We are so excited to have Ed & Jolene Smith arrive. We were sad that they were not assigned to us, but are happy to know they will be just down the way from us in Johannesburg. We travel through there all the time and it will be great to see them. We are counting the days until the Milhoans arrive. We are so excited. They will be here in Lusaka for a few days for training and all of the paperwork. Lots of forms and the like. They will be assigned in Lilongwe. Elder & Sister Prete will move down to Blantyre as we say goodbye to Elder & Sister Bullock. They will complete their mission at the end of September and return home to Canada. They are already talking about their next mission. So the tally from the Santa Clarita Stake stands at three. Who will be next? We really need you. We need 2-3 more couples to serve in the office. And we need several more couples to serve in other parts of the mission. We figure if we had several more couples here, it would be just about like home. You won't miss home cause you bring it here. It has been nice to be home for a couple of weeks.
We feel like we spend way to much time in the car. We begin another round of zone conferences next week. Elder & Sister Soares of the Seventy will be here. Our missionaries are very excited to have them come. We begin here in Zambia and then travel over to Malawi the week after. As we continue to learn our assignments here, we have come to know just how much the Lord loves His children. We are so blessed to have a small part in the great work. We have grown closer to our Heavenly Father and we have seen miracles happen right before our eyes. We are thankful that we have been called to serve. This morning we talked about a talk that was given in General Conference in 1995 by Elder Richard G. Scott. It is entitled "Trust in the Lord." In his talk he addresses how we feel when our prayers are not answered in the way we desire. He speaks about adversity, trials, disappointments, and sadness. It talks about how we should react to some of these natural feelings. The part of his talk that touched me today was this, "just when all seems to be going right, challenges often come in multiple doses applied simultaneously. When those trials are not consequences of your disobedience, they are evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow more. He therefore gives you experiences that stimulate growth, understanding, and compassion which polish you for your everlasting benefit. To get you from where you are to where He wants you to be requires a lot of stretching, and that generally entails discomfort and pain."
I am thankful for a loving Heavenly Father who allows us to stretch and grow. We have certainly done a lot of that in this past year. So in closing we ask you. Is it time for you to stretch and grow? We hope so. Like the hymn states...."we are all enlisted till the conflict is ore, come join the ranks...." We love you all. We miss you more. We will continue to hold the line until you come.