Every single day I get down on my knees and thank Heavenly Father for letting me be His missionary. It is the best thing in the world. And every single day I plead for Him to loose my tongue so that I might say what He would have me say. My prayer has been answered so many times this week. We had a lesson with that guy from "The Church of Jesus Christ" and though I was sort of intimidated I opened my mouth and these inspired questions just popped out that helped us find his hole that we can fill. We also met with a friend of our investigator who died and he asked whether dying is a punishment from God. I had no idea what to say but my mouth was miraculously filled and he could feel the Spirit so much. We visited another recent convert that has had a lot of struggles and the Spirit just filled my mouth with the coolest pep talk ever and he actually came to church AND used his priesthood. Miracles.
I was struck as I sent the baptismal pictures last week that you must think that these baptisms just come out of no where. There are too many people to tell you about every single one and their progress and suddenly you see they are baptized. It kind of blows my mind that to you they are just beautiful African people on a computer screen but to me I know them personally and deeply and have answered the concerns of their soul. I wish I had time to tell you about every single person. These people are stunning.
One guy we worked with this week is like the most amazing person I have ever met. He was baptized in July after a long journey to the church. He came with us to teach his friend and he ended up sharing his conversion story with us. It sounded like a story you would find on Meridian Magazine. His name is Innocent Hankinamana (say that ten times fast) and he is a refugee from Burundi. He always wanted to be a priest growing up so he went to school for seven years to do just that. He found that he didn't agree with everything so he joined Jehovah's Witness. During all of this he fled to Tanzania for his life because of political unrest and people trying to kill him. His brother was killed. He got married. He left the Jehovah's Witnesses because again he didn't believe all that they taught and they burned his house down. In the same day his wife died. He had two sons and nothing else so he came to a refugee camp near Lilongwe where he researched online for a church to join. He found ours and contacted the church to learn more. He was prepared to move anywhere to come to our church. He investigated a long time because there aren't any branches outside the city but he was finally baptized and he moved just down the road from our branch so he can come every week. He is constantly giving us referrals. He speaks like 7 languages. Obviously this is the boilerplate version but wow. He blows me away.
On Wednesday we met a girl called Maria who has been a member for 4 years and just moved to Dubai (part of our area). She brought us to her house and we found that she is living with a few other students. We sat down together to meet them and two of them announced themselves as "Prophet Lucky" and "Prophet Ernest". I held in my laughter. That is SO Malawi. The culture here is like all about prophets and dreams and visions and preaching. Everyone and their dog thinks they're a prophet. So yeah, we are now teaching a couple of prophets. I'll let you know how that goes.
Guess what! There is a quarterly MLC (mission leadership council) in Lusaka and all the zone leaders and sister training leaders are flown into Lusaka. Well, since Sister Orr is the STL, I get to go with her to Lusaka! Woohoo! So we are flying out tomorrow morning early and we stay for 2 1/2 days. I'm so excited. I love president so much and I am excited to participate in this council even though I haven't been called as a leader.
Fun/strange/happy details from the week:
-I tried this fish called bonya. They are tiny little fish like minows and they have no taste at all. I tried not to think about it too much as I ate these fish whole, head, eyes and all.
-Two nights in a row we were terrorized by this small-rodent-sized spider. We killed one and then there was another one the next night. Holy. They make my skin crawl and they walk with their front two legs extended in front of them as if they are coming to get you. Eish.
-Every Saturday is wedding day and there are cars with boys on them and all these wedding parties everywhere. The week goes by so fast that it feels like every other day is wedding day. They are everywhere.
-We not only have to prepare the bread for the sacrament in the branch but we have to prepare for the water because of the scarcity/purity. That is definitely not something you think about in Alpine, UT.
-We met with our branch president yesterday and he just expressed how much he appreciates our hard work. It was such a sweet moment.
-A random guy showed up to church yesterday and told us that he used to be a reverend but he was excommunicated from his old church for his stance on the family. He was researching online for another church and found ours. So basically, he is well educated and SO prepared. We gave him a Book of Mormon and Family Proclamation and he said as he was leaving, "I know I will join you someday soon" as in get baptized. These people. They just fall into our laps. I foresee a future bishop in him :)
-As we were meeting with the branch president one of our recent converts, Innocent, came in to pay his tithing. My heart exploded. It's all about the little things.
Love you forever,
Sister Michaela Proctor