Monday, March 16, 2015

One Year Older and Wiser Too!

Feb. 23, 2015

Osman, a guy in the branch, is heading out to Birmingham, England on a mission so we had a goodbye party for him. The youth are too good.

Sister Erickson giving me my first haircut of my mission. I was nervous...but it turned out great.

I showed up to the grocery store this morning (in my new birthday dress--a birthday gift to myself) and found these two hooligans, Sister Griffus and Sister Browning, with these ridiculous signs on their shirts. Everyone in the grocery store was saying happy birthday to me. It was hilarious.

Darling Family,

Yep, I turn 20 today. So there's that.

This week was definitely better than last week. We are on the steep climb up hill--things are looking up. We had many wonderful lessons and found some new investigators and we felt Heavenly Father's love poured out upon us. Still no progressing investigators but slowly but surely we will conquer this mountain (pun intended--our area is literally one big mountain).

We taught the Kawere family again except we are having a hard time finding the abambo (father) at home. Esther is so powerful--she knows that what we teach is true. The problem is getting them to church. Actually, that is the challenge for every one of our investigators. While the Elders in our branch get 14 investigators we get zero. But Esther is powerful. I feel strongly that she will come around. Her daughters are beautiful and very smart. They will soften her heart because the youngest girl knows all the answers to our questions and she's the one that wants to come to church the most.

We got a new sister this week--Sister Zohner from Boise, Idaho. She is super fresh and super white (sunburns for dayz) and it's fun to have her in the house. Sister Mntungwa is very happy to be back in her branch, district, and area. It is nice to be back to work full time in Ndirande with Sister Dlamini. She is so sweet and patient with my weaknesses and my tears.

On Wednesday we went to the Elders area to do some Relief Society visits. One of my greatest joys is seeing the branch that I serve it become more established. The Relief Society sisters are few in number but great in light. We went to visit Sister Duwa, a sister who is 10 months pregnant. Yes, I wrote that correctly. That poor lady. It is her first pregnancy and she is just turning into a pumpkin waiting for this kid. It was a sweet moment. On the way back through the market and dusty roads, a couple of drunk guys got in a fight and one of the sisters, Sister Kadzuwa who speaks two words of English, immediately took my hand and protected me through the crowd. It was a tense moment but also very characterizing of Malawians--they are SO protective of each other. So many times random strangers have stepped up to protect us in seemingly harmless situations. Have I mentioned I love Malawians?

Thursday the windows of heaven were opened. We set aside time to go finding in the richer area and we found so many new investigators. The whole time we were just praying and it seemed like every door was opened to us. At one house there was a sign that said, "Beware of the owners not the dog". I was slightly intimidated as I knocked at the gate and there opened the smiliest, nicest guy I have ever met. He was about our age but he was cute like a little boy. We had a powerful lesson with him and his cousin and they both wanted to learn more.

We had many fall throughs this week but I am learning to see them more like opportunities--like God has somewhere else we need to be. After a fall through, I felt prompted to go visit a less active/part-member family and do service and when we got there the non-member father was sitting on the porch. We ended up teaching him and as we were getting to know him we found out that he was nearly baptized with his children but his "fellow Christians" discouraged him from leaving the CCAP church. We invited him to be baptized and he said yes. That was a sweet moment because all along he has known that the Church is true. Tender mercies. Perfect orchestrations.

We had interviews on Saturday with President and my interview was both encouraging and challenging. I expressed some of the struggles we have been having in our area and he just told me how my influence is far greater than a linear baptismal statistic or investigator pool--that I have a great influence on the whole mission. It was humbling as I have been feeling inadequacy lately. Then he turned to challenge me to step up. He said that each person brings something on their mission that they need to leave behind. He gave the example of a football jock bringing the mentality that he is the man and he will pass through the mission by his good looks and charm. He asked, "Sister Proctor, what did you bring on your mission that you need to leave behind?" This is a question I have also asked in another form whilst reading about the Anti-Nephi-Lehites. What weapons of rebellion do I need to bury to be a better, more consecrated disciple? 

Well, I love you all so much. Life is good. Being a missionary is the best. I love this refining, stretching, beautiful experience so much.

Sister Proctor

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