Thursday, April 23, 2015

Adventure is Out There

April 20, 2015

Walking through Nyambadwe with our plastic bag and chitenje for protection. 

Ian Mafuleka, our eternal investigator. He is like my Malawian grandpa (agogo amuna). I can't wait to see him in the celestial kingdom.

Carrying maize on our heads.

Visiting the Elder's recent convert and her two kids. She is my age and has two kids. Mind blown.

.On the top of the hill. Be still my soul.

Hiking down. That mountain in the distance is Ndirande mountain.
The sun rising on our hike this morning.

Evance may not speak any English but he is sure sweet and so proud of his coloring.

Crossing the rickety bridge in our area.  

Darling Family,

It was a week full of adventures and so many times where I could have been disappointed or frustrated I just laughed. That is one of the greatest lessons I am learning lately. Laughing makes every situation so much better.

Breaking news: My Mozambiquano companion from November is ENGAGED. Yep. That is strange. And exciting of course. But we were just walking around Blantyre together and now she's almost married. What?

We had interviews with President Erickson this week and since it has only been a few weeks since the last interviews we just had a really good chat. He made it clear, not only to me but to my companion, my district leader, and even the branch president that Sister Dlamini and I will be split up very soon. I don't know whether it will be this week or May 12th (transfers are a bit unpredictable in this mission) but I am anxious for the call this week. Everyone thinks I am going to Zambia so I am preparing my heart to be happy either way. I love Ndirande so, so much and I would be happy to stay but President told me that I am needed in other places in the mission. I'll go where God wants me to go. So next week I might be off to another place or with a new comp. We shall see. President told me since the last time we met I seem more settled within myself and I think that is true. He talked about the perspective in which we view our trials. We can either think that God is punishing us and laughing at us in our troubles or we can see them from the viewpoint that He desires to bless us and raise us higher. I love President Erickson. I feel privileged to serve under him.

Well, we definitely thought rainy season was over but it came back in a big way this week. The rain caught us completely unprepared so many times and we were subsequently drenched. One day we were trying to find this guy we contacted on the bus in Nyambadwe. We had never been that deep into the neighborhood so we sort of just went for it thinking it wouldn't be too far. Well, we walked forever and even found Mr. President's house (President of Malawi). When we finally found his house, he ended up being a Jehovah's Witness which was just slightly awkward. Then he had some work to do so we had to wait for a while (we weren't about to turn back after walking all that way). When we finally began to teach they were cutting down a tree outside. Basically every little detail was totally not ideal but instead of getting frustrated we just laughed. It poured on us our whole walk and all we had was a plactic bag and a chitenje to cover us but it was just so fun. I love being companions with Sister Dlamini. We are cherishing every last moment we have together.

One of my favorite moments of the week was helping Weekly to pray. He is still progressing amazingly for his baptism on May 3rd but he has been feeling like no answers have been coming. So we knelt down in his small house and prayed together. He gave a very nice prayer but didn't ask any specific questions. I still felt the Spirit but when we got up he said he felt nothing. We discussed this recently at MLC about having no fear to just ask them to pray again so Sister Dlamini and I looked at each other and asked him to pray again. This time we quieted the children playing outside, closed the door, and reminded him again to ask specific questions to his Heavenly Father. After the prayer we just stayed on our knees in silence for a few minutes and when we finally got up you could tell in his voice and eyes he had been touched. ALSO, he went to a YSA activity in the branch and bore his testimony to all of the YSA. I love seeing people change and bud in the gospel.

That lesson with Weekly took longer than planned because it was raining like crazy and you can't really hear each other when rain is pelting the metal roof so we decided to take a short cut to get to the meeting house for a young women activity we planned. The short cut involved a crossing a river that runs through our area and when we arrived to the river edge it was much higher than normal. All the stepping stones were still exposed except one so I decided to take my shoes off so they wouldn't get too wet. When I took my shoes off, a shoe insert fell out into the water and I was left staring into the water hoping it would come back up. The onlookers all assumed since I was in the middle of the river on a rock staring down that I was scared so they all began speaking in Chichewa trying to help me across. I guess if you drop your car keys into hot lava, don't bother. They're done for. The same principle applies to a shoe insert falling into a river in Blantyre. We safely made it across but we were soaked and when we finally made it to the meeting house no one showed up to the activity. We just laughed. Oh, life. Too many adventures.

Susan (the member we work with a lot) was going to the maize mill on Friday but we needed her for a few lessons so we promised we would help her on Saturday if she would come with us on Friday. On Saturday we took her baskets/bags of maize a few hundred meters to the maize mill and we got to help her grind it and sift it. It's fun to experience culture so first hand. Then, once again, it started pouring rain unexpectedly and we ran through the rain and muddy roads with maize on our heads. 

We finally got a new branch presidency! It was so exciting to see these men called. Our new branch presidency is made up of Brother Amos (president) who was baptized just last year, Brother Wisiki (1st councilor) who comes to teach with us a lot, and Brother Duwa (2nd councilor) who is a young RM that recently had his first baby. I love how the Lord calls people in their vulnerability and weakness and raises them higher. President Matale could hardly hold back his emotions. Ndirande branch is like his baby. I will missing being able to work with President Matale so closely, though he is still in the district presidency so we will still see him around.

This morning we got up early and climbed a tall hill we live next to. We didn't really know how popular this hill is for praying but as we hiked we passed prayer groups singing and many people praying aloud. People get pretty intense about their prayers here ie yelling/speaking in tongues (basically gibberish), slamming rocks together, shaking, etc. It was sort of an interesting metaphor to pass all of these people so desperately trying to connect to deity and ascend above them all to the very top where there was the most light and the greatest view. We did our hour of personal study on the top of the hill where we could see all of Blantyre and the road to Lilongwe and as I prayed to know the Lord's will for me the Spirit said, "To be here now--this is My will for you." My first thought was that I was in the right place being a missionary here in Malawi but as I thought further I realized that it also encompassed our whole journey up the hill. The Lord wants me to live above the noise--above the world. He wants me to seek His light which is higher and takes a bit more effort to reach. He wants me to make the temple a priority and seek revelation there. It was a heart-changing study/hike.

I love being a missionary. I love laughing at the hard times and finding the joy in all things. I love testifying of Christ every day and I love finding those that are prepared. I am the most blessed child on the planet.

Have a wonderful week.
Love forever,

Sister Proctor

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