This week has felt like a year but it has been great. Again my weaknesses and I have come nose to nose and it can be really frustrating and hard to be patient with myself but I am being refined and it's a good kind of hurt. Forgive the ambiguity.
After a wonderful sisters night at the Fisks (a senior couple) where we had a potluck and watched the women's conference, the zone leaders, Sister Orr and I flew out the next morning to Lusaka for MLC (mission leadership council). I felt a little unsure going into the situation because I was the only one coming as a companion and not as a leader but the first thing president did when we arrived at the mission office/home is call me into his office. He sat me down and said, "Sister Proctor, the Lord has found fit to give you an extra responsibility. You are being called as the sister training leader and I have every confidence that you will perform well in this calling." Wow. I was so humbled. Every other missionary at the two day council will be going home within four months and I don't even have four months on mission yet. Maybe that is why my weaknesses have been so evident this week, I have been called to step up. I am so excited to fulfill this call.
MLC was so, so fun. We had meetings all day where we discussed different aspects of the mission and how to be greater leaders. A theme that I found prominent was that as leaders we are called to "leaven" the mission. When you are making bread you put in a lot of flour and only a little leaven and so it is with leaders. Though there are few of us compared to how many missionaries there are, we can be the agents that help the whole mission rise to a higher level. I love President Erickson and his desire to create an environment where we can grow as people. He isn't aiming to run the most efficient mission in the world but to create a place where we grow in our conversion and become people who will remain faithful saints building the kingdom of God the rest of our lives. He is truly inspired and it really is humbling at how much confidence and trust he has in me.
We also had interview this week and since we don't have a set transfer in our mission we also got transfers. Many changes are being made in my district and zone but I get to stay here. I am pretty sure I will stay for quite a while--until Sister Orr goes home and beyond. I'm glad for that. Even though I observed that Zambia is WAY more developed than Malawi while I was there, I really love Lilongwe with all my heart. Sister Ntuli went home yesterday so we will soon be getting a new sister in the flat. I'm excited to meet a new sister--Sister Falco will be training.
Besides the wonderful trip to Lusaka filled with both spiritual and physical filling (the food was tops), it seems that another theme of this week is Malaria. Don't worry, I take my doxy faithfully, but since the heat has come (it is literally like an oven here) the mosquito have come out to reek havoc. So many people we are teaching have gotten Malaria and I have seen first hand how deathly ill people get. Yesterday we came upon an investigator and his wife and they looked so bad I thought they wouldn't make it. We were able to give them the help that they needed and it was quite the stressful and miraculous situation.
We met with that reverend, brother Goodson, that came to church last week and in the 5 days since we had seen him and given him a Book of Mormon he had already read up to Mosiah. I wanted to cry for joy. He was suffering with Malaria but he still wanted to discuss with us. He had such good questions but he was also quite intimidating considering he is a Bible scholar (and has been for 18 years). My mouth was so obviously filled with words to say right at the moment I needed to speak. I'm pretty sure he will be baptized. He's golden.
We had another lesson with Clever, the friend of Innocent who was a refugee (told his story last week) but this time Innocent wasn't there to translate. So we turned it into an opportunity and invited his neighbor to come translate for us. So there we were in this tiny shop with us two sisters, Clever, Placide (recent convert that speaks a ton of languages but not English), and his neighbor, Thomas. We were teaching about the Book of Mormon and so Placide let us use his Swahili Book of Mormon, Clever read swahili, asked questions in Chichewa and Thomas translated to English. Oh, and Clever is from the DRC. There were so many cultures and languages in one room it was fascinating and by the end Thomas asked, "So how can I become one of your learners?' Booyah!
The funnies: A drunk man followed us into one of our lessons and as Sister Orr was boldly explaining a doctrine he exclaimed, "She's a prophet!" It was hilarious. He just kept bursting out and yelling, "AMEN!" and at one point he even got on his knees and put his hand in the air and said, "Pray for me sisters! I want to change." Too good. Also, we taught one of our recent converts how to use a computer and it was the funniest thing. He kept picking up the mouse and he couldn't figure out how to move the cursor. I think I take my computer skills for granted.
Well, I love you all so much! Hope all is well!
Sister Michaela Proctor