Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Blantyre-the Land of Mountains

Nov. 17, 2014

So I have a new address! Don't worry if you've already sent something to Lilongwe, it will still make it to me! But my address is Blantyre is:
P/Bag 277
1 Kufa Road, Mandala
Blantyre, Malawi

The post is sketchy here so I'll only be able to send letters through pouch when the Ericksons come about once every month-ish. So if I don't reply for a while, don't fear! I will reply.

Dearest Family,

This week has been really great. Blantyre is going to be a wonderful area. It is so different from Lilongwe. Lilongwe was semi-hilly but Blantyre is built in the mountains. There is no place where it is flat. Our area is basically one big mountain so I'm hiking in a skirt everyday. It's a good thing I like hiking because this is just one big hiking adventure. I come everyday exhausted. Sometimes I look up at all the mountains and I feel like I'm in Utah and then I look down and there are Africans everywhere. I am a blessed child, that's for sure.

Blantyre is also way more condensed. It's more city-ish but not as nice as Lilongwe. BUT there is a KFC which was out of the blue. The KFC sells nsima nuggets. So there's that. The flat is different here too. I'll be washing all my clothes by hand so my washing skills have already gotten better. I'll come home a true African woman. We also sometimes have to haul water because there are water issues in our flat. Good times.

By far the best part of Blantyre is that there is a real life CHAPEL! After being in a meeting house for 4 1/2 months I basically cried when I came around the corner and saw the steeple.  Maybe I'm just emotional lately but wow, walking into the building and there were actual benches and bathrooms and a pulpit, I just wanted to weep. You all in America don't even realize how blessed you are to have chapels. My branch doesn't meet in the chapel though. We meet in a tiny house.

My new companion, Sister Bulha (Bool-yah) is a gem. She is from Mozambique so her first language is Portugues but she has learned English really well. I met her last month in Lusaka so it was comforting to already know her a tiny bit. She is a person full of poise and grace. She is positive and kind and I just feel so blessed to have her. We teach well together and we live well together too.

Something that is fun about Blantyre is that there is much more tenure here than in Lilongwe. Some people have been members for 10 years or more. Two people got their mission calls this week and it was SO exciting! One girl, Agnes Chirwa, who we work with about every other day and is the cutest thing since sliced bread, got called to the LONDON SOUTH MISSION. Shout out to Sister Wood! African missionairies don't often get called outside Africa so it was so exciting. I have this secret dream that Agnes will get trained by Sister Wood. The other guy called Osman who is our branch mission leader and is super sharp got called to Birmingham England. What are the chances of two in the same tiny branch getting called outside Africa? So exciting.

We had district conference on Saturday with Elder Molechi of the Seventy. It was powerful and it was focused on changing our personal/national culture to be in line with the gospel culture. It was sweet. It made me think what I need to do to change my own personal culture to be more in line with the gospel culture. It is so cool to be apart of an actual district. Blantyre really is so great.

I had an interview with President Erickson and it was really sweet. I hadn't showed any of my emotions about transfers to anyone in Blantyre but when I finally sat down with him I just started crying. He gave me a blessing which was just the best and I thought the best part of council was this: "If it weren't trying it wouldn't be complete". President is seriously such an amazing man.

I am emailing so late because we had a sister's activity to go to Majete Wildlife Reserve today! It was so fun and where we stopped for lunch and devotional on the banks of the river we could see elephant, hippos, worthogs, crocodiles, and many varieties of birds. The devotional was so full of the Spirit because we talked about how we felt when we got out mission calls and amidst feeling the Spirit we heard the grunts of hippos. What a life I live. I am truly so blessed.

This transition hasn't been easy but I love my Heavenly Father so much and I thank Him for constant earthly and heavenly support.

I would write more (yes, I love to write) but I have to go!

Love you!
Sister Michaela Proctor

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