Date

December 18, 2017

Area

Kitwe, Zambia

Companion

Elder Lusk

My Best Week ever in the Mission! Week 15 in Kitwe! 8 New Investigators at church, 19 new investigators this week and 2 people on date for Baptism and I got to eat Catepilliars!

This week has definitely without a doubt been the highlight of my mission thus far! I will try my best in this email to describe to all of you what made it so special.

So Tuesday we had our usual district meeting in the morning and then we were off to work. We met up with one of our members named Lawrence Chanda who also happens to be our night shift security guard. Brother Chanda is an amazing new member that was baptized just one year ago. We met with him and he agreed to take us to his home so that we could meet the rest of his family who are members of other churches. We were able to go there and meet them and share a few scriptures with them about Christmas. They were very grateful for our visit so they even fed us a nice lunch of boiled milk, bread, and eggs. After leaving their home we went and met up with a previous contact we had made. The guy we met was Gift. He actually lives fairly close to Brother Chanda near Chipata. Gift has truly been a Christmas "Gift" for us because he was the first of many new investigators we made this week. He has a good understanding of the Bible and strong faith. It really has just been refreshing teaching him because he has such a strong desire to learn more. He was very interested in the message of the Restoration and he actually read the whole pamphlet before we taught him which is actually kind of rare! He also was very interested in the Book of Mormon and requested a copy from us which we were happy to provide. I am excited to see how he will progress. Following our lesson with Gift we went to teach Shadrack again but due to circumstances we changed our plan completely. So a little bit of background, Shadrack has been providing a home and food for four of his relatives as well as his own family. Currently his Brother James, James's wife, daughter and other Sister Catherine are living with him. James has been living with Shadrack for a long time now and we didn't even know it. When we arrived this time it was brought to our attention that James has been deathly ill for over two months now and is fighting for the strength to carry on. The family seemed very concerned this time we visited. They asked us if we could give him a blessing and so we agreed to do so. I have to admit I was quite nervous because this was the first time I had been asked to do so but I also could not let myself say no. So we proceeded to go into the house and we gave James a blessing. Thankfully I had a good companion that was more experienced in this matter than I was but I felt blessed to be apart of this experience. I could feel the influence of the spirit feel the room as we asked James a few questions before the blessing. I have to say that this was one of the most spiritual experiences I have experienced thus far in my life. The whole family was so thankful for our coming to visit them that day and give James a blessing that they all said that next time we came to teach them they would ALL attend, and they did!

Wednesday we went out to Mulenga Compound to teach Phillis. We taught her the rest of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and introduced the Word of Wisdom. The whole visit went very well! We took another member with us that stays close to Phillis in Ndeke and she added a lot to the lesson. Phillis told us she still had a strong desire to be baptized on the 24th, Christmas Eve, so we agreed to come back and teach her the rest of the Commandments on Sunday after church. Phillis was then generous and invited us to stay for lunch. Of course we happily agreed haha we are missionaries which means we never turn down food! She surprised us by making us Nshima, scrambled eggs, and Ifishimu (Caterpillar). I have to say me and my comp were both hesitant at first to try the Caterpillars haha but they actually were pretty good when you cover them with other types of food haha. Anyway we ate everything that was provided. I got third helpings on the Caterpillars and finished them off. That is probably the weirdest thing I have eaten on mission so far. Anyway after lunch we went and taught Douglas again which was another interesting lesson. He is a really cool guy we just are having a tough time getting him in a good situation so we can more effectively teach him. We got crammed in a little 10' x 10' room with 8 people and tried to teach a lesson while there was lightning and it was pouring rain on the tin roof which made it pretty loud and hard to hear each other. So anyway we hope to teach him again this week and things go a little better. After that we caught a several buses and headed back to Riverside to teach Gift more about the Book of Mormon and that went very well.

Thursday was the toughest day for us this week with only two lessons. We taught Emmanuel in the morning about faith and then we got rained out for the several hours back at our flat. After the rain died down a little we decided to go out tracting for the first time is a long time. It turned out pretty well. We met a Brother and Sister named Jacob and Precious who were nice enough to let us in and teach them for a while. We taught them about the nature of God and the Godhead. They actually seemed to accept what we taught them pretty well which is awesome. Sometimes when we teach people about the Godhead they don't want to see us anymore because most people here believe in the Trinity but Jacob and Precious were actually really receptive. We shared several scriptures with them and they agreed that it makes sense that they are really three different beings. Matthew 3:13-17 are good scriptures we have used when teaching the Godhead.

Friday we got to go on splits with the Kawama Elders. One of the perks of being the companion to the district leaders is that every time we do splits I get to go and visit the other Elders areas and take a break from my own haha so I got paired up with my mtc buddy Elder Stein and we went out to Kawama. We got to teach a 9 year old kid named Blessing about the Ten Commandments in preparation for his baptism. This poor kid is from a member family but just kind of got forgotten about when he was 8 so now the missionaries get to teach and baptize him haha. Then we got to go meet up with a recent convert they just baptized to fill out some more paperwork. When we were there his mother decided that she wants to start coming to church now and begin being taught by the missionaries so that was cool. Later we attended PEC at their meetinghouse which was way powerful. They have an amazing Branch President that is really working with the missionaries to further the work. Elder Lusk was about to show Elder Iyoboyi around our area and together they were able to do a lot of work. They taught a lot of lessons and got a new investigator. Together they even put Big Sam on date for Baptism on the 31st, New Years Eve! It would be so awesome if we could have baptisms two weeks in a row! We are really going to work at making that happen.

Saturday almost everyone that we wanted to meet with either was busy or stood us up but it still turned out to be a great day. We taught a new guy named Stanley down in Musonda. Turns out that we had already taught his father Justin. We are hoping to be able to begin reteaching them together. Later we were just walking around down in Musonda and as we passed Mr. Handsome's Barber Shop I made eye contact with a young man named Alfred who turned out to be another "Golden" contact! Sadly Alfred stays in Ndola so he will be going back there come the end of the year but while he is here we are going to continue teaching him and prepare him as much as we can before we have to turn him over to the other missionaries in Ndola. I just don't know how to describe how prepared he is to learn about the Gospel. He was eating up everything we taught him when we taught the Restoration and wanted to meet with us as many times as he could before he leaves. Even as we were teaching him it attracted attention and four other of his friends joined us for the lesson so we were able to make five new investigators right then. It was so cool! Later we went to Shadrack's place and just as promised the whole family was sitting there waiting for us to come and teach them. When we arrived there we realized that we had already given out all of the Restoration pamphlets we had packed that day. Me and my comp looked at each other a little embarrassed but I decided that we should just teach them the Gospel of Jesus Christ instead and I can say now that was definitely a prompting from the Holy Ghost. We gave them all a copy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ pamphlet and began teaching them about it. We were currently sitting outside their house teaching when the wife of James came outside and invited us to all come inside for the lesson so that she and James could learn as well. We gladly went inside and sat all around the bed where James was lying and continued the lesson. We had already taught about faith and how it leads us to repentance and then we began teaching them about baptism and especially why it is so important that it is done by someone who holds the Priesthood authority. We read them the account of Christ's Baptism in Matthew 3 and as I taught about baptism I could feel the spirit once again filling the room. It was so quite in there. As I both spoke and bore testimony about baptism the words flew more fluently than ever before. It was such an amazing and powerful experience. With a raspy voice, James asked if he could and would need to be baptized again? We told him yes he could and would need to. He then asked us where he could find someone with this Priesthood authority to baptize? I was shocked at the responses from James. He truly has been a blessing in my life and was a blessing in the lives all that were there in the room. We told him that we hold that same Priesthood authority and that we could Baptize him after we teach him the remaining lessons. This experience was one of the most miraculous things I have ever been apart of and witnessed. Not only did James show his faith by committing himself to do all he needs to in order to be Baptized but he was an amazing example to all of the family there as well. Shadrack is now begging for me to tell him when he can be Baptized and the rest of the family members are now powerful investigators. We also talked to James after the lesson and he told us that for the first time in two months he feels like he is actually starting to improve. Their are just so many good things happening lately and it is definitely because the Lord's hand is in everything we do.

Sunday was another amazing day to top off the whole week. In the morning we decided that we would go on splits with the other Elders in our flat so that we could pick up as many people as possible and bring them to church. I took Elder McCormick with me and we went and picked up Shadrack's family. We walked to church with Shadrack, Maggie (his wife), their two children, Catherine (Shadrack's sister), and James's daughter. They were all very happy to come to church with us and see what we are all about! Elder Lusk took Elder Armstrong and went down to Musonda and picked up Alfred at Mr. Handsome's Barber Shop and brought him to church. We also had three other investigators come to church on their own. In result we set a new record with church attendance this week. After church we had a coordination meeting with our new Branch President and it went very well. We were able to talk about a lot of good ideas about how we can further the work here in Kitwe. Both as missionary work by using members help, but we also set some goals for the Branch, and even a goal to start a new group out in Ndeke by reactivating less actives and Baptizing new converts in that area. I am very excited to see what we can do in the future to build the church here in Kitwe! After the meeting we traveled out to Ndeke again and finished teaching Phillis the rest of the Commandments and prepared her for a Baptismal Interview on Tuesday of this coming week. It was a really cool lesson because of the lateness of the day it got pretty dark as we were teaching her so we got to teach the lesson by candlelight. It was so cool! Phillis is so ready to be baptized!

In summary this week we set a lot of new records with 8 investigators at church, 19 new investigators, and 2 people on date. It was an amazing week!! I know with all my heart that this the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the true church on the earth today with the fullness of the Gospel. I hope that we will always stay true to the Gospel truths that we know. I have learned to love missionary work and the people of Zambia. Things are just working out so well right now and I feel very blessed! Until next week. Sending love from Africa!! Just 1 week until Christmas!! I love you all!!




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