Darling people, Malawi continues to be a glorious place. I realized that I have been terrible at keeping you updated on my scripture memorizing each week. Two weeks ago I did 2 Cor 9:6-7, this past week I did D&C 128:22 (my plaque scripture), and this week I am going to do 2 Nephi 8:16. The scriptures I choose aren't super like missionary oriented necessarily but they are ones that make me happy. I forgot to tell you a funny story from Operation Smile last week. In the morning before we went to the hospital to volunteer, Sister Falco said, "It's decided. I am going to major in nursing and then go all over the world with Operation Smile the rest of my life." Then, as I told you, we had the opportunity to stand in the last surgery. It was pretty bloody and gruesome and I look over at Sister Falco and her face is white. The next thing I knew she was on the floor, fainted. When she came around she said, "Man! Now I don't know what I'm going to do with my life!" It was so funny.
Also from Operation Smile, a little girl I especially loved was a 4 year old with a huge lip called Jane. She was adorable. I couldn't help thinking of my adorable niece Jane who is also that age and how different these two little girls' lives have been and will be. We are so blessed. We teach a Book of Mormon class every Tuesday and we were teaching about 1 Nephi 13 about how the plain and precious truths were taken out of the Bible. To illustrate this to the few students we had, we decided to play telephone (whispering a message down the line). We have a down syndrome Elder who is the son of one of the senior couples and so we put him in the middle. Sister Orr proceeded to tell me a lengthy message about how delicious popcorn is and after I whispered it on to this down syndrome Elder, he passed it on to the next guy. His message was simply a loud, "Pop co". The guy next to him was perplexed and didn't know at all what he said. It was the funniest moment. Maybe you had to be there. But it illustrated our point pretty well. Malawians firmly believe in dreams here. Some people declare they are prophets simply because of a dream. We visited one of our less actives this week and she said she had a dream that the ladies from her previous church came and started chasing her so she would come back to their church. Apparently, she kept having these dreams so she decided to go back, thinking it was prophecy. After her relating these dreams to us, I truly had no idea what to say. I am grateful that the Spirit is the teacher because it just took over and put words in my mouth. I told her that God never sends bad feelings but feelings of peace and comfort. I told the story of me walking to my final bishop's interview for my mission and how I had such a feeling of dread, making me rethink the decision to go but as soon as I sat down across from my bishop I had peace, confirming that Satan was really the one trying to keep me from coming. I see, everyday, that the Spirit is the real teacher and converter. I am just the instrument. Saturday we had a day of service (as seen in this week's pictures). We did Mormon Helping Hands with the branch at a clinic where we cleaned and then our district went and did some more work in the garden of the mother of the investigator who died. We walked SO many miles that day. My body is still recovering. But I love service! It's so great. And it was so fun to see so many of our investigators come out to the Helping Hands activity.
As I memorize scriptures and repeat them over and over again, I find that I learn something new from them that I never realized before. As I was memorizing Mosiah 18:8-10 and kept repeating, "willing to bear one anothers burdens that they may be light", I thought of light as pertaining to light and darkness. As we help each other with the trials in our lives, we can change trials from dark, heavy loads, to experiences that give us light--experience and knowledge. What a beautiful thought. My name here is either Sister Plocta, Sister Protractor, or Sister Protector (the latter being the most common). Also, my English is slowly going down the drain because I have to talk according to how they will understand. The question "How's been your day?" is starting to sound more and more correct. Eish! Love you all so much! Sister Michaela Protector