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Letter from Neicia to mom received 6/26/15

Masweda Amyi!

Muli bwanji? Tsiku laku linali bwanji?

Translation: Good morning mom!  How are you?  How has been your day?

KK, I would rather not translate everything so we we’ll just stick to Chizungu (English!)

So mommy Happy Mother’s day!  I hope it was well!  Glad I got to call! (It’s 5/5/15 so I still haven’t really called yet!)  But yeah!  Oh surprise!  Random small thing for you!  I sent the small thing for you  I sent the small package with Sister Griffus and she sent it off!  It was for you because you are my mother and also for Emily Cole!  My new friend at the home!  But you should be happy with my name tag! Only have one now so hope I don’t lose it!  I want grandma to get me some magnet ones because I can’t get them from this part of the ‘ol world!  And at home they are just $2.00 and here it’s the price of a small human kid!

Anyhow, what would Amyi  want in her letter?  Umm…?  You probably are just happy you get this bur I know you so I will just ramble on and tell you everything!  I can think to ramble.

First, What is hard for me:

Diligence!  It is SOOOO hard to not be allowed to do things!  So hard to be actively engaged all day in the sun!  Head aches and leg cramps!  Ha, but it’s good and I am soooooo grateful which leads us to…

Second, What I’ve learned most:

I honestly can’t express it!  Man mom, I am learning so much!  Prayer!  So much!  I have come to actually have a relationship with God!  Love!  I love the people here!  I sometimes want to just cry because they are not progressing…Book of Mormon!  Dang how I love that book!  I feel empty when I don’t have time to really study!  I LOVE it!  Humble!  Still working on it but God is helping me!  I think the most thing I’ve learned so far is that I can’t change on my own and God will change me in his own time.  Mosiah 4:27.  I’ve learned that we have to work as a team!  I can’t without God and he can’t without me!

Third, What I miss most:

1.  Food that doesn’t make me sick!

2.  Family but the once a week email helps a lot!)

3.Piano!  Man the piano…

4.  Friends.  (Not too bad but a little!  Most are on missions so that makes it easy.  10 friends on missions!)

Fourth, what I’ll miss most:

1.  The good food (Nsima!)

2. The people

3. The time to be dedicated to God

4.  The beauty!

Fifth, what I want to take home:

1.  My appreciation for the fmaily

2. Study habits

3. Desire to be my best

4. Love and relationship with my Heavenly Father!

Sixth, funny moment:

I was in Limbe and I was with some elders.  Well we were getting in the coombee (minibus) and I had eaten something cause man, I had gas.  So I feel it coming on and it goes right when I get on the bus…silent but DEADLY!  We sit down and then we see the elder’s faces!  Elder Etiang gets off the bus!  Me, I’m like “Dang Elder, what did you eat?”  He was just “It wasn’t me!”  And then his comp is just blaming him.  “You totally just farted dude!  That’s nasty!”  Ha!  I was dying!  I told my comp and she was just dying even!  Basi!  That will be done!  All ok  Sorry my lame black pen died…I liked that one…Anyways last thing left!

Seventh, my testimony:

Hope you like it and learn a lot from it!  It is good!

Ndikyolziwa tchalitchi chathy Ndichowona ndine osangalala chipukwa cha uthengawu ndikudziwa mulungu amatilsonda tonse.  Ndikudziwa buku la mormon.  Nolilowona chipukukwa, limaphyzitza kuti titha kubwerera kwa mulungu.  Josepha Smithie ndi mtumiki wakubwenzeretsa.  Yesu ndi ambuye wathu nai mpulumutsi wathu.  A kulamulira naipo a matikonda.  Naikudziwa utumiki umabweretsa madeliso. Ndik=makukondani nonse mu dzina la yesu khristy Amen.

Basi Ni nha ku knoda Amyi! Chiconda kwambili!

Sister Neicia Marie Browning

PS.  Feel free to put it in the google translate but I probably spelled some of  the things bad!

PPS  Yeah…You’re going to have to find your own magnet!  I sure would like some from grandma!  That would just be the best thing for my birthday!  Man, I would just be so very much happy!

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Email 3/2/2015

MY PEOPLE! HOW ARE YOU ALL!
WELL MY FRIENDS I MISS YOU ALL SO MUCH! SO I AM NOT GOING TO LIE. I REALLY DON’T REMEMBER THIS WEEK! SO YEAH! BUT I THINK I SHOULD JUST START KEEPING TRACK OF INTERESTING THINGS THAT HAPPEN! OH HERE IS SOMETHING THAT HASEN’T HAPPENED YET! SOMETHING THAT YOU CAN LOOK FORWARD TO!
SO I WAS AT A LESSON YESTERDAY WITH A LADY NAMED PHYLLIS AND WE ASKED HER WHEN WE CAN COME BACK AND SHE SAID ON TUESDAY! SHE ASKED WHAT WE WANTED TO EAT (WE EAT THERE A LOT) I SAID CHICKEN! SO SHE SAID THAT SHE WOULD HAVE STEPHAN (HER HUSBAND) GO BUY A CHICKEN! (NOW THAT I AM WRITING THIS I JUST REALIZED HOW NORMAL THEIR NAMES ARE! WEIRD! WONDER WHY!) THEN SHE SAID THAT SHE WANTED ME TO KILL! IT! WELL I DIDN’T GET TO KILL THE LAST ONE SO MAN I AM SOOOOO EXCITED! DON’T REALLY KNOW WHY! BUT I AM! AND THIS TIME I AM GOING TO EAT ITS HEART OR SOMETHING! MAN I AM EXCITED! LAST TIME THEY HAD ME EAT THE CHICKEN FEET! (CANT REMEMBER IF I TOLD THIS STORY!) IT DIDNT GO TO WELL! HERE IN THE GOOD OL’ AFRICAN CONTINENT THEY EAT EVERYTHING! ALL THE CHICKEN! THE BONE EVERYTHING! I LEARNED THAT AMERICANS TEETH ARE WEAK! I CAN’T EVEN BITE THROUGH THE CARTILAGE! GIVE ME A BONE! YEAH, NO!

SO, I GOT TO HANGOUT WITH A BUNCH OF ADORABLE CHILDREN! THEY TRIED TO TEACH US HOW TO PUSH THE TIRES WITH THE TWO STICKS… FAIL! YUP! THAT IS ACTUALLY VERY HARD! SISTER BROWNING DOESNT HAVE SKILL! NEXT TIME YOUR CHILDREN COMPLAIN ABOUT BEING BORED JUST IGNORE THEM! AMERICAN CHILDREN NEED TO BE MORE CREATIVE! I LOVE THE KIDS HERE!

I FOUND THE MOST NASTY SPIDER RIGHT NEXT TO A JESUS SIGN THIS WEEK! THAT WAS LEGIT!

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PLAYED SOCCER THIS WEEK! MAN DIDNT KNOW HOW BAD I WAS! ACTUALLY IT’S JUST THE PEOPLE HERE! FREAKISHLY AMAZING! MOM AND DAD THANKS FOR PROVIDING THE BALL! IT DIDN’T LAST! AFRICA IS ROUGH! HAHA! PEOPLE WERE LIKE WHAT KIND OF WEAK THINGS DO THEY MAKE IN AMERICA! HAHA! BUT IT MADE A CHILD HAPPY WHEN I GAVE HIM THE REMAINING BLACK BALL! 🙂

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WELL, THIS WEEK I CAN SAY THAT I HAVE WORKED HARD! IT HAS BEEN VERY HARD IN THE AREA LATELY! BUT WE HAVE BEEN BLESSED SO MUCH! I HAVE BEEN BLESSED SO MUCH! I THINK MAINLY I HAVE BEEN BLESSED WITH SUCH A STRONG DESIRE TO SERVE GOD AND HIS CHILDREN! MY LOVE FOR THE GOSPEL HAS BEEN STRENGTHENED SOOOOO MUCH! I HAVE BEEN THINKING A LOT ABOUT GOING HOME! PROBABLY BECAUSE MY COMP IS ABOUT TO! I HAVE BEEN THINKING ABOUT WHEN IT IS MY TURN TO GO HOME I DON’T WANT TO CHANGE WHO I AM! I KNOW THAT LIFE WONT BE THE SAME AND IT SCARES ME! I LOVE IT HERE! I LOVE MY MISSION SO MUCH! I CAN’T IMAGINE LIVING DIFFERENTLY NOW! HOW I WISH LIFE COULD ALWAYS BE THIS WAY!
MY MISSION HAS HELPED ME FEEL THE LOVE THAT GOD HAS FOR ALL HIS CHILDREN! HE HAS HELPED ME LEARN HOW TO LOVE SO MUCH BETTER! I HAVE NEVER BEEN THIS HAPPY! NOT IN MY ENTIRE LIFE! I COULD STAY HERE AND BE CONTENT FOREVER! (IF I WAS ALLOWED TO GET MARRIED AND STUFF LIKE THAT!) BUT I LOVE IT HERE! THAT’S REALLY ALL I CAN SAY! JUST THAT I AM SO THANKFUL THE LORD HAS TRUSTED ME TO COME AND BE HIS MOUTH PIECE! HOW I LOVE THIS PLACE! I WISH I COULD JUST GIVE YOU ALL ALL MY FEELINGS! WORDS DONT DO ANYTHING JUSTICE! JUST KNOW THAT I LOVE IT MORE THAN WORDS CAN SAY!
WELL LIFE IS GOOD! I AM GOOD! THANKS FOR THE SUPPORT!
LOVE SISTER BROWNING!

OH YEAH GOT TO HOLD A BABY CHEETAH… LOVE AFRICA!

cheetah

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Group Email January 26, 2015

WELL THIS WEEK, BIT TOUGH! BUT HEY IT’S A MISSION!! SO I AM GOING TO TELL YOU A STORY OF HUMILITY!
REMEMBER LAST WEEK, I SAID WE WERE THE ONLY ONES WITH WATER IN MY FLAT!! KK SO BECAUSE OF THAT LAST WEEK ON WEDNESDAY THE SISTERS IN THE ZONE AND THE ZONE LEADERS ASKED IF WE WOULD MAKE THEM DINNER! THEY ALSO HAD NO ELECTRICITY! SO THE SISTERS SAID IF WE DID THEN THEY WOULD BUT US HOT DOGS ON MONDAY! SO WE SAID DEAL!! WE MADE A TON OF FOOD!!! IT WAS FOR 7 PEOPLE!! I’M USED TO COOKING FOR 2! WE USED UP A LOT OF GROCERIES AND TIME! BUT WE MAKE THEM A REALLY GOOD MEAL!!! RAPE, VEGGIES WITH MEAT AND RICE!!! IT REALLY WAS GOOD!!!
SO LAST MONDAY WE WERE ALL HUNGARY RIGHT!! SO SISTER GRIFFUS SAYS “LETS GO GET HOT DOGS!!!” THE SISTERS JUST WERE RELUCTANT AND DIDNT WANT TO!! WELL, WE WERE LIKE WHAT THE CRAP!! AND THEY ALL STARTED TO LEAVE!! LEAVING US ALONE WITH EMPTY STOMACHS!! WE WERE ALL PLAY BICKERING AND LAUGHING THEY WERE LIKE “OH SISTERS COME ON!!! WE WILL GIVE WHEN WE WANT TO GIVE!!!”  AND SO I YELLED “HAVE FUN GOING BACK TO NO WATER!”
WELL, WE WALKED HOME TO A FLAT WITH NO WATER!! THE NEXT DAY NO WATER!! ALL OF BLANTYRE NOW HAS NO WATER!! THE ZONE LEADERS ARE RUNNING AROUND FILLING EVERY BODIES WATER JUGS AT THE FILLING WELL!! STILL NO WATER!! WEDNESDAY MY COMP WENT TO THE HOSPITAL FOR SOMETHING SMALL SO IT WASNT A BIG DEAL BUT WE HAD TO STAY HOME THE REST OF THE DAY! AND GUESS WHAT NO WATER!!! THURSDAY CAME ALONG AND BOOM WE GET TEXTS THAT SAY THERE IS GOING TO BE WATER IN THE AREA!! WE WERE SO EXCITED!! WE CONTINUED TO READ “DO NOT DRINK THIS WATER BECAUSE THERE IS CHOLORA IN IT…” NO WATER!! I STARTED TO FEEL ILL THAT NIGHT! FRIDAY ROLLED AROUND AND THE ALARM WENT OFF AT THE STANDARD 6:30! I PUSH IT OFF AND WENT BACK TO SLEEP! I AM SICK!! AT 8 MY COMP IS LIKE MAN WHY ARE WE STILL SLEEPING AND SHE JUMPS UP CONFUSED! I JUST SAY “SICK I WANT NYQUIL!” SO SHE GOT ME SOME AND I WENT TO SLEEP!!! THEN I THREW UP MY NYQUIL! JOY!!! WHY AM I SICK YOU MIGHT WONDER!! MY GUESS A MIXTURE BETWEEN DEHYDRATION AND POSSIBLY THE LITTLE WATER I GOT BEING BAD! SO I AM ILL!! MY COMP MADE ME GO OUT!! THAT’S FINE IT WAS A PARTY AND WE WERE CHARGED! BUT STILL ILL! I JUST SAT IN A CORNER AND WATCHED PRINCE OF EGYPT!! MAN THAT IS A SWEET MOVIE!!! PLUS I’M WAS ALLOWED TO SEE TWO MOVIES NOW ON MY MISSION! BOOM! SUNDAY THOUGH! BACK TO BED!! TOO ILL!!! NOT MONDAY! I AM FEELING A LOT BETTER!! WHY YOU MIGHT ASK!! WELL MY FRIENDS ITS BECAUSE MY WATER CAME ON LAST NIGHT!!! GUESS WHO GOT TO TAKE A SHOWER!! OH YEAH!!! SHOWER MAN! THAT WAS THE BEST!
BUT THE MORAL TO THIS EMAIL IS DON’T EVER BRAG ABOUT THE BLESSINGS THE LORD HAS GRANTED YOU! IF YOU DO HE WILL MAKE SURE YOU REGRET IT!! 🙂
LOVE YOU ALL!
SISTER NEICIA MARIE BROWNING!
SORRY NO PICS AGAIN!!! MY CHIP HAS A VIRUS AND I CANT DOWNLOAD ANYTHING…
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Christmas Skype with Neicia

All I wanted for Christmas was to talk to Neicia.  And I got it!  Let me share some of our conversation with you.

People.  Neicia loves Malawi and she loves the people there.  They’re completely mesmerized by her light coloring and especially light, soft, straight hair.  She says people often fall or lose their balance in order to “accidentally” touch her hair.  The kids love her (nothing new from the kids here).  She’s looking forward to some adorable kids, Prince and Angela, getting baptized.

She often gets proposals.  When we were talking to her she mentioned she’d only had two that day so it was a good day.  She was giving a little girl a piggy-back ride and a guy stopped her and asked if the little girl was hers.  She said no but also made the mistake of saying that she wasn’t married.  He told her he would marry her.  She told him she’s not getting married anytime soon and told him she’s on a mission.  He insisted so she told him she’s serving God for 18 months.  He told her he’d wait for her.  At least he’s persistent.

She deals a lot with drunk men.  This is new territory for her.  She’s had a few experiences where they’ve threatened her, gotten mad at her etc.  Most recently a man was upset because she wasn’t paying enough attention to him and threatened to kill her.  She got out of the area.  She seems to be mostly amused so far.  I guess by the time they’re showing these ridiculous behaviors they’re so drunk they can hardly move.  I admit it makes this mom a little concerned.

I gave her my promise ring, which is a gold CTR ring.  She had wanted it for quite a few years.  She’s decided to take it off, at least when she goes out.  She was on a bus and felt very uncomfortable when people all around her stared at it.  She said it was creepy and she was afraid someone would try to take it.  Also, they think she’s rich because of it.  The people there can’t afford jewelry like that.  People want her to give them money or jobs quite often.  Having a gold ring makes it more difficult to convince them that she has no money and can’t hire people.

The kids are taught to beg.  They come up to her with their hands out.  She’s figured out that if she hands them pass along cards it confuses them and they leave with the card but bewildered.  She’s given out all her Costco sized gum stash and stickers.  And she left with a lot of both of those.  She was excited to find out we sent some kids sized CTR adjustable rings.  She says she’d love more.  Each ring is not too expensive at $1 a piece but they sure add up when you buy them in bulk.  We’d love to send her more.  Keep your fingers crossed.  I’m starting to look for deals.

Christmas.  We sent her a couple packages for Christmas.  If we’d have known in advance that they’d take at least 2 months to get there we’d have at least sent Christmas to her at the mission home before she ever left.  She didn’t seem to mind at all though. In fact she decided to not open when they arrive, but on April 6th.  I’m hoping she gets both packages and one isn’t lost in the mail.  There is one very cute rain boot in each package.  I think she’ll need them both.

Sister Browning was feeling festive and decided to have a little piece of home in her celebration so in the spirit of our white Christmas she donned her sweater and hat and set out in over 90 degree weather.  I’m sure they all thought she was crazy.

Food.  Neicia clarified a story for us.  Not long ago she ate goat intestines and whole little fish.  The cook was a sweet lady who wanted to feed the “Azungu.”  Neicia and her companion were going to teach this woman her first lesson.  She asked Neicia what kind of meat she’d like.  Neicia didn’t want to ask her to make something expensive.  Meat isn’t cheap.  She looked forward to her chicken dinner all day.  When she arrived it wasn’t chicken at all.  She’s not sure why the change in meat  but she had a real interesting experience.

She mostly eats fruit.  One of her favorite foods is mangoes. This was something she was very excited about going to Africa for.  She says she eats 7 or 8 per week.  She loves to shop at the fruit stands.  Her companion is native and does most of the cooking.  The kids start learning to cook at about 4 years old so she knows what she’s doing and doesn’t mind.  The thing she misses most is milk.  The only milk she’s found there is canned.  She says she hates it so bad she can’t even eat cereal anymore.

Language.  Her accent was fun to listen to.  At first the family was surprised she could have an accent after just being there for a month.  Then I recalled a time I worked for a market research company and we called the south for a few days.  It wasn’t more than just an hour or so I started to pick up on the southern accent.  Neicia’s accent is much about her inflections.  It’s a lot of fun to listen to.  She wasn’t nearly as bad as a sister missionary we talked to for a minute from Alpine.

Christmas was a lot of fun.  Now starts the countdown to Mother’s Day!

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Pictures, chat and testimony 12/14/2014

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Sister Browning and Sister Hubert at the MTC.

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First attempt at Nishima. The hard part for her was the capenta (little whole fish including eyes and bones) and mathumbo (sheep intestines).

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Up close look at capenta and mathumbo.

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This is what happens when you fall asleep on the couch and not under your mosquito net. She counted 72!

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These 8 legged creatures can sure cause drama for a girl…or two.

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Eeek!

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I wonder if this is why they say don’t drink the water?

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Laundry time!

We have a laundry room!!! It isn’t in our flat.  It is right next to it but in our gate!!! So it is just ours! It hurts to wash with hands!! My comp taught me! All the Americans have scraped up wrists!!! Haha!
I am pretty good at it though!!! I wash lots!!! We went and found a lady washing outside on Friday and started helping her and man like 20 people gathered around and laughed at the azungu washing!!! Ha, It’s good for them to see!!!  They think we are better than them!!!  Like they get on their knees to shake our hands because we are “better than them.”  Sometimes it’s a sign of respect but it makes me sad!
So I was riding the taxi home on Thursday and somebody was behind me and kept plucking my hairs!!! I seriously just laughed!!! It doesn’t bug me because I know they are just amazed at my hair, its color and softness!!! It gets touched a lot!! People pretend to do it on accident!!! It’s funny!!! But man the person plucking my hairs! Ha, probably wanted to prove to people they saw me!
Ha two packages!!! Wow!!! Yay!!! everybody has gotten theirs and then there was me but I didnt care until the zone leaders called and told me I had one too!!! I waited anxiously for days like half a week only to find out it was my other suit case!!! Ha, my comp has a package though so I guess I don’t really need to buy her things for Christmas!! She has way more then me! Ha!! It’s all good though!! I really don’t care too much!! I bought a Crunch bar and put it my stocking the Coles gave me at my homecoming!! I am excited!!! I really would love some American food in my next package! Actually, I made a list I’ll tell you later!!!
You asked about my schedule.  I
get up at 6:30
8-9 personal study
9-10 comp study
leave by 10
be home by 6, but leave area by 5!
6-10:30 dinner and planning! Then we have a lot of time that we just sit and talk or cook! stuff like that!!! It’s because it is so dangerous here at night so we just don’t get to do as much work!!! Normally, we go to bed early though because we have really long days still as it is super hot and humid so we are very tired!
Sister Dlamini and I, we have fun! It’s a loud apartment!!!  We laugh and blast Motab for all the world to hear!  She knows Nianja which is very similar to Chichewa!!! But she is learning still too!!! She is definitely not fluent she just picks it up faster!!! Plus she speaks 9 languages so she is used to learning new languages! Most of the Africans here know lots of languages! There are 11 official languages in South Africa and that’s where she is from.
*After I talked to Neicia for a while she wanted to talk to one of her sisters.  I took my computer in to Jessica at 5:40 just before she had to wake up anyway.  Neicia wanted her to take a picture of her new phone and send it to her, which she did.  Her last email message made us laugh so hard.  I’m glad she always has her sense of humor.  This is what Neicia said in return.
Ha!  Wow!  I like it!!! The screen is intact!! For now!! We will see next week!!! Haha!! Not even joking either! How did you get it? Did you have to pay or is it an early Christmas gift? Good I will get the letters in a couple of months! 🙂
I will send kalten some! I just had to wait until I get paid! I didnt get 20% of my money last week so I have been a bit poor!!! Plus I didnt get paid today yet! Hopefully, I will later on today! Otherwise I won’t have any food! 🙂 Literally! Ha, and no way to pay to get home! 🙂 It’s all good fun!! Our neighbors take care of us!! The Beals, they made me brownies last night! 😀
*Then Jessica let her know it was time for prayer and scriptures.
I’ll write you a spiritual thought!!!  2 Nephi 22:2  Jesus Christ is our salvation! Only through him and his atonement can we be saved and gain that salvation. I will trust and be not afraid!!! I love that part!! Jesus Christ went through every thing we did plus more. He knows EXACTLY what we go through and so we can trust in him and fall on him because he will lift us up. I love the CD by Kenneth Cope (I brought it from home) about Jesus!!  It’s helping to build my testimony a lot!! I love Jesus Christ and am eternally thankful for his sacrifice for us! Jesus is your strength and your song as well!!! Let it shine Jaide!  Let it shine!
Pray and study your scriptures!!! Not read but study!! I love you little sister. Have fun at school! Write me emails weekly on your new phone!! You’re the best!!!  And you should do your hair cause you look nasty right now!!! I showed the sisters in my zone! We all laughed!! You need a shower!!! and a shirt!  But you were sleeping so it is ok!!!
Well little one,  I think my companion is almost done now so that means I get to go eat some lunch!!!  I am starving.  It’s 3:30 and I ate last at 7:30ish!  Oatmeal!  Best thing in the world now!!!  I can’t eat cereal because the milk here is SO gross!!!
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Group Email 12/14/2014

Week 3

Man, I’m not gonna lie this was a xing week!
So Monday was wonderful!!! We emailed and then went to the market!  I love the markets here!  I need to take a picture! next week I’ll send one!!  Then we ate food and went home! Fun, fun! We were with the other sisters in our zone! And the Zone leaders told me that I had a package in!! SOOOO EXCITED!!
Then Tuesday we went to an appointment where I had to eat nishima for the first time!!! Man, I don’t think I have ever prayed over my food so hard! Then when I was eating it I prayed the whole time not to gag!!!  My family knows how I am with gagging!  Well, the nishima its self wasn’t bad! it was the capenta (little whole fish, eyes, bones, everything) and mathumbo (goat intestines) that got to me!!! Man, that was horrible! My comp was used to it cause she is African so she silently laughed at me the whole time!!!
Well after my comp was starting to feel sick so we went back home at 2:00! I feel asleep on the couch and woke up at 7:00! That is bad… 7 means dark, dark means mosquitos infested with malaria are out!  So I didnt think much of it I just went to my bed with my net.  Then it started to rain finally!!!  It woke me up because it set off all the car alarms!!  It really rains HARD here.
Wednesday we woke up and my comp was really sick so we didnt go out! but I did find 74 fresh bites on my from the day before… ya… stupid Neicia!  Anyways talk about the worlds most boring day!  Here I am in Africa the coolest place ever and I am stuck in a hot flat with no electricity or water… fun stuff right?  No! So the zone leaders called and asked how we were doing, we told them we need Book of Mormons (we wanted them to bring our packages) and they said they would try to make it out that week!! Well, we told them we made them food!! They said they were on their way! Yeah, we didn’t make them food… well I opened the door expecting to find a fresh package from my family, but instead I just saw my other suit case!! I wanted to slam the door on them!!  Package yeah right!  The first thing they said is “Where is the food?” I handed them a chocolate bar (they’re lucky I still wanted my bag) and then they left!! Well,  I went into our bedroom and started unpacking when a HUGE black nasty spider came into the room fast!!! I screamed and ran!!! My comp, thinking I was about to die, ran in, saw the spider and then we were both screaming and running! I went and grabbed a bowl then went into the room just as I saw it go under my suit case.  Being senior companion she delegated the job of catching and killing to me.  Coward.  I moved the bag real quick and the spider charged.  I threw the bowl down on it and run again. We worked up the courage and go look at it!!!  I didn’t know how we were gonna kill it because it was so fast!!! After about 15 minutess I finally lifted the bowl to squash it and nothing… it didn’t move. Yeah, I killed it when I either moved the bag injuring it or when I put the bowl over it!!!  But it died! I was mad the the unepic ending!
Thursday we went out!!!  It was a really normal day of teaching and contacting!!  We went home and I decided to finish unpacking!!!  Seriously, man! I looked down and ANOTHER HUGE SPIDER!! I was so mad I didn’t even scream even though it was like a foot away when I saw it! but I just told my comp to make sure it didn’t move and then grabbed my camera and took a picture! then I killed it with my foot! BOOOM!!
Friday was another normal day!!!  Two little kids said they want to be baptized so they will be on the 4th of next month!! Man, I am excited!!! I love teaching these kids!!!
Saturday, to be honest I don’t really remember!  WE did try to make brownies though!  Then brought them to the Beals ( a senior couple who live in our same building! They were super thin but didn’t taste to bad!! I was proud! Brownies from scratch!
Sunday! So I got to church and as always they are running late!!  About 10 minutes after they were supposed to start Sister Dlamini and I got called into the branch presidents office where sister Dlamini was asked to give a talk! Again being senior comp. she said I can do it!!! In her own defense she did just give a baptism talk last month!! Well, I agreed and we went in and they started church!!! I looked through my scriptures frantically! It was on repentance at least! Well,  I was first to speak! It went ok actually! I almost cried though of course! Man, I am so emotional when I talk in church!  Well, after church we went to an investigator’s house!  We found his brother, who said “Mike isn’t home, he had to go into work!” All of a sudden a very drunk Mike stumbled out of his house and told us he heard us and followed our voices! Well, we tught him anyways (it started to rain and we wanted shelter) so we taught him, his brothers and a neighbor all the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ! Haha it was a good lesson!!! We even made a return appt. Hopefully bro. Mike wont be drinking his Chibuku shake-shake (alcohol, I really like the Chichewa name for it! haha!).
So that was my week!!!
I learned some more Chichewa!! I can now understand the people too turns out I am not an azoogoo but an azoongoo! and its spelled azungu! so its azungu boh all day now that school is out! Man, I love this language!
Love you all,
Sister Neicia Marie Browning!
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Letter from received 12/12/2014 written over a few days

I can now say I’m a starving child in Africa!  I haven’t gone shopping yet!  I am hungry!  It’s only been like 5 days though.  Who needs to eat?  Right?  Next time you girls look in the fridge or cabinet and complain about the food I’ll take a pic of my stuff and you’ll get on your knees and thank God for what you do have.  I do every time I go into a house here.  Count your blessings!

Sorry this paper is dirty!  I’m starting to get used to it though.  It’s dirty here.  Very dirty!  Okay so I will write you about my first week.

Monday- Leaving the MTC!  Get on a bus, go to a train station.  Get off train, get on another then finally arrive at the airport.  Meet LDS people who let me borrow their phone then gave me $20!  That was nice!  Oooh yeah, met a returned missionary who helped me from the time I was on the bus to my gate.

I get on the plane, meet somebody else who helps me get to my next plane from Dallas to London.  I have a mini heart attack in London when I realize I don’t have a ticket from Jo=bug to Zambia.  I find an Elder after about 11 hours of just sitting there! (My schedule was changed a bit, so I waited forever!)  He taught me how to get food with different money!  I hadn’t eaten since Salt Lake!  He helped me get to the plane.  So that was Tuesday in London then Wednesday get to Jo-burg meet a returned missionary from Zimbabwe and Zambia!  She helped me to my next flight!  I would like to bring to your attention that there was always a member who found me and helped me!  I would’ve starved to death and missed flights if God wasn’t looking out for me!

Finally, I get to Zambia and no Mission President!  I waited for about a half an hour freaking out because I’m in a foreign country with no idea what people are saying.  I don’t have money and couldn’t find the phone numbers I was to call in that situation!
Finally, they came and took me to their home.  Quickly, I filled out a form and emailed mommy.  Then they fed me!  I hadn’t eaten since the yogurt in London!  Then they let me sleep.  3 1/2 hours later I was awaken and driven to a flat with my temporary companions.

Didn’t really have a comp. so I just hung out with everybody. There were 4 girls there.  Sister George was born and raised in Rexburg so I liked talking to her.  She comes home in 2 weeks.  Her first name is Erica.  Look her up!

The other 3 missionaries were African’s  Two from South Africa (I think) and a one from Madagascar!  Dinner was a huge plate of rice, a relish thingy and the smallest piece of meat ever!  The relish was actually good and I didn’t gag on the rice!

Then bed.  I woke up at about 3:30 and couldn’t go back to sleep!  The time change is murder!  I wake up in the mornings and you guys haven’t even gone to bed!  Weird!  Now it’s 7:45pm (or here it would be called 20:45) and it’s 10:45am to you all!

So I go out with two of the sisters to teach a woman.  She just breast feeds her kids right there.  That’s going to be weird to get used to.  Totally x-ing!  So this kid hits up on me because I am azungu and he keeps telling me, “You have potential.  I see your potential in my life!”  In other words date me please!  My temporary comp said, “Oh heck no!  Wanna know what has potential?  My knife! You touch her and I’ll take off my missionary tag and stab you!”  I just died laughing!  So we went to the mission home for an interview and Thanksgiving dinner at the church!  That was good!  I got to meet funny missionaries and they even made me practice eating nishima!  They made me take my roll and smash it and dip it into my potatoes.  I’m surprised I remember that because I was so sleepy!  Time change!  I also met sister Dlamini, my comp for the first time!

The next day I went out with the STL’s and we taught a lady named Anita!  I liked her!  She was so happy!  Then I met up with the AP’s and Sister Dlamini!  We went to the airport to fly to Malawi!  The AP’s left and it was just us and one elder.  Elder Cloig.  We flew to Lilongwe then to Blantyre which is where I am now.  3 hour flight!  Elder and Sister Reynolds picked us up and took us to meet the STL’s in this zone.  They’re cool!  So, finally got home and met Elder and Sister Beal who have become my temporary grandparents!

We ate at the Beals and then unpacked and went to bed!  That was Friday.  Saturday we had branch council.  Here they have NO sense of time!  8 hours later we left feeling exhausted!  WOW!

Sunday, yesterday, church!  Wow!  So sacrament meeting.  We sat in a tiny room inside a little house and just proceeded as normal.  That was fun.  Sister Dlamini and I bore our testimonies.  Then we had gospel principles.  Hard to understand but I had the book so it was better.  Then it was Relief Society.  Wow!  HOLY FLIP!  CRAZY! So picture this!

  • Room about the size of Mark’s bedroom.
  • 27 people
  • 25 chairs (I shared…)
  • People only speak Chichewa
  • Others (me) that speak xing English
  • translator that speaks “English”
  • 1,000,000 degrees!

That was Relief Society!  I still don’t know what was taught!

Then sacrament meeting.  The building is so small they split that hour into two sections.  Komah (a youth gave a talk and every time he said righteous it sounded like he was saying luscious! Took me forever to figure that out.

I forgot to tell you something!  Here the chorister sings the first line or so then stops.  Says, “On three.  One, two, three.”  Then the rest of the rest of the congregation joins in!I learned that the hard way in branch council!  Started singing and nobody joined in so I just kept going until my comp finally stops me half way through the song and tells me how things work down here in Malawi.  Also, before the prayer is said they say, “Let us pray.” then they pray.

So after sacrament meeting was a baptism!  4 new converts!  3 of them were mine evidently!  I get to teach them the new member lessons though!  So then talks!  Finally at 2:00 (we  started at 8:00) we left!  We visited the new members and met them!  I like them!

Monday:  Tummy hurts…Don’t care.  It’s P-Day.  Hiking!  Hiking in Africa is the best!  We have monkeys!  Not baboons but cute monkeys!  I caught a chameleon.  I liked putting him on the African’s!  They FREAK! Superstitious!  Plus Paschal would change black on them.  Funny!

So we actually hiked in a tourist spot so look it up!  Just type in, :2nd tallest mountain in Africa” or “Tall mountain in Malawi!”  Also type in “tea and coffee farms in Malawi!”  Beautiful!  Right out of a movie!  We hiked as a zone!  Then we had a devo and food right there in the most beautiful place in the world!  With monkeys!;)

So then emailing and now home!  I figured out why my tummy hurt!  So the bread here and everything else is different.  The little green spots on the bread I ate…mold!  Not whatever else they put on it!

Things to get used to:  mosquitos, mosquito nets, showering in dirty water, not having running water, cockroaches in my refrigerator, time change, new language, new English words like Xing (which I love) black people staring.  Children running up to you and saying “boe”.  Getting hit on all the time, new money, weird food, shopping in markets (which are awesome!)People coming up to me and asking about the gospel, the heat! Wow, the heat!  Im ‘a be tan!

Anyways, I love you all .  Here is some kwacha!  It’s for Jaide!  It’s worth about .20.  It isn’t worth anything.  I get 50,000 kwacha every two weeks!  It’s Malawian Kwacha.  There is Zambian Kwacha too!  It looks different and is worth a lot more!  More will come with more letters!  McKenna I’ll send some for you too.  I guess you get pink!

New language:  “xing”- no exact English translation.  It kind of means ghetto!) “Fire” -said like ‘Don’t give me fire!’ like sassy kind of.  “Mazuka Bwanji” – Good morning.  “Tazuka Bwino” – Good morning (reply).  “Mwaswela bwnaji – Good afternoon.  “Taswela bwino” Good afternoon reply.  “Mugone bwino” – Good night. “Zikomo kwambili”- Thank you very much.  “Boe”- Hello. It’s a fun but xing language!  He is now she and she is he! “Azungu.”- White girl.  “Mazungo -white boy.I love you all!  You’re awesome!  I must study now.  Today was good I can’t wait to get back to work though!  It’s different here than most missions.  No working on Mondays!  We work from 10am until 6pm then we have to be back home.

That’s my jam.  Boom!  Neicia out!  Can’t stop this!