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