Monday, June 16, 2014

Blantyre Malawi!
Hi everyone! I am officially in the field! Its been a long journey to get here!
Tuesday we left the MTC at 6 in the morning. Arrived in Lusaka and the area really seemed nice and civilized. Mission home was really nice and and Ericksons were really nice. Basically President Erickson is also a stake president over 5 districts too so he is really busy. But they are hoping for a stake in Lusaka sometime soon... probably within the next year.
That night we spent the night at some sisters home because 3 of us were headed to Malawi. So Wednesday afternoon, after spending half a day in the mission home we took the smallest plane to Lilongwe. Maximum amount of people were18. And we could only bring one luggage. So half of my stuff is still in Lusaka and will arrive sometime next week. We then spent the night at the sisters flat in Lilongwe where 2 sisters from the MTC stayed there.
Then Thursday me, a sister and an elder took a 5 hour bus to Blantyre. Met my companion who is Sister Komiha from Zimbabwe. She is a dedicated sister to the rules and the work. Our personalities don't mesh too well but I can't complain about that too much.
Friday/Saturday- Went to our area, taught some people and eat my first African food. I dislike nsima. So I need to learn to say no and not offend them. One thing that was cool, on my first day we were heading back to a mini bus to go home and this guy stopped. He was just yelling about how his niece had a book that we had.. another bible and he wants one! So we gave him a Book of Mormon and set up a time to come by. He is really eager to know more about our church and always felt as if something was missing in his church.
Sunday.. We have church at 8 and then another sacrament meeting at 11 because the area is big so people far away can make it to the classes then sacrament meeting after. We then had an investigator die that day so we went to an 5 hour funeral and they were singing straight for that 5 hours. The funeral was really hard on me emotionally, mentally and physically. But by the time we were going to get in a mini bus it was 6 which is when we are suppose to be in our apartment, so we had a senior couple come and pick us up.
Today we just cleaned our apartment, and went shopping. The American food they have here are lays chips, pringles, and that's it. But I did find one tiny jar of nutella in another store so I bought it on the whim because who knows when I will find that again.
The people here are willing to hear about our message. We will just be walking through a village and will be able to go and have 3 full lessons with complete strangers. It might just be because I am a celebrity, especially in our area where there are no white people at all. We are in a very poor area and it is so hard to see what these people live in. But a lot don't have nice furniture or anything but they will have their TV. Funny what is important here!
Our Apartment is really nice. We have couches and a tv... that we only use for music. There are 4 of  us living there and I really like the other companionship.
I have only met 1 senior couple... the Reynolds and they are really nice. I am not driving. We have one car for all 8 sisters here and it is given to the stls.
Language is sooo hard. Everyone expects you to talk in chichewa and you feel ridiculous cause you can't and they laugh at you. I literally stand out any where I go. I saw my first white people today while shopping. But everyday children stare at you and call you Azungo. They won't say HI ever unless talking to a white person.  But I am trying to understand the language. So far all I know is hi.. Mazera and Thank you.. Se Komo. But I can understand people mainly if they speak English except for when they say their name.
Anyways, the area is really hard and the culture shock is so real. I just hope to be able to feel safe and comfortable here and am just taking it one day at a time. I miss you all so much and am so grateful for all the love and Support!!
-Sister Rasband

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