Monday, September 29, 2014

If I thought Utah was hot, then I didn't know what hot was. Because it is hotter than hot here. And everyone keeps feeling sorry for me because they think I come from a cold place that it doesn't get hot in Utah. And I just let them talk because they are right, compared to here, it doesn't get hot at home. October is suppose to be the worst month for weather. So I pray I can make it this next month!
One thing that I've noticed on mission, is just how fast time goes, but you don't even notice it until Saturday night when you realize you are going to church tomorrow. And honestly, I don't have a lot to say because this week went to fast without a lot happening.
We had a lesson with one of our investigators and his 2 friends/co-workers. And we were just talking about the Book of Mormon and how it came about and what it contains. And one of the co-workers just started complaining how there's a book from the American Continent and Jerusalem, so now we need one from Africa. W explained that the bible takes place in some of Africa but it wasn't good enough for him. And so our investigator and his co-workers decided there they they would write their own testament of Jesus Christ so that we have a book from Africa. FAILED.
Blessings. We saw him only once this week. He still hasn't received an answer to his prayer and we told him by practicing his faith by coming to church will help him receive an answer. But he told us that we are no longer allowed to invite him to come to church, that he will come when he comes. He didn't go to his church on Saturday, but also didn't come to our church on Sunday. We are lost on what more we can do with him. Just praying he will recognize the answer!
I am very jealous of you all that you get watch conference this weekend! I won't be able to see it until 1 or 2 weeks after. But I hope you all enjoy listening to the Prophet, apostles and all the speakers!
Love you all so much!
-Sister Rasband

Monday, September 22, 2014

Welp guess who came to church this week. Thats right B did.
These week we had been really thinking and praying to know what we need to do and teach him and even going to the lesson, we were confused but just planned to follow up on why he didn't come to church.
At the lesson we asked why do we think we invite you to come to church?
"To learn more about the church and help me be converted"
B wants to follow any commandment given from god because he wants to be saved. And so we explained to him that its even a commandment to go to church every week and keep the sabbath day holy. And then he brought up his concern, "But the sabbath, the sabbath is Saturday". We always knew he was a Seventh Day Adventist but didn't really think it was too much of a problem.
But after explaining to him that this was the day Joseph Smith was revealed to worship on, and even how we don't know that the seventh day was Saturday or Sunday, but we do know that Christ rose on Sunday, he still had a hard time with it.
B knows this is the only true church and that Joseph Smith was a prophet of god but can't relate the two that if he knows that he knows he was revealed to worship on sunday. All we could do was tell him to pray and ask what day is the day for him to worship. But we asked if the answer he got was Wednesday would you worship on wednesday, Yes, if it was on Sunday would you worship on Sunday, and then he just kept quiet.
It is definitely hard for him, he wants to do what God commands and has just grown up being told time and time again that it is Saturday. He also said that this was the only thing holding  him back from being baptized but wants to be baptized because it is a commandment!
Well right now we don't know where he is at. The lesson was on friday, he came to church on Sunday and left before we could talk to him. We've called and he left his phone at a friends, and tried to go to his home to see him this morning, and he wasn't there.
We just pray that he received an answer and is ready to act on it.
Other than that the area is doing better! Finding different people and dropping when they don't keep their commitments.
We are still working the Shawn. He is 17 years old and wants to be baptized. He was on date for the 5th of October but didn't come to church so he won't make that date. He knows the book of Mormon is true and has read half of it, and knows Joseph smith was a prophet, but is a teenager and lies to us a lot.
But all is well in the promised land, Zingwangwa that is.
But if you could all pray that I might be able to find chocolate chips that would be much appreciated. I've heard they are here, but i still have yet to find them.
Love you all!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Hello my wonderful Azungus!
This past week has been a slower week, a new area, with no progress yet. But definitely trying to find families and those who are prepared to hear the gospel.
We started focusing in Zingwangwa since it is the closest area to the meetinghouse. We decided to go to one family that Sister Komiha had been to before I came. They have a really nice house, very unusual for Zingwangwa. They even got their water from the faucet! But we just watched the Living Christ and then they feed us Nsima. I am slowly but surely starting to get use to it.
Had baptismal interview for Br N since it was the last day he would be considered our investigator. The interview went on for quite awhile since he likes to talk. And when he starts talking, he keeps going with so much enthusiasm in his voice he sometimes is scary. His children prepared nsima for all us missionaries (there were 6 of us there), but the elders had to leave. So it was up to my companion and I to eat.
After that the Zone leaders showed us the boundaries to our new area. And they took my favorite place to eat. They sell such good chips (fries). It is only maybe 20 meters from the boundary. So in our handbook it says if we have to leave our area to ask our leader for permission. I asked my brand new district leader and his response was “as the spirit directs”. So yes… I will be eating there.
We ended the day up in Soche since it was our last chance to be there. We went to our favorite members home the B’s. We talked and they fed us Nsima. Of course. We then saw Sis M, and when we told her our news she just started crying! She wouldn’t talk or look at us. I always felt that she never liked me, but she was so sad that we were leaving and was determined that she wouldn’t like the elders as much as us.
We then headed to see the T. They are a less active family that we have been working with a lot. Sister T is so close to coming to church! But once again she was so sad for us to leave. She wanted to feed us Nsima for the last time, but there was no way I could fit more so I am glad that we had to get going anyways!
Thursday, Friday and Saturday
These days all seem like a blur to me because they mostly consisted of contacting alllll day. But we were able to meet with Blessings. He has been an investigator since November. He knows Joseph Smith was a prophet and wants to be baptized but won't commit to a date. So we have really been struggling on what to do with him. He also is Seventh Day Adventist so its hard for him to understand Sabbath day. It was a good lesson and he committed to come to church the next day. But… he never came. But just today he called saying sorry he couldn’t come but wanted to meet because he had things he wanted to discuss. I don’t know if its good or bad but I hope he is ready to commit!
Also we contacted these 2 girls by helping them with their water. And they kept saying Dope. It was my first time to here a Malawian say Dope. “Blantyre is Dope”
Br N’s Baptism! We had him and Br S baptized but someone forgot to start filling up the tank. So when it was time to be baptized it wasn’t as full as it should be. Poor Br N, had to be baptized 6 times. It was so shallow that something was always popping out.
After he shared his testimony about how he had been searching for the truth by going to different churches and studying “BIG BOOKS”. He then came across a restoration pamphlet in March. And kept wondering who is this Joseph Smith.  All of his studying about religion would say things against this pamphlet but it sounded right and he believed. Its amazing that he was able to leave behind all his understanding and just have faith in this little pamphlet. It wasn’t until August that he got a Book of Mormon when he met with Sister Komiha and I. I remember our first lesson with him, and anytime he got a chance to speak he would just say I want the Book of Mormon where can I get one.
But if you could have seen this testimony you would all die. When Br N speaks he gets so emotionally involved and finds himself half-yelling. Half of his testimony was jokes here and there and the congregation just cracking up. But I loved what he said at the end,  “I know I have a testimony of Jesus Christ that he lives, and that this Church of Jesus Christ is the only true church, but I know my testimony is so little now to what it will be later in life.” He is so strong and so powerful.
I was also so happy to see his whole family come to church. His wife use to be Muslim, but is now ready to hear the gospel. I am so jealous that the elders get to teach her. One day, I know she will be baptized!
I love this work, I love what I am doing, and I love watching others come unto Christ. Its defiantly hard when my friends are getting engaged, Seahawks season is starting and doing well, and missing you all, but this is where I am suppose to be!

Monday, September 1, 2014

I have been transferred.
From Zingwangwa East to Zingwangwa Central. 
Saturday we were coordinating with our branch mission leader and the elders in our branch, who are the Zone leaders. My companion has been in this same area for 10 months and so they are always teasing her about transfers. Elder Parker teasingly said to her "Remind me companion to call Sister Komiha tonight about that thing"... And then 5 hours later we get a call saying we've been transferred.
The mission is growing and the Lord is hastening His work here in Zambia and Malawi. When President Erickson started his mission last July he had 56 missionaries, and now over 100. And because of the increase our small branch in Zingwangwa is getting another set of missionaries. Because of that they have taken 2 cities, Soche and Manja, out of our area and gave it to the elders and we now have Zingwangwa, Chimwakunda, and Margina-moyle. Definitely a hard change for my companion and I. 
Soche and Manja was where all our progressing investigators were and where we were having one baptism planned for this next Sunday. And now it is in all the hands of the Elders. So sad to leave this area. We know that this next week, my companion and I will be knocking on gates and contacting all day to find any potential investigators. 
But we are excited to see the work that will come forth in Zingwangwa Branch and to even see a split in the branch by the end of the year. 
But one good thing about leaving Soche and Manja... I will be fed Nsima less!

Definitely life changing experience. I was talking to one of the members and they were asking what our family does for Christmas... and like what we have for food. I didn't want to say that we have this huge meal, so I just said we get together with my family and eat together. But then he was saying that every Christmas they will save up for rice and chicken. It just makes me so sad cause we eat that all the time like its nothing. But these people are soo happy with just the little amount they have. Very humbling to think of these powerful people.

Not much to talk about from this last week, but things are continuing to do well! I'm grateful for the work and to be here in Malawi.