Tuesday, July 29, 2014

More Pictures from Thoko's baptism

Hello from Africa!

We were recently visiting in Malawi as Area Auditors and were blessed to meet the Sister  missionaries serving there. 
Sister Rasband is a great sister! She was doing well. 

There were two baptisms while we were there and we thought you might enjoy these photos.  The church is down some steep stairs off a hill and then the font is even further down the hill in the back of the church.  They have aprox 80 in attendance in the Lilongwe Branch and only room to seat about 64 so they are looking for a new place to meet.  The people in that area are humble and sweet and very open to the gospel.

Many blessings to you in the support of your wonderful missionary.  She is so far from home but close to the spirit of the Lord who’s work this is.

Have a wonderful day!
Africa Southeast Area Auditors


Monday, July 28, 2014

 Maduzka Azungu!
This week has been really good with lots of memories and my first ZERO of investigators at church. Super frustrating especially when our branch goal is to split before 2015. We have a lot of work ahead of us.
Monday we got together as a zone and played some soccer. It was super fun  and nice to just spend time to relax and enjoy each others company. As we got in our area to proselyte for a total of 30 minutes ( we have to be in our area by 5 but as sisters we have to be home by 6 so we leave our area around 5:15-5:30) it started down pouring. We tried to find any member/ investigator close to let us in.
As we were walking home we realized that all our clothes were out on the rack to dry and that they would be drenched. But as we walked through the gate we couldn't find our clothes there. But just then we started hearing the guards running towards us with our clothes. They went and got them when it started raining! Our guards are seriously the sweetest guards ever in Malawi.
Wednesday was quite interesting as well. It was about 10 o'clock and we were ready to leave our apartment. We put the key in the lock for a gate outside our door and the key would not unlock it. Our district leaders came by and tried to unlock it, but it would not unlock. Then the senior couple came over with WD-40 to try to unlock it and it would do anything. By this time it was around 1. They had to have a member come over with a drill saw to cut the lock. And eventually we left our apartment at 2. We were thinking through out the whole time that if there was fire, there was no way for us to get out. We were going to die inside our apartment.
But once we eventually got outside our apartment we met this awesome guy named Kundwani Williams very high up on mountain soche. The first thing he said to us was "yeah i use to be a member of that church", comes to find out he was being taught by the elders, had a baptismal date, was coming to church and everything, but then it sounded like the area got white-washed and the missionaries lost contact with him. We were able to have a short lesson with him and explained his favorite part of the Book of Mormon and how he loves to read it and invited him to be baptized!
Saturday I was able to have my first african sugar cane. Basically i feel like a true african now... hopefully i will be able to send a picture of me eating it!
My daily routine:
6:30 wake up
personal study
12-week program (for my first 12 weeks)
leave home and get on a minibus to our area
teach and preach the awesome gospel
start heading home
plan for tomorrow
companion study
7:30 ish
and then anything i need to do until 10:30 bed
stores: we shop at Shoprite every monday for food and its basically the walmart of africa.
animals: the most exoctic animals i've seen are monkeys. Most mornings we seen monkeys play on the trees next to us.
language is getting better. I can do grettings and am learning little words here and there.
Anyways I hope all is well in zion! You can be Zion but my area, Zingwangwa, is considered the Promised Land.
-Sister Rasband

Monday, July 14, 2014

Hello America (because when people ask where your from, you say America, they don't understand "The States" or even "The United States". But as much you are enjoying your hot summer, I am enjoying wearing tights and a jacket almost everyday. I don't know if I am hoping for summer or scared for it.
On Monday, we had to say goodbye to Sister Scott and Sister Mbele the two sisters who were in our flat. They are both headed to Zambia, one in Lusaka and the other in the Copperbelt. In celebration we went to KFC. By far the nicest KFC I've ever seen, and so good. So sad to see them leave and quite depressing at times to be the only sisters in our flat.
Tuesday we had a great Zone meeting! We talked about how opposition is in all thing. There has been seeming to be a lot of opposition in this zone and that when opposition comes know that their will be very good days soon. It just takes faith and hard work to get to those days. "If you aren't feeling opposition, then ask yourself if your are too comfortable in your area"
I also loved what the STL's said " I am so grateful for being in the path that Heavenly Father wants me to be in" and I have really tried to incorporate that in to my life and mission.
Wednesday we had a great lesson with someone we meet that day. We had planned on going to teach this man but he ended up not being home. We talked to his neighbor and invited us to come in after being very apprehensive. That first lesson we had was completely directed by the spirit. As we were able to discern his needs and the struggles in his life, he was very open and talked about how he felt abandoned by God. As we continued to just talk to him and share our testimony he said at the the end "I really want to meet with you guys again, I really like what you have brought into my home". Its lessons like those that really keep you going and love the work you are doing!
After having such good lessons and really having faith that investigators would come to church, we ended up having 0. It is really frustrating and hard. We feel as if we are doing all we can but they have their agency, and don't want to come. It is the hardest thing lately for us is just having our investigators not keep their commitments.
But we were able to have dinner at Sister Thoko's house last night, and man was it a good meal.  There was no nsima, no beans, no unknown meat! We helped cook some sausage with rice and soup and there even was salad.. they don't do salads in Africa. It was so good.
The last noteworthy thing that happened this week was my companion and I were sitting in a minibus waiting to go to our area and this man sees me and come us to the minibus full of people.
HI. How are you?
Where are you From?
 You are beautiful
You know... I learned English so that I could talk to beautiful women like you
The next time I see you, you take me to America
Ya know, when I see you, I am seeing the heavens
And everyone in the minibus was just bursting with laughter. So for all those girls who have low self-esteem, come to Africa, because you will be a celebrity and every man will love you.
But I am just so grateful to be a missionary, and to be serving these people in Malawi. They are so great and fun to be with.
Anyways hope everything is going well in Zion. Eat at cafe rio/ in-n-out/and really any American food for me!!
-Sister Rasband

Monday, July 7, 2014

Happy Independence from the British!!! Malawi celebrated their 50 years of independence from England yesterday.
It has been a slower week this week, no one is home, and lots of walking to appointments that end up canceled. But what else describes a mission.
We had a baptism this week for Sister Thoko. Man, is she the coolest strongest girl and I am so excited for her. Pictures will be attached. But now that she is baptized, we are going to have to work really hard to get even one investigator to church. Our area really is slowing down and we are just trying to find new families to teach but it is so hard for people to keep commitments.
Awhile ago my companion contacted this girl named Rashiwe and we set a time to go see her. The lesson was going really well, she was agreeing with what we were saying and it was just good. But we started talking about Joseph smith. I was explaining James 1:5 and I asked her what she would do if she was in his position? And she says "I wouldn't ask. There is no one true church. Church doesn't save you. I'm not confused" Later she talks about how there are many ways of baptism and how are you suppose to know which one is right" and so we explain that's exactly how Joseph smith felt and prayed. We explained the vision and she straight says "yeah yeah. that happened. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ came and baptized Joseph. That's how I was baptized."
Anyways we quickly ended the lesson and tried to leave the Book of Mormon and she absolutely refused. What a great lesson!
The drunk men here are so entertaining.. this past week we were in a market talking to a member and this drunk man comes up to us and starts talking to me. My companion tries to say something and he goes "no. I don't want to talk to you. I only want to talk to her." He follows us for a good 5 minutes and just wouldn't leave us alone. He continues talking about "you are gorgeous girl. you are fine. I want to marry you. take me to America", and so on. But don't worry, we had a return missionary from our branch with us.
We have a lot of potential investigators and we are continuing trying to work with them. I am still amazed with how interested people are with our message. But its so hard to help them understand we aren't just there to talk about Christ or have bible study.
It says in my  blessing to pray everyday to have the courage and testimony to fulfill the covenants I made with my Heavenly Father. Honestly it just makes me realize how much my Heavenly Father knows me and my pat blessing is just for me. I pray for it everyday and I see it help!
Anyways the work is continuing! Malawi is coming along and the time is already going quick! I am so grateful for you all and love you!
-Sister Rasband