It's been an exciting few weeks for the country. The Chipolopolo's won the Africa Cup for Soccer. They were the underdogs all the way and that made the excitement rise even more. The final game was really an exciting one with no scores happening for either team until into overtime and then (about 1:30 in the morning here) the Chipolopolo's won (Chipolopolo means the Bullets). The City was very excited - lots of fireworks, horn honking and everyone taking the day off work to drive around in the backs of trucks singing, yelling, and just being excited. They had a parade of sorts when the team arrived at the airport and about 400 - 500,000 people lined the road to the airport (apparently all the way). The mission president had to go out to pick up our mission psychiatrist and wife who were sent to visit all of us - hmmm - he lives about 20 minutes away - it took him over 4 hours to get back with them. It was BUSY!
We have just spend 4 days up in the Copperbelt area - about 4-5 hours north of Lusaka (where we live). The roads need us to take our camera and a measuring tape (which we will do next week when we go back) to show how deep the potholes are - and how they are all over the road so swerving is not always an option. They have a saying in Zambia - if someone drives straight down the road - he/she is probably drunk. We had some great visits there last weekend and feel it would be good to keep it going while we are on a roll. The people are such great spirits - they just emulate Christ in everything they do. They struggle to survive but would give you anything they have - they are trying to be doers not just hearers. They are awesome - a great example to us continually. It's great to feel of their love for their Savior - and hear how deep their understanding is.
We have been the lead taxi driving team for our bosses - Khumbalani and Makasi - they have been here doing interviews for the position here (ours). We think they have had some good interviews and some prospects are promising so time will tell. They have been great teachers, examples, and leaders for S & I for many years and we learn much each time we visit with them. We appreciate that the church is in such good hands and that they are also humble men of God. It helps us to refocus our work to try to do what is expected in a more uplifting and spiritual way. What a Great Learning Curve. We are very blessed to be here. Some things here seem to take a long time to happen (even our Sunday meetings - think about going to church at 11 a.m. and actually starting (when you feel that there are enough people there) - maybe 11:30 or 11:40 - depends - but ending on time - so that talk you prepared - you may never have to give. We find we are here to learn patience. Hope we do sometime.
We know the Gospel is True. We love being here and feeling of the growth and spirit of Zambia. It is a choice spot to be and we are learning much. We hope we can also impart some knowledge and be of service to these great people. We appreciate all of you at home and want you to be the best you can be - we know that we are truly being blessed many times over while we are here - we hope that you also, are being blessed for us being here.
We love you all. Thanks for your notes and prayers.
Elder and Sister Shields, Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa, Burton and Patricia