Thursday, 5 November 2015

Update

Everyone,
It's about time I got the blog running again, now i'm settled in and used with Luanshya, I have found enough time to get some of my thoughts and experiences down on paper, for you all to enjoy hopefully! This week then, wow it's been unbelievable, but through it all i've seen the tender mercies of the Lord, and specifically, how He hears our prayers and truly answers them.
This week we received a call from Sister Groesbeck, our office secretary, regarding our timely trip to immigration... in Lusaka. Copperbelt to Lusaka is around 350 kilometers, and takes roughly 5 hours due to the state of the roads in some areas. My compaion and I were required to be there at 11am on Friday, along with a couple of other Elders, Elder Abisai in Kitwe, and Elder's Majekodunmi and Madilu from Ndola, meaning that we had to pick all of them up on Thursday evening to travel down that night. The round trip was 800kms in just over 24 hours, and was the most tiring drive of my life, but it was pretty successful and accomplished a lot- including going back to Munali for the evening as we were staying with the Zone Leaders overnight! I was able to see the Zulus and the Chipashas from my old ward which made me really happy, making the trip worthwhile. We slept at the Zone Leaders flat which meant I got to see Elder Barrett again, we ate and had a nice night. 
Whilst we were down there, we received a call from Brother Daka, a member of the church from our area in Lunashya who's wife and sister we'd been teaching. He said that his wife had died just 20 minutes before of Malaria, she'd been sick for a few days, but that morning they had driven her to the clinic, but she died before they could treat her. We'd been teaching Lucy for a while, she knew all of the lessons, had a testimony, and was preparing to be baptised, she just struggled for transport money due to her living in Mpatamatu, nearly an hour from the church. It was a complete blow and surprise, my heart sunk, that day was really tricky, being in Lusaka and not knowing what to do or what to think.
We attended the burial this morning, it was a sad moment, this one was much more personal than the Tembos funeral a couple of weeks ago, we knew Lucy very well.

Two funerals in three weeks- not a good run for us.. and it very nearly was three.
Okay, that sounds more dramatic than it is, but it was a possibility for us. The day after we arrived back from Lusaka we were driving to a members home for Family Home Evening when we were broadsided by a drunk driver. I am certain that if we weren't driving the Isuzu tank we could be dead, he hit us going about 70kmh. He was overtaking us on a single carriageway in the half-light and claimed he saw a person walking in the middle of the street, so he quickly dodged it and smashed straight into the front right fender of our truck, pushing us a couple of feet away from a huge ditch. No injuries for anyone, only the whole side of the truck was damaged- he drove away trying to run, but we caught him and got his details before he sped away again as we planned to go to the Police Station. Fun times, but the Lord protected us- sometimes i'm glad people pay their tithing :)
So, could've been 'Three Funerals' in Zambia this month, but luckily on the Lord's errand, God protects His own. I am certain that when the ordinances are done for Sister Daka, she will accept the gospel and be with Brother Daka in the Celestial Kingdom, and Elder Mohlakoana and I live to fight another day.
Hope you have a wonderful week. We are going back down to Lusaka tomorrow for exchanges with the Assistants, so pray that we get there and back in one piece...
EF





Monday, 5 October 2015

Change

Fords (and anyone else interested...),

So before I get into the week, a little bit of news. Got a call from the Assistants on Tuesday night, the day before Zone Conference. There had been an emergency transfer in Malawi for a few missionaries, and as a result Elder Barrett and I have been effected. I have been transferred to the Copperbelt Zone, to the companions with Elder Mohlakoana as the Zone Leader that side. Elder Barrett has received a new compaqnion from Matero, Elder Hiltbrand, who will replace me here in Munali, and i'll be serving in Luanshya. 

All change here, finally I get a chance to leave the cheeseboy life of the capital city and test my metal in the 'bush' of Zambia. Maybe i'll even get to see some wild animals now... 

I am really disappointed that I have to leave Munali at it's highest point, two months isn't nearly long enough, and there was a ton of potential success here, but Elder Barrett and Elder Hiltbrand will be able to do even greater things and finish all of the people Elder Sagers and I started. Three companions in two months is going to be odd, the future Prophet for 6 weeks and the future President of the United States for 3- but I know the Lord's in it, and I hope that I will be able to do all that He needs me to achieve in the next assignment. Elder Mohlakoana is a good missionary, we'll be able to work hard and see change.

So receiving that news pretty much screwed up our week, except that I was meant to leave on Saturday but was able to wangle it until Monday, meaning I could see the baptisms of John and Reuben! Really wonderful Sunday and now I can leave Ng'ombe knowing that I did all I could. 

Copperbelt then- i'll try and attach some pictures next week, but apparently it's much more wild than Lusaka, a lot more poverty and a lot less density. It covers three towns/cities, Kitwe, Ndola, and Luanshya. We will be leading a Zone of 22 Missionaries, a vast majoirty of them are on both sides of the missionary 'age spectrum.' A lot of the compaionships will be training, and the rest will be going home in the next couple of months. It's going to be a different challenge, the Coperbelt has been the least effective Zone in the mission for the past 6-8 months, and the missionaries know it. Hopefuly we will be able to inject some character into the new missionaries, whilst 'restricting' the influence of the older missionaries to an attitude of hard work and a focused goal of change, building a culture of accountability and responsibility. That's the aim anyway, we'll soon see how much influence the new kid can have...

Al exciting stuff, i'm just raring to get that side now, my bus leaves in a couple of hours and then i'll be there, taskes 5 hours, but because of traffic could take over 6, we'll see, but it's October, the height of summer, in a crowded bus with no Air Conditioning. Fun.

Ford out.

EF

John, Jack, Reuben- Lusaka Stake Centre. 





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The quorum asunder

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The Masaka Family, Thandiwe is in blue.

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George Vincent Barrett, Republican candidate for the President of the Untied States


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My favourite picture- the Recent Converts in Munali. Love them all so much. John, Reuben, Richard, Thandiwe. 



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The only tolerable Manchester United fan, John.

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Goodbye Ingrid, she only looked good in the pitch black...


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The clown district. 



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Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Update on investigators and mission life

Good afternoon everyone, I know it's been a while since I've written in the blog, but I'm back, I've found time, and want to update you all on the past couple of weeks!

Richard- He's doing well, really progressing and has been helping us to teach. He had another experience with work, I don't know if I shared it. He got another job working for a Chinese construction company, and they wanted to take him and their other employees to Kafue, outside Lusaka, for five months. He quit the job because he knew he would miss the sacrament for 5 months. He felt like he couldn't do that to God. What a man.
John- Another great man, contacted us a few weeks ago and explained that he had been taught a couple of times by some other missionaries, but that he had lost contact and wantwed to resume the lessons. He was interviewed yesterday and passed. He'll be a great prospective missionary, someone who can help both Richard and Reuben.

Reuben- Reuben is just a miracle. He once had received all of the lessons but had rejected baptism because of some Anti-Mormon doctrine that he had read. It took nearly a year of fasting and praying to receive a confirmation from God that he needed to be baptised. And so last week he came back to church for Stake Conference, felt the spirit so strong that he told us he desired baptism. We taught him everything again this week and yesterday he too passed his interview. He is also young enough to serve a mission and will be such a fantastic asset to Munali Ward. He is passionate and very sensitive to the spirit.
Carol-  Carol is a really wonderful part member who is married to a less-active named Victor. She too was at Stake Conference and was referred to us from the Sister Training Leaders. She is progressing well and wants her and her husband to live together forever- her main motivation for being baptised. She is really hungry for the gospel and will be baptised in a couple of weeks.
Donald and Malala- Donald and Malala went through a terrible tragedy, Donald lost his mum and then a week later they both lost their 4 month old baby. They called us and explained their sorrow and desire for joy. We've been teaching them for 3 or 4 weeks, and although they haven't visited the church, we taught them powerfully about the Book of Mormon, and they have great desire to read it. Lets hope that they find their testimony from there!
So these are the people that we've been meeting in the past couple of weeks, and despite our ridiculous schedule, we have two baptisms next week that we deserve for our hard work. The Lord is with us, He wants us to succeed. Shouldn't be another week like last for a while again so we should see a lot more time doing what we were called to do, teach and baptise.
So that's the area.
For me i'm feeling really good at the moment, the work is really tough but we get a lot out of the little time we have. People in Lusaka are stubborn, but we are blessed with great members who work with us at every opportunity and give us solid referrals. Both John and Reuben were referrals, and so we are feeling the blessings of the ward in our missionary work.
Elder Barrett and I get on very well, he is a funny person who I get on with very easily. It's difficult sometimes to work with someone you get on with so well because it's so easy to lose focus, I liked working with African companions because they usually kept to themselves a lot, but with Elder Sagers and Elder Barrett it's been a bit more of a challenge. Still, success and obedience is prevalent, so who can complain?
Hating life in the truck though, wedging on the poundage, lack of photos is the consequence. I keep doing my best to exercise, but it's practically impossible because we return at 10:30 every night and have to leave by 8 most mornings. But this is the mission life, and I love it, so so much. This past year has flown by and I am really worried how fast this one will go, seeing so many new missionaries come in and realise that I am now one of the 'Old breed' is really hard to deal with.
Anyway, enough ranting- Zambia is getting really hot again, October is the height of Summer, the work is progressing, and I am feeling great. Hope the same can be said for you.
Have a great week, thanks for all the emails and letters, sorry I haven't been replying, i'll repent I promise!
EF x 

 
No picture- forgot my camera :(

Monday, 7 September 2015

Richard

Greetings loved ones,
Not a lot of time to email today, so i'll just drop an experience and a couple of photos.
Richard- I am just in love with Richard, he is the greatest, faithful, and committed person I think i've ever met in Zambia, and here's why. As he was baptised last week, he knew that he would be confirmed this Sunday. He had recently quit his job as a security guard as he didn't like working the nights, and so had just accepted a job at a local Chinese restaurant. As he negotiated the contract they told him he would have to work from 9-7, and that he would work every day. He obviously realised that that would mean he would miss church on Sunday. Reluctantly, he accepted the offer and went to work. By Friday, he had been dwelling and pondering about the connotations of having to miss church each week, and he knew that he had just last week made covenants to stand as a witness of God, and so he decided, just days after joining, he would quit the job without pay for the 5 shifts he had already worked. He truly knows which way he faces and who he serves. He is a great example to me of someone with faith, true, unquenchable faith ion our Father in Heaven. I was grateful for the opportunity to be the person who confirmed him a member, and as I pronounced on him the gift of the Holy Ghost, I felt Him come into Richard, and as we left church that day, his countenance was different. I know that God blessed Richard with his spirit that day, and as he continues in the church, he will be one of God's choice servants in Zambia.
Sorry I don't have more to write, time is going- but Elder Sagers has been called as the next Assistant to President Erickson so i'll be receiving another companion on Tuesday, this time and Idahoan, Elder Barrett. Potatoes anyone?
EF x


Monday, 24 August 2015

Curry curry curry

Richard- This week we have been teaching Richard, a lad our age, who came to the Church of his own accord. It's the first time since I came on mission- or worked with any kind of missionaries back home- that someone sat us down and told us directly, quoting him, "I've read the Book of Mormon, I've visited your church, I've prayed to God, and I know it's true. When can I be baptised?" We said in the next three weeks, he was interviewed on Sunday and with some clarification on one or two things, next Sunday he'll be a member of the Lord's fold. A true miracle, and I know that he's a blessing for mine and Elder Sager's work.
Thandiwe- Another miracle from this week is Thandiwe, the smartest 12 year old I've seen in Zambia. She's brighter than most 35 year olds, and sensitive to the spirit. She's a part member, Brother and Sister Masaka had been less-active for a long time but have recently come back and desired that we teach their oldest daughter so that she can become a member. We had been teaching her for the past few weeks about praying and receiving an answer. When we met her on Friday, we asked her how her prayers were going. She said that she had seen a dream the previous night in which she had been visited by someone, someone who she didn't recognise, who told her that she had to listen to, "the two white men that were teaching her." She believed that we were the men spoken of, and that she must follow what we say and be baptised. She believed that it was an angel sent by God, and we weren't in the mood to say otherwise. She too will be baptised on Sunday subject to interview.
Sharmas- I promise you (kind of) that this was the miracle of the week. FINALLY the Indian family fed us curry! It was a delight, the best I've eaten in a members house since I came out. Divine stuff, homemade flat bread, Bombay potatoes, and some Ethiopian stuff I can't pronounce. I was also sick that day, but i'm certain that by eating that food, I was cleared out by morning.

'Kobi' the Korean- 
Bit of miscellaneous, for date night this week (President and Sister Erickson have a date night each week, and so for complete obedience to the mission rules, we too have date night), Elder Sagers and I visited this amazing Korean restaurant at East Park Mall, which was just superb. Six English pounds bought me a 'Bimbimbap', pretty much rice with this crazy duck sauce and fermented cabbage that was vindaloo-esque. Really good stuff, and we'll definitely return soon. Pictures to follow next time.
We're going for another curry in the next half an hour, should get some photos, also had a cruise in the truck for the first time this morning, not quite Mystique, but I think Ingrid will work out nicely...

EF x

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

ZLM

Good afternoon England! Hope the first week of August finds you well and excited for another jam-packed week of missionary work over here in Lusaka, Zambia. I want you to know the life of a new Zone Leader in Lusaka- there's so much to talk about- so let me run you through the week, hope you've got your handkerchiefs ready for Monday...

Monday- After a long and emotional Sunday, we emailed in the morning after I washed my clothes which took most of the day. To be honest, I was kacking myself, 9 months in Lilanda made it feel like home. Leaving home for the first time is hard enough but leaving again is difficult to explain... But anyways, I then packed my ridiculous amount of stuff (Must've bought tonnes of nonsense in the past year...), said goodbye to the Lilanda Family, and at 10:05pm, got picked up by the Zone Leaders, Mr. Companion, Elder Sagers, and Mr. Ex-Companion, Elder Nakale. We arrived at the new flat hungry and tired, so we had our sleepover with me on the floor to the sound of mosquitoes abusing my skin until the morning. 

Tuesday- Tuesday morning was spent watching Elder Nakale pack his stuff ready to fly home to Namibia. He'd been talking about this day ever since we were companions back in November 2014, but it always seemed like such a distant memory. Now when it was happening, it was a moment of realisation for him, and for me. The last 11 months have flown by at a miraculous rate, it feels like I've achieved very little. Our time here on mission is really short, and I need to get my act together right now. All these thoughts were on my mind, but it's given me another push of motivation, of ambition, and a drive to once again, to do my best in the calling I've been assigned. We then drove him to the mission home to get taken to the Airport by President and Sister Erickson, and then finally, it began. 

The next 24 hours are some of the longest of my life. 'Don't ever ask to be a Zone Leader' said Elder Ringwood in October General Conference, he's absolutely right on that one...

Wednesday- Tuesday night we received the transfer logistics for Elder Knobloch's travel to the Copper belt, which required a 6am bus travel to Kitwe. So on Tuesday night, getting lost driving to Woodlands, we picked up Elder Knobloch and dropped his companion with the district leader in Libala. That morning, at 5am, we awoke and drove him to the Bus Station, an early start to a ridiculously long day. We got home, went through the morning, taught some lessons and then received the news on the incoming new missionaries from the MTC who would be arriving later on in the day on a later flight as their flight was delayed. Long story short, the delay was so long that our whole evening was taken up by us ferrying the new missionaries to their new companions all dotted around Lusaka in Matero, Lilanda (My last companion) and Woodlands. A baptism of fire into the Zone Leader life. The pillow felt good that night. 

Thursday- That morning we received a notice from Sister Erickson that two Elders from the Copperbelt for immigration and a dental appointment, so we quickly flew through our weekly planing and drove straight back to the Bus Station to grab them for their 1 'o' clock appointment. Elder Etiang went to the dentist, and we took Elder Maele with us to teach the wonderful Shama family, having eaten nothing since Wednesday morning. An Indian family from Delhi, they are already my favourite family in Munali, they cook the best Indian grub, I felt like I was back in Leicester again, and they filled us right... That night the Elders slept at our apartment which we nicknamed 'Hotel Bombay.' 

Friday/Saturday/Sunday- Finally, after the mad rush of transfers and immigration, Elder Sagers and I dropped Elder Etiang and Elder Maele with the Office Elders, and were finally able to catch our breaths, and get our heads down into some bread and butter missionary work. we worked like crazy finding some powerful new investigators, one of which is a referral from a recently less-active brother named Brother Nyrienda. The man is Akim, he came into the room and said, "this week I will come to your church." As everyone says that, I challenged him and said, "and then what about every other Sunday for the rest of your life?", and right there and then he committed to come to church forever. 

And he did.

Sunday, on the very front row was Akim, dressed nice and reading the Book of Mormon. I love him so much and know the Lord has touched his heart already. He is a wonderful young man with amazing potential- a true follower of Christ, not just in word, but in action too. I am humbled that I am able to be part of his coming to the Saviour, here's hoping for a wonderful week with him and the others that made our Sunday one to remember.

Next Week- So, this week coming is another monster for us, our Mission Leadership Council begins 11:00am tomorrow. It'll be two days of edification and discussion on the progress and future of the Mission. So excited for it, and i'm lucky I got called straight up when we are having a live one in Lusaka, usually it's done over Web-Ex, but this month is 'special' so it should be unbelievable. We've been preparing all weekend for our maiden-presentation. Should be a good'n. 

So, hopefully you're all filled in on the week, hope you're not too bored and you now see just how full a day in the life of a missionary in the ZLM is! Love you all, and speak more next week.

EF xx

p.s. Photos to come next week hopefully, didn't get a chance for any snaps... Too busy!

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Transfers

Just a quick one for the blog this week:
Basically, I got a transfer this weekend, i'll be staying in Lusaka but will be serving in Munali (Town) with Elder Sagers. My companion, Elder Malinga, will replace me as Distrcit Leader and will be traingin a new missionary. So stoked for him, about time he got to put the skills i've taught him into practise! Jokes aside, he'll do great.
The week went really well, hard to get momentum but were able to see many more miracles. The man with the broken shoe is really progressing although missed church this week due to a 'program at his church.' It's hard to gauge people's seriousness sometimes, but that's the game, we continue to work hard, and have found much more success with Vincent, the man with the deep questions. He asked us once, 'if we are going to be god's someday, then who is God's god? And did he come to Earth before?' Struggled to find a simple answer to that one, but recently he's being much more receptive and wants to be baptised, next task: come to church.
Relishing the chance to serve with Elder Sagers, our exchange a few weeks ago was really fruitful, and so i'll get to continue the day that we had for as long as the Lord wants us together, so stoked. Will miss Lilanda, but the time is right to move on , the people here will always be in my hearts and will miss them dearly. Yesterday was a difficult day at church, feeling a lot of emotion, but as with everything, too much of the same is bad right?
Hoefully i'll have more time to write next week, but for now, enjoy the week, and more about Munali next time!
EF x
1). My family... Emotional to leave them, thought I only had to leave home once...


Monday, 27 July 2015

Some experiences

Howdy!
Another astonishingly fast week, when I sit down to type, it feels like I haven't even left! But that's what being 'Anxiously Engaged' means I guess. Too much to report on this week, so lets get cracking...
This week found us working our socks off to beat ourselves last week. The objective: to find one new father that we could find and bring to church. We searched high and low, nigh and far, but no matter how much we pushed, no one was being boss, all were shutting their gates with the familiar, "I'm busy..." So, we tried closer to home, actually, the house directly next door to the church. We know the family so well, a divorced mother with three adult sons living with her, probably not the best scenario to find a father, but despite this we asked who was around. Turns out we met not a father, but one of the most spiritually driven men i've ever come into contact with.
His name's Kenani, he's a Pastor by profession, although doesn't have a church (Work it out for yourselves, i'm lost too...) He had been staying with the others because he is a family friend, and the time we contacted him he pretty much had decided that life wasn't worth living. After some debating, testifying, and some spiritual experiences, he decided to not end it all, but to come to church with us on Sunday.

Sunday came, and we went to pick him, even though he lives next to the church. We arrived and saw him at the front door, his head down and without a shirt. He said he couldn't come. We asked why, and he said because his shoe had torn after he was collecting water the night before. I tried to offer him my shoes so that he would come, citing that "Zambia's too hot anyway, bare feet will do for me," but he still wouldn't take the bait. But we finally told him to come, and after helping him to put on his partially scraped show, he came. And he he loved it.

We hope that this week he will pray to know if he should be baptised. I pray that this is the miracle we had been searching for, the man that God had put into our path, the goal we had set in faith.

Another story: There is a shop near the Church that we always buy drinks from when it's hot. It's name is Shopix- and for some reason I have never found out the owner's name, we always call him Shopix. And so for the purposes of this story, the gentleman that I am going to refer to will be called Shopix.
We went in to Shoipix to buy a drink, Shopix asked us how we were doing and we replied Shopix by telling him that we were good, and asked how Shopix was doing. He said that both Shopix and Shopix were fine, but that Shopix was feeling the heat a little too much... Anyway...
We got into a 'discussion', honestly of my making, but nonetheless, a debate. He contended with us about how the Bible was 'enough' for him, and that even if what we said was true, he was 'satisfied' with what he already has. We learnt that he is a 'travelling Bishop', someone who is basically a Spiritual Counselor that has no church, but pays people to have their concerns addressed by God's representative. A load of nonsense, during the conversation, he said something that made the red mist descend- "Even I could have written the Book of Mormon."
If anyone knows me very well, my history is littered with doubt and trouble regarding the validity of ther Book of Mormon. I have had literal wrestles with God about the Book of Mormon, and although it has taken me years and years of prayer and fasting- I have come to a sure knowledge that the Book of Mormon really is the word of God. And so, when Shopix crossed swords with me about his impossible writing ability, although he didn't know it, he had awoken a beast, a beast that has yet to be sturred since I came to Zambia.
But, contray to my own believe, I was overcome and testified, for the first time in my lie, of what I know to be true of the Book of Mormon. I told him, "In the name of Jesus Christ, no man could write the Book of Mormon, for it is the word of God."
He stopped talking for the first time in about 35 minutes. It felt like the world had ended, or Beyonce had appeared in the doorway of his shop, for he was silenced, bewitched by the spirit that was present in that room. I then promised him that I have read the Book, and know of it's divinity, and that no man can be saved unless abiding by it's precepts. The rest is history, but the truth remains- no man can thwart the work of God, no man can testify against His word, and no man could've written such a book, not even the most learned.

I hold this sacred experience close to my heart, and hope by sharing it to you, you can see the truthfulness of His work in my life, in your life, and in the work that missionaries do all over the world.
Love you, have a great week, Transfers Saturday!
EF x

1). Elder Malinga loves strange positions




2). Elder Sagers, Elder Malinga, Elder Walusimbi, Elder Elder



3). Elder Sakala's setting apart, destination: Ghana, Cape Coast






































Monday, 20 July 2015

Machoma Bwanji

Machoma Bwanji,

Sabata wakhala chachikulu... Sorry, just thought i'd boast in my Nyanja writing skills- I promise it's easier to speak than to write... or read.

The week has been another great one, which ends the 4th week of the transfer, so we once again begin to look towards the transfer speculation, but that can wait... More about the week.

This week we were able to have exchanges with the Zone Leaders, which was the highlight of the week. I spent the day in Munali with Elder Sagers and we completely smashed it, teaching wonderful fathers, interested people, and some amazingly prepared recent converts. I was able to learn so much and be edified by the strength of my leaders. Grateful for Elder Nakale and Elder Sagers for the work that they do here in Lusaka to make us the best Zone in the mission. 

Crazy scenes in Emmasdale this week- just after a dude was washed up in Lilanda the other day, we saw first hand the mob justice of Africa. A guy in a red pick-up shunted a small people carrier at a set of lights near our flat yesterday night. No one was hurt, it was only a small shunt that sent both the truck and the PC spinning, but in reaction the whole Emmasdale massive came from out of the surrounding bars and clubs and started acting like apes- literally. They jumped on the bonnet of the pick up, jumping up and down so that the driver couldn't pull away, whilst the others smashed the windows in with bottles and started beating the driver and his Bonnie-lass in the passenger seat. They eventually pried the door open and dragged him out, kicking him and beating him until he was blacked-out. The reaction was barbaric to say the least. Zambian's turned suicidal murders, unsettling scenes for sure...

But other than that a great week all round, had Zone Meeting on Tuesday where I present about companionship inventory, went well, obviously. Spent a lot of time working with some of our Recent converts this week in an effort to get them mobilised as Ward Missionaries, should help the missionaries of the future to havbe member present lessons. I'm, also trying to help the ward use their PEC and Ward Council meetings effectively, I feel a calling onto the Bishopric coming if I don't get a transfer this time next week...

That's pretty much it, not much else to report except the nonsense power cuts have left us with no choice but to BBQ every night, getting kind of bored of driy burgers and goat sausages...

EF x

P.S. Brother Musa goes on mission on Thursday to Ghana. I promised him I wouldn't be around to send him off, revelation obviously changes. I'll miss him a lot, he has become a great friend. Till we meet again #laka #muyendebwino xx


Friday, 10 July 2015

Missionary Work

Good evening fam,
So, power, water, football matches have all contributed to 45 minutes of emailing time, not long enough to email everyone properly, so i'll write to you all together, along with the blog, and try and highlight the highlights of this 'less-than-high' week:
TUESDAY- Had our district meeting in Lilanda, the first with Elder Essilfie. Was pretty good, talked a bit about self-reliance, communication in companionships, and using the scriptures in lessons. Went well, some good contributions and set us up nice for the week. We then spent the afternoon, after seeing Dorothy and Robbie Chikumbi, plowing Amadi's garden ready for the next batch of relish. Broke their hoe, reckon it's because I am just Mr. Zambia now...
WEDNESDAY- We planned for a District Service far in the bush on the outskirts of Lusaka, where one of our members owns a farm. He asked us to come and 'cultivate some maize', turned out to be the most tedious 8 hours of my life. Took us two hours to walk there, greeted by 4 huge stacks of harvested corn, our job was to un-shell each individual maize cob, which took ages. Good service though, got completely scorched by the sun, thought I was over that by now, but found some interesting looking corn... (1) 

We had then planed to be back in time for devotional, but as we were traveling back, the Bishop called us to say that 'Lilanda wasn't safe' and that we should cancel and go home immediately. Turned out a Copper had been shot and killed, the robber stole his AK and was on the loose. This is Africa, and so we heard later on that the witches had used Ju-Ju to find him and kill him. Believe.
THURSDAY- In the morning we had interviews with President, so we met him at the meeting house and were there until early afternoon. It went well, had some encouraging conversation about the district, mission, the work etc, nothing out of the ordinary, glad to see he is noticing our efforts though. The rest of the day we saw Boyd, G4S badman, Ruth, wife to Amadi,who was there along with Owen) and found some 'interesting' new investigators.
FRIDAY- Friday we busted our guts to make up for the lost time spent doing service on Tuesday and Wednesday. We saw TONNES of people including our miracle for the week. His name's Emile (already on to a winner...) and he's from Burundi. Turns out he'd heard about the church from his family who live in Burundi, friends in DRC, and other people in Zambia, referred himself to the Elders in Matero, met us, all culminating when he asked us which day he'll be baptised. Took us by surprise, dazed and starstruck we said Sunday 26th July, ended the lesson, and then woke up from the dream we thought we were in, as he didn't come to church this week. Not all hope is lost, but the guys turned his phone off...
SATURDAY- Tried to find some momentum but everyone we planned to see did the Zambian thing and leave right as we're arriving.
"'Im busy."
"With what?"
"Nothing."
"Can we teach you?"
"No."
"Why?"
"Because i'm busy."
Common place in the land of milk and honey. Tried our best, met a pastor and taught him, said he would join the church if we changed the name of the Book of Mormon to the Book of Jesus Christ. Tried to sell us his 'Guide to understanding the NKJV of the Bible' and his gospel album, we politely refused until he gave them for free, so we had to take them, and then we left.
SUNDAY- Ended the week disappointed- didn't have power like every day this week, so had a cold bath, went to church with an un-ironed shirt, saw none of our investigators come, and got denied food thrice in quick succession.

It just wasn't our week, did our best but not every week is going to be stunning. Reported to the Zone Leaders in the dark and then slept.
TODAY- Played the re-match against Bethel. The less said the better, got humbled yet again, seems like every back-yard kid in Zambia is Drogba... We have an appointment with someone we contacted two weeks ago today called Aggie, and we hope that that is going to kick-start this next week off. (2)
Hope all of your weeks have been great, read all of your emails and i'm so happy to hear things are going well. Heard about Pearson getting the sack, finally the King is ousted, sounds like it was about some racist Thai brothel incident he was in that caused it? Hope they don't sign the Ginger ninja himself, Lennon, wouldn't be an upwards move...

Grateful for your time to email me, love you all and will speak better next week.
EF x



Monday, 29 June 2015

A difficult one...

Another week's flown by in Lilanda, it's been another whirlwind, and a very difficult one for me personally.

Received a phone call Thursday night from the Elders working in my old area in Libala. They explained that one of my recent converts that side died last month, King Silungwe. They didn't give me much information about how or what, just that he was buried last week. Hard times this week, but great to have been part of his coming to Christ so that now he is with his Saviour. Humbling experience, loved him to pieces. 

Other than that another decent week, struggled to find the momentum that we wanted and so didn't quite hit our targets for this week, but we've got the resolve to push on these coming days to re-focus ourselves. Elder Essilfie, the new Elder from Ghana is settling in well. It's not easy for a new missionary, but he's really hit the ground running and is trying his best with Elder Collins.

Sheila and Owen are both doing well, along with Rosaria and all the other recent converts in Lilanda. God is blessing us richly at the moment, even th wather is turning colder.

Quote of the week goes to Elvis Mbewe:- "Ah, June behaves at least, you can still sleep, but July, ah, July is troublesome I tell you! You'll see frost on your top lip believe me..." Struggling to believe that, but may at least feel a bit more like England next month... Hopefully, this is Africa.

God is great,

EF x




"King is on the left - rest in peace buddy, you'll be missed"




Monday, 22 June 2015

Blog post

Yes,

FINALLY!! After countless transfers, countless hours, countless baptisms, and countless nights spent in the worst flat in the mission, it's finally time to leave Lilanda...


...For Elder Shai.

Yep, that's right Brethren and Sisters, a record 6th transfer for Elder Ford in Lilanda, another 6 weeks in the Lilanda Ward, and another 6 weeks with Elder Malinga, that will total us to 6 months together! If I had to stay in Lilanda for another transfer, at least it'll be with Elder Malinga. We've got some 'unfinished business' with a couple of our investigators right now and a charged up Bethel Church football team. Rematch 6th July, could be a serious one...

So, for the week then...

After the baptisms of Owen, Shepherd, George, John and Cathrine, they were all confirmed on Sunday, I was able to confirm George and be part of all of the others, which was memorable and an exciting time to be a missionary in Zambia, as I always say. It's pretty hard to think of new things to say every week, sometimes the work just isn't as exciting as it should be, but that's usually due to hard work and not enough time to mess about... But who said that was true, you can mess about and work hard, right?

Have a wonderful week, more from Lilanda next Monday!

EF x


1). We got a District tee shirt, modeled it against the only tree in our compound, not much greenery in Zambia...


2). Enjoyed a bounteous end of transfer dinner with Fackson Musa Sakala, Ghana boy, at the Muzhingas house. It's becoming a Sunday evening tradition... I don't like traditions unless there's food. 

   

3). Hammered some pizza courtesy of the clothed chef Malinga- decent effort, but not quite a meat feast...



Me and Sheila from Owen's baptism


 Me, Shepherd and Owen 


 The intensity of rice in Zambia (Unice, Amadi's daughter)


 Front of the District tee, the Dragon District



The Pharisees' Our District tee that we printed.
















Monday, 15 June 2015

Mashakalati

Hello!

So, this week has been one of the best since I came on mission, but as a result I am just completely spent. All energy is gone, I think tonight I'll take an early night... Well deserved by the whole district to be honest!

This week we baptised Owen! It was magical- the spirit was there, I didn't mess up the baptism, and despite it being the middle of the Zambian winter, the water was still hotter than most of the swimming pools in England... The Zambians were complaining that it was cold though, crazy. 


Shepherd, George, John and Catherine Mashakalati were also all baptised which was a miracle as they've been taught for the past year with no success, but as we've worked with them and loved them, their desire grew, and finally it happened yesterday! Even the Mission President and his wife paid us an unexpected visit, which put the pressure on as I was confirming Sheila. I don't usually feel pressure, but I was bricking it yesterday... Luckily it all went well.

This week transfers are coming around again, 5 transfers in a row have put me as odds on favourite to receive the call, but both Elder Shai and Collins follow closely behind with 4 transfers a piece, giving themselves a very strong possibility also. The least likely outcome is a transfer for Elder Malinga, the dark horse with only 3 transfers behind him. Odds of a District whitewash are almost nil, practically guaranteeing that someone will be remaining for the next 6 weeks. Bookies highest outcome is a one-a-piece switch with Ford and Shai being replaced, leaving the reins of Lilanda behind to Collins and Malinga, with the possibility of one training with the other replacing Ford as DL. 

Anyways, before my fantasies become a reality, I am truly grateful for the miracles we witnessed this week, far too many to mention, but all very, very special to each one of us. I'm so thankful for you all and the support you give to me, time is flying right now, I can barely remember which day it is, but I am so blessed to be in Zambia right now.

God bless, till next week,


EF x

Monday, 8 June 2015

Shepherd, Owen and George.

Yes everyone,

As you know I'm living in Zambia, a nation where internet coverage, even in the capital city, is shadier than Oakengates on Christmas eve, so today has been a struggle to find a shop that's been working so time is of the essence. 

This week we had the interview of Owen, FINALLY! I love this lad, 15 years old and already wants to serve a mission in the future, what a powerful experience to be a part of and i'm really looking forward to Sunday. 

The other Elders in Lilanda are also baptising a really great family on Sunday too, the Kabwe's. Shepherd and George asked me to baptise them which will be amazing, I love them so much and have spent a lot of time with them, watching their testimonies grow ever since I arrived in Lilanda last year.

Hoping to have a sweet Zone meeting at the Stake Centre tomorrow, and then the rest of the week we should be pushing as we are going to be pushing to baptise Sheila's grandma, Owen's mum, and tonnes of other people this month! The work is tiring and we are always tired, but we are being seriously blessed. 

Love you all, speak better next week,

EF 



















Thursday, 4 June 2015

Elder Ford and Elder Malinga - update.

Brethren and Sisters,

Hope you have all had a great week, for Elder Malinga and I, this week was terrific as usual. God is making bare His arm in Lilanda, which is pushing us every day to work harder, think better, and to keep on doing what we are doing. The work is tough, hard, but so, so worth it. 

As an apology for not writing last week, here is my rather extravagant and possibly tedious summary of this week:

Tuesday- Normal day at the office, had District Meeting where the District and I set our new goals for this transfer. Our closing prayer was powerful, God confirmed that the goals we had set are achievable, at least to me, but I do have the opportunity to receive revelation for the District...  The rest of the day we worked in the nonsense weather, it's meant to be winter here, but it's still hotter than England on a very very warm summers day. Crazy stuff.

Wednesday- It was Lusaka Leadership Council Wednesday, so I went on exchanges with the Matero District leader, Elder Hiltbrand, (Classy surfer boy from California, he'll marry a beautiful wife...) and we headed into town to the STAKE centre. Powerful meeting- we were discussing about the Zone Conference we would be having on Thursday, and as we would be leading a discussion on "becoming a full purpose missionary", we tried to plan what we wanted to achieve from the meeting, with limited success. We kept going around in circles, back and forth we discussed with no success, until Elder Payne, one of our ZL's, said we should pray for direction. He prayed, and we all felt it. 20 minutes later we had a plan, a goal, and huge smiles. God is great.

Thursday- Zone Conference. Saw the Mission President after a long time, it was truly a wonderful experience. Felt the spirit like I did in the temple, we learned, edified each other, felt love, and renewed our commitments to be full-purpose missionaries and to consecrate ourselves more fully. A great day, coupled with good company, good food, some old faces, and Meet the Mormons to round it off (Such a cliche film, not anywhere near the Singles Ward standard...)

Friday- Had a lot of fall-throughs off the back of the Conference, but pushed for some great lessons where we saw some special people we have been teaching for a while begin to progress nicely. Shomba and Owen, a great family, should be baptised next week Sunday.

Saturday- The Day of Miracles. Just too much to talk about this day, but know that my testimony has been strengthened after what happened on Saturday. God's hastening His work here, and it is awesome to be a part of it.

Sunday-  Sheila's baptism. The best way to round off the week was with a baptism. We've worked with Sheila for around 3 months and she has just got such a great spirit and testimony. She'll be a powerful member, and maybe even a missionary if we can help it... Went to the First Councillor on the Bishopric's house, Brother Muzhinga, and he fed us, which was sweet. (Just a side note, we have been told that we no longer have to wear suits in the Africa Central and Southern missions, so rocked the jersey for the first time on a Sunday, "and it was good.")


This was pretty much the week, full of miracles, experiences, and the spirit, can't ask for much more! Trying to take more photos at the moment but I am becoming a professional grazer, and so, as you'll notice, I am becoming exceedingly large, so don't expect many more of me in the coming months until I work out a way to sort it out ;)


EF x



"Update of me and the companion"


"Yep, no comment..."


Monday, 18 May 2015

Chinese Ndyio

Just a quick one today!
I hope this week has been fantastic, for me it's been tiring, hard, but so great.
We taught an insane amount of lessons, we found some amazingly prepared people as usual, and we saw mighty miracles, showing us that the Lord's hand is in the work. I never get tired of seeing miracles...
This week is going to be even better, not having zone meeting or any other distractions, some pure solid work will get done, so this time next week I'll hardly be able to stand!
The photos this week are of the Banda's children, Mildreid and Emmanuel, who both call me 'Chinese Ndiyo' (Relish) as the parents always watch Ong Bak and there aren't many white people here. They also eat a lot of Chinese Cabbage with NShima... The influence of TV on children is real!
The other is our amazing Ward Missionary, Kennedy Chisopa. He is one of the greatest saints I have ever met in my life. He loves the gospel, he is the best missionary I have ever met, and he'll never wear a black badge, whether rain or shine he will always come if we ask. He is a true disciple of Christ.
EF x