Monday, July 20, 2015

I miss you but I LOVE Malawi!

Hellllllooooo Familia!!! How are you guys doing?? I'm so sorry to hear about Grandma Egg:( But hey she'll be happier in the spirit world I think. it's all about the eternal perspective babbbbyyy.

I'm currently in a threesome with Sister Browning and Sister Solomone... we have to cover both of our areas, so chilimoni and mandala. and it's impossible haha, we seriously can't see everyone we need and so we have to leave some people out:( it's really sad... and i'm really hoping that soon we can just focus on our area!! Transfers are in 2 weeks so this shouldn't last too much longer!

Alright here we go, you know the drill. funnnn facts:
1. Malawians LOVE gospel music... seriously that's all they listen to. or hard core rap. and someone was listening to Ed Sheeran on the bus and I could hear it through his headphones... tender mercy baby
2. They think Americans talk like Chinese people because we talk so fast so when they see us they go "jing jong ting mong ming" yeah.... who even knows
3. So... this is weird and maybe confusing so just try to follow. So in Malawi... Mae and Brighton or Mae and Boston are considered to be brothers and sisters... but Sam's kids and Kari's kids would be considered cousins. It's weird and I don't get it.

Okay into my week....
Wednesday: so since we have to split up our time, there is no messing around. We crammed all we could into  Wednesday!! We taught 6 lessons! We met with a referral that we got, and their names are Alex and Edwin and they are just great guys. They both have friends that are members! They were really intrigued with the Book of Mormon... which most people are. I looovve introducing the Book of Mormon because the people down here love the "word of god" and so either they refuse to believe the Book of Mormon or they LOVE it. it's great.
FUNNY STORIES: 1. Someone thought Sister Solomone was old enough to be a mom... like 27 haha yikes. most people don't believe that i'm only 19 because of how tall I am... oh well. 2. got my first marriage proposal baby. and man was he persistent. we finally just had to walk away... eish. 3. some random guy asked to take a picture of us... ew. like why does he need a picture of us... and he kept following us, so we grabbed a random guy to be in the picture with us.

Thursday: FIRST BUCKET SHOWER. fun stuff guys... you should try it. Then we went to Nkolakosa and met with one of my very favorite investigators. His name is Frasier and he is 72 and he is the epitome of Con Thueson hahahaha i'm sorry dad. But I think that's the reason Frasier and I get along so well. He loves to talk about educational stuff, and ask me if we have even taught him an official lesson yet?? we haven't. we just always talk to him and try to teach a lesson but then he just talks and talk and talks about random church things that he learned before. We gotta buckle down with him next time. He loves to read and keeps asking me to bring him a Liahona (Ensign) But I tried to get up and leave after we ended the lesson... but no he sat me down and taught me about my president Barack Obama... come on people tell me this guy doesn't remind you of Con Thueson?? I'll get a
picture with him next time I see him!! He is just an intelligent happy guy who just loves his grandchildren.... CON THUESON.

Friday: We got water back... wahoooo! We spent the day in Sister Browning's area, and a sweet member made us toast and hot chocolate. Seriously the people here are way too nice to us, they always give us the nicest seats in the house and always offer food. Really Malawians are the best people on earth.
FUNNY STORY: so we met with a recent convert named Kenneth and he is the best. He told us that he is convinced that God just has a giant computer with all of our names and what our future is, and that's how he keeps track of us. I liked it... so i just went with it haha. oh and I contacted 3 people in a vodka shop not even realizing what was surrounding me until we got out and my companions couldn't stop laughing. oh well... they deserve to hear the gospel as well!!

Saturday: so you know how I have complained how much trash is in Blantyre? welll.... Mormon helping hands went around picking up trash and we're doing it every Saturday for the next month. and then just to give you another example of "african time" we were all supposed to meet and start the service at 8... what time did we actually start?
9:30.... gotta love it. Then we focused the rest of this day to meeting with less-actives!! They were all pretty young.. about my age and one wants to go on a mission! his name is Martin!!

Sunday: Tenson came to church!!! Such a good guy... we are hoping to meet his wife and four kids this week. But he really liked church! We had to go to both sacrament meetings cause 2 areas = 2 branches. Then we went to my favorite area!! Mt. Pleasant!! We met with William and FUNNY STORY: I was teaching him the Restoration okay? and i was just at the climax... joseph Smith was literally about to see Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in person... and bam, Williams little niece Damanda walked by and I got distracted and starting talking to the 3 year old. I have a serious issue with my love of children. My companions just started laughing... I probably ruined the spirit... but the little kids here just seriously pull at my heart strings. I'm sending pictures and you'll see. Then one of our appointments in that area bailed so we played with the little kids for about a half hour, and they were OBSESSED with my camera... they kept taking it from me and wanted to take pictures of everything. Instead of telling them to say "cheese" for pictures we would tell them to say "nsima" and they would just keep chanting it hahahaha. I got a video and I'll try to add it to dropbox but dropbox is struggling right now.

that was my week in a nutshell people. I seriously wish you could all just be down here with me... but you're all doing your own good things all over the world!!!

This week I started studying conference talks from April and people... you should all read "The Comforter" by Henry B. Eyring! He gave the talk in the women's conference and it is so good. He talks about how the reason why we feel the need to help those in need is because it is part of our baptismal covenant... it is now part of us. and when we got the gift of the HOly ghost we recieved power to help strengthen those who stand in need of comfort. Seriously now that I teach people about a baptismal covenant... i've looked at it in a whole new perspective! I've discovered a lot of my weaknesses this week.... I'm really bad at allowing silence in lessons. but silence can be powerful, and it gets the investigator thinking and allows them to open up more. So it's something that i've really been working on. I also really doubt myself when it comes to investigators asking difficult question... but I need to realize that I just need to teach the basics and I don't need to know everything!

nima ku konda!!!

Sister Thueson

Monday, July 13, 2015

Plan for the Unplanned

Helllllooo familia!! Wow I wish I could say this week went perfectly, or how my planner said it was gonna go.... but definitely not:) It was Tuesday when my companion told me "you always gotta plan for the unplanned" and little did she know that that would be the theme for the week! You might wanna read until the end of the email:)

okay but first let's look at some fun facts for the week:
1. Sugar cane is impossible to eat... haha you have to peel back the skin with your teeth and it is nearly impossible!!! No wonder africans have such bad teeth haha.
2. Malawians do this handshake that is really 3 handshakes... I wish I could explain it better but it's impossible.
3. I have a new quote for life, "all you need to know in life... you learn in primary... and then you re-learn it on mission" just let that sink in a little.
4.  So Malawians switch their "r" and "l" all the time... you never know if they're saying pray or play. so that makes it fun... for example. We have been teaching this guy named Harry.... ask me how long I called him Holly before I realized... 3 lessons. yep. and to this day I write his name as Holly in my planner.
5. Every night the sisters in my flat have "toast time" at 8:30 and we sing a song about toast... if you wanna join us, feel free to sing the song every night at that time.
6. white washing is still fun
7. I saw a lady on a street and started talking to her... I asked her how old her baby was on her back and she said he had been born yesterday... YESTERDAY PEOPLE and she was walking through Blantyre market... man these women are powerful.

Okay into my week.... BE EXCITED:)

Tuesday: guess who gotta do the role play in district meeting?? the greenie. yeppppppp, oh but on this day we met with a guy who had been taught all the lessons before but then the missionaries got transferred and he got forgotten about or something! Crazy... he knows everything, he was pretty much teaching the lesson for us! he is about 60 and a super nice guy... his name is Frasier and he is on date for aug. 9th... but he didn't come to church:(

Wednedsay: wahoooooooo let's just say my journal entry on this day was 8 pages. Okay so first... this guy came up to me on the street and told me that ever since he was little that he always wanted a friend who wasn't from Malawi... (what an interesting dream) but of course I said i would be his friend... (mistake) he then followed us for about 20 minutes as we walked to our area asking me over and over again if I would take him to America with me. Or if I would let him stay at my house in America... or if i would pay for him to go to america... or if when I got back to america if I would stay in contact with him... seriously the list could go on and on. I was getting so frustrated because every time I tried to mention the gospel somehow America got brought up. oh and this is a normal thing... I get asked on the daily if i'll take people to america with me... but this case was very extreme. okay...  we were able to go out and teach one lesson... and it was actually pretty cool because we had taught him last week (this is harry who I call holly) and he was so rude, swearing up a storm, and told us that we only had pride in our church and not in god and our church only wanted money... and then he miraculously came to church last week... and then we saw him this week and he was a totally different person and way more accepting what we
had to say. I love mini miracles.

Friday: FUNNY STORIES SO READ HERE!! We got to go out and teach all day while the STL's stayed inside!! We went to my favorite area... Naperi!! We have some serious potentials there! we first went to visit a member... Sister Banda! Great lady with a really great testimony, and a cool conversion story. but she told me that the Malawian sun
wasn't treating me well because I had little rashes all over my face... (as she is pointing to my acne) thank you Sister Banda for reminding me of my acne... not a rash. and then she compared the gospel to nsima.... both necessary in the lives of the people of Malawi.. hahahaha i love this country. Then we were teaching Chedson... and first I asked him if he had prayed to God and asked if the things we are teaching are true, and he said he did and that he got a warm feeling... so then i was so happy and was like "yes!! That is your answer" we then went on to teach him about repentance and the commandments and he asked if smoking/drinking was a sin... so that led
us to the word of wisdom. He drinks tea, coffee, alcohol, and he smokes. so all 4 of the things against the word of wisdom... so then i started thinking how we have a lot to work with... but THEN we asked if he had any concerns and he went on to say that he doesn't believe there is a God. and that he just lied to me about the warm feeling
because he feared me. WHAT??? my companion said my face was priceless. yep... devastation. He then went on to explain that he had prayed and prayed for 50 million kwacha but he hadn't gotten it and so obviously there is no God...  so we tried to explain that God will only give us what is good for us. but I told him to just pray and ask if God loves him... and he told me that everyone loves him because no one would hate him. oh boy. then in the closing prayer he asked for 50 million kwacha to be placed by his washer... eish. yikes. We got a lot of work a head of us hahahahahah but he came to church on sunday so that's something. Oh and I forgot to tell you that last week when we were teaching him... I asked him if he knew what a covenant was and he said "oh when someone is attracted to the same sex?" yeah I have no idea where he got that one. Let's just say that every time we teach him is an adventure.

This week had it's serious ups and downs that's for sure!! Can't wait to see what this next week brings!

Spiritual stuff: Well I found a new favorite scripture: It's in 1 Thessalonians 2:8.
" 8 So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us."

I've really been working on charity this week, because the more you love someone, the more you desire salvation for them. And I think this scripture describes that perfectly!! oh and I was thinking about how even though I talk to like 40 people a day and maybe on 5 listen... it's really important to just plant the seed in their hearts. even if we don't mention that we are missionaries... they'll see the name of our church on our tag and it will make a difference.. it could be the tiniest difference.. but years down the road hey... you never know what might happen.

I promise to take more pictures this week!!

nima ku konda
Sister Thueson

Monday, July 6, 2015

Happy Malawian Independence Day! July 6

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:


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 eleven thirty?" 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. 
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:) 

Tuesday: District Meeting!!! My district is hilarious... seriously we just laughed the whole meeting. and my District Leader went to Viewmont! How crazy is that?? Maddie he knows you! Elder Lemperle!! cool stuff. Then we met with Elder and Sister Beal on how we can strenghten our branch!!! We're gonna focus on getting good relationships with the members and then getting referrals from them!! Then I told you about Alfred correct?? our golden investigator. Well we had a lesson with him, and we gave him a tour of our chapel. (oh by the way we have such a pretty chapel! I'll attach a picture!) and then we taught him the restorartion and GUESS WHAT?? I COMMITTED HIM TO BAPTISM FOR JULY 26TH YEAH BABY. I was so nervous.... I don't know why? seriously it's not too hard to ask "will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized  by someone holding the priesthood authority of God?" but yeah... I was nervous. but he willingly said yes... he didn't even pause. BDE. 

Wednesday: We went to part of area that we hadn't gone to before! It's called Nkolakosa!! We met with a less active named Charles who is a profession futbol player... did i mention that last week? we just read the book of mormon with him and he came to church this week!!!!! That night I was taking a shower and we lost water in the middle of my shower... WELCOME TO MALAWI BABY. 
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. 

Thursday: I ate REAL NSIMA today at a members house for lunch. Yeah... interesting experience. turns out you don't use utensils in Africa. YOu just eat with your hands. I did not realize this and just waited for utensils until my companion realized I didn't understand haha... so then she hinted to me. But it wasn't awful... I just really wonder who thought of these lumps of maize. 

Friday: This day we met with a less-active!! She made us wait an hour.... African time i'm telling you. no one is on time for anything. But they put on this ABC TV show called "trophy wife" for us... hmmmm i kept getting tempted to watch it. haha so then I started singing hymns and my companion could not stop laughing at me. 

Saturday: Happy 4th of July!!! We all wore Red, White and Blue today! Even my fijian companion because she is really half american. her mom is from Hawaii... but she denies it hahaha. but I forced her to participate. 

Sunday: (fast sunday) so my companion has quickly learned that the Thueson gilrs get HANGRY. yepp... she knows that I always need food. always. and so I had warned her about fast sunday for a long long time. haha but I didn't get too hangry... I prayed that I would be happy, and it worked wahooo. oh and they translate everything from English into Chichewa at church... So really the talks and lessons only have to be half as long... money. oh and WE HAD 3 INVESTIGATORS COME TO CHURCH CAN I GET A WOOT WOOT??? but then we quickly learned that our investigator Alfred.. (golden) was in the Elders area.. and so Sunday was our last time teaching him and I seriously almost cried in our lesson. We just read the scriptures with him and taught him the Atonement. Mpamvu (powerful) The Elders better take good care of him or i'm taking him back. We taught a referral named Ruskanda.. she is a muslim! but she was really interested and she said her sister had been taught once before too!!! holla. Her little boy is so cute and he just followed us around after we taught him carrying the Restoration pamphlet. He is 10 and he said the closing prayer for us. His name is Zachieff (i think) FUNNY STORY: So she didn't know how to pray and so in the pamphlet it teaches you how and so she was reading it out loud for us and it says, "close in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen" and then I said Amen out of habit and the two of us seriously could not stop laughing. She was dying. I probably ruined the spirit but she thought it was funny so it was worth it! 
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! 

Monday: today we did service.... and man was it a good time. We moved bricks in an assembly line for 2 hours as a zone. party. my hands got pretty cut up but it's good!! 

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. 

Sister Thueson