Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year......

Happy New Year to all of you. We have enjoyed this Christmas Season here in Zambia. Anytime you are with the missionaries is a good time. With the help of the Senior couples, we divided up the mission so all of the missionaries could gather at the couple's homes to enjoy dinner and visit. It was a great time. We had about 30 here at our home both for Christmas dinner and for New Year's get together tonight. It was fun. We have had a wonderful 2012. We have grown in the mission. We have been able to help establish the Church here in Zambia and in Malawi. We have all worked hard to improve our obedience to the things we hold sacred. We know that the Lord has heard our prayers and we know that we have been blessed for our efforts. We are thankful to have this opportunity to serve here with these good saints. This past few weeks I have read a book called, "To Grow Closer to God" by President Henry B. Eyring. In his book there is a chapter on "Heeding".  To heed means to listen intently. It is a word I have known of all my life, but here in Africa I have learned to "heed" better. I know that we are here by assignment.  I know that the Prophet of the Church extended this assignment to us. I know that we were sent here for a reason and many of those reasons have manifest themselves to us over the past 18 months and we are blessed to be part of this great work. We have witnessed miracles. We have seen lives change and we have felt the blessings that come from God as we serve here. We have seen the lives of our children and grandchildren change. We have seen them challenged and blessed for their faithfulness. We are not without struggles. We are just like you. It's never downhill and shady.  You need to climb a little to get to the downhill. I think the older I get the more I enjoy the uphill rather that the down. At least for me the uphill is slow and steady.  The downhill goes too fast for me nowadays. I think of the scripture in Ecclesiastes 9:11: "The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and change happeneth to them all." Change has sure happened to us. We see it in one another every day. When I married Arlene, it was the most important thing I have ever done. From that day, I have strived to be a better man each day. She is the foundation I build on. She is a pillar of strength. She is my eternal companion and I am blessed to serve here with her. In President Eyring's book, he speaks of things that will happen to all of us here on earth. One of those things is, "It is an absolute certainty that you will go through trails of your faith.  For some, it will be a physical or perhaps financial problems.  For others, it mat not be anything that an outsider would see as a trial, but the real trial of your faith is not necessarily that moment when disaster obviously strikes you; in fact, you may go through a lifetime with little or almost none of that. The real trial of your faith, is anything that would divert you from doing what God would have you do." This passage has meant a great deal to me this past year or so. You all know me.  I sometimes can become distracted. I think we all get distracted from time to time.  I am thankful that even with those distraction, I can find my way back and stay focused on why we are here.  I know that by reading my scriptures and saying my prayers and "Heeding" the promptings, I have a chance.  I know that we won't get everything done here before we return home, but I know that we will get the things done the Lord wants to get done. Last month, we received a letter from the First Presidency of the Church letting us know that our call here has been amended. We will serve for two years instead of three. At first, we were sad, but as we have learned, things change. We don't know what lies ahead, but we will remain true and faithful so when that new assignment comes, we will be ready. We will now ride a little faster and work a little harder. The clock is ticking and we need to pick up the pace. The last 6k's of the marathon were always the hardest, but for me it is where I learned the most about why I took up the race in the first place. We love you all. We miss you. We pray the Lord will bless and keep you until we meet again. Love one another and be happy. Take the time to enjoy the ride....


Senior Couples from the ZLM

Zone Conference 2012 

 Copperbelt Zone 2012

Malawi Conference 2012

New Christmas Presents....

There is never enough......boy can these missionaries eat...

Munali Sisters, Christmas 2012

I'm the one that should be wearing a hat......

 Now this is a happy Sister.....

Brother Damester, Lilongwe, Malawi 2012

Kauma Primary 2012

I am a child of God.......Happy New Year !!


  1. Happy New Year to you both from Lee & Marklyn! It's good to read your posts, and the pictures tell it all. You both look great, and that is good to see! You are having some great successes we're sure, and your foundation building will last an eternity in Africa, and in the hearts of those you serve.

    Miss you both, but know where you are and really, in the scheme of things, that's not very far away! Keep up the pace!
    Lee & Marklyn

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