just be temporary. They are actually assigned to the Luanshya area where our zls stay but they don't have housing for them yet so we get to put them to work in our area. We have actually now split our area into Kitwe South and Kitwe North. The Kawama Elders also have 2 more Elders living with them and they will be with us more permanently. Their names are Elder Christensen (from Saudi Arabia) and Elder Allen (from Draper, Utah). They have both been out about 15 months as well. All of the Malagasy Missionaries are anxious to go back to Madagascar but they are also enjoying the comforts of Zambia and working hard with their new tasks.
We have had a lot of fun this week showing the new Elders their areas and showing them how to live here in Zambia and teach in English haha. The Elders that have been in Madagascar for longer have had to adjust back to English and they are a little awkward in teaching but they are doing well.
Like I mentioned earlier in the previous email, we had a dinner appointment on Wednesday at our Branch Presidents house again and we ate like kings again haha. Our Branch President spoils us with dinner appointments because we have yet to eat at any other members homes yet but it is all good. I have become good friends with the Daka family. The little kids had a lot of fun playing with my camera hahaha I gave it to them when I first got there and I didn't get it back until we were leaving so I have some good pictures of them. Elisha is one of my new best friends here. He is only like 3 years old but he is a ball of fun!
Thursday we decided to try something new by going to Mukuba Mall and contacting lots of new people just so that we could get some new numbers and big up our teaching pool now that we have more missionaries. This turned out to be very successful and we are just starting to call up all of the new people so we should have a lot of new investigators this week. We also got to enjoy a nice lunch with the new Elders at Hungry Lion and they really liked it.
Friday we met up with Mougie again and taught him about the Word of Wisdom and it turned out to be a very good lesson. We were careful on our approach in this lesson because we know he struggles with some things pertaining to this but he accepted it very well and committed to make some changes in his life. That evening we had another dinner appointment with the Cangasa family and we decided to even begin teaching them. Simon had previously been given a Book of Mormon by missionaries in Uganda, but he had to leave it due to flying weight restrictions, but he was happy to receive a new copy for him and his family to read from. We were able to bare our testimonies of the Book of Mormon to the family and they all were very receptive so we are excited to see if they will begin progressing.
Saturday we went on splits so I got to show Elder Armstrong around the area and practically become a trainer and we were able to have a lot of success. We met a man named Munthali and he was very interested in our message about the Restoration and is eager to meet with us again to learn more. We also found and taught a guy named Joshua who turns out is like best friends with our Branch Mission Leader Lloyd, so we are excited to be able to use him in our next lessons. We ended up having power outages for over 48 hours because of a huge rain and lightning storm that hit Friday night so we made another run to Mukuba Mall Saturday night to get pizza hut because we were tired on pb&js haha but anyway we made the best of it. The weather is getting better here thankfully! The clouds are building and the rainy season is almost here so the temperatures are much more bearable which makes it a lot easier to proselyte all day.
Sunday we set a new record of investigators at church with a big ole 3! Haha that may not seem like much but it was a miracle for us this week. Maida, Christabel, and Memory all came to church and were all welcomed very well by our branch. We are hoping to put the 3 of them on date for baptism asap!
This week we found 10 new investigators which was awesome! We have really been able to open up the area and we are having success teaching. We are still working with Sydney and this week we committed him to Baptism and he accepted so we are very excited about him! He is eating up everything that we are teaching him, the only problem is that he is a guard and has to work on Sundays often, so we are working with him on getting his work schedule changed which is hard. People down here work the craziest hours. There is no such thing as workers rights. Most people here in Zambia work 10-14 hours a day, 6 days a week. So this causes our biggest conflicts with getting people to church because even if they do have Sundays off they are so worn out from the rest of the week they stay home and rest. But anyway that is just the live of a missionary haha just constantly inviting. I have learned that there are just some things you can't control and that's okay.
That about wraps up this week for me. Hopefully all is well back home! Sending love from Africa! The church is true!