Friday, December 23, 2016

Because I Have Been Given Much

Well.... I cannot believe that this day has come, so humbled and so grateful for this incredible experience of being a missionary... but it doesn't even feel real! Everyone keeps telling me i'm going home this week, I bore my final testimony in church, but I still feel like I'll be staying here forever, which would be wonderful:) If it wasn't for my amazing family, then leaving would be just too hard. I have few words today, because lately i'm just speechless... even in my prayers I don't even know what to say anymore, but grateful that Heavenly Father knows the feelings of my heart. 

This week was perfect! here are some highlights:
1. I have been really praying to leave this area a strong area, and to find new families, and this week we found 2 new families! Bro. Phiri's family and Bro. Wycliff's family who was taught years ago in Blantyre and was given the Book of Mormon and is a neighbor to an RM. Such great potential in these families. 
2. Bro Mbewe (a RM) told me that i still have the energy of a new missionary!!! wahooo best compliment of my life!! 
3. Innocent wrote a gospel song called "I diligent" wahoooo go Innocent. 
4. I kept complimenting Rose on a specific chitenge, and at the end of the day she gave it to me to wash it at home... weird thing but I accepted and then as we were driving home she texted us and told me just to keep it <3 so sweet... one of my favorites. 
5. The Abdul family just makes my life... they love each other so much and are doing so well as recent converts. We watched the Restoration with them and they were almost cuddling which is RARE for malawi. 
6. Brother Epna working so hard on switching his work schedule so he cang get baptized... he told us, "yes i can't get baptized until i can make the commitment to come to church every single sunday" 
7. Our 14 year old recent convert asked us if goats and chickens will ask us for their blood back during the resurrection hahahahaha. 
8. Paul Mbewe was baptized and just so happy and bore a really strong testimony!!! 
9. Gave my final testimony in kalambo and just cried... this branch is teh best and I love all of them so much!!! We had 107 people in the congregation this week... huge dea! 

But here are some things i've learned over these past 18 months... 
from zambia/malawi.

1. Greet everyone... if you pass 10 people then you will say muli bwanji 10 times... don't just greet everyone as a whole. 
2. Nsima can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for your whole life and you can still love it. 
3. Bucket showers are very practical, and you can bathe in less then 5 minutes! Also bathing everyday is important (a life skill that i'll take home) 
4. I have probably heard "azungu" over 1 million times in 18 months, won't miss that
5. At church, someone sings and gives the tune and then everyone sings a long... genius!
6. Everyone as they are walking out the door says "i'm coming" when they are actually leaving... also a bad habit i've picked up
7. The terminology of "i'm good" doesn't exist... everyone says the word "fine" 
8. If someone is at your house, as they are leaving you need to escort them as far as possible... not just to the door

But more importantly than cultural things I've learned the culture of the gospel. 
1. My testimony of Repentance has grown so much... i used to look at it as a scary or bad thing to do, but now i've realized that it's a wonderful thing that we all need to do! I love that this is a gospel of change, and that through it we can be perfected through Christ. 
2. I've truly learned that conversion comes by keeping our covenants... that is why we grow so much on mission because we are living the law of consecration! 
3. Something that i'll miss as a missionary is the miracles that I've seen every. single. day. I remember at mission tour a couple of months ago, we were challenged to pray for a specific miracle each day to increase our faith... I didn't realize how much i was doubting before until i started doing it, and then i started seeing amazing miracles. We needed a father-led family and one would come, we needed an opportunity to serve and one would come, we needed an obstacle that was stoppping someone from baptism to be gone and it would. I was amazed each day. 
4. My testimony of fasting has grown as well.... i never really understood it's power before but once again, miracles have come. 
5. Something i'll really miss is when you're sitting in a lesson, and you receive a prompting to say something or to teach a specific principle or ask a question and then your companion says exactly what you were thinking... it just helped me to know that God is aware of both of us and of our investigator. 
6. Which leads to the next point of recognizing the spirit.... I always thought it was just me thinking to myself or giving myself crazy ideas, until I learned... hey that is just how Heavenly Father talks to you Sister Thueson! 
7. And of course my testimony of the Savior has grown.. He has become a real person to me and I am forever grateful for him. I once thought I could make it through this life with being perfectly obedient... until i wasn't and had to get on my knees and turn to the Savior. I love him and lvoe this Christmas season to celebrate him. 
Lastly i've been thinking of some of my favorite hymns... #219. Definitely defines my mission... I remember at my first interview with Presidetn Erickson he asked why I served a mission... and I said how I felt so lucky that I had been born into the gospel that I felt some duty to pay it back to God.. but I've learned that you can never do more for the Lord then he can do for you. I'm probably more in debt to him because he allowed me to come to Zambia/Malawi to serve. and then i've been thinking of hymn #270. I used to think that I was "going where God wanted me to go" and thought that I was going to a super cool mission in Zambia, and that it was a cool place to serve... but now i've learned that it doesn't matter where we serve. God sends us to places not to "go" but to become.. hence the last verse which is "I'll be what you want me to be" and I know that serving here has helped make me who God wants me to become, but he has much more in store for the future. 

Family.. i love you SO MUCH. You're the reason why I'm getting on the plane:) thank you all friends and family for your support.. I wouldn't have made it without you. I have no more words, because i'm so full of gratitude! See you on Sunday!! don't forget a coat;) 

Sister Thueson (for the last time:(

Monday, December 5, 2016


Muli Bwanji everyone! 

I absolutely loved this week, and being a missionary is pretty much the happiest thing one could do. I was really bad at my journal this week because we spent half of it in Blantyre, but i'll try to give you the highlights. 

1. Exchanges with Sister Brown!!! The last time I went on an exchange with her she was still training, and it was soooo great to see how much she has grown and become more converted. It was so fun to be with her and we had  GREAT DAY in the area. 
2. One of our recent converts Rose got married... out of no where!!! But we're teaching her husband because she said she won't stay married to him unless he joins the church hahaha 
3. Paul Mbewe passed his baptismal interview and will be baptized this Sunday!! he is so prepared and so ready! 
4. Mpatso brought a brand new suit for church... he told us, "I love this church, it makes me want to dress nice!" hahaha love it, he was rocking his priesthood attire. He even came teaching with us on Sunday and kept re-polishing his shoes to make sure they look nice, and he bore his testimony in many lessons even though we had a lot of fall throughs he kept up the good spirit. 
5. branch conference.... wooo one for the books!!! The zone leaders were even recognized and asked to sit on the stand haha
6. The whole Mapaya family came to church together!!! Brother Mapaya has been a member for a long time, and we started teaching his wfie!!! Hopefully she'll be able to be baptized on Christmas Eve!! 
7. George is progressing really well and even gave up alcohol!!
8. His cousin John on the other hand dropped us... he was progressing soo well and had even stopped drinking alcohol for a whole month, and then we found him drunk on sunday and he told us he doesn't want to come to church anymore... so sad please pray for him:( 

Okay onto Blantyre!!! a beautiful road trip with so many mountains and greenery. and good weather, Heavenly Father answered my prayers that there wouldn't be pouring rain! About a little less than 5 hour drive! Got there and man it felt good to be HOME! i was just so excited driving around in my old stomping ground. Sometimes i would just bust up laughing over a memory that would flash in my mind and remind me of Sister Solomone. The first thing I did was go see Frasier, and he just couldn't believe his eyes... the first thing he said was, "I don't even recognize you... you have lost weight!!" uhhhh weird. And then of course when i ask him how he is doing, "I'm still kicking and breathing without difficulites" hahaha and then gave me a big hug!! the sisters were dying they were laughing so hard. Then he goes on to show me the picture of us that he has hanging up in his house... haha i only gave him a 4x6 but he blew it up. oh boy... but he is planning on going to the temple next april!!!!! One reason I was sent to labor in Blantyre was for him! 
Next.. Christmas party! SO MUCH FUN. relay races of stuffing our face with flour and watermelon, skits (the ZLM is sooooo drama) and great talents! (OH COME ALL YE FAITHFUL) sorry that will just have to be explained in person. Also a roasted pig!!!!!!! 
Next zone conference... I learned so much!! We talked about being a "mission on fire" and focused on teach repentance, baptize converts, obedience, quality teaching, the book of mormon and working with church leaders. It made me kinda jealous for all the new missionaries, because I feel like this mission is just thriving right now, and we know so many new skills that i didn't know a year ago!! Seriously we're just doing really good right now with such a small amount of missionaries!! I love the GREAT ZAMBIA LUSAKA MISSION. We also got to celebrate sister kupus birthday!!! 
Had to bear my final testimony in front of everyone.... Call in the waterworks. My companion told me if I cried she would request for an emergency transfer... well that didn't work haha. It was so surreall... i remember long time ago all these missionaries bearing their last testimony and it felt like forever away for me, but then here it came in a blink of an eye. as Pres. Utchdorf says, "My testimony is my most prized possession"
Next.. MLC. It was really chill, and we just had an open discussion about the concerns we had for the mission. I love President and Sister Kupu. I definitely sustain them and know that they were called here for a reason. They are so loving and so extremely humble and I've definitely learned a lot from them. 

All in all, I love this work!! I'm so happy and this week I am going to work the hardest I've worked.. talk to everyone and testify to everyone that I see. I know that my release date was inspired, and there is a reason why I need to be out here 2 more weeks, there are more people to find, teach, and prepare for baptism:) 

Ndimakukondani kwam biri,
Sister Thueson