These two young men are twins, Victor and Vincent. They just received their mission calls- one to Uganda and one to DRC. They waited a long time for the call which they submitted in December. They were very excited. I have known them since they were young boys.
These two young men joined the church less than a year ago and are already preparing to serve a mission. They are trying to earn the money for a passport and to buy the clothes they will need. Emmauel, the tall one, recently got a job at a filling station. He called us as soon as he got the job and was so excited. Emmanuel was the first to join and he told his friend, Evan, about it and soon they were both members. Emmanuel lived with his mother until she passed away when he was still very young. He went to live with his father and his father also passed away after a short time, I think it was a year or two. Then he went to live with an uncle and that uncle was killed in an accident after one month. Next he was sent to live with his brother and stayed with him until he graduated from grade twelve when he decided to come and live with his sister in Lusaka. Not long after he came to Lusaka he joined the church. Craig has hired him to do small jobs like washing the car. He took the vacuum outside for Emmanuel to vacuum the car and Emmanuel had no idea what it was for. He had never seen a vacuum before. He is a great young man and will be a great missionary.
We went shoe shopping with Emmanuel and he was very particular about what he wanted. We probably walked a couple of miles through the market in downtown Lusaka. It was like a maze in there. I was so turned around- I would never have found my way out if we hadn't been with some young men who knew their way around.
Not exactly the kind of shopping that we are used to. I never saw another white person although everyone was very nice to us.
I thought this was pieces of leather stacked up on the tables but it's actually whole dried fish. I'm not sure how they eat it because it looks like it would taste like leather.
On our last trip to the Copper Belt we attended another baptism. Two young women were baptized in one of the branches by the missionaries. The church is growing and the missionaries in the Zambia, Lusaka Mission are doing a great job.
Cecilia, a lifelong member, introduced the church to her longtime best friend and the rest is history.
We met the Mukonda family and have discovered what great musical talents they all have. Many of the children have learned to play the keyboard and they all sing beautifully. We found an extra keyboard that some senior couple had left behind and decided to give it to them. They were so thrilled when we dropped it off at their house they played and sang for us and we kept asking for more. Their father had a stroke last April and has not been able to attend church for some time. They don't have a car and live some distance from the church. Craig offered to pick him up and bring him to stake conference. This isn't even all the members of the family. We're told there are 24 children but from 2 different mothers. I haven't quite figured the whole story out yet.
These are some of the members of the self-reliance group Starting and Growing My Business. The course goes for 12 weeks and teaches the members skills that will help them to start a business or improve the business they already have. These are some of the subjects covered in the book: What do people want to buy? How do I know if my business is making a profit? How do I know if I should use a loan to grow my business? How will I increase my profits? Some of it is as basic as the difference between income and expense.
Obert is not a member of the church but some good members told him about the self-reliance group and he has a small business selling fruits and vegetables so he decided to come. He loves it. He wants to be taught by the missionaries now. He was having trouble reading the manual so Craig gave him a pair of my glasses and he was so excited that he could see the words. Good thing I brought several pair with me. I know how frustrating it is when you're not able to see the words.
One of my favorite things about being on a mission in Zambia is the association we have with the missionaries. Most of them are African and a great many of them are the only member in their family. Some have no support from home and they are truly on their own. It's so inspiring to see how strong in the gospel they are. These two called us the other night and said their power was out (a common occurrence) and did we have any left overs they could have. I gave them what I had and they were happy as clams.
This quote is hanging in our flat which was also left behind by the couple that lived here before us. Just thought I would share it.
"Cherish your spouse as the greatest possession of your life and treat him or her accordingly. Make it your constant goal to add to the happiness and comfort of your companion. Never permit yourself to let down in your affection, or your respect, or your faith in one another. Be excellent in every way."
President Gordon B. Hinckley
Ensign, Sept. 1999
I can see that I have a lot of repenting to do. I'm working on it!