Monday, 27 July 2015

Some experiences

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?"
"Can we teach you?"
"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