Monday, November 30, 2015

GRATEFUL to be a missionary

Maswera Bwanji Banja Langa? Well this week was good.. I'll say that ever week I think though. First off.. Happy Birthday Sam and Jeff this past week. Hope you had a wonderful wonderful birthday. oh and Happy birthday to the best roomie... SJ BEAR.

Ponderizing scripture of the week: "verily verily I say unto you, if you desire a further witness, cast your mind upon teh night that you cried untio me in your heart, that you might know concerning the truth of these things. Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God?" D&C 6:22-23

I picked this one because lately Sister Solomone and I have really been focusing on getting people to PRAY and to RECOGNIZE answers to their prayers. When we ask people if they have ever had their prayers answered... they always tell us that "of course.. one time I was sick and then I got better, or I did good on a test, or we found food when we didn't have money." many people don't realize that God can answer prayers of knowledge. And that's why i'm grateful for JAMES 1:5 because it talks about lacking WISDOM, and then asking God. and so prayer is something we are really emphasizing. 

I know you don't care about this, but I'm trying to improve my teaching skills, and these are the things i'm working: 
1. asking more questions. I need to talk less and have investigators talk more. 
2. powerful and direct baptisms invitations. 
3. Always read the BOM intro with investigators when introducing it. 
4. Teach them HOW TO PRAY and most importanly how to recieve answers throught the Holy Ghost. 
5. APPLy what i'm teaching to their lives.. "how can the gospel help their situation?"
6. Always state our purpose... We're not there to have bible discussions but to help people make covenants with Heavenly Father. 
7. Give BOM chapters as commitments as often as possible! 

none of our investigators came to church... which is the first time in a looooooooongggg time... so that was kinda frustrating. but the rains came down,and the floods came up, and I think that affected it. well i'm just telling myself that haha:) 

okay now that I bored you to death I will get into our week. 

Tenson: Tenson was confirmed yesterday!!! Which is great and he seemed very happy... we went and taught his family lesson one this past week, and only one daughter and his wife sat in on the lesson... which they have always done but we tried focusing on them. WE taught them the restoration and we're not sure if the wife understood because she doesn't speak english but she can hear it? yeah but we tried committing her to pray and hahahaha she would not give us an answer. We asked her maybe 5 times if she would pray about what we taught and she would just look at us, and we even asked it in chichewa so we knew that she understood. soooo that's fun. 

Kabutu Banja: sooooo this is kinda a sad story. So this is the most wonderful family in the world... they were a referral and the 8 year old daughter comes to church almost every single sunday, and so we started teachign them. They live next to one of our recent converts.. but they stay in the guard house (rich people down here have gates, to gate their house in and they have guards...and normally there is a small house in the back for them to stay) but no one has been living in the main house... the owner has been waiting for someone to come and rent. (the owner is an azungu) anywho... so someone finally is renting the house, and we were there on Thursday and we were about to start our lesson (we teach them in the backyard on the porch) and the owner (a old white man) walked to the back and asked us what church we were from... Me, being super excited because I thought he was interested, told him "The church of jesus Christ of latter-day saints" and he just said... "you're not wanted on this property... you should leave." uhhh okay. so we just got up, said bye to the kids and left. And now I guess the owner doesn't want the family as the guard because there are too many kids... so sad. now they have no where to live:( 

but any who... the take home of the story is: of course the first time that I get kicked off of someone's property is by an old white man... haha. 

Lamilton: haha he is this 24 year old guy who is in medical school down here... REALLY smart guy. He is SDA and knows his Bible better than the back of his hand. Like i'm pretty sure he can quote the whole thing... we have taught him maybe 3 lessons and ask if we have even taught him anything. The whole lesson he just sits and quotes bible verses to us. The thing is... is he will come to church, and so we feel like we need to keep teaching him. and he hears stuff in gospel principles that he doesnt agree with and then we have to hear about it in lessons... like salvation (aka everyone being ressurected) But last night we taught him and he quoted bible verses for about 30 minutes until he said (so where do the people go who aren't free from sin, and don't have faith in jesus christ) and i just totally jumped in and wouldn't let him talk haha and whipped out my plan of salvation pamphlet and tried to explain the 3 degrees of glory. he didn't agree with it... but i tried my best. he's an interesting one.

Thanksgiving: ahhhh Elder and Sister Beal are the BEST. Well first of all we were teaching our recent convert Naledi right before Thanksgiving dinner... and all of a sudden she decides to feed us... and we can't say no to food. Especially becuase no one even knows what thanksgiving is so we couldn't explain it haha. So we ate dinner at her house, and then we went to thanksgiving dinner and had the BEST food. Sister Beal made mashed potatoes just for me, and stovetop stuffing, and pumpkin pie (her kids came to visit her a couple months ago and brought the ingredients... trust me they don't sell these things down here) and the best part of the night was the 2 African sisters didn't like pumpkin pie and so they gave their pieces to me and sister solomone:)

Electricty: so electicty goes out every day pretty much... and we found out that there is a set schedule of when it goes off and on.. but it changes every day. but the reason why is there isn't enough water in the dams to generate electricty... so the rainy season needs to come soon because cereal for dinner is getting a little old haha. 

Well we are on week 6 of the transfer... Transfer news come this week and rumors are spreading that Sister Thueson is headed to Lusaka.... stay tuned. 
also... everyone go look up "Safety for the Soul" by Holland... but you have to watch the video. I watch it maybe once a week and almost have it memorized haha.. it's the best. 


LOVE YOU ALL, LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. so grateful for every experience that i'm having down here.

Monday, November 23, 2015


heeey my friends it's sooo hot. like I could go into graphic detail about how sweaty I get while we are proselyting.. but i'll save you from that picture. But it's all good:) 

TENSON WAS BAPTIZED YESTERDAY!!! It was wonderful, he was very very happy. and his daughter even came to the baptism which is exciting, we have taught her a couple lessons, but the goal is to teach the whole family now! We have tried in the past... but we think now that he is baptized they may be more willing. 

Ponderizing scripture: "If any man will DO his will, he shall KNOW of the doctrine, whether it be of God or whether I speak of myself." John 7:17

funny stories: 
1. We were teaching Frasier with the Beals as usual, and right after I said the opening prayer frasier was like "Breaking News.... these 2 azungus from Baltimore moved in just across the street." and they he took us there to go meet them hahahah. It's like a reallly big deal when white people live in Malawi. 
2. I was walking and I ran into a car that wasn't even moving. it hard really bad. i'm a klutz. 
3. I was talking with a RM in our area Mike... and he is trying to apply to go to BYU and of course I'm trying to get him to come because it would be a party to have a friend from Malawi there, but he told me that he is going to win the ladies there through his chess skills. hahahaha I died. If he goes to BYU we're gonna have some long chats on how to win the ladies.

Yamikani: HE IS BACK AND BETTER THAN EVER. he has read his Liahona diligently. and underlined everything, and we taught him chastity last and he found an old conference talk about chastity and man he just is a firm believer in it. It's great haha. He was at church and he will be baptized on the 13th! 
Junior: He came to church!!! wahooo if he keeps this up he'll be ready to be baptized on the 13th as well! 
Willard: Same thing as Junior... we taught him Word of Wisdom last and he has been going around to everyone at his school telling them that they are sinning if they drink tea haha gotta love it. 

Recent Converts: 
Khumbo: sooooo we had a major heart to heart with Khumbo. He has recently started going to school and he has been putting school before reading his scriptures (I felt like such a hyprocrite teaching him the importance of putting scripture study before school work because let's be honest... did I do that? no....) but any who, and he has been late for church the past 3 weeks so he hasn't been able to partake of the sacrament. He told us how he hasn't felt the spirit in his life lately and he seemed really down on himself. He is trying to prepare to go on a mission but he has this idea in his head that you have to be perfect before you go on a mission, and have a perfect understanding of the scriputres (which looking at me we all know is not true) and so we just let him talk it out, and we just explained that we would be here to help him and that he needs to read his scritpures no matter what and partake of the sacrament and that life would be better... since then he has seemed much happier. \

Mandela: He got the Aaronic Priesthood yesterday and will pass the sacrament next week:) we have been trying to help him memorize the sacrament prayers and ahhh he tries so hard, i'm excited to hear him bless the sacrament. 

Less Actives: 
Bridget has come to church 2 weeks in a row! Miracle! 

Pretty much life is just wonderful. We had 6 investigators at church yesterday, and they all seem to be progressing towards baptism

Random Thought: Something i've been thinking about is how much these people i'm teaching can consume my thoughts. It's almost impossible to be homesick when you have so many people down here in Blantyre to worry about haha... Family I love you kwam biri, but these amazing people are who are on my mind almost all the time. I never thought that would be possible... but it is. 

Sister Thuey

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


November 16, 2015
 Sister Dlamini our wonderful STL who leaves in a few weeks :(
Matching dresses....ADORABLE

I hit the big 5 months mark this week... next month is 6 and aish that is crazy... that means 1/3rd and ahh i'm not ready for that. no no no. People always ask me how much longer and I always say 15 months... I keep forgetting that nah it's only 13 months left. 

PONDERIZING VERSE FOR THE WEEK: JACOB 1:7... laboring diligently:) 

Okay funny stories: 
This is how you wash dishes my friend.
You take some dirt and soap and scrub
until the charcoal comes off.
1. We had zone meeting and I get a call from our zone leaders in the morning asking me to conduct the music... now normally this isn't a problem, but we don't have pianos really down here so the person conducting the music has to give the tune and sing the first line, and normally I make my companion do it, but Sister Solomone made me face my fear and sing... in front of the whole zone. and it went awful.... i'm never doing it again hahaha. 

2. So we are teaching this YSA Willard... and it's interesting. But we can't teach him without a women and normally he brings his friend from school. And so we teach him and her together... but she was too busy this week and so we weren't able to teach him and he got super super frustrated... and he had met Sister Frimpong (one of our STL's) earlier in the week and he told us "just bring that African Sister and it will be okay..." because he thinks that we need an African women because neither of us are African... hahaha I don't know if you'll laugh or even understand this but it was funny. 

3. "Lucy in the sky of diamonds" came on while we were driving in the mini bus and I got sooo stoked. 

4. Power ndi callibe. Seriously the power has been such a problem. Almost every day it is out either in the morning or at night. 

Tender Mercies: 
1. Tenson passed his baptismal interview and will be getting baptized on Sunday:) And I've mentioned before how we have tried teaching his family, and how his daughter is interested but his wife wants nothing to do with it. BUT... she told us she would come to his baptism on sunday.... PLEASE PRAY THAT SHE DOES. I think it would really soften her heart to start taking lessons. 
2. KHUMBO DOESN'T BELIEVE GOOGLE. IT'S A MIRACLE. ahhh he told us that he knew it wasn't true and that he won't ever leave the church. 
3. Mike's mother gave us cold mangos on a hot day. ahhh wonderful. it was even on Friday the 13th.
4. 2 different people bought us drinks this week because they could see how hot and sweaty we were hahaha. Africa's heat aint a joke people. 
5. Mandela got interviewed for the priesthood and he'll be recieving the Aaronic priesthood next week:) We're very happy for him and he is VERY VERY EXCITED. 

Exchanges: We got to go on exchanges with the STL's this week!! good stuff... I got to go to Ndirande which means "rob me" in chichewa hahahaha it's the ghetto's but it's a wonderful place to be. I was with Sister Dlamini (her name is super hard to say... i've been here 5 months and can barely say it) But it was cool to be in another area teaching other people besides my own... but i quickly discovered that i'm going to have major separation anxiety when i get transferred haha the whole day I kept stressing about the people in our area, and how the lessons were going... Sister Dlamini probably thought i was crazy. But we had a really great lesson with a less-active... they had never met with her before and her name was Chisomo... and we just did some good ol BRT and talked about how much Heavenly Father loved her and she just started crying... the spirit was realllll strong in that lesson. We just let her cry for a little and ended the lesson while the spirit was strong. She didn't come to church I guess, but I still believe that it touched her. 

Investigators: okay soooo we got a new investigator this week! Irene! She was a referral and she has a 7 year old son, and her and her friend Memory came to church this week. blessings! We are really trying to look for new investigators... many of our previous ones have stopped progressing. sooo we're gonna get some new ones... but no more tracting so we have been really getting buddy buddy with our members for hopes of referrals:) and MIKE PULLED THROUGH... he said he has two girls that are just finishing writing their exams who are interested who we can start teaching this next week. 

Yamikani: has disappeared... seriously we have no idea where he has been and why he hasn't been to church. really nervous and stressed about him. 
Kabutu Family: Didn't come to church this week.... ahhh they're so great, so we're not giving up on them. 
Frasier: didn't come to church this week.... we are going to just give him some space... I think we really scared him, and so we'll just give him space and if he wants to get baptized he can call us.. because he is completely ready... it's now just his turn. 

I think that is about it for this week.... 
I'm happy happy happy:) I love everything about Blantyre... I wish I could explain how much I love these people... even when they disappoint me, don't keep their commitments, or reject what i'm saying ahh I still love them. I know for with a surety that I was sent to the perfect mission for me. It's not a perfect mission, nor is it easy.. but it's exactly what I needed. 

Keep doing the work you are doing where ever you are in the world. Heavenly Father loves you and I love you all:) 


Monday, November 2, 2015

Mission = Roller Coaster

November 2, 2015

With Hospin
With Charity
Hello my family!! So this week had it's ups and it's downs that's for sure!!! 

My ponderizing scripture for the week in ALMA 37:33!! just in case you would like to know:) 

So I'm just gonna start with the disappointment of the week... sorry to be a debbie downer but I need to let you all know. 

1. We went to go teach Frasier on Wednesday to go over the baptismal interview questions because he was supposed to be interviewed yesterday... but then he just drops this bomb on us that he doesn't think he can be baptized without a wife. (he is a 72 year old widower.... and his wife died about 12 years ago) He told us that he'll never get to be married again once he is in the church because he wouldn't be able to find someone that was a member... I seriously was speechless. and I think Elder and Sister Beal could tell that i was just devastated so they came in and tried to save the day. They went on to explain that President Monson is a widower, and Elder Scott never got remarried and how he can be with his wife again and all this good stuff and he said that he would be interviewed, but that he might be leaving for Botswana before the 8th... but then he didn't come to church on Sunday. soooo... we're trying to figure it out and i'll keep you updated. He keeps all of his commitments and already wants to pay tithing soo.... we have no idea what it is. But he seriously is in my thoughts 24/7... so pray for him:) 

2. Sister Thueson is a klutz as we all know and the rains came POURING DOWN on friday and I was not prepared at all. And so we were running in it trying to catch a mini bus and I biffed it HARD. Mud was everywhere and we were on our way to a meeting that we couldn't miss... and then I look down to find my foot bleeding haha hooray. you all remember the scar on my foot??? yep it got re-opened hahahaha THE SCAR WILL NEVER BE HEALED. Seriously it's my new trademark and I think during the resurrection i'm going to ask if I can keep it. 

Okay now into the tender mercies: 

1. Malunga Family: (Fonson/Daniel/Eunice) Okay so this family they live in Kandjeza which is wayyy far from the temple and it is 250 kwacha for transport (50 cents but hey that's a lot) and so they've never been able to make it to church, but we feel like we need to keep teaching them and so we do. So this lesson we decided to focus on the Atonement, and show them the video of the end of Christ's life. But at the beginning we just did our usual followup on the BOM chapter we gave them last time which was Alma 34, and the Father (Fonson) just stopped and was like "The whole time I was reading this, I just kept thinking that you had read my mind... it was exactly what I needed to read. I was so depressed and I read this and it made me feel so much better... especially verses 40 and 41.... how did you know I needed this?" It was a really really cool experience. Because I don't even remember thinking too hard about what chapter to give him last time, and it shows that sometimes we don't realize promptings by the spirit until after we have already followed them. It was a wonderful lesson.
2. Yamikani... So last time I mentioned how Yamikani had a word of wisdome problem. And so we followed up this last week to see how he was doing and he told us that he hasn't taken tea or coffee for the past 2 weeks and that he hasn't had alcohol since the first time he came to church!! ahhhh he is a miracle. He will be getting baptized on the 22nd if he keeps this up:) 
3. The Gopane family: Okay so this family has been a member for a couple years and the wife and the kids don't speak any english but they come to church every week, and the father is a police man so he can't come every week... but they are getting officialy married on saturday and then sealed in February:) But Brother Gopane is a police officer and he bore his testimony yesterday about how he followed the spirit. Background story: So 2 weeks ago 2 police officers were shot by some robbers in our area because they were transporting kwan biri money, and one died and the other is in the hospital. Any who Brother Gopane was supposed to be one of the police officers but early in the morning he had the feeling to tell his boss that he needed to take another shift... how crazy is that?? the spirit works in amazing ways. But they are wonderful and they have asked Sister Solomone and I to be their wedding photographers... hahahhaha I'm learning so many life skills. 

Funny Stories: 
1. Sister Solomone had a snickers in her backpack and while we were teaching a lesson... someone who was just sitting in looked in her bag, grabbed it, and just started eating it... I couldn't hold in my laughter. Who just does that? I love these people. 
2. Sister Solomone and I were doing an ab workout and half way through she said how she could feel it in her back... She had no idea it was supposed to be an ab workout... I just burst out laughing and just ended the workout because I thought it was so funny (given this is at 6:30 in the morning so things are funnier)

and yeah that's my life...  Don't worry looking back on this week I was able to see the tender mercies and get over my frustration and disappointment. Life is full of ups and downs and as Sister Marriot said in conference: "COME WHAT MAY AND LOVE IT" and that's truly how we have to look at life. 

ps. Halloween isn't a thing here so that was lame. 

Cooking Nsima... this picture was definitely posed. I'm still not good at cooking nsima but my investigator wanted my family to think that I can do it haha. 

oh and our Muslim family is doing well... We met with the family this past week but the father wasn't there so we just had a pangono lesson about Faith and invited them to church... but sadly they didn't come:( But we're gonna keep teaching, inviting the spirit, and giving them the Book of Mormon to read!

6 more weeks in Blantyre

October 26, 2015

Hello BANJA LANGA. so yes... transfer news came... and really there was no news to tell. Our zone lost 3 elders yesterday and we are gaining one new greenie and that's about it! Sister Solomone and I are staying together in the beautiful area of Blantyre. HOLLA. 

CONFERENCE WAS AMAZING. Some talks really changed my life and my perspective on life. 
1. Holland's: goodness gracious I couldn't help but just sit there and cry. Seriously, mothers are incredible. MOMMA THUEY I LOVE YOU SO MUCH, you truly do have all the christ-like attributes and have that pure pure pure love of christ for everyone that you meet. and all the other amazing mothers in my life. 
2. Elder Lawrence: changed my life. I never thought about how truly we can find tiny tiny things to improve on, and the Holy Ghost will let us know by just asking. 
3. Elder Durrants: I'm totally jumping onto this "ponderizing" train. Think about it... whenever you're tempted.. just think of the scripture for the week. This week I decided to just randomly open my scriptures and see what happens and I opened to Alma 7:12 and so that is my scripture for the week... and it probably got quoted like 10 times in conference so it was definitely inspired. 
4. Sister Reeves: (from women's conference) she said one line that truly put everything into focus. LIVE THE GOSPEL. LOVE THE LORD. AND BUILD HIS KINGDOM. nothing needs to be expounded there. It's simple. 
personal study: okay sooooo the Book of Alma is crazy amazing. I love love love it. 
Alma 13:27-29
Okay and then I was reading about Amulek and there is a time when the people totally misinterpret what he says and take it completley wrong. Then they take what he said and try to confound him... THIS HAPPENS TO ME ALL THE TIME. So i found a lot of comfort in knowing that it happened to a prophet in the Book of Mormon as well. i'm not the only one... none of us are perfect teachers.  
FUNNY STORIES: so this week we had a family of spiders in our flat. a baby, a mommy, and A HUGE HUGE DADDY. so we kill the mother and baby by throwing packets of pamphlets at them and we were successful... but we all know my aim isn't the greatest.. even when the target is huge and so i completely missed while trying to kill it and it MOVES FAST. and we just took off running and screaming oh boy... I thought i was over my fear of spiders but nope.. I'll send a video it's hilarious. but we finally killed it after many many trys. 
okay so now miracle time: 
Wednesday: Was wonderful. it started out roughhhhh.... we get calls in the morning and all of our appointments up to 3 o'clock were cancelled hahaha yikes. So we went to go check up on some less-actives. We then found one of our less-active's sisters is interested!!!! We will be seeing her on Wednesday!! Then we met Frasier's daughter and she was very nice, but didn't want to hear a lesson... maybe another time! so then we still didn't know what to do so we thought we would go check up on one of our families! The son who is the most interested wasn't home, so we met with the daugther and the father and wow. This was definitely an inspired lesson. We taught the plan of salvation and he asked one of my favorite questions... "how can we truly ever become clean and pure?" and yes I was just able to bear testimony of the Atonement. and it was a special moment because truly everyone down here accepts Jesus Christ as their savior so it's not this huge new thing that they can be forgiven for their sins... but the hard part is explaining to them that they can only fully access the Atonement through baptism. 
Yamikani So friday, we found out that he has a word of wisdom problem so we're going to have to push back his date. But he is still incredible.... He told us how his family thinks of him as the trouble child because he didn't finish college and he lost his job, but he told us that when he starts to apply and live the standards we are teaching him that he will become a new man!! THE ATONEMENT IS REAL. he is so determined to change and i'm so excited to help him get over this addiction! He also invited his mom who lives in the village to come out to his baptism... so sweet. 
Junior: So junior was a referral from our EQ president Mike. and BIG NEWS HE KNOWS THE BOOK OF MORMON IS TRUE. He isn't completely ready to make the decision to be baptized but his eyes seriously lit up when he was talking about the Book of Mormon... we are thinking November 22nd for him. 
Kabutu Family: oh this wonderful family... We had a lesson with them this week and we sat around with all 6 kids and the parents and they all had their plan of salvation pamphlets. The lesson was really good and we were able to get all the kids involved (even though they don't speak english) and we put them on date for December 13th... and then Mavis (the mother) finally spoke up and said (in chichewa) that she loved the message we are teaching but she is frustrated because the service at church is only in English and it will be hard for her to go when she doesn't understand. Which is totally understandable... so we are talking with the Branch president to see if we can get everything translated at church because there are a couple people who are investigating or who are baptized who don't understand english and so everything needs to be translated to chichewa! 
They didn't come to church this week because we had warned them that it would all be in English.... and so it kinda makes sense.. but next week i'm really praying that they will come and that we will be able to get it translated. 
Frasier: oh frasier frasier frasier. my favorite 72 year old man. His interview will be this sunday! And he'll be getting baptized on the 8th! He came to ALL 8 HOURS OF CONFERENCE. and he was taking notes the whole entire time. He's the best. 
Well that's a quick update on my life and on this area!! i'm very excited to stay in Blantyre another 6 weeks... at the end of this transfer it will be 6 months in this area with Sister Solomone.. how wonderful is that?? 
This week I learned the importance of finding joy in the small things. Sometimes we look for these huge miracles on mission, but we need to stop and take notice of the small ones that happen every single hour. 
Love always, 
Sister Mare Bear:)