Friday, December 23, 2016

Because I Have Been Given Much

Well.... I cannot believe that this day has come, so humbled and so grateful for this incredible experience of being a missionary... but it doesn't even feel real! Everyone keeps telling me i'm going home this week, I bore my final testimony in church, but I still feel like I'll be staying here forever, which would be wonderful:) If it wasn't for my amazing family, then leaving would be just too hard. I have few words today, because lately i'm just speechless... even in my prayers I don't even know what to say anymore, but grateful that Heavenly Father knows the feelings of my heart. 

This week was perfect! here are some highlights:
1. I have been really praying to leave this area a strong area, and to find new families, and this week we found 2 new families! Bro. Phiri's family and Bro. Wycliff's family who was taught years ago in Blantyre and was given the Book of Mormon and is a neighbor to an RM. Such great potential in these families. 
2. Bro Mbewe (a RM) told me that i still have the energy of a new missionary!!! wahooo best compliment of my life!! 
3. Innocent wrote a gospel song called "I diligent" wahoooo go Innocent. 
4. I kept complimenting Rose on a specific chitenge, and at the end of the day she gave it to me to wash it at home... weird thing but I accepted and then as we were driving home she texted us and told me just to keep it <3 so sweet... one of my favorites. 
5. The Abdul family just makes my life... they love each other so much and are doing so well as recent converts. We watched the Restoration with them and they were almost cuddling which is RARE for malawi. 
6. Brother Epna working so hard on switching his work schedule so he cang get baptized... he told us, "yes i can't get baptized until i can make the commitment to come to church every single sunday" 
7. Our 14 year old recent convert asked us if goats and chickens will ask us for their blood back during the resurrection hahahahaha. 
8. Paul Mbewe was baptized and just so happy and bore a really strong testimony!!! 
9. Gave my final testimony in kalambo and just cried... this branch is teh best and I love all of them so much!!! We had 107 people in the congregation this week... huge dea! 

But here are some things i've learned over these past 18 months... 
from zambia/malawi.

1. Greet everyone... if you pass 10 people then you will say muli bwanji 10 times... don't just greet everyone as a whole. 
2. Nsima can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for your whole life and you can still love it. 
3. Bucket showers are very practical, and you can bathe in less then 5 minutes! Also bathing everyday is important (a life skill that i'll take home) 
4. I have probably heard "azungu" over 1 million times in 18 months, won't miss that
5. At church, someone sings and gives the tune and then everyone sings a long... genius!
6. Everyone as they are walking out the door says "i'm coming" when they are actually leaving... also a bad habit i've picked up
7. The terminology of "i'm good" doesn't exist... everyone says the word "fine" 
8. If someone is at your house, as they are leaving you need to escort them as far as possible... not just to the door

But more importantly than cultural things I've learned the culture of the gospel. 
1. My testimony of Repentance has grown so much... i used to look at it as a scary or bad thing to do, but now i've realized that it's a wonderful thing that we all need to do! I love that this is a gospel of change, and that through it we can be perfected through Christ. 
2. I've truly learned that conversion comes by keeping our covenants... that is why we grow so much on mission because we are living the law of consecration! 
3. Something that i'll miss as a missionary is the miracles that I've seen every. single. day. I remember at mission tour a couple of months ago, we were challenged to pray for a specific miracle each day to increase our faith... I didn't realize how much i was doubting before until i started doing it, and then i started seeing amazing miracles. We needed a father-led family and one would come, we needed an opportunity to serve and one would come, we needed an obstacle that was stoppping someone from baptism to be gone and it would. I was amazed each day. 
4. My testimony of fasting has grown as well.... i never really understood it's power before but once again, miracles have come. 
5. Something i'll really miss is when you're sitting in a lesson, and you receive a prompting to say something or to teach a specific principle or ask a question and then your companion says exactly what you were thinking... it just helped me to know that God is aware of both of us and of our investigator. 
6. Which leads to the next point of recognizing the spirit.... I always thought it was just me thinking to myself or giving myself crazy ideas, until I learned... hey that is just how Heavenly Father talks to you Sister Thueson! 
7. And of course my testimony of the Savior has grown.. He has become a real person to me and I am forever grateful for him. I once thought I could make it through this life with being perfectly obedient... until i wasn't and had to get on my knees and turn to the Savior. I love him and lvoe this Christmas season to celebrate him. 
Lastly i've been thinking of some of my favorite hymns... #219. Definitely defines my mission... I remember at my first interview with Presidetn Erickson he asked why I served a mission... and I said how I felt so lucky that I had been born into the gospel that I felt some duty to pay it back to God.. but I've learned that you can never do more for the Lord then he can do for you. I'm probably more in debt to him because he allowed me to come to Zambia/Malawi to serve. and then i've been thinking of hymn #270. I used to think that I was "going where God wanted me to go" and thought that I was going to a super cool mission in Zambia, and that it was a cool place to serve... but now i've learned that it doesn't matter where we serve. God sends us to places not to "go" but to become.. hence the last verse which is "I'll be what you want me to be" and I know that serving here has helped make me who God wants me to become, but he has much more in store for the future. 

Family.. i love you SO MUCH. You're the reason why I'm getting on the plane:) thank you all friends and family for your support.. I wouldn't have made it without you. I have no more words, because i'm so full of gratitude! See you on Sunday!! don't forget a coat;) 

Sister Thueson (for the last time:(

Monday, December 5, 2016


Muli Bwanji everyone! 

I absolutely loved this week, and being a missionary is pretty much the happiest thing one could do. I was really bad at my journal this week because we spent half of it in Blantyre, but i'll try to give you the highlights. 

1. Exchanges with Sister Brown!!! The last time I went on an exchange with her she was still training, and it was soooo great to see how much she has grown and become more converted. It was so fun to be with her and we had  GREAT DAY in the area. 
2. One of our recent converts Rose got married... out of no where!!! But we're teaching her husband because she said she won't stay married to him unless he joins the church hahaha 
3. Paul Mbewe passed his baptismal interview and will be baptized this Sunday!! he is so prepared and so ready! 
4. Mpatso brought a brand new suit for church... he told us, "I love this church, it makes me want to dress nice!" hahaha love it, he was rocking his priesthood attire. He even came teaching with us on Sunday and kept re-polishing his shoes to make sure they look nice, and he bore his testimony in many lessons even though we had a lot of fall throughs he kept up the good spirit. 
5. branch conference.... wooo one for the books!!! The zone leaders were even recognized and asked to sit on the stand haha
6. The whole Mapaya family came to church together!!! Brother Mapaya has been a member for a long time, and we started teaching his wfie!!! Hopefully she'll be able to be baptized on Christmas Eve!! 
7. George is progressing really well and even gave up alcohol!!
8. His cousin John on the other hand dropped us... he was progressing soo well and had even stopped drinking alcohol for a whole month, and then we found him drunk on sunday and he told us he doesn't want to come to church anymore... so sad please pray for him:( 

Okay onto Blantyre!!! a beautiful road trip with so many mountains and greenery. and good weather, Heavenly Father answered my prayers that there wouldn't be pouring rain! About a little less than 5 hour drive! Got there and man it felt good to be HOME! i was just so excited driving around in my old stomping ground. Sometimes i would just bust up laughing over a memory that would flash in my mind and remind me of Sister Solomone. The first thing I did was go see Frasier, and he just couldn't believe his eyes... the first thing he said was, "I don't even recognize you... you have lost weight!!" uhhhh weird. And then of course when i ask him how he is doing, "I'm still kicking and breathing without difficulites" hahaha and then gave me a big hug!! the sisters were dying they were laughing so hard. Then he goes on to show me the picture of us that he has hanging up in his house... haha i only gave him a 4x6 but he blew it up. oh boy... but he is planning on going to the temple next april!!!!! One reason I was sent to labor in Blantyre was for him! 
Next.. Christmas party! SO MUCH FUN. relay races of stuffing our face with flour and watermelon, skits (the ZLM is sooooo drama) and great talents! (OH COME ALL YE FAITHFUL) sorry that will just have to be explained in person. Also a roasted pig!!!!!!! 
Next zone conference... I learned so much!! We talked about being a "mission on fire" and focused on teach repentance, baptize converts, obedience, quality teaching, the book of mormon and working with church leaders. It made me kinda jealous for all the new missionaries, because I feel like this mission is just thriving right now, and we know so many new skills that i didn't know a year ago!! Seriously we're just doing really good right now with such a small amount of missionaries!! I love the GREAT ZAMBIA LUSAKA MISSION. We also got to celebrate sister kupus birthday!!! 
Had to bear my final testimony in front of everyone.... Call in the waterworks. My companion told me if I cried she would request for an emergency transfer... well that didn't work haha. It was so surreall... i remember long time ago all these missionaries bearing their last testimony and it felt like forever away for me, but then here it came in a blink of an eye. as Pres. Utchdorf says, "My testimony is my most prized possession"
Next.. MLC. It was really chill, and we just had an open discussion about the concerns we had for the mission. I love President and Sister Kupu. I definitely sustain them and know that they were called here for a reason. They are so loving and so extremely humble and I've definitely learned a lot from them. 

All in all, I love this work!! I'm so happy and this week I am going to work the hardest I've worked.. talk to everyone and testify to everyone that I see. I know that my release date was inspired, and there is a reason why I need to be out here 2 more weeks, there are more people to find, teach, and prepare for baptism:) 

Ndimakukondani kwam biri,
Sister Thueson

Monday, November 28, 2016


This week was amazing as usual!! I should probably start thinking of new ways to start out my emails.... 

This week it really hit me how much joy I feel as I testify of the truthfulness of this gospel and teaching of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. This week I have been really trying to focus on teaching people and not just lessons. I love teaching the Restoration, and love reciting the First Vision. I love answering people's sincere questions about change and repentance, and I love teaching about the Book of Mormon and how to receive answers to prayers. Everyone should go watch the new Christmas video by the Church... love it! "I am the light of the world... ye are the light of the world!" Let us light the world through service!! 

 Last week Sister SJ Bennion gave us the commitment to read "Teaching in the SAviors Way" and it really changed my life... Thank you SJ BEAR! I love it's focus on individuals, and preparation, as well as teaching in a way that your students want to go learn the gospel on their own! Truly it is a simplified PMG... but I think everyone of us should read it because we are all gospel teachers. We even had to do a leadership training for all the leaders in all the branches of Lilongwe and we based our whole training off of it, because leaders are simply just teachers. But of course the day after we give the presentation, and taught how important it is to prepare lessons in advance and not just read teh book in front of the class, the RS teacher comes up to me right before RS and tells me that i'm teaching. hahah classic.:) 

Well i'll just continue to give you the highlights of each week, but there are so many!! 

1. The Abdul family was married and BAPTIZED! They are the humblest and sweetest family in the world. They came so early to their wedding, but because of the leadership training we were all late, but they were so patient with us. Something that I loved about them is they didn't need a big white dress, a cake, a reception or anything, all they wanted was to make it legal so they could enter the waters of baptism. Their baptism was really sweet! They just kept smiling and laughing which is great. Brother Abdul was able to bear a powerful testimony about his conversion from Islam to Christianity. 
2. Addiction Recovery. Something amazing that I"ve been able to witness this past couple weeks is helping people with addictions. 3 of our investigators who are progressing very well have an alcohol addiction, they are very open about it and one (George) who came to church this week is even willing to talk about it in front of his mother. They really really want to change, but addictions are traps. We were able to do the 12 steps to addiction recovery and we're hoping and praying that they will be ready for the 24th baptism!!! Our gift back to the Savior. 
3. The Godrich family.... finally ACTIVATED:) they are so powerful now and even after our lesson with them on Wednesday they asked, "so who are you teaching now? CAn we come with you?" Love it soooo much. 
4. Paul Mwale finished the Book of Mormon!!! 
5. Paul Mbewe is already on Jacob!! preparing for baptism on the 11th!! 
6. Mpatso and Willard were confirmed members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:) 

1. Paul... there isn't a day that goes by without him making us laugh. This week we showed him the Restoration video and he started quoting the first vision and he turns to us and was like, "you're supposed to have this memorized" sometimes i feel like he is my mission president or something. then after he told us... "I was really hoping to learn 2 GB of information today but I only learned a half GB" This kid kills me. 
2. "Sister Thueson .... you're so tall. ARe you trying to be like the Tower of BAbel and reach heaven?" -Stanley Phiri That's a new one. 
3. We texted our Recent convert Rose to see if there were gulle wa kullu where she stayed because we had seen some in our area and she replies "don't worry about gulle was kullus... let's go preach the gospel" She is definitely one of my favorites and she always signs her text, "from sister rose and sister doreen" doreen being her 1 year old daughter. 
4. Mangos now make me sick... I guess that's what happens when you eat like 3 a day. hahaha
5. Not sure if this is funny or a miracle but my companion got a nice laugh out of it. We are teaching another neighbor to Bro. Mfune and Mpatso. His name is Epna and when we followed up on his prayers if Joseph Smith was a true prophet he said, "YES. AFter you left last time I prayed, and then I just fell asleep and I woke up a couple hours later!! God answered me!!" Okay if that's how God answers you then that's great:) 

Anywho love this gospel and love doing the Lord's work! As I said before it brings SO MUCH JOY. let's light the world with love and service:) 

Ndimakukondani kwam biri
Sister Thueson

Monday, November 21, 2016

"It's Better to Hear 'Well done' than to Hear 'Well Said" - Paul

Our recent convert Paul told us this during our lesson this week, and it's something that really touched me. It's more important what we are doing than what we say. Our acts speak louder than words. And this week we got told that a lot, mainly by the members of the branch which really always gets me more motivated when the branch is excited about the missionary work going on. My favorite though was when a members landlord who is a Jehovah's Witness came up to us and was like, "You two are doing amazing!!! I heard you had another baptism today! You are doing such a great job.. how do you do it?" and the only answer we had was that Heavenly Father is doing everything!! I wish I could say that the success we were having was coming from us, but it isn't. God is just aware of the area and knows that it is ready to grow! 

Wowie this week was amazing as usual!!!! 

1. Paul was confirmed! He was sooo happy, and told me after he recieved the Holy Ghost, "I just feel so inspired!" and like ran with so much energy out of the chapel. He is also in the Book of Alma and loves the story of the Sons of Mosiah. We stressed him out pangono talking about callings, and he told us he just wants to review everything that he has learned so far. 
2. HOpe.... HOpe is a less-active YSA. She had hardened her heart for some time because she was offended by some things, so she wouldn't let us teach her for some time, but last week we had fall throughs so we felt prompted to go visit her (Well. let's be honest I never recognize it as a prompting until after the miracle happens) And she let us teach her, and opened up to us, and then this week she came to church and everyone was so happy to see her. It reminded me of the talk by Dallin H Oaks where he said that we teach people when they're ready to be taught, not when we're ready to teach them. God prepares peoples hearts when THEY are ready, and many times we just have to be patient. Continue to pray that she'll continue to come! 
3. The Abdul family. Wow I just absolutely love them... and they passed their baptismal interviews yesterday!! They'll hopefully be baptized this Sunday... turns out they're not legally married yet because it's not their culture, but they were so willing to be married so they can get baptized!! Definitely very wise of them as Elder Ellis defines it! The district president agreed to marry them this Saturday, so let's all pray that all goes well and that they can get the witnesses!!! All of their children came with them to church on Sunday! They are under 8 so wahooo future children of records!! 
4. Paul Mbewe... referall from Brother Abdul (the person above) they are both night guards for the church meetinghouse. Paul completely accepts all that we are teaching him, and his wife that he had only been married to for 2 weeks even left him because he wanted to join the church, but he still had an optimistic attitude.( I don't think he loved her that much anyways..) It reminded me of Nelsons talk of having joy no matter what!! His focus truly is on Jesus Christ. 
5. Brother Mfune (a recenct convert baptized in October) introduced us to his neighbor Mptaso, and this week Mpatso got baptized!!!! Bro Mfune was the one to baptize him and he kept saying, "Sunday is our Big DAy!!!!" He was so excited to baptize him. After both lessons with Mpatso this week, he went and bought all of us maize!! So sweet. 
6. Brother Winson... YIKES. He is an elder at CCAP church, and pretty much called us the Anti-Christ. hahahaha I just ended up laughing about it, wish I could say it was the first time on my mission. 
7. JOhn!! John is amazing.. still struggling with Word of Wisdom and Law of Chastity, but all night Saturday night he took us around to 4 different referrals!!! YOu can always tell how converted someone is by their desire to share the gospel. 
8. So my companion and I got all dressed up for Claire's wedding and we were the best bridesmaids, and even that night as we were at our last appointment these little kids were pretending to have a wedding! It was so funny!! 
9. Walked into the chapel on Saturday to find all of our recent converts the youth cleaning/scrubbing the chapel... so humbling to see them walk all the way to church for seminary and for cleaning the chapel.. many times I find myself asking... did I do that as a youth? and most the time the asnwer is no. 
10. Mpatso and Willard were BAPTIZED!!! and Mpatso brought like 3 friends... and Brother Mfune comes up to me and was like, "THIS IS A MIRACLE!!" of course he is excited as usual!!! He had to baptized Mpatso like 4 times because he kept saying it wrong or mpatso wouldn't go all the way under, but after many attempts the ordinance was complete:) I love the order of God, that ordinances need to be done the correct way, I feel like many people in this life don't understand that concept, but God is a God of order and things need to be done under his laws and conditions. When Willard bore his testimony he compared himself to the Israelites because he went through many struggles to finally be "delivered" or baptized. and after Bro Mfune told us that Mpatso was "walking on air" because he was so happy. Haha love these people SO MUCH. 

Well as this week is Thanksgiving, I am so incredibly grateful for so many things in my life. Grateful for: (here is a random list)
Jesus Christ
The book of Mormon
Rainy Season
My companion
mosquito nets
My family
tender mercies
funny investigators

an so so so much more!! 

ndimakukonda kwam biri

Sister Thueson

Monday, November 14, 2016

Happy Hikers .... Not Really!

Lots happened this week, but I forgot my journal so looks like you'll just have to get the highlights!! 

1. FHE with the Nzemas which turned into a push up, headstand, and back bend competition between me and a 8 year old boy. 
2. John... John is doing really good. He finally opened up to us and told us that he is still drinking 10 bottles of alcohol every day. He feels like he has no hope to give it up which is really sad, but we were able to watch the beginning of "12 steps to addiction recovery" with him, and you could see that hope entered into his life that one day he will be able to overcome it. He lives next to 2 prospective missionaries who have been there helping and supporting him so i'm grateful for them!! He came to church this week, and we're hoping that he'll be able to be baptized in December once he overcomes this. 
3. SERVICE. Didn't take any pictures but us with the elders built a bathroom!!! I'll take a picture with what we built this week so you can see it.... who knew that I was a brick layer??? Amazing the skills we learn. All you need is dirt and water and you can make a house!! It took like 3 hours and we didn't finish, but worth it! 
4. Paul... a miracle in itself. He was BAPTIZED this week. and he was sooo happy. He kept texting us through out the week telling us of what he was repenting of, and kept saying, "just making sure i'll be ready for my special day... I never thought at the beginning of this year that I would be getting baptized.. but here I am and I know it's right. Probably my favorite moment with Paul this week was after he had studied Preach My Gospel. He asked us, "do you really follow this schedule?" and we said yes, and he was like, "that is amazing... but then why are you always late to come teach me?" FIRE. and then he was like, "now i know why you only teach me for 30-45 minutes because that's what your supposed to do" You know.. .kinda embarassing when your investigator knows your approaches of missionary work haha. But his baptism was splendid!!! We actrually had to combine 3 branches because there was no water at the other branches so they all came to our baptismal service and 3 others were baptized with him!! you should have seen him after he came out of the water.. he did a nice fist pump and was smiling from ear to ear!!! I've never seen any of my investigators so happy at their baptism.. then during his testimony after he said how "i have felt a load of bricks lifted off my shoulders" and I know it's because he TRULY REPENTED before his baptism. 
5. Less-actives... so many good things!! The Mitapelas, the Godrich, B. Chipapala, and HOpe came to church. If you knew these people you would be crying tears of joy like I almost did!! I don't know how it happened, but I know Heavenly Father softened their hearts... He needs the Kalambo branch to be strong so he is providing the way. Almost the whole meeting house was filled and that was the first time in a long time that it has been that way!!! 
6. Got a flu shot! 
7. Willard... WOW. okay soooooo throw back to Willard. he was supposed to be baptized a month ago, but got married to an 18 year old but not legally married so then we couldn't baptize him... but she ended up cheating on him this past week (really sad.. he was really embarassed but he told us, "you told me to be happy in every circumstance so I can still be happy") but now they are separated and he'll be baptized this week!!! 
8. Mpatso was interviewed and will also be baptized on Sunday!!! 
9. Went hiking this morning... hahahahah funniest experience of my life. I dragged this sisters to come with me and they hated me the whole way up and i was just smiling because I had missed hiking soooo much. But we had a nice tour guide named Maxwelll... and I guess people pray at the top of the mountain so they have made these little houses to sleep there to pray all night. It's like everyone wants to be like Moses or something. 

That's about it for this week... My testimony is strengthened everyday at how much the Lord is aware of me personally and aware of my investigators. We couldn't do this work without him. 

Sister Twoson