Tuesday, November 15, 2011

It's a Great Day - another 35 degrees - we could actually use some rain - which  would cool it down to about 30 degrees.  They say in another couple of weeks we'll get more of it than we want - they have been very busy digging these ditches and making sure the ones that were already there are cleaned out ready for the onslaught of water.  We are waiting to see.  We have had a couple of showers and when it rains it seems to be short but very very heavy.  There are a few places that we may not be willing to go once the rain starts - the potholes are deeper than the car.

Pretty well every Saturday we can count on their being baptisms at both of the Chapels they have here - the Lusaka chapel is the most centralized so they use it for most district meetings.  The other chapel, out by us, is called Woodlands, and it really struggles to ever have water.  They are on city water and that is most undependable.  Lots of Saturdays, there is no water to fill the baptismal font.  This Saturday we've been invited to a baptism at the Woodlands chapel at 1400 hours (they are hoping to find water) for 4 people.  We are unable to go which makes us sad - we are holding inservice meeting for S & I teachers at 12 noon and then hosting an Institute social from 3 - 6 p.m.  We have no idea how many may come but hopefully some so we don't have to meet with all of them one on one -

This weekend just past we went to the Copperbelt area to meet with some seminary and institute teachers, branch presidencies, and district presidency.  We were partially successful.  We did teach a seminary and institute class, attend a baptism for 4, meet 3 branch presidents, go to 2 churches, and drive quite a bit to 3 different cities to be able to do this.  It was a good weekend - we got some attendance records we've been chasing and some we didn't know existed - so more work to finish off this year.  The Kitwe district has had a good year for S & I - very good attendance.  Lusaka has been struggling.  A Challenge for us to improve in these areas for next year.

We'll try to attach some pictures of the Copperbelt area - what you see as you drive and the Lowden Lodge - which is a great little retreat we stay at when in that area.  It has rooms for 14 guests.  They are SOOO nice.

We need to go to the Copperbelt once a month to hold In service and get the attendance forms from them. They would like us to move up there and stay.   They are so nice - they just love the Gospel and try their hardest to live it fully.  Whenever we've been in a meeting with any of these groups the spirit of the Holy Ghost can be cut in the room - it is so heavy. They are truly emissaries of Jesus Christ.  They can teach us many things.  When we got back we notice that we have a different tubing coming out of our driveway.  They drilled for water while we were gone and found it so Yay, we will not need to worry about that.  Only the electricity it looks like.  That's a blessing.

We miss each one of you and hope that things are going good for you in your lives.  We love you all.  We miss hearing from our grandchildren - maybe they could write???  We pray for you each day and know that you are being blessed with the things you need as you strive to live worthy of his blessings.

Room at the Lodge
Love,  The Parents, Elder and Sister Shields

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Since we last spoke we have been blessed??? to have only 1 day of phone and internet.  We should have been able to get all kinds of work done - however, we need both of those things to do our work here in Zambia.  We found out today that the phone line was cut down the street somewhere.  It is back - but the internet is lacking in stability and certainly in swiftness.  Enough of my frustration about that -  last weekend was District Conference in Lusaka.  Saturday were meetings for new members, leadership for RS and Priesthood, and a Sat. Conference session for all.  They were really informative and uplifting meetings - we enjoyed them very much.  We took a couple of elders with us (they normally ride bikes).  Afterwards we went to dinner with them.  It was the first dinner anyone had done for them since they came out - over a year ago.  The people here do not have so they cannot share.  I think they'd really like to BUT.  Sunday we went back to the Sunday Session of Conference and it was a great meeting.  They had 7 new converts of less than a year bare their testimonies - 6 of them were young adults - one a little older than that - they were awesome.  Then the District President, his counselor and someone else spoke (music by Chainama Branch was really good)  only music we've heard in the branches.  There were about 750 people at the meeting - we were very surprised.  There are really a lot of young adults.  We'll see how active they are as we are hosting an activity on November 19 for that age group.  Some say we'll get 12-20, others say we'll get 120 or so.  Hard to plan food with that wide a gap.  It actually rained last night and the temperature dropped to about 31 degrees - very nice and cool.  It was a great day today.  We are getting quite organized and next week will travel to the north (Copperbelt - 3 cities we visit - Kitwe, Luanshya, and Ndola).  There are branches in each one - some have 2 branches.  After that weekend it will start getting much busier for us and all that is already done will be great.

We found a pencil sharpener - only 50,000 kwacha - lasted for 12 pencils we think then it said that's all folks.    Today we took it back - Elder Shields drove around while I ran in (no parking), I was pleasantly surprised that they actually took it back and gave me another one in its place.  I was so happy that I made them happy too by purchasing a 2nd one.

One of our biggest struggles is trying to figure out people's first and last names and which is which and then of course, with the age thing, remembering!!!!  We have a seminary and institute teacher whose name is Kasonde Ilunga OR Ilunga Kasonde - we think we have it figured out then on the next form it is the opposite way, or Kayula Mpange or Mpange Kayula - we want to print them right on their seminary/institute graduation certificates but Nobody seems to know which way is right.  I know, you could all do this better - but try to find out - they have no addresses, phones, and you Might find them at a meeting but sometimes you don't quite remember which one they are.  A few of our fun challenges - not complaining though, we are loving all of the challenges - well, maybe not a couple.

We do hope that you are all being looked after by each other and by your Heavenly Father.  He does love us and he does want us to be blessed each and every day.  We will be by our obedience to him.  You are all in our prayers, we love you.  We feel his love and blessings on us each and every day.

Love,  Elder and Sister Shields, Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa