Monday, April 25, 2016

"I Don't Fist Bump ... I'm a Child of God!"

okay i just have to continue my birthday from last week because it only got better as the night went on. 

OKay so we go over to our recent convert/less active/member (they have all 3) home for FHE and we teach a primary song and talk about being a member of the church of jesus christ of latter-day saints. We promised to bring a cake so we could all celebrate my birthday and then One of the little girls came and gave me a letter that said "Sister Thueson came because of the atoning sacrifice, don't procrastinate leaving" hahaha she is 10 and speaks just limited english. so cute. and then of course Sister Nonde insisted that we stay for nshima, adn as we were leaving Sister Nonde was like oh Sister Thueson isa! We have a birthday present, then she says something to her son in Bemba and then walks away and comes back with a live chicken in his hand... hahahha uhhhhhh what am i supposed to do with that? but my companion grabbed it by the legs... we thanked her very very much (they cost like 50 kwacha) and got in the car to leave. Sister Zohner called Sister Thole and we rushed over to her house to see if we could keep it there but Sister Thole said the best thing to do was just to slaughter it... hahahah so she teaches us how to do it but obviously I backed out and she had to do it. Pretty much you dig a whole in the groud to catch all the blood, and you put it on the ground and step on it's wings and feet and the slit the neck. fun stuff. Pretty exciting night haaha. 

But once again a really really good week! we had to be in a temporary 3 some as we waited for Sister Arok's companion. So we had to split our time between the 2 areas... we also had to get the car fixed again.... because the alarm would go off in the middle of the night... xing. and we had zone leadership council up in kitwe so we had a couple hiccups but nothings stops the work of the lord:) 

Elisha and Tina: miracle miracle miracle!! first elisha was like 30 minutes early to church!!! wahooooo okay so we saw them on Tuesday and it was only Tina at first butr then Elisha joined in. We re-explained the Book of Mormon and then we committed them to pray together and they said no... .uhhhh. and we kept trying to explain how important it is but it was just kinda awkward. So we went back on Sunday but we took the most solid couple in the world Brother and Sister Thole and they helped SO MUCH. They bore testimony of how important it is to pray together, and how familiilies are so important and then Sister Thole committed Tina to come to church on Sunday and she said she would and that they would bring the 3 little girls. When we got back in the car Sister Thole was so excited and she even asked for Tina's number so that she could call hjer and remind her about church. These members are just too great. But it was pretty funny because we had 2 other members who met brother thole there so that they could go home teaching and so we had 4 members in that lesson and 2 missionaries.... can you say overwhelmed? 

Linda and Mercy: still on date for May 14th!!! Mercy even was asked to give the lesson in youth class on sunday and she did so great i guess... super confident and just super excited. Funny story we were teaching them word of wisdom and law of chastity and at the end we asked them if they had any questions and Sister Mpundu was like, "no i have no questions because i keep my body clean" hahahaha i love that woman... one day she'll join her husband at church. But Brother Mpundu is so excited for his daughters. 

Greg:  former investigator. OKay tender mercy of the Lord... the sisters went to go pick up one of their investigators but they waited so long for the investigator that they had to call us to ask if we could pick them up so that they wouldn't be late for church... as we were driving we saw greg so we stopped and asked where he was going and he said Church... hmmm interesting. But he actually came!!!! and we had a lesson with him after and he siad that he has been thinking a lot and he knows he has to be baptized and he is ready any day after today wahhhhhhhhhaaaaaaat? Please pray that he doesn't lose his motivation. 

Service: so we went to go teach Fineli but she wasn't home but we found her family removing the kernels off of the maize to grind up and turn into maize flour and man i had blisters on my hands from donig it..... it is hard. haha but i can't really explain it.. just look it up on youtube or something. 

Sister Maggie: so we were in Sister Arok's area and we were visting sister Maggie who is a super super old lady who walks to church from far away and we were asking her what her favorite scripture was in the Book of Mormon and she was like, "all of them." and so we're like well what about in the Bible, and she was like "the one in Ezeckial and the one in Isaiah.... because they talk about the Book of Mormon..." how cute is that
Funny stories: 

1. So we live in a flat with a lot of Indian men and they all have a crush on me or something. Every morning as i'm running they always stop and say hi to me but none of the others haha... But one of them jsut showed up to our flat the other night asking to hear about the gospel.... none of us can understand his accent but it was just the biggest shock to see him at our door. 

2. so as we were teaching maureen the other day I tried to give her a fist pump because she got an answer right and she was like "no.." and she put her hand out to shake my hand, "I don't do that.. i do this because i'm a child of god." hahahahah yep we taught her right. Best recent convert ever. 

Those were the highlights of the week!!! So grateful for the hand of the Lord in this glorious work!

Birthday pictures
went exploring at the river today

love love love you all. ndimakukonda kwam biri. 
Sister Thueson

Monday, April 18, 2016

The Big 2 0 -- Woot Woot!!

hey great week!! Well i'll start with today!! My companion is seriously the best! she wanted to decorate the flat so bad, and so we made a deal that if she went to bed at 10:30 she could... but turns out she didn't get to bed until midnight, and the other sisters helped too! See pictures below:) 

Then we went to the local zoo and to our great surprise there were some decent animals there! Giraffes and Zebras so that was cool!! #africarocks

We got transfer calls and Sister Z and I are staying "in the house" (she wanted me to say that) But super happy to be in ndola still and we are getting a new sister straight from Utah wahooo Sister Brown! 

also this week was just soooooooooooooo great! Miracles were very apparent! 

Linda/Mercy: Brother Mpundu's daughters and they are so great. We walked in to teach them the other day and mercy was re-writing the whole Book of Mormon introduction so she could understand it better! They both came to church and are on date for May 14th!! and Mercy even got chosen to teach the youth class next week! 

May 28th: We put 3 people on date for May 28th this week Chanza, Elisha, and we are putting Andrew on date this week! Seriously tender mercy! For being out of the area (in lusaka) for half the week Heavenly Father really made up the rest. But there is one concern.. Elisha is having marital problems I guess... His wife is mad at him because he doesn't have a job, and he is considering moving out! ahhh no he can't leave his 3 little girls!! We told him about self-reliance classes and hopefully that will help. His wife still can't come to church because she has her cancer treatments on Sundays... life. But he really enjoys church and is excited for his baptism! Andrew is Justin Chanda (RC) best friend and has been sitting in on lessons forever and we finally met his sister and she likes us so now he can come to church! 

Barton: Came into church yesterday with his boys brigade outfit on (some group from traditional churches) He is soooooo attached to the Anglican church and we don't even know what to do. I got so frustrated in a lesson with him because he was just talking about his positions and status in the anglican church and i just wanted to say, "BARTON SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO SACRIFICE POSITIONS AND POWER TO FOLLOW GOD" but i kept it inside. he came to church but we couldn't even count him as a progressing investigator because he really isn't even progressing towards baptism. 

Dropped: we had to drop 2 father-led families this week. One because the wife doesn't like us, and the second because the father wouldn't accept the Book of Mormon. Straight up refused to even open it.... Nothing breaks my heart more. Just open the book of mormon. please. it's not going to kill you. These people are so crazy sometimes and they think that Mormon is the same as Mammon in the book of Matthew so they get it in their head that it is a Satanist book.... My heart breaks every time but all you can do is "bear pure testimony" as Alma did. 
Also Fineli who was supposed to get baptized this Saturday kinda bailed and said she isn't sure if she wants to get baptized anymore... but we'll see. I'm not complaining too much because there were so many ntender mercies this week. 

Lately i've been thinking about how great having a testimony is. Something i'm going to miss so much is the moment you're in a lesson, and you start bearing your testimony and you grasp their attention. Sometimes while you're teaching they're distracted... but once you bear your testimony they focus, and you know that even if they don't accept it they felt something. This morning as we were getting icecream, a Reverend from a Methodist church, and a pastor from the Catholic church, stopped us and starting asking questions and it was amazing that 2 very educated men stopped and would listen to a 20 year old girl from the States. it's definitely something i'll miss when i'm not a missionary anymore! 

all in all I was pretty grateful to spend my birthday as a missionary. My only birthday... and the next 4 years i'll be taking finals on my birthday hah:) Thanks for all the birthday wishes! you are all the best! 

Love you all! Love the gospel!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

"Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing ..."

wahooooooo emailing on a wednesday! Great great week!!! 

Miracles and disappointments as always but that's what makes missionary work the best work on the planet!! But this week was FUUUUUULLLLLLLLLL of meetings haha. 

General Women's Conference: I love our women leaders. they are so powerful!! Pretty cool story so we watched it with the other sisters (Sister ARok and Sister Nkosi) and i'm not sure how many of you know this but Sister Arok was born in a refugee camp in Kenya and they moved to Utah when she was 9 and her mom helps with refugees all the time so it was really cool for her and for us to have a whole conference focused on it. 

Church Journals: so I mentioned how last week we were seminary teachers yeah?? so this week we went around to all of our seminary students and made them "church journals" and had them cut out pictures from the liahona's and tape them on. and they LOVED IT... it was so much fun. 

Zone Conference: really really good!! it was all centered on the Standard of Excellence and we are really trying to raise the bar. We had a long discussion about how to educate our desires in the right way. God will not only judge us off of our works, but also our desires and if we have righteous desires we are able to make up for the things that we sometimes fall short on. There was good food as always one happy sister missionary:) 

General Conference: answered so many of my questions!!! I really appreciated Elder Andersens... because that is the reality of Zambia/Malawi. So many noble youth are choosing to get baptized and go on missions with such little support from family. I wish you could all see it. These youth and young single adults have the strongest testimonies and will stand up for what they believe. We are all children of God and it has shown me that God trusts these youth so much who get baptized without a support system because he knows that they will stay strong. And obviously Elder HOllands... I know that his touched all of our hjearts. As a missionary you are constantly feeling inadequate... and that you have so much to improve on, but his talk brought so much peace and comfort into my life. The whole time during conference I just couldn't help but think... "how could anyone deny these brethren to not be apostles and prophets?" they are truly men called of God

also it was so cool to see how almost all the members who came to saturday's session were ALL RECENT CONVERTS. 

Mission Leadership Council:
So monday we drove the nice 5 hour drive down to Lusaka to meet up for MLC and it was just the best. I wish you could describe the spirit that I feel at these meetings with all of the leaders of the mission who are just ready to learn.
So many miracles this week!! 

Precious/Chariot/Lydia: so Lydia and Chariot were baptized a couple weeks ago and Precious is their older sister who was baptized a couple years ago. Their older brother will sometimes drive them to church... But they are 15, 10, and 8 and they walked over 3 miles to come sit in general conference for 4 hours on Sunday. granted the small girls don't speak english very well but they knew how important it was to come and I wish I could explain how sweet they are. 

LInda: Linda is Brother Mpundu's (baptized february 27th) daughter! And we just put her on date for May 14th!! She is so cute and hopefully her siste rmercy will join as well... oh and her mother. but it's panono panono:) 

Chanza: a new investigator who has been coming to church for weeks!! She is cousins to a (used to be) less active but who is now ACTIVE as of yesterday!!! wahoooo and they just both love the gospel and came to all of conferencE! 

the disappointment of this week was many of the families we are teaching had to cancel their appointments.. .and then we have been in Lusaka the past couple days and I just hope that it hasn't affected their progression. 

Funny stories: soooo at MLC we got to sleep in a former senior couples flat and so we had to sleep in a queen size bed together (oops breaking mission rules) and my companion wouldn't stop complaining about how i kept kicking her and getting close during the night... #classic. I told her Kari and Mother always complained about that. 

but the best best best news of it all is

FRASIER MKUGALA (72 year old investigator from Blantyre) IS GETTING BAPTIZED ON SUNDAY. 

and I got a letter from Khumbo:) 
"hey my friend! it has been a long ime without seeing each other but i hope you still behaving yourself like a good behaving missionary. ONe thing i wanted to tell you is nothing comes easy. you better work hard i'm telling you. Do what you can do in order to bring new investigators to know that this gospel is ture, and i'm not just saying this because people when they stand at the pulpit they say so but i'm saying this because of the things that i have expereinced since the day i was baptized. the other thing that i wanted you to know is that now i'm receiving the fullness of the everlasting blessings through preisthood power. I liked your teachers they were clever and i was able to hear your teaching very fast. we are fpraying for you good luck. I know that spiritually you haven't left but physically i feel that you are far away cuase the memories are still fresh in my mind. i'll never forget those good days you were encouraging me to endure to the end no matther what obstacle . the most thing that I thank God is that our heavenly father used you as a tool to restore the gospel in my life and I know this gospel is ture. lastly now my life is happy like the flashback of the pamphlet of the plan of salvation which says our heavnely father wants us to be happy in this life and life after death. Ndimakuknoda" 

isn't that the sweetest? seriously makes all of missionary work worth it. 

i love this gospel and i love being a missionary!
Love, Sister Thueson

Monday, April 4, 2016

Shoutout From the Conference Center

The Zambia Lusaka mission got a nice shout out from over the pulpit. Thanks Elder Andersen!!! Haven't even watched it yet.. but news spreads fast. also... none of you will think this is a big deal but Zimbabwe is getting a temple!!!!!!!!!!!! People don't realize how hard it is for people to get to South AFrica to go to the temple.. but Zimbabwe is closer and easier for visas and such!! Tender mercy! a member in our branch sent out a text to all of us last night because it was such a big announcement!
OKay on to my week.
SO MUCH SERVICE: we ended up doing 8 hours of service this week... wowza. We had to help get the other branch in Ndola a sign for their meeting house and then buy/deliver food to this member, and then we ended up cleaning out an elders moldy refrigerator, and cultivated a garden, and helped our investigator empty her beans out of the bean shun shun... but service is great!
Barton: BARTON CAME TO CHURCH. I REPEAT BARTON CAME TO CHURCH. He is so funny. So he had promised that after Easter he would... and he kept his promise. Man.... he has so much more to improve on but baby steps are the biggest difference. Funny story... so most of you if you read my emails know that we don't have a piano.. and so the chorister in church sings the first line of the hymn and then we all start over and match it. But during the sacrament song Barton didn't understand and so he started singing out loud and was like "come on people" hahaha the branch presidency couldn't hold it in and the rest of sacrament we were all laughing.
another funny story about Barton is we were teaching him... but he made us eat nshima first because "there was tension between us" haha whatever that means.
Elisha/Tina: so Elisha is the father that came to church last week... and we went to go teach them about the Book of Mormon and he couldn't stop talking about how much he loved priesthood class. he was like, "if only I knew these things earlier" but then when we went back again Tina had malaria and so they weren't able to come to church this sunday... and we learned that Tina has pre mature cancer and she does her treatments on sundays.... so pray that it gets cured so she can come!
Brother Mpundu: he passed the Sacrament on Sunday!! happy happy day:) he was so nervous... adorable.
Satan is the worst: remember the 2 people we had put on date last week. Fineli and Faith? yeah Faith went back to Lusaka and Fineli dodged us all week... wahooooo. Keep praying for them.
Seminary Teacher:  so my companion and I have taken on the role of seminary teacher... not many of the students can pay for transport to come on Saturdays and so we travel from home to home teaching about the Old Testament to 14 and 15 year old boys and girls!! Super exciting..... regretting not paying attention during seminary in 10th grade?? yeah.
Dwayne: okay soooo Dwayne was so mavuto last week... but this week turn of events my friends. he was calm during the lesson and he even read the first 10 chapters of the book of Mormon and committed to Baptism!! but didn't come to church so we'll see......
Cyprian came to church!!!  he walked in with brother and sister thole and yo my grin.

zone conference: so we have zone conference this week and we have been asked to present on teaching repentance in the first lesson and inviting to baptism no later than the 2nd lesson... and so we started applying it this week in our lessons and it works miracles. People down here think we are just there for a bible study so we have to teach them that we're here to help them make a covenant!!! 

So so happy and soo excited for Conference this weekend!!! 
You're all the best and I love you!!