When I joined the Peace Corps, I didn’t know how often I would be able to attend a congregation with people that shared my beliefs. As a devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, this small piece of information was very important to me. But I was willing to sacrifice going steadily to church for two years, on account that joining the Peace Corps was based on a belief in God and the principles that come from this faith in a loving Heavenly Father. I was excited for the opportunity to strengthen my testimony, excited to test my faith.
But how lucky I am to be placed in Nata, where there is a branch is in Francistown, only 180km away. It’s still far, taking about two and a half hours by bus, but it’s near enough where I can just go for the day then come back. Unfortunately, I am not able to go every weekend, but the few times I have gone I have left feeling edified and restored. Because of the scarcity of my visits, I feel an overwhelming source of comfort from the congregation. I know when I was able to go to every Sunday, I did not have the same amount of appreciation. It’s a beautiful experience. Plus, most of these members are new to the gospel, having only recently been baptized, and so it’s a special experience to witness the growth and change that comes to a person and branch when they accept the gospel of Jesus Christ and take on many of the responsibilities of caring for his flock.
I wish I had a calling, I wish I could go to the baptisms, and visit members during the week. I wish I didn’t have to rush away after church, but that I could sit, have lunch with the couple missionaries. But for all that it’s not, it really is great. Particularly, this past Sunday was filled with a beautiful spirit. I felt ample amounts of love for and from people, but once it was over I had to run to catch my ride and that was hard to separate myself from such a wonderful environment.
How thankful I am to have the knowledge of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, to have a Heavenly Father who loves me and all of his children. Can I leave you with one of my favorite scriptures?
“For God hath no given us the spirit of fear; but of power and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord.” 2 Tim 1:7-8