Thursday, April 23, 2015

Shake the Dust

April 13, 2015

Sister Zohner and I are spider ninjas....or just super strange children.

Sister Griffus, Sister Merrill and me watching the women's session.

Ma seestas watching the women's session.

Darling Family,

The seasons are changing and it's strange to see Malawi come full circle to the season I arrived here in. I have been in Ndirande to see fields plowed, maize planted, grow taller than me, harvested, die, and be cleared. Now the weather is becoming colder and I couldn't be more grateful. We are eating maize and pumpkin and squash so basically my mind is stuck in October now. Is it really April?

My dear friend, Ariana Grundvig, sent her last email from the mission field last week entitled "What I Learned from 'Cutting Vegetables'". Basically she related what she learned on her mission to how many different ways her companions have cut vegetables in the last 18 months and I totally related because everyone cuts their vegetables differently (shout out to Sister Orr for her patience in the kitchen ;)). But besides that, it made me reflect upon the time I have spent here and what more I want to do before I go home. I feel like I just barely dropped Ariana at the curb at the MTC and now she is home. I guess this whole week has been one of refreshment and renewal--a reconsecration to the work.

I experienced two of some of my favorite lessons on my mission this week:

1. We taught that high roller in Nyambadwe again and I literally had to hold back my giggles. When someone just totally gets it and they see the importance of what you teach you can't help but want to do a victory dance when you close the gate behind you. We taught him about the priesthood keys given to Peter and how that is the foundation of Christ's church and he said, "Well that means Peter must have passed the keys to someone which means one man on this earth holds the keys. Who is it?" When we explained further he said, "This is big news. This means war!" in the least contentious way possible. Basically he realized that there must be one true church and he is super intelligent and I am pumped to see him progress.

2. We taught Katie again, and she told us that she had received so many answers to prayers and she knows that what we teach is true. The sweetest part of the lesson was when she told us she had a dream that she was in the temple and a white lady was showing her around. Sister Dlamini and I were both in tears. Her only stumbling block is her calling in her church. I love Katie so much.

It's also just amazing how effortlessly people progress when they are prepared. I have been spending so many weeks and months doing everything I can to get people to keep commitments and come to church and no one has budged. Now we are teaching Weekly and he is so golden. He came to church even before we taught him and he keeps every commitment. I just pray that I will not be transferred before his baptism (May 3rd). My most fervent prayer lately is for peace to accept God's will but I hope His will is for me to stay. This branch has become my home. Oh, how much joy I find when I gather with these Saints.

Some little details about this week/life that make me happy:
-We had no where to go so we prayed and a few knocks later we met a relative to Agnes who had so many genuine questions about the church

-We knocked at the gate and was invited into the house of the former mayor of Blantyre. Big madala status.

-We helped an investigator draw water meaning walking with buckets of water on our heads. Good times. 

-It's starting to get dark earlier and we aren't used to it so the darkness sort of takes us by surprise. We go all "I Am Legend" status when the darkness comes. GET INSIDE!

-As you see from the pictures, Sister Zohner and I determined enough was enough and become spider killers with the Doom and a broom. We had a colony of like 20 spiders living on our porch so we killed them all. Conquering my fears!

-We got together as sisters and watched the general women's session of general conference and it was just lovely. We belong to the coolest church ever. I cried happy tears.

-President Matale told us that Blantyre is one branch split away from becoming a stake. Also, they are looking for land to build a chapel in Ndirande! Seeing the work progress in Malawi is so exciting.

-I got a new nickname in my area. The kids always call me by a previous sister's name and when I correct them they can't pronounce Proctor. Now they call me "Sister Zungu" (sister white person). Yebo!

-Alinafe (my favorite RC ever) texted us twice this week. One to inform us that he had gone by himself to do his family history at the chapel and the other to tell us he was going to attend the other branch this Sunday because he invited two guys in the market to church and he wanted to fellowship his investigators. This guy is on fire.

-We saw an ice cream truck in our area. Say what? Those exist in Africa? More like, those exist in Ndirande? The kids went wild.
-I think the happiest is that the other week we passed this deaf guy on our way home. We had passed them two or three times before and he was so sweet. After he passed, I felt strongly that we needed to contact him so we literally ran after him (since he is deaf and he couldn't hear us calling after him). He understands English really well he just can't speak or hear so we gave him a pamphlet and wrote down directions to the church. Yesterday he showed up to church with his other deaf friend and I nearly cried. He has such a light about him, I can't even describe. Unfortunately, he lives in the Elder's area (we give the Elders so many referrals it's ridiculous), but they are totally prepared. 

I studied the principle of unity this week and I realized just how critical unity is to salvation and to building Zion. The Lord promises that all who the Father gives Him He will not lose. "Fear not, little children, for you are mine, and I have overcome the world, and you are of them that my Father hath given me; And none of them that my Father hath given me shall be lost," (D&C 50: 41-42). But then He tells us that, "if ye are not one ye are not mine," (D&C 38:27). We must be filled with charity and consecrate our whole lives to serve Him and the people around us or we will not be welcomed into Zion. But Zion is attainable and it seems like a pretty wonderful place to be.

Shake the dust, my friends. Shake the dust from your souls and remember just how blessed we are to be alive. Life is beautiful.

Love forever,

Sister Proctor

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