Sunday, August 26, 2012

June 1, 2012 we were replaced as the S & I Coordinators for Zambia by a local Young Branch President (26 years) who was hired by the church.  He is a great young man and will be successful in this position we feel.  However,  it is now August 26, 2012 and we are still trying to get him off the ground (so to speak).  It has taken these last 3 months to get office space, car, working funds, phone, furniture, computer and printer, etc. to get him a place to work from.
Tomorrow, we will go to the New Office of S & I.  This should be a great day.  We have been busy teaching his classes while he had to do 2 trips to Malawi, 1 to Zimbabwe, and 1 to Jo'berg.  The travel should now subside a bit and things should settle down.  He is also in University full time (5 evenings a week, and so is his wife).  He is also busy with his church calling.  We should all try the balancing act he is doing - it has got to be very stressful for now, but it should settle down by Christmas (this semester will be done anyway). We were able to go to Harare, Zimbabwe for 3 days too, and enjoyed that very much.
We are really enjoying teaching the Preparing for Temple Marriage classes.  The students really vary in each area of the city.  We are only doing 2 classes now as we wanted to open up our Fridays to get the gathering center idea underway.
We have been formulating some ideas that we think might work here and hopefully will try to implement some of them in the next couple of weeks.  We are to be working under the District Presidency - we will try to meet with him soon, and ask his help in setting up an Institute of Religion Advisory Committee (IRAC)  to work with. We were able to talk to the Stonehockers about some of the ideas they were able to use and that worked well for them.  Our setup is quite different from theirs but the ideas may still be helpful.
Our marriage classes seem to pick up 1-3 new students each week.  It is growing simply by word of mouth. We are very blessed to be meeting the cream of the crop as far as young adults go.  They are amazingly versatile and wonderful people.  In our Wednesday class at the Lusaka Chapel, we started with 6 people.  Last week we were at 16.  Libala Chapel on Thursdays started at about 12 people, we do fluctuate there but last week we had 16.  Matero had grown from 4 to 9 students so we were happy with the turnout but felt we needed to have the Friday and Saturday for activities with all the Young Adults.
These classes have been very good for us - we have learned much and love spending time there feeling of their special spirits.  They are like sponges in the learning area - they just absorb it and can regurgitate it back the next week with no problem.
#8 at it's finest Home Sweet Home
 The Backyard!

The Backyard facing the other way!
Spare Guest Room - even had guests this week - fun!

Kitchen - look carefully - cupboards way above my head - special for Giraffes I think
We were blessed to move this month. Our Landlord wanted to renovate the flat we were in.  Missionaries had been living there for over 15 years so it was time.  You should all be so lucky to come to Zambia on your missions, it's great.  We are now in a new Italian Villa style condo.  We have 3 bedrooms, our bed is a King, 3 bathrooms, a kitchen, laundry, garage, living room, etc.  Oh, yes, and our own private pool in the backyard that a man comes and cleans a couple of days a week, so it is ready for anyone.  We will add updates as things keep coming - draperies,   It is starting to get warmer - today back to 30, so soon the Air conditioner will be back on - however, last night Elder Shields said he was cold and wanted more blankets.  I'd say we've adjusted and our blood has thinned.  In another month it should be up to the 40+ degrees.
Michelo's finest moment - YW Presidency
We were able to help a couple of weeks ago with the Helping Hands projects for the two branches in our area.  What a Great Day that was.  Everyone worked so hard and so willingly.  They worked from about 9 a.m. to 1400.  Then they had a bite of lunch and cleaned the chapel for Sunday.  We were very proud of their efforts.  The community came out to see and we hope, were impressed.  It did get in the Newspaper the next day with some pictures.
7 a.m. - a slow start

Matero arriving - continuous growth of people

By Noon over 100 young women - Wow!

1600 hours - departure time - back home
This week we were blessed to have a visit from Elder Soares of the Area Presidency.  He flew in on Wednesday, did a Fireside for the YSA (Young Single Adults), Zone Conference on Thursday, meetings with District Presidency on Thursday evening, and flew out Friday a.m..  Yesterday was the first District Young Women Camp (All Day Saturday).  It was great.  It started at 7:00 AM and finished at 16:00.  The girls had never had camp before and by testimony time were loving every minute of it.  Sister Lookhart, had worked very hard with the District YW presidency and She actually was what made it work - but we hope it was a learning curve for them (they'd never seen one before).  The girls today at church were wondering when they could now have a 5 day camp.  They loved it.  We had about 100 girls show up.  We helped the Lookharts for the day - it was very uplifting to be part of it.
Lookharts and Sister Chua and Sister Mudzimba - day end

We are grateful that the Lord continues to make us aware of his Tender Mercies in our lives.  We do feel we are blessed for our efforts.  We feel guided and protected in all we do.  We are so humbled to be allowed to be his servants.  A mission is a Great Experience.  It reminds us daily of how much we have been given and blessed.  We appreciate knowing where we came from, why we are here, and where we may have the privilege of going if we can follow the example set for us by our Savior, Jesus Christ.  We are all here to try to emulate him.  We pray for each of you and know that as you follow His teachings, you too, can be instruments in His hands.  We love each of you and keep you in our prayers.
Keep the Faith.
Elder and Sister Shields

1 comment:

Debbie and Dan in Romania said...

Wow Great Post!! You guys are having a marvelous experience. Nice house too !! We think of you often. Good Luck in all you do.