Monday, February 29, 2016

Hump Day!!

Hello friends!!!! I hit the big HUMP DAY this week... my companion isn't letting me get sad about it, so that's good! 

This week: 

Kitwe: soooo we had to drive up to kitwe (1 hour) to get our car fixed this past week... and they said it would be done that day... was it? no. it wasn't done until wednesday at noon... so we spent monday, tuesday, and wednesday morning with the senior couple in kitwe. Pretty boring stuff... we went on a walk and checked out a new area that they might be opening up.. but yeah pretty boring first couple days. 

funny story about the car: so the alarm system is overly sensitve...and it is currently rainy season and so every time there is a big thunder (like every day) the alarm starts going off.. it's pretty annoying. We'll be in lessons and i'll have to run out to turn it off.. Last night it went off 5 times. 

Barton: i'll probably be talking about Barton the rest of my time here in Ndola. But we had a GREAT lesson with him on wednesday... so so so good people. So lately we had just been giving him fire for his addiction to tobacco, drugs, and alcohol. and it wasn't working too well.... and so we decided to take a step back an re evaluate. we decided that re-teaching the REstoration would be the best.. and so we did and HE LOVED IT. He told us how he never understood how the church was established when Christ was on earth... he believed that Joseph smith was a prophet but didn't understand what he was restoring and so he said... "I don't know how this happened, but just recently I had been thinking about this and then you come and answer my questions.. i don't believe in coincedences but how did this happen?" THE SPIRIT BARTON. and he was just so happy about it... he told us that he knows it's true and one day when he gets over his addiction he'll be a member. and then he said "Sister thueson... I remember how you told me one time that if Sister Bingham would have never left than I would have never met you... and I just want you to know that when I pray for you right now, it is very sincere and comes from my heart." I don't know how we have some deep connection... but that man is just the best. 

Greg oh greg.... he wants to change sooooooo bad but he just is too busy for church... WHY? every lesson we have is just sooo powerful and he just wants it so bad. Church attendance shouldn't be this hard. 

Chariot/Lydia: a part-member... the family has 14 children... but the 2 girls will be getting baptized on the 26th!!!!! wahooo cutest girls ever. 

Selina: recent convert who is 14... probably the most powerful girl ever... her family recently moved so now she lives far away from the church.. but yesterday she found a way to come and she brought her little brother on her back and bore such a powerful testimony. Also... during our lessons she gives the best prayers... thueson family... if you are ever wondering if someone is praying for you, don't worry a 14 year old girl in Ndola prays for you all the time. <3 

The branch: The branch is improving!! it's getting better... and we are starting to have lessons with members who have callings and teaching them from the red handbook of instruction so they understand their callings!! And we are having a branch missionary activity next week where we teach them how to be missionaries... ROLE PLAYS BO. and we promised to make them cake.... the only way to get people there haha. 

funny story: so you all know that i'm tone deaf right.... like that is an obvious. Well i've finally gotten over my fear of singing in front of people... because a lot of times there aren't pianos in meeting houses... or the pianos don't really work and so we sing acapella and so someone stands in teh front and gives the tune... PEOPLE YESTERDAY IN SACRAMENT MEETING I WAS CHOSEN. YIKES YIKES YIKES. totally starting singing the wrong version of "While of the Emblems we partake.." oops... #tonedeafprobs

personal study: studied one of the best chapters about the Atonement.... Alma 7 and i learned somethign really cool. The latin root of the word "succor" means "to run to someone's aid" Christ is literally running to our aid if we simply just ask. 

Sister Thueson

Monday, February 22, 2016

I take 1st place in fastest bucket showers.

Okay... so first off I've realized that I haven't told any of you what's been happening in Zambia/Malawi since October.... Low-shedding. So the power down is hydro power... and recently the dam broke and so there isn't enough water to supply electricity all day every day... so across teh country everyone only has power for half the day each day... and we don't get to pick when it is. And when there is no power... we have no water. So we have to fetch water in the mornings and take bucket showers.. and i'm really fast at taking a bucket shower. My companion takes a solid second place. okay... there's an explanation of my subject.
also.. yes Elder Andersen was in Zambia... was I there? no... touchy subject. but yes.. is correct and the church is growing in Africa... we are ESTABLISHING the church and not SPREADING the gospel. We have had a BIG EMPHASIS on staying within our centers of strength.. which means teaching people who live near the meeting house... which means that they are most likely self-reliant and able to build up the church.

Good week!! 
We taught the relief society president's husband... he is a great guy who works in the mines in the north western province... so he is almost never home... but we're going to meet with him as often as we can:)
Zone meeting was real nice... it was like MLC all over again but still very very important!! But we gotta present and that's always fun:)
Andrew/Jessy: the family! Well... they didn't come to church, but we almost got through the restoration with them. it is so hard to teach their lessons cause he just talks and talks. But we took another couple with us, and it went good...except the lesson was forever long. 
Fineli: didn't come to church... but it's okay because we had such a great lesson with her. We were teaching the first vision and she was so cute her mouth just dropped open and she was like "wow... that's amazing" and it made me start thinking... we teach the first vision all the time like it is nothing... but Joseph Smith SAW HEAVENLY FATHER AND JESUS CHRIST. that is a big deal. and we all need to realize how truly it was a "marvelous work and a wonder" as the ancient prophets always call it. 
Barton: Barton, barton, barton. this man... he probably consumes most of my thoughts because i just don't know how to help him. He is still willing to change... his progression is just real slow. But that is probalby what Heavenly Father thinks about all of us haha. 

Friday: such a funny day. So our car was high on kilometers since we drove all the way to Lusaka... and so we decided to be walking missionaries again for the day. and we got FRIED. and then we had a ton of appointments fall through adn so we did service for our district presdient... We spent an hour and a half fetching water for them.... which means we got even more burnt. and... you should see us fetch water.. all the african women think we're pathetic. 
Saturday: Brother Mpundu (mpundu means twin... and he was a twin so his surname changed to mpundu... interesting right?) passed his interview!! good stuff! 
Greg: Greg is on date... but we needd to push it back a little since he didnt' come to church.

The atonement is amazing, and i'm grateful for it every day.
we got some new investigators this week which i'm really happy about!
Tender Mercies: Okay so Saturday night i'm just saying my prayers okay... nothing special and all of a sudden i get the most random prompting to text this former investigator named Peter who was a father-led family and remind him about church. it was almost 10:30 and we're not allowed to text that late... and so i told Heavenly Father that if it truly was a prompting to remind me again in the morning... and of course he did. I just sent him a simple text with no resposne... and HE CAME TO CHURCH. like seriously missionary work blows my mind.
Funny stories: So one of our recent converts is 14 and we have been pushing him to go to seminary.. so he goes, and he is the only one there and he calls us and says that no one is there.. not even a teacher. and so of course we run of there and say hello to your new seminary teachers:) luckily one other girl showed up... but we are teaching the Old Testament... so i got a lot to learn haha.
all in all. life is good. God is great. The church is true. Keep doing work my friends. Remember that you are a child of God who loves you NO MATTER WHAT.
Love you! 
Sister Thueson

Monday, February 15, 2016

Antelope tastes like beef jerky

crazy crazy week!! We went on 2 exchanges this past week, but they all went great! I love exchanges because you get to learn from so many different sister missionaries and how they teach! 

So as many of you may know... The teaching pool when I got here was a little dry... most of the investigators were either just barely baptized or not progressing at all, so lots of work to do:) But we were blessed with 9 new investigators this week! 4 being a family:) 

So we have been focusing on teaching within our center of strength... if we go out to the villages and baptize people... they are just going to go less-active. So sometimes it is harder to teach the wealthier people who live closer to the church... but they are most likely to be active the rest of their lives. Which at the end of my mission.. I really want to look back and know that the people that were baptized are still active in the church! 

Exchanges: wahooo they were so great. First I went with Sister Arok (from South Sudan but war in Sudan so grew up in a refugee camp in Kenya until she moved to Utah and got baptized... oh and she runs track at BYU and is the vice president of Black Student Union there... we are gonna be besties at home) But she is still in her first transfer and she is just so humble and willing to learn and to grow. It was fun to be with someone who is still new to mission... It took me back to 8 months ago:) 

Next I went with Sister Molumba.. who is from Zimbabwe. She is serving in Kitwe (an hour away) and so we drove and picked them up and brought them into our area... it ended up only being a half day of proseltying because we had a zone leadership council in the morning. But She is great! she has been on mission 5 months, and just super funny and fun to be with. 

Both exchanges we had so many fall throughs... yikes. #thecurseofexchanges

Tender Mercies: We visited these 2 sisters who are less-active... Lilly and Audrey. They ahven't been to church in a long time and it was our very first visit with them... we just had a simple get to know you lesson and of course we talked about the Sacrament and read 3 Nephi 18... and Lilly read it and she read the verse where it says "if you do any more or less than these things than you are not built on a sure foundation" and she was like... well looks like i've already fallen. But good thing the scriptures are POWERFUL and a couple verses later it says 

 32 Nevertheless, ye shall not cast him out of your synagogues, or your places of worship, for unto such shall ye continue to minister; for ye know not but what they will return and repent, and come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I shall heal them; and ye shall be the means of bringing salvation unto them.

And so we were able to talk about how it is never too late and you can always come back.. and guess what people? THEY BOTH CAME TO CHURCH. WAHOOO 

Chariot/Lydia: a less-active families daughters... they have 14 kids people. but thye live so so far away and they don't have transport to get to church with the whole family. but the oldest son just bought a car so guess what?? he was able to bring them all to church on sunday... wahoooo!! But they are 10 and 9... and we had to teach them tithing. How you may ask??? I'll attach a picture.. we taught them tithing and then they had to pay "their tithing" to get supplies to build a chapel... and then we built it out of q tips and tape. good stuff. 

Andrew/Jessy: Remember that father-led that we found last week? yeah we saw them and they are so great! They refer to us as "angels from heaven" haha but he can talk and talk and talk so teaching will take some time. But they have 2 kids who are just adorable. Grace and Joshua! They are really sweet.. but we think they might be too focused on us and not the message and so we are taking another member couple with us next time to teach the lesson. 

Barton: aish this one. He didn't come to church yesterday... :( first time since i've been here. we went the night before and I kinda gave him fire... I told him that he is having the biggest battle trying to pick between two churches but life would just be easier if he just followed his heart and what God has told him to do... but I think I was a little too bold. I dunno... my companion is losing hope but i refuse to give up on him. 

Funny Story: 
1. We were teaching Aaron Mupundu (getting baptized on the 27th) and we were teaching his family and his step son was visiting from Kabwe and I guess he isn't all the way there.. but he heard that we had a car and he because obsessed with it. Randomly while we were teaching about TEMPLES he would ask about the car.. and then at one point he reached and my bag and tried to steal my keys. Luckily Sister Mupundu noticed... so lesson learned. HIDE THE CAR KEYS. 

Pretty much.. I just hit 8 months on mission and I'm very happy. it feels like it has only been 3 months, but I love being a missionary! The Church is True! 


Monday, February 8, 2016

Babylon has a Play park

.... and it's on kwacha road. 

1. explanation of the subject. We were driving to our investigators house yesterday and we see all these blow up toys and we got super excited... we wanted to go.. and then we realize that it was part of a bar. people go into the bar and leave their kids outside on the blow up toys.. haha 


tuesday: great lesson with Barton (50 year old investigator) We taught him about repentance!! so last lesson.. (when i gave him fire) i left him with a note aka a plan on how not to drink.. and he said that on his way out to go get a drink he saw my note and he decided to stay home and pray and read his scriptures... wahooo missionary point! We think we could still smell smoke on him but PROGRESS yes yes yes. 

Wednesday we made the 6 hour drive down to LUSAKA for Mission Leadership Council... so so so good. and so good to see my sistas Sister Bingham and Sister Solomone. Such a good time to catch up and hear about my old areas. 

Worldwide missionary broadcast: so the apostles did this broadcast for all missionaries.. but it hasn't quite gotten to the zambia lusaka mission because we are so spread out.. but at MLC we got to watch it. and it was so so good.. i'm super excited for the rest of the misisonaries to watch it. they focused on: WE TEACH REPENTANCE AND BAPTIZE CONVERTS. So so much i could talk about. Pretty much we just can't skip from faith to baptism... there is a crucial step of repentance. and if we teach repentance correctly.. then the people we baptize will actually be converted. Something that i loved that was siad " We must always keep the Savior's name on our lips... no matter how much we speak of him, it is never too much" 

The rest of MLC was just super powerful. We are focusing on the culture we want in this mission, and on the Africa SouthEast Area Plan for the church. There was much discussion on the Standard of Excellence and how we may want to adjust it. My favorite part was the testimony meeting... I truly was surrounded by noble and great ones. Everyone there just has such strong testimonies. The spirit was so strong.. and then of course Sister Solomone stands up and it was the last time i'll hear her testimony and so i just start crying... aish sad bear.

We also got to watch part of the mission president Seminar and I saw uncle yuck!!!! it was weird to see Elder Andersen referring to him as "President Egginton" but him and Moe looked super happy and I got to brag a little bit to everyone. 

Ndola: so we only had 3 days of proselyting... but SO MANY MIRACLES. 
1. WE HAD 10 PEOPLE SHOW UP TO CHURCH. Barton, Greg, Robert, and Aaron who are on date for baptism. and then Aaron's daughter Linda. Maureen who is a recent converts little sister who came to church by herself (more about her later) and then 3 new potential investigators!! tender mercy. 
2. Fasted to find a father-led family and....... today as we were walking into the email shop a man stopped us and told us that he had met the Elders in Kitwe and that he wants to learn from us. He is married and has 2 children and is in our area! People... in less than 24 hours Heavenly Father has so lovingly answered my prayers. i'm sooo soo grateful to be a missionary and to experience all of these miracles. Amazing how God just puts people in our paths when our desires are righteous. 
3. Moreen. She is 11 and she has come to church the past 3 weeks. Her cousin who she stays with is a recent convert and he is 14. Her father has been very apprehensive in letting us teach her.. but he allows her to come to church. Yesterday we went over and asked if we could teach her and he said YES!!!!! As long as she was willing to work for it on her own! and she is... Justin her brother had to come early yesterday and so she came all by herself. 

Funny stories: well not too funny... buuttt we didn't have a mosquito net in lusaka... and there was a mosquito in our truck driving home annnnd i ended up with 50 + mosquito bites on just my legs... like i think i'm close to 100. yikes. 

Any who all in all it was a great great week! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. AND I HIT 8 MONTHS THIS WEEK SAY WHAATT? 


Monday, February 1, 2016

"I bless the rains down in AFRICA"

good week good week my brothas and sistas. 

so more people speak english here so i'm losing my funny accent... haha i hope I get to go back to Malawi so I get back my weird accent before I come home haha. 

Okay the rainy season is HERE. yesterday.. we got trapped at a recent converts house for like 2 hours because the road turned into a river and we couldn't drive through it haha. (picture below) 

first things first... so our district is the smallest in the world i'm convinced... 3 branches in 2 different cities. but we had district conference this past week and we had Elder Hamiliton (a seventy) Elder Hull (an area seventy) and President Erickson all there. Pretty legit... and it was powerful. 

Robert: an investigator who was baptized in Lusaka but never confirmed. (he isn't completely all there in his head) but he comes to church every week.. but we can't teach him because he is obsessed with sister missionaries so we're having the elder's quorum president re teach him everything. But he runs to church every sunday... but this past sunday it was in Luanshya... about 30 kilometers there and 30 kilometers back. total... equals about a marathon. anywho... we are driving to Luanshya and we see him RUNNING TO LUANSHYA.... my friends... he ran a marathon to get to church. we were speechless. 

Hastings: so so so prepared. He is going to be in Lusaka this week but still on date for February 27th wahoooo 

Aaron Mupundu: doing so good. His family is now sitting in on lessons as well!!!  He used to be SDA so he was having issues with the seventh day sabbath thing.. but yesterday in our lesson he told us that he knew the Book of Mormon was true and so he knew that the church of jesus christ of latter-day saints was the true church as well. Hopefully after he is baptized on the 27th his children and wife will follow:) 

Barton: oh boy oh boy oh boy. So he is the 50 year old man who still goes to his anglican church and still has a word of wisdom problem.. but still wants to be baptized. We prayed about a date and we decided on March 5th... and on Tuesday we had a great lesson.. get him pumped for baptism... we go back on Saturday... and he was high on some kind of drug. and pretty ironic because we had come with a plan to help him with his word of wisdom.... Sister Zohner started telling him that we were here to support him and he just gave her fire. He was like "you need to learn your duty... you need to force me to stop drinking and smoking" and so then i'm just mad because he is high and being ridiculous so i just tell him "Barton... here is your plan. 1st. we are walking into your room right now and throwing out every single bottle of alcohol and every cigarette, and then every night you are going to lock yourself in your room and read your scriptures, and we are getting you a priesthood blessing new week." and he was like "I like this sister" yeah we just had to end the lesson there... bless his heart. we don't know what to do... any advice let me know. 

Tender mercies: Sister Sinikiwe (a less active) asked us to teach her son!! wahooo \

2 New investigators: Sean and Fineli. Super great... most of our investigators didn't come to church this week because it was a 10-15 kwacha transport... so it makes sense. 

interviews: PRESIDENT ERICKSON CHANGES MY LIFE EVERY DAY. okay... seriously I love interviews. So we mainly discussed the different between heart, might, mind, and strength, and how we can serve to our fullest in each of these. LIke I would type it all out.. but too much sorry. But at the end he always asks if there is anything I want to talk to him about, and this time I didn't have anything and then he asks the question. "Do you feel like you have changed these past 6 months" and i just start BAWLING. hahaha bless... I think i've cried in every interview with president. and I just can't even describe how much i've changed.. and then i start crying because I was teling him how I don't want to go home (sorry family) and then he asked me what's been the hardest thing to give up... and I seriously think it's been my pride. Which I still have an issue with.. but i'm working on it. and then he just said so many other great things that I can't even explain in an email. Pretty much.. i'm going to miss him when he goes home in June. 

funny stories:

1. we were teaching a 14 year old recent convert named justin and his cousin Maureen who is 11. We were going to show them the Restoration DVD but the video got stuck in the dvd player and he was getting super frustrated... so we told him to just turn it off and we'lll say a prayer. Sister Zohner offered a simple prayer asking for it to work... we ended the prayer and he turns it on and right away it opened and started working. (prayer works duh) but then he was like "HOW DID YOU DO THAT???" and his cousin was like "magic..." hahahaha then we tried to explain that prayer is always there for us haha. it was too cute. 

This week we are taking a 6 hour road trip down to Lusaka for Mission Leadership Council... We have it only every 4 months in person (normally over skype) because our mission covers 2 different countries! but i'm really excited and it will be wednesday, thursday, and part of friday. So we won't have much time in our area but it will be good!! 

That was my week. I love being a missionary wahoooo. 

Sister Thueson