Monday, December 28, 2015

2015 was good to me

December 28, 2015

Well family... if I could express how wonderful it was to talk to you in an email i would.. but i'ts impossible. that was the fastest and best 1.5 hours ever... even though you all made fun of the way I talk;) haha didn't know my accent had changed too much. While you're away for 6 months you realize what matterse to you most... and that is the gospel and your family! But it only made me trunky for like a day... haha, because it is a good motivation. WE ARE SO LUCKY TO HAVE A FAMILY THAT LOVES EACH OTHER AND LOVES THE GOSPEL. so many people don't have that, so many missionaries don't even have their family emailing them. I am sooo lucky. It motivates me to try to help families down here come together in the gospel. 

okay this week was great. Sam asked for specific names of people to pray for.. and that made me laugh because I give specific names in all my emails but maybe sam just doesn't read my emails;) just kidding i'll tell you exactly what i need you to pray for. 

Alice: She really wants to get baptized, and her best friend is a member in another ward. She has a 7 month year old son and she lives with her aunt. She is on date for the 17th but she is struggling with coming to church. she will come like every other week... so we'll see, but pray for her:) 

Donald and Malala Kabaso: this is the family we are teaching and same thing as alice. CHURCH ATTENDANCE IS A PROBLEM. most because they live really far away from the church and they have a 2 year old son. but they are so great, and wonderful, and they love the message and want to be baptized. He is very busy with work and so he has had to cancel a lot for our appointments lately. 

But we had some amazing miracles this week!! We were flipping through the area book to try to find some old investigators that we could try meeting up with again, and we found Virginia and Precious. They are very interested and they ask wonderful questions... I really think they show some serious potential. 

We had 3 people show up to church who we have never taught before. One is a young man named moses who we are seeing on thrusday.. he has come to church twice. and the first time he came we were the worst missionaries ever and forgot to get his number but HEAVENLY FATHER GAVE US A SECOND CHANCE. and he came again yesterday! another guy that came has come twice as well but he doesn't live in our area. and then the third guy is a guy we met last week who is deaf and so he wants us to teach him in sign language.. haha I can do the church's name and some other gospel things in sign language.. but yeah we'll see what happens with that. 

We also met a referral from elders in FINLAND, who is very interested. We taught him the Plan of Salvation and committed him to baptism. His name is chipulu. We had really been trying to find new investigators this week and heavenly father definitely answered our prayers. 

OH AND another girl named Esther is SO PREPARED. she was a referral from a young women and we taught her the restoration and all of her questions went perfectly with the lesson.. it was crazy. like I started laughing at how prepared she was. 

but after all that we still had no investigators at church.. haha because everyone is away for holiday. 

The Stake president had us over for dinner and MAN IT WAS THE BEST DINNER I'VE HAD IN FOREVER. Rice, chicken, vegetables, bottled water, and dessert. wow. amazing. 

Christmas: So christmas day we went and visited a young couple who the wife is a recent convert. (Ruth and Daniel) then we went over to the Mupeta's home.. where Faith and Natasha (daughters) are members.. we are teaaching Michael the son and the mother Grace... (who is an eternal investigator) but they had us over for lunch and it was special. I cooked some soup (cut up some tomatoes and boiled them.. by the way mom... you're not gonna like this but I cut vegetables in my hand. no ones got time for a cutting board.) but yeah and we had pasta and rice and potatoes. and even Chicken. it was amazing i will include a picture. And then we shared with them a movie and got to skype our families. We had more lessons planned for the day but people kept calling and cancelling.. which makes sense it was christmas! 

but yes! many miracles this week, and it truly is special to spend christmas as a missionary. Definitely keeps you focused on the true meaning of christmas. I'm so grateful that my savior Jesus Christ was born on this year 2000 years ago, and I know he came with a mission, and he was exactly obedient an stayed true to his purpose. I hope we all strive to become more like him this next upcoming year. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Merry Christmas BANJA LANGA

December 21, 2015

hey hey hey. It's Christmas time!!! Except it's really hot/or pouring rain so it doesn't really feel like Christmas or anything.. BUT we get to celebrate the greatest birth in the histroy of the world. Time to celebrate!
We have been focusing on Christmas with our member visits this week and we invite them all to choose one thing to give back to Christ this christmas... whether it's reading your scriptures every day... or forgiving someone... or fufilling your church calling more fully. Christ doesn't expect a wrapped gift from us... but all he wants is for us to become more like him.. so that's my challenge to all of you:)
I'LL BE SKYPING HOME AT 16:30 ZAMBIA TIME = 8:30 AM UTAH TIME. SUPER STOKED.Can't wait to see all your beautiful faces. tell the kids i say sorry if it ruins present opening. 

Okay good good week. I only got lost a couple times this week and we were able to meet with some more people. We're learning the area which means we are teaching more people and more lessons which means we're happier and more productive missionaries:)
Big news first and then on to the people.
Zone Conference/Christmas party:
So friday/saturday was zone conference/a  christmas party for all the Zambian missionaries.. so the copperbelt missionaries drove/bussed down to Lusaka which means I GOT TO SEE SISTER BINGHAM. happy day. and my whole mtc group was together... They've all been serving in Zambia.. but I was off in Malawi so this was the first time we have all be reunited and they have all become such wonderful missionaries. hey so proud of all of them.

Then... THE BIG ANNOUNCEMENT WAS MADE THAT THE NAME OF OUR NEW MISSION PRESIDENT IS PRESIDENT AND SISTER KUPU FROM TONGA. They will arrive July 1st and hey my poly companion is STOKED. haha poly power. It's gonna be a weird adjustment because I love the Ericksons.. but it will be good.
Zone Conference changed my life like always. We focused on repentance and really studied the parable of the prodigal son. ahhh REPENTANCE IS AMAZING. and over the Christmas season.. it was just powerful. We discussed how sometimes as missionaries we help our investigators gain faith... and then we get so excited that we just baptize them without teaching proper repentance... So we're really gonna focus on it now.
then we had a super fun Christmas party where we had dinner and a white elephant exchange and we watched Christmas Carol! cool stuff.. ya know watching a real life movie.
okay back to real life missionary stuff.
"satanist": so every single person in Lusaka thinks of our church as "the satanist church" and that we crucify people... or they think of it as the muzungu (white person) church... and so there is MAJOR OPPOSITION here for many of the members and investigators... it takes a lot of courage for these people here to join the church. 

kabaso family: Wonderful family with 3 kids. They are so sweet, adn they were taught by the elders and malala recieved a priesthood blessing from them and she was healed and so it totally changed their attitude towards their churhc... but now we are just working on getting them to come to church. But we're putting them on date for January 17th.
Grace Mpimpa: SHE IS POWERFUL MAN. she is on date for the 17th as well. But she is facing major opposition from her landlords about investigating the church. but she has read both brigham youngs and john taylors books and she will read anything in teh book of mormon. She is a complete book worm, adn she wants answers to everything haha.. but she is really loving the church and she is finally accepting that she doesn't need the answers to everything.
Sakala Family: we are having FHE with them tonight, and they are less-active but their son is POWERFUL and leaves for his mission next month. But the father came to church on sunday!!!!!!! Emmanual (their son) has really asked us to work hard on activating his family while he is gone... and we're gonna do it:)
I'm really starting to love the people here. They are all wonderful people, and we are recieving referrals and it's just a happy time to be a missionary. 
So much more happened this week but I can't think of anything right now. but hopefully when we skype i'll remember stuff to talk about:)
sign language: so this guy found us in the distribution center today and told us he wants us to learn sign language so we can translate for him at church... and then he wants to be baptized... uhhhh well that is a big task. But I learned some things and we're gonna try it out... I dunno wish us luck!
funny stories:
1. so we were teaching this recent convert Emmanual (stake presidents nephew) and we showed him pictures of our family and he was like "wow... having a big family would be so nice because then when one of you dies it doesn't really make that big of difference... and there will for sure be people at your funeral" hahah whaaattt? Sister Solomone and i were just dying (fact: almost everyone from down here has had a sibling or parent pass away to some disease) 

NO BETTER WAY TO SPEND CHRISTMAS THAN BY TESTIFYING OF CHRIST. I miss my family of course.. but this is my only Christmas as a missionary so I shouldn't spend it by being trunky.
LOVE YOU ALL KWAM BIRI. talk to you soon:)

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Muli Bwanji from Lusaka

December 14, 2015

heeeey my friends

You know you're in Lusaka when....
1. you're emailing in a super nice internet cafe with a diet coke next to you.
2. You speak the native language to the people here and they ask you to speak English instead.
3. There's an indoor shopping MALL
Okay.... this was maybe the craziest week of mission so far... and I HIT 6 MONTHS ON MISSION.
Monday: took a nice 5 hour bus ride up to Lilongwe.. drove through some villages.. cool stuff. Sat next to some SDA missioanries from America who were doing humanitarian stuff.. it was weird to teach to Americans haha... I didn't even know how to approach them. But they were nice. We spent the night in the sister's flat and we had to re-arrange our luggage to be under the weight limit so were up until midnight eish... too late for a missionary. 
Tuesday: woke up at 4 to get to the airport... then while waiting we met this really nice American named JOhn who was flying home for the holidays. Any who.. you ready for this? I go to immigration... hand them my passport to quickly find out that I HAVE BEEN IN MALAWI ILLEGALLY FOR THE PAST 3 MONTHS. they had put the temporary permit stamp in my companions passport.. but not mine. and so the person told me I couldn't go through... We didn't have a phone or anyone's numbers... luckily the nice american let us use his phone and then I found my bus ticket which had the Blantyre Zone Leader's number on it (tender mercy of the Lord) and I called them and Elder Rugumayo told me to just talk it out with them and he would call the Lilongwe ZL's to come. We talk it out and the people just told me to pay 15000 kwacha and they would let me through... to this day we're not sure if that was policy or an "under the table" approach... but it got me on the plane:) 
ZL's pick us up in Lusaka and we go straight to Zone meeting... it's weird to be serving with new missionaries that i've never met before. But it will be a great change. Then I was supposed to drive sister's to the bus station... but Sister Erickson said no to that (thank goodness) because I had to get my driving approved first. So I gotta spend all day driving around Lusaka trying to learn the area with the AP's. fun stuff. We met one member family who is just wonderful!!! The Zulus!!!
Then the brand new sister got here straight from the PROVO MTC and she spent the night in our flat. Sister KiniKini and she is soooo excited. She will be serving in Blantyre and man I got a little jealous... Blantyre is the best and I miss it so much. 
any who sleeping at night is SO HOT. heeey there is no AC or fans and i sleep with a wet towel to keep me from dying haha.. but I got up in the middle of the night and we hadn't yet put our clean water on the filter thing and so I drank from the tap and maaaaan... bad mistake. I got so sick. Zambian water is mavuto. 

Wednesday: we had to drive Sister kinikini around to orientation with President, and to meet her new companion so it was a slow day and we only got to teach a lesson at the end of the day. But we taught a less-active named Jane and her husband (recent convert) named Oscar. we taught them about Faith and Jane said something really cool... she said "we read in the Bible how we can have faith to move mountains... but i think today we use our faith to move past the trials that come our way." I thought it was a really cool comparison. But this day I still felt soooo sick... during planning i was just laying on the bed and would just agree with everything that Sister Solomone would say haha. DON'T DRINK BAD WATER.
Thursday: We got sister kinikini and her companion sister motsi off to the mission home to head to Blantyre Malawi and we finally got to focus in on our area. BTW I was mistaken last week... i'm not actually in Lilanda.. I am in Munali. And my companion and I cover the whole ward. So we have a really big area but it's okay because we have a car now:)
The Area: It's wonderful. We have a wonderful branch mission leader who took us around to many of the people and showed us where they stayed. He leaves for his mission in Februrary to Zimbabwe. Some people that we have met: 
The Zulus: a STRONG family who's daughter just got married on saturday to an RM and they leave tomorrow for the joberg temple <3 
The Mupetas: Faith is a recent convert, and her brother Micheal is 8 and we just started teaching him, and the mother Grace knows the church is true but she can't get herself to leave her church. 
Grace Mpimpa: she is an investigator who is SOLID. we need to put her on date... but she loves learning and she is truly investigating. she has a sincere desire and she asks really good questions. 
Alice: She is an investigator who has a baby and lives with her aunt who has a 3 year old son named Chawa. he reminds me so much of Mae... the second we walked in he took me around and showed me his whole house and all of his toys. He is so cute.
and then we had 3 people confirmed on Sunday: Margaret, Duncan, and Ngila... and they are all very solid Recent Converts. We were able to meet with all of them and they are so great. Love them lots.
Anywho... there is much work to do here, and I'm excited for this time I have to serve in Lusaka. I love the adventure of white washing and getting lost on the way to every. single. appointment. A lot of gas money was used this week.. but i'm repenting for it and will do better this week. We are having a christmas party this week and the missionaries from teh Copperbelt are coming down... which means I get to see SISTER BINGHAM! it's gonna be a wonderful reunion.
I also got to give a quick shout out to my bestie Hermana Fowler for returning with honor this past week... Costa Rica will miss her kwam biri i know it.
anywho... after a long long email. I made it to lusaka... it's so hot here. and i miss blantyre.. but i'm slowly loving Lusaka:) 
Christmas is next week ahhhhh so exciting.
Sista Thuey

Transfer News

December 7, 2015

Faith Tchongwe!

Frasier with his bike that he rides to church 

Charles, a professional futbol player

My mother here in Blantyre.. sister Naledi.. a recent convert

So transfer news came on Friday.... "you and your companion will be transferred to Lusaka" yes. Who knows if this has ever happened before in the history of ever, but Sister Solomone and I are getting transferred to a different country together, and staying companions hahaha. it's wonderful. Then came the other unexpected news... "you will serve as sister training leaders" 

So we're going to Lusaka... white washing (again) and we're serving as STL's... and let's just say I feel very underqualified to be an STL. but it's going to be a great experience and a great learning opportunity! We will be serving in the Lilanda area which was previously an elder's area! 

It's pretty funny because we came to Blantyre... white washed an elder's area (which was a struggling area) and now we are doing it again in Lusaka. Fun stuff my friends!! A greenie and an elder who just finished training will be taking over our area... we left kwam biri sticky notes in our area book about people they need to see and things they need to do haha.  

Travel Plans: We take a 5 hour bus ride from Blantyre to Lilongwe tonight, and spend the night in Lilongwe. Then we will take a plane to Lusaka early in the morning, we get there and go straight to zone meeting haha. Then from there I have to drive to the bus station and pick missionaries up from the Copperbelt. STICK SHIFT WITH LEFT HAND BABY... oh and driving on the left side of the road. PRAY FOR SISTER THUESON. 

Anywho... I'm very sad to be leaving Blantyre. I'm going to miss Soche mountain, and the crazy mini buses, and random people yelling out my name (after 6 months you get to know everyone) I'm forever grateful for the 6 months that i've had in Blantyre, but after praying about it I really feel like it's time for me to leave and to have a change. I'm excited for this new experience! 

Yamikani: Yamikani PASSED HIS INTERVIEW and will be baptized next week!! he is just so great. but I never got a picture with him:( i can't believe I forgot. but I'll have the elders send a picture from his baptism to me and send it to all of you!! Khumbo will be baptizing him, so it will be a great experience for KHumbo to use his new priesthood. 

Tenson: Okay so this is big news... you know Tenson who was confirmed just last week? We had coordination with our Branch President this week (who is newly called and doesn't have counselors yet) and he feels very strongly that Tenson should be his second counselor. PRETTY CRAZY RIGHT? The district presidency hasn't approved it yet... but we'll see what happens. He needs the priesthood first. 

We got 3 new referrals from Mike, and we were able to teach them!! Linda, Lillian, and Mercy. They have some real potential! 

Irene: Irene is home from village, and we were able to teach her!! She is progressing very well... we forgot to put her on a date, so we'll leave that up to the new elders!! 

Other than that the week was mainly filled with saying bye to the people that I love so very much. It was sad saying bye to everyone... but for some reason I can't grasp my head around that i'm leaving. It feels like i'll just be hiking up these mountains my whole mission. many people gave us small gifts to remember them by... but I truly don't think I'll ever forget these people. 

I'll let you know how Lusaka is next week!!! I've heard the language is similar to Chichewa so hopefully it's not too big of an adjustment! 

Anywho.. I love you all, and I love this work. I forgot my journal today so I can't really remember many cool experiences or anything... but they happen everyday:) 

Sista Thueson

reporting for the last time from Blantyre.