Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Opposition in all Things

Sept. 2, 2014

Dearest Family,

Once again it was a simply wonderful week. I am going to try to get to the other internet cafe where I can send pictures because I have probably 15-20 I should send from all the wonderful events the past couple of weeks. I already told you about the fun zone activity we had to Lake Malawi/Kuti National Park but a couple days after that we also had zone conference where the mission president comes and does some training and speaking. Wow. I left that conference feeling so filled with the Spirit. My mission president is truly inspired of God. He talked a lot about the culture of the Zambia Lusaka Mission and how he wants to create a culture where we expect great things, even miracles, everyday. As he talked about how ministering angels are around us at all times I felt the chapel just filled with heavenly presence and I could hardly handle the joy. This mission really is so amazing. Great things are happening and we are on the brink of tremendous growth.
Planning by lantern light because our lights go out so often

My average view. No big deal. (African sunset with cabaza man)

Kuti Nat'l Park. Don't be fooled. The animals in the pictures were literally the only animals we saw. But it was cool to be so up close.

My district at Lake Malawi

The zone at Lake Malawi. Oh, how I love these missionaries.

I love Sister Orr!

Looking fly on the beach

This is how I work out. #pumpingiron

One thing we learned at zone conference is to have investigators pray during the lesson to find out if the things we are teaching are true. It can be easy to think, "What if they don't receive an answer?" or "What if it's awkward?" but taking that step of faith if you know the Spirit is there truly does work. They DO receive an answer, right then. If they are asking God with real intent and the Spirit is there already in the lesson then they feel that peace and joy and know that it is true. We tried it out quite a few times this week and it worked every time. God promises to send His Spirit. One lesson specifically just blew me away. A couple of recent converts, Peter and Henry, delivered their scriptures to the church building and didn't come to church yesterday because they had gotten into some anti-Mormon stuff online. They were the Elders investigators but we decided that it would be better for us Sisters to take them on because we have a good relationship with them. We went to their house and after a lot of prying they finally started addressing their concerns and we took them to the scriptures to find answers. But ultimately we had them both kneel with us and pray and pay attention to their heart as they ask God if this church is true. So much light filled their eyes. It was a miracle. I'm pretty sure they'll be at church next Sunday.

Zone conference was the bomb. I love my mission president!

The baptism yesterday. It was so great! Daniel is so goofy.

Another highlight from the week was our baptisms on Sunday. SIX people were baptized and FOUR of them were our investigators. Oh, it was the happiest thing. Three out of the four of these investigators who were baptized I have seen from the beginning of the process. It's amazing that I have now been here in Malawi long enough to see lives change and conversions happen from the very first contact. The four were Chisomo and Mercy Butawo, a young, newly-wed couple who are so adorable and sweet, Gift Kumbwiri, who is so quietly intelligent it is crazy, and Daniel Grem, who is possibly the most golden person you will ever meet. Tears filled my eyes as I saw each of them enter that little free-standing font and make that covenant with God. All of them, especially Daniel, were glowing. They bore their testimonies after their baptisms and I was just amazed at how far they have come, to no real credit on my part but all to the Spirit. I feel like I barely did anything but show up to lessons and teach with my heart and somehow they feel and know it's true. MIRACLES.

ONE of the many funny moments from the week: It was Sister Orr and my turn to cook one night and food was pretty scarce this week in our flat so we decided to make nsima (the maize mush they eat like every meal here). We have made it many times before and it has worked out, but this time we accidentally left it on the stove to long and another sister in an effort to help us added too much maize meal. So it ended up being a burned batch of nasty, sticky mush instead of the texture and flavor it's supposed to be. After gagging down as much as we could (what else is there to eat?) we started making nsima castles on the kitchen table. Needless to say, the nsima ended up all over our faces. Sima fight! Too good. We may be missionaries working crazy hard but we are also silly children still.

I got to bear my testimony at zone conference and I pretty much got up there and said, "I love being a missionary and I love my Savior," between gasps of tears. Really though. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY.

Hopefully I will get to send all the pictures today!
Love you all so much!
Sister Michaela Proctor

P.S. The scripture I am memorizing this week is 1 John 3:18.

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