In front of her local church house
"Me with some kids, the girls name was precious and we got along really well. I just was dying that he was carrying his little brother on his back."
The four sisters who share the flat
"This is the spider outside our flat... I told everyone that if it isn't ever there one day then i'm moving out"
On the back of a mini bus
Is Maren seriously cooking? Wow, she has grown up in 2 weeks!
Here is her letter:
HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!
and you thought I was wishing you Happy 4th of July.... nope!! July 6th = Malawian Independence Day! So happy Malawian Independence Day!!!
Okay soooooo fun facts for the week:
1. There is a gelato place and a bakery right down the street from us... can you say missionary weight? yep. They sell ice cream/gelato/donuts/cupcakes etc. so so yummy.
2. MINI BUSES: yikes scary sketcy ahh. so that is the main way people get around town. There are these small buses that just drive around honking and they yell out their window where they are headed and you just wave them down if you want to go to that place. It is normally 100-200 kwacha. and they cram like 12 people in a tiny bus with no seat belts. and they drive sooooo scary and so fast and just swerve all over the place. but it is how we have to get around so pray for the mini bus drivers.
3. People notice us as missionaries and just walk up asking us "Bible?? Bible? Can you give me a Bible?"" and me being new was so confused... like who just carries around Holy Bibles with them to give away. that would be dang heavy. Then I realized there is a difference between the holy bible and other bibles. A bible is anything that has the word of god in it. So we always just give them a pamphlet... if they're drunk we give them the chastity or word of wisdom. It's pretty great.
4. There are no trash cans here. Everyone just throws their trash on the ground... seriously my pet peeve. And then no one understands what a "trash can" is... you need to call it a "rubbish bin" british english is the worst. seriously they talk so weird haha
5. If I could tell you how many lessons we teach on the streets while everyone is walking by and such you would be amazed. Here we are just praying in public asking for the spirit to be there while there is all this commotion around... but hey it's what needs to happen sometimes. Because when we're walking around... I always greet people in their language and then if they do even the slightest pause I take advantage of that and stop them and then start talking to them. So the goal is to greet every person you see and grab anyone with the slightest interest.
6. NO ONE UNDERSTAND MY ENGLISH. ahhhh it gets pretty frustrating. I talk too fast.. which everyone knows. but i'm working on that.. but their english is very proper... but very broken. I should have gone to the MTC to learn broken english... Dad I'm so so sorry but my grammar is gonna be so bad when I get home. All your hard work is going down the drain. For example you don't say "How has your day been?" you say "How's been the day?" I dunno... just weird stuff like that. Or you never say "Can we meet you at?" you say... "Can we meet you at half eleven?" orrrrrr instead of saying "where do you live?" you have to say "where do you stay?" it's like the word LIVE is not in their vocabulary.
7. Whenever we pass by little kids they all just start yelling, "how are you how are you how are you how are you?" and they all just run over to us. And if I ask them how they are they only know how to say "i'm fine" it never is "i'm good or i'm great" alllwaaaaayyys "i'm fine" once again... proper english.
8. I get asked if i'm married every day... and when I say no, they always get way confused. and then I tell them i'm 19... and they get even more confused. They all tell me that I should marry a Malawian... and they don't understand that we don't focus on boys on mission.
9. I LOVE PEANUT BUTTER.
10. I hate mosquitos
11. I got my companion addicted to snicker bars... oops.
12. All the sisters in my flat can't believe how much I eat and how much I love sweets.... they also can't believe how much I stretch. They laugh every time when they look over and see me in a heel stretch or something.
13. NO ONE CAN SAY MY LAST NAME. I think i'm gonna change it... everytime we introduce ourselves they squint and look at my nametag and I have to pronounce it and they go "oh that's hard.." and then they look at Sis. Solomones and they go "oh that's easier" seriously that has happened at least 10 times.
Okay those were my fun facts... now into the week:)
Also the other American sister in my flat had an anxiety attack that night and she couldn't breathe!! Scarrryyyy... she had to go to the hospital and they didn't figure out what was wrong, but she had to spend the night in the hosptial to get oxygen. They're still not sure exactly what is wrong but she gets really nervous around people and breathes heavy all the time... but they're gonna put her on anxiety medication. but she has had to stay in the flat a lot! Oh.... and this day we were late for an appointment and she said because we were late she couldn't listen to us, LUCKILY she invited us back another day. But Jan Whittaker would have been disappointed in my tardiness.
We also taught this really rich family (now when I say really rich don't get ahead of yourself alright) they had tile floor and that is proof of a nice house. But we taught the father (who had come to church without us even teaching a lesson first), his daughter Sharon, his maid, and another guy there named Joseph!
Well that was my week... all the girls in my flat are hilarious!!! oh and Sis. Muthengi laughs at me allllll the time. I never thought I was funny before... but hey I guess I am.
some spiritual things I guess:
soooooo my patriarchal blessing says mulitple times that i'll understand the principles of eternity and that has always thrown me off. But It talks about how on my mission I will learn it... and I feel like I already have. Seriously I'm always looking at the eternal perspecitve now and I used to never ever do that. LIke living with our families for eternity in the presence of our father in heaven? man oh man does that sound great or what?? Maybe i'm just missing my family (which I am... the fact that you'll all be together this month has made me pretty sad... but Malawi is >>> Lake Powell.... did I really just say that?) but I have just been thinking about it a lot.
Also getting to testify of Jesus Christ every day rocks. I love saying "we're missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day saints" that's gonna be a hard habit to break when I get home.
Also I can't believe this is something i'm complaining about, but it's kinda hard when everyone will talk to you about your message because it gets your hopes up that they're interested... when really they just like to hear about Jesus and the Bible. People loooovvve their bible here. We'll be in lessons and they'll just whip out a verse from the top of their head. I got a lot to learn.
Well everyone... I LOVE YOU SO MUCH AND I MISS YOU. This place is great and I'm learning a lot, and we're slowly learning the area.