So last week the subject of my email was something like "Opposition in all things" and I realized I didn't explain that at all. But it kind of applies even more to this week because truly we are facing so much opposition here. Where there is so much light and progress, Satan will continue to fight hard to tear it down. I think almost every day this week we had someone talk to us about anti-Mormon stuff or investigators text us and drop us. It was crazy. And yet, I still feel like it was a good week. No matter what happens, it is just simply a blessing to be a missionary and to be doing this work.
I would say I am being converted to this life. Obviously, I love it so much already, but like Elder Garrett Lewis told me a few weeks ago in an email (shout out to G-money), the longer you are out the longer you want to stay doing this amazing work. Yes, it is hard and there is rejection and exhaustion but ultimately it is the greatest thing. I do experience pangs of missing certain things, like a few days ago we were listening to a BYU devotional on my ipod and just hearing Cecil's voice introducing the speaker made me tear up a bit--BYU is so wonderul--but for the most part I am becoming more and more immersed in this place and this calling.
Have I ever mentioned that I love Malawians? Holy cow, they are the kindest people. I was on exchanges with Sister Falco and we were walking through my area and all of a sudden these crazy drunk man started walking with us and mumbling in Chichewa about God. She was kind of scared but that is not unusual in our area so i just told her to keep walking and not to look at him. Finally, this man stopped us and asked if he could help. He even gave the drunk man money to walk away. Other men also passed by and asked if we were ok. That is SO Malawian. They are protective of each other even if they don't know you. We weren't in any real danger but it was so nice to feel looked out for.
So yeah, I experienced exchanges for the first time this week and they were fun. I think they mostly served to make me even more grateful for my incredible companion. Not that I don't love the other sisters and didn't learn from them, but Sister Orr really is so great and we are a good team. I feel so blessed to have not only a companion but a friend in her.
Do you want to hear something crazy? Last P-day we were grocery shopping and this azungu walked up to me and asked where I was from. He works or the US embassy and wanted to know what we were doing in Malawi. We told him a little about the church and as we got talking he told me that he was from Northern Virginia. As we talked some more we found that we both went to Robinson. Uh, what? It was the craziest thing to be standing in this Malawian grocery store with someone that went to my old high school. This is a small world.
So, Mom and Dad, you know how when you are stressed you laugh really hard over the littlest things? Well, I've noticed that I do the same. I don't feel like I am stressed almost ever despite the pressure of the calling, but I think there is an underlying stress inside of me that causes me to laugh to tears almost every single day. Sister Orr and I laugh so, so much over the dumbest things. Even the fact that the closing hymn at church yesterday was "Joy to the World" in September made has laugh so hard. Laughing gets me through. You have to continue lauging or you will find yourself crying.
Like for example, Sister Orr and Sister Falco and I wake up every morning that we can and work out together. This week we were tired of our normal routine so we turned on my music and we each had five mintues to lead out and whatever we wanted. They followed me in interprative dancing all around the flat. You've got to do what you've got to do, right :)
Another thing that makes us laugh is that they always switch the Ls and the Rs here when they talk. It changes the meaning of things quite a bit when they say "play" instead of "pray". "For if ye would hearken unto the Spirit which teacheth a man to play, ye would know that ye must play; for the evil spirit teachent not a man to play, but teacheth him that he must not play". Ha! Too good.
I love you all so much!
Sister Michaela Proctor
P.S. The mustard skirt I was wearing in the pictures last week was a skirt made by one of the members of the branch presidency. I drew a design and he just made it. So cool!
P.S.S. Mom and Dad. Apparently packages take forever, especially since you have to send them to Lusaka and I'm in Lilongwe. So they recommend sending Christmas packages like...this week. Just to let you know.