June 29, 2015
Dear Family and Friends,
I am in the great Zambia LUSAKA!!! I am so excited. It’s the best!! Everything is so nice starting with the computer I’m on! I love being in Zambia. I guess that’s what you get when you come from the poorest country in Africa (Malawi) and then move to another poor country but not the poorest (Zambia)!! Haha I’m still getting to know my new area. I’m not sure what to think. I feel like the members don’t really trust us, but they will soon! J We had a baptism. It was the STAKE president’s nephew. HEY did I mention that I am serving in A WARD and A STAKE, which is pretty cool here in Africa!!!
I have been studying a lot this week. I love this Gospel. It’s the best!!! So I was reading in Preach my Gospel about faith and charity and have been reminded that charity requires work. Alma 32, the famous faith chapter, gives you a new perspective if you replace the word “faith” with “charity” (or love). You should try it!! CHARITY IS SO SWEET!!! I think so often we think we have charity because of how we feel for others. But if we don’t really do anything about that love, it’s just a nice feeling.
“But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of “charity”, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to “love”, let this desire work in you, even until ye “love” in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.
“Now, we will compare “love” unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your “hatred/selfishness/pride”, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this “love” is a good seed, or that “charity” is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me. Now behold, would not this increase your “charity”.
It goes on to say how we need to nourish this seed and that to me means we have to get out there and serve and life and support those we have these feelings of love for.
I love the scriptures! I love how it’s helped me to see that my love for all mankind has “enlarged” and been “enlightened” and “deepened”. And it has become “delicious to me”. I still need to improve for sure with charity but I’m grateful I’ve had a chance on my mission to discover and grow in charity.
I have been “basking” in the Gospel these days. Basking is a word my Mission President uses.) It’s helped me to realize the importance of my worth. I have been pondering on the idea of my potential. Our potential to become like the Savior and Heavenly Father… And this potential is not just MINE… but the potential of everyone I come in contact with. I love the idea, that everyone I come in contact with has the potential to become like our Father in Heaven. Once we understand our worth, we understand the worth of others and it’s nearly impossible to look at someone with the intent to hurt or belittle or to think they are less than us. I feel like this love for all mankind is the most delicious thing that I have ever experienced. I am so grateful for it.
So one night this week, the electricity was out hahaha and I was still up outside on the couch with a candle on the floor writing in my journal and I saw something interesting. There was an ant and he was going around in circles around the candle--just around the edges where it gets dark. The candlelight made a circle of light on the floor and the ant was so determined to walk in circles within the light. I decided to move the candle to see if the ant would follow the light…and it did! And I was watching this ant go around and around, I started to wonder if we are like this ant. The ant has the potential to EXPLORE this whole house; there is food in the kitchen that this little ant could eat but he stayed where the light was. As people, we have the potential to become like our Father in Heaven, but we stay where it’s comfortable, in a tiny amount of light. Sometimes, living a consecrated life is hard and even scary because we have to go into the “dark” where it’s not comfortable. Working to reach our potential can be scary because we have to go where we can’t really see. The second part of this is realizing that when we widen our circle, making it more light, it’s not as scary to change and become who our Father in Heaven wants us to be. We widen our circle by brightening our testimony, understanding the Gospel and making changes one step at a time.
Well that’s all for this week. I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THE GOSPEL IS TRUE!!!! BASK IN THE GOSPEL!!
My companion!! She was the best! Although I was only with her for a few weeks, she taught me so, so much. She taught me how to love, how to laugh and how to cry. Haha we went through some embarrassing times together but we were able to laugh it off. And the embarrassing moments brought us so much closer and made me love her. She is the perfect balance of kindness and boldness. She is the best!!!!! I love her!!
These pictures are all from good old Blantyre!! Saying goodbye to the best!!
Baptism in Lusaka--Stake President's nephew!