Sunday, November 29, 2015


This is the swimming pool at the mission office.  I was so surprised when I saw it. It is such a contrast between this and what there is outside of these walls.  Everything is locked up so tight with electric fences around many properties including the mission office and even our own apartment.  We have a gate with a guard 24/7.  There are 2 paddle locks on our front door and 1 on our back door. The church is just renting this place and I don't think anyone has ever used the pool.

This is where we spend a good deal of our time- in traffic!  It is unbelievable, no matter the time of day.  It is really a lesson in patience because there is nothing you can do about it but just plan for it.  You have to be very aggressive or you won't get anywhere.  I haven't been brave enough to try it yet. Craig is doing a great job with the driving even when I am gasping in terror.

Our Self Reliance Services manager has been here with us all week training us and we have not stopped for a minute since he came.  He is from Zimbabwe and covers all of Zimbabwe, Zambia,and Malawi. This is a chamber of commerce meeting we went to trying to find out what kinds of jobs are industry in Zambia looking for.  We discovered there's not much demand for anything which makes it difficult when people here, especially return missionaries want to access the Perpetual Education Fund.  The church won't approve their loans unless they believe that their chosen field of study will lead to a job.  Otherwise they won't be able to pay back the loan or become self reliant. There is a lot of misconceptions and misunderstanding about how the PEF program works so part of our job is to inform and teach the wards and branches the correct way to access it.  We have been traveling throughout the mission to get a feel for how the self reliance program is working in all the wards and branches.  Some are doing well and some need lots of help.

This is one of the branches we visited in Kitwe which is about 5 hours north of  Lusaka.  The branch president here is 23 years old.  When he got released from his mission by the mission president he was called as the branch president at the same time.  He is doing a fantastic job.

The primary room where I'm told they cram 20-30 kids every Sunday.

The baptismal font at another one of the districts.

The man in the wheelchair is President Kapato.  He is the District President in the Ndola District with his first councilor.

I am overwhelmed at the amount of work there is for us to do here.  Next week we head to Malawi which will be about a 12 hour drive.  I have never done so much sitting in all my life- in the car or in a meeting, something that neither Craig nor I am used to.   Another lesson in patience.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

1 week down

One of the first places we visited was Mothers Without Borders Children's Resource Center.  It was fun to see all my friends again.
Driving on the wrong side of the road has been quite an adventure.  I am a nervous wreck the whole time and I'm not the one driving.  Actually Craig is doing a great job considering the traffic here is unbelievable.  On our third day here he got pulled over for dangerous driving! We were just following the car in front of us and two police women waved us over and said we were illegal.  They took Craig's license and then went and sat in their car.  He asked what was going on and they told him he would have to pay 600 kwacha (about $60).  We happened to have a young returned missionary with us from the ward and he said to offer a lesser amount.  Craig offered 200 kwacha ($20) and they said OK.  We were told it was because we are white.  So much to learn.  In all the time I have spent here in the past I never had to drive, cook, or even do my own laundry.
Later on the same day we were trying to get some Zambian kwacha out of the ATM at the bank and it took our card and swallowed it.  What the heck?  We asked someone in the bank and they said to wait in this line.  20 minutes later when we reached to front of the line they said, "Oh you need to stand in this line."  20 minutes later when we reached the front of that line they said, "Come back tomorrow."  What the heck?  Next day, same thing but we finally got the card back.  Next week we will be doing some travelling throughout the mission.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Here we go!

This represents what I know about Zambia already. After 10 years of teaching sewing, I'm on a new adventure in Zambia!  I'm excited and nervous for this new chapter of my life on the mission. My goal is to update weekly but since I'm not there yet I'm not sure if that is a possibility. Check back! 
We just finished at the MTC and now we're headed for 3 days of training at the church office building. Thursday Nov. 12th we get on a plane and leave everything behind. 

                                  This is what they think they are getting in the mission….

                                                But this is what they are really getting.