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