Monday, November 30, 2015

Rainy season has started. Currently I am sitting in the same internet shop that I have sat in for 52 weeks. The rain is hitting the tin roof so hard I can barely hear myself.
This week was amazing like all the others. The days are going really fast and I don't know how it happens. We are teaching this amazing agogo (grandfather) and he is solid. He basically was telling us that when he gets to the church he will be baptized and his family will follow. But he can't come to church right now because his legs are very weak and won't make it to the church.

What scared me 18 months ago about Malawi are the things I will miss.
Walking through a busy market with people calling me Azungu is something I will miss a lot. I will miss the lessons when people don't understand me and I have to try to teach in chichewa and it doesn't work out to well. I will miss the long days in the heat with no one to teach. I will miss Malawi so much. Saying goodbye to the ones I love here is going to be hard because I may not ever will see them again. I am so grateful that the Lord has blessed me with a mission and led me here to spend 18 months in Malawi.
I am starting my last week on the mission and I know that it will be a hard week for me. I know with all my heart that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer and I feel very privileged that I got to declare his name for this time. I am so grateful for this restored Gospel. I am so grateful to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.
I'll be seeing you soon.
Sister Rasband

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Hi family and friends!
This work is amazing! Fredrick was baptized this last Sunday. He is
amazing and has such great fellowshippers!
This week has gone so fast so I don’t have anything to talk about. I
love studying this gospel. It is so sweet!
I'm gonna miss my home (Malawi) so much! Ndiquiziwa mpingo ya yesu
cristu de zoona!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Sorry I have been so bad at writing!! These past couple of weeks have been really good.
I had my last interview with President about a week ago and I just feel so grateful to be under his leadership and to learn and grown so much from him. He talked about having a 3 month goal and that going home does not mean going back to who I was but that I am taking the things I have learned from my mission and applying it to my life.
I had my last zone meeting and that meant I had to bear my testimony. I always looked at the missionaries going home thinking I hope to go home like them or to be so strong. It is crazy that it is now me. I love this place so much!
Yesterday we got a new  branch presidency and we are very excited to work with them. After some things and drama going on in the branch it feels good to have new faces. After church we were talking to people saying goodbye and playing with the children and a wave hit me of how much I am going to miss this branch!! I love Kalambo branch and it honestly feels like home. I love how in this church no matter where you are in the world there is such a culture of love and friendship for one another.
Yesterday we taught this amazing man! His name is Rangel and he is probably in his 60's or 70's and it is just one of those lessons where you can’t describe how strong the spirit was. He is one who recognizes truth so easily. He was talking about how he doesn’t believe all these false men can really heal and how the churches now are all about me, me, me. At the end he just said if I can get my legs to take me to church this Sunday and it feels right I am ready to join you guys. SOLID.
I love this gospel so much and I love sharing it with others! This is the best work in the best place ever!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Well I am offically starting my last 6 weeks. I don't know how this is
happening. Just the other day i arrived to the South Africa MTC. Time
really is ticking!
This week was really good!
I finished the Doctorine and Covenants and I love it! It is amazing
what all of the pioneers went throught and even Joseph Smith. Reading
it made my testimony grow so much stronger that he is a true prophet
of God and that the lord revealed so many important things for our
salvation. I always think about the scripture "Thine afflictions shall
be for but a small moment.And if thou endure it well, thou shall be
exalted on high" The pioneers of the church in malawi go through many
afficitions but thorugh this scripture we learn that it is all worth
Mike and elizabeth were baptized!!! They are so great! i was so happy
to see elizabeth finally enter the waters of baptism after knowing her
for year. If we continue to pray for those who either don't accept the
gospel or fall away, i know that one day they will. Elizabeth is a
testament to that! Don't stop praying!
We watched General Conference finally! It was so good! I loved Elder
Hales talk and Elder Lawrence about personal council/what lack I yet.
We are all trying to progresss and we need to have a council with
ourselves on what do i need to do to change or be better. I also
learned to love everyone! I don't remember who said it but that we
need to see everyone like how their parents see them. or even how
Heavenly Father sees them.
We had a couple funny experiences this week..a Recent convert of ours
wife turn from amayi  (mom) to pastor. So now we can no longer go
teach our RC because pastor L will start preaching to us. The longest
1 1/2 hour  of my week.
Transfers came and Sister Tuai and I are still together in Kalambo
branch. I am so happy! I am so happy to finish here and with sister
Love you all soo so much!

Monday, October 12, 2015

-I had my last zone conference this week! It was so good! I came home from the conference so sad knowing it was my last and I don't get opportunities to be taught from on high like that anymore. Missions are amazing! Never again will I get to reopen the book called Mission and relive it. Sis Tuai and I presented on Planning Effectively and it turned out really well! A lot of it was the Stones (senior couple) testifying about referrals and with referrals we won't have the question "well what do we do next". In the mission we are trying to do a no tracting November. It was all about working smart and not tracting because it is so useless. I am so excited and think that it will change the mission soo much! 
-Zikani, one of our investigators told us this week that she got answer that the church is true! For the longest time we have been teaching her and her cousin Leslie. Leslie was so excited to learn and Zikani was super hesitant about it. She never wanted to come to the lessons, church, and didn't want to leave her church. But after building a good relationship with her we invited her to pray. 4 weeks later... this week she tells us she knows it is true and she ready to be baptized. Now we are just waiting for Leslie to come back from visiting family so they can be baptized together!
Love you all so much!!!

Pictures are of Anna with the sisters in her zone, Zikani and Anna, and the chicken from last week's letter!

Monday, October 5, 2015

General Conference was soooo good!!! oh wait... 3 more weeks until I know!
This week was good! It is gonna be a short email...
1. Willy got baptized! Holler at him! He was so ready and prepared for the gospel. I am just lucky that I got to watch his progress. Now we are working on teaching his 10 year old son.
2. I got to go on an exchange with Sis. Mukweya in my old area. Sis Mukweya is 3 weeks new on a mission but it was so good to be with someone just starting. I felt like that was just yesterday for me going on my first exchange with the stls, and now it has switched. She is doing good and man I miss my old area.
3. A member from my old area got me a chicken! We had made a deal like 3 months ago that if she doesn't come to church she owes me a chicken. So Friday Sister Zohner comes to the window of the truck with a live chicken. We brought it home, killed it, and then ate it. Also Sister Aidoo saved the head and said she will eat it later. (No, pictures of this event but she says she will send them next week. Their guard actually killed it for them!)
4. Another funeral. This was the son of our investigator getting baptized in 2 weeks. It was actually really hard to see her and the rest of the family go through it. If you remember the name it was the Lunguzi. They have been a member family that I have been close to for 11 months since I came to Lilongwe.

Pictures are of the new sister she went on exchanges with and a sister from her old area that Anna is very close to. I can't remember her name but Anna has told me of her love for this sister before. The other picture is of the baptism on Saturday of the man who lived above the mini shop that was going to lose his job if he joined the church but his boss had a change of heart and allowed him to close the shop on Sundays.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Another week gone!!
This week has been crazy. I don’t know where to begin.
Monday, Sis Browning came up to Lilongwe so she could catch a flight to
Lusaka for transfers. So Tuesday morning we take her to the airport at
6 am to find out that the flight was canceled. So we were at the airport
until 9 am trying to rebook her flight keep in mind that I had sweats
on and no name tag. From their we rushed to district meeting and the
Wednesday we had errands to run in the morning like picking up mail
and going to copy a key. Then at 11 we get a text from the Zone
leaders that we have to go pick up the new sister coming to Lilongwe
at the airport at 1. So we finish, eat and rush to the airport. To find
out that after we have to take the sister to the church so she can be
interviewed by President Erickson. So we rush to the church and sat
there for a couple hours. By the time we get her off with her
companions and get the key its is 5. So we go to the area and get 2
lessons in before coming home at 7.
Thursday we get a text from our recent convert who is a fellowshipper
for our investigator Wille. Wille told Barrack, the Recent Convert ,that he knows
the church is true and is ready to be baptized! We were so excited!!
Willie is the one who will lose everything if he joins the church. So he
prayed and got the strongest confirmation that it is true! He went and
told his boss and miracle the boss said it was okay for him to close
the shop on Sunday! Miracle! He is on date for October 4, 2015.
Also on this day we saw one of our new investigators the Kamwana
family! They are so great. We just contacted at their gate and they
were really interested in the Book of Mormon. Usually when we are
there we talk to the dad, but today only the mom was there so
taught her. Right after the opening prayers she says “I
just want to talk for a minute” and then she talks for the next 10
minutes about her past. In 2006 she was sick and was was she said a
"mad person". With that she lost all of her education and knowledge. She
had gone to school and was super smart. But she lost it all. She
lost her English and from 2007 she has been relearning English. She
kept saying “I am nothing, I don’t really feel like god loves me” and
just how grateful she is that we are coming. She lost all of her
confidence and honestly feels like God doesn’t even love her. It was
so hard for her. Sister Tuai and I were just dumbfounded. Her English
was so amazing. We just expressed God’s love
for her and how amazing she is. That was easily one of the best
lessons of my mission and I wish you guys could have felt how strong
the spirit was.
Br. Njobvu was baptized yesterday! That guy is solid! He always tells
my companion and I how it was all the Book of Mormon that helped him
gain his testimony of the true church. It always amazes me how the
Book of Mormon can truly change peoples life's. I know the Book of
Mormon is true and that is how I gained my testimony of everything
else. I love seeing others know how amazing the Book of Mormon is.

Love you all so much!


Monday, September 14, 2015

Big news everyone... Sister Aidoo is training so I get to have a granddaughter before I go home! And she is coming to Lilongwe for her first 12 weeks and my last!
Yesterday Henry and Joseph got the gift of the Holy Ghost. I always love seeing their face glowing after.
I've started playing the piano for the branch. I have no idea what I am doing. I mess up a lot. And I started teaching piano to about 7 people and I just am super confused about it. I mean I only took lessons for maybe a year...
Willie our investigator is so powerful. We saw him on Wednesday and after we left his home, my companion and I were just speechless. Willie explains to us that he knows this gospel is true, all of it. But he has a problem. If he were to join the church, he would sacrifice his job and home. He has been hired by a non-religious guy to work at his mini shop and lets him live there as well. His boss wants him to always work on Sunday. If he really wants to do this, he said he will lose all that and the money to take care of his 2 children (his wife died about 3 years ago) and he would have to move back to the refugee camp. But he kept saying its worth it..its worth it to be in the restored church.
We don't know what has really happened yet but Saturday night we called to see if he was coming to church and he said "Maybe, I talked to my boss to see if he could come on Sunday but he said "no"
Then on Sunday, as I was giving a talk, I see him come in with his two sons and I died! That man has a lot of faith, makes me want to be better. 
Heavenly Father has blessed us with such great people to teach, but Satan is truly working on them. It is faithful members and investigators like him that will help the church be established here in Malawi.
Love you all so much!
Sister Rasband

Monday, September 7, 2015

Hey Hey!!
I am getting really tired of this writing every week... so I am gonna make it short. Sorry, one day I will tell you everything!
-Where there is opposition there is miracles. When old members of the church are going around our area telling everyone and their chicken (chicken because everyone has pet chickens) that the church is satanic. But we are still baptizing and teaching some amazing people and families. We honestly couldn't be more happy with our investigators right now.
-Yesterday I hit my high of number of investigators at church...12!! Holla.
-Joseph and Henry got baptized yesterday! They were so excited and happy to come into the fold!
-Lungu my recent convert from the Lilongwe Branch has been interviewed for Melchizedek priesthood and should be getting it soon soon!!

Love you all so much! Thanks for everything!

Monday, August 31, 2015

1. once they decided to cut down a huge tree in the middle of a road. and when we took this pic the guy in the back goes "give me 100 kwacha" haha
2 and 3. african style of drive thrus. hahah no t drive thrus. these are mini shops. you see them everywhere.
love you all!

Monday, August 24, 2015

This week was so good! I can’t really explain a lot of what happened
but we are just seeing the fruits of our hard labor!
This week I went on an exchange with Sister Aidoo my last companion.
She is so great! She loves to sing primary songs (that is usually when
I have to walk out of the room) and laughs a lot. She really is so
great! I love her enthusiasm for the work, it helps me to have that
perspective even if I have been doing it for a longer time.
On Thursday we went to Area 50, which is our poor area and as were
driving there all of a sudden we see a huge group of people and then
we see a lot of gule wamkulus. I don’t know how best to describe what
these people are but they are a tribe and they are called mask dancers in
English. So look up a picture of them. But what they do is go around this
time every year and chase people with things to harm people and they
won’t stop until you give them money. So later in the day as we were
walking towards an appointment, 3 gule wamkulus come to us and try to
get money from us but our branch missionary quickly talked to  them in
chichewa saying “ we are missionaries for the church, we have no money
leave us alone”. Also keep in mind as he was saying this, the
gule wamkulu was holding a brick above his head wanting to hit the
branch missionary.
Don’t worry mom… its not really scary. My companion and I were
laughing about it. Also they looked like they were 14 years old.
Yesterday as we were figuring out our key indicators, my companion and
I were in shock. I don’t know if I have ever had so many come to
church before in my whole mission. And some with lessons taught. We
worked hard. And a lot of it I believe is because of the new time
change. We get to stay out later and teach and it is effecting a lot
of our indicators.
This next week we will have 2 interviews for baptism, Henry and
Joseph, both referrals from members. They are both great and ready to
make a covenant with Heavenly Father. Then we have a couple more who
have a date for Sept 20. Things are happening here in Kalambo and I am
just so happy to  be here.  Hopefully this will be my last area!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Family!!! This week has been amazing!! I don't even know where to begin. I
am just SO grateful to be on mission, and getting to see the gospel change
peoples lives!
MLC  was really good! Sometimes I feel overwhelmed and intimated by all
these powerful elders and sisters but the opportunity to learn from all of
them and from President and Sister Erickson is such a privilege.
During MLC we discussed a talk given by Elder Oaks titled "As He
thinketh in his heart" and it talked a lot about how the world's view on
standards about the family are depleting and how God's standards will never
change. It was so great and even to hear about some of the struggles a lot
of the missionaries have gone through. For all of my mission I just see this
surface of all the missionaries whose focus is going out to preach the
gospel but you would never be able to tell what they are hiding behind. I
wish I could explain myself better on what I was thinking, but just in awe
that God is apart of each of our life's. Each of us have gone through so
many things but yet here we are today sharing the gospel to people in
Malawi and Zambia. Every struggle, every trial has shaped us into who we are
today, but all of us are strong because of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am
just so grateful to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day
Saints and to have the gospel bless my life.
There has also been a change in the mission schedule here. Before the
change our schedule was:
8:00 personal study
9-6 proselyting... and we could come back at 7 if we were teaching
and then do companionship study at night.
Now it is :
8:00 personal study
9:00 companion study
10-7 or 8 we are out proselyting. It will definitely be a change and we are
so excited about it! This means we can teach so many families!! I know in
my old area we couldn't teach many people because they were at work until 6
or 7, but now this opens up so many doors!
also.. Lusaka is amazing... I felt like I was back in the states. On
the drive from the airport to the mission home I was just speechless
looking out the window.
Yesterday was such a good day! I won't lie, at the beginning we were super
frustrated with two of our investigators. They were progressing so well
and the only thing keeping them from baptism is that they have to get
married. But they didn't come to church and we tried to see them at their
house and they weren't there. But then the Lord changed my perspective as
we went to see Matthew a Recent Convert who is about 50 years old. We were
teaching him about Tithing, and he pulls out his slip from the last time he
payed to ask a question. My heart dropped as I looked to see that he payed
100 kwacha for tithing 200 for fast offering and another 100 kwacha for
something else. 100 kwacha is like 20 cents.. if that. When we went to
visit him he was talking about how hungry he was and that he didn't have
food or money to get some lunch. And Matthew being himself was just
laughing about it, not asking for any money at all, and yet he his still
paying the little amount he has towards the church.
The faith and dedication that the saints here in Malawi have is what will
one day build the church. The church in Malawi has a lot of problems, but
it really is the saints like Matthew, who are helping it to grow. Every
Sunday it is just amazing to see all the members walking for at least half
an hour to come to church, because they know how important it is to come.
I love being on a mission. I am just so grateful for everything. I am so

happy to serve in Malawi, to watch them grow in the gospel and to see
their faith grown stronger and stronger. I love you all!!

Monday, August 10, 2015

These past two weeks my companion and I have been working harder than we ever had. And in return we have been having a lot of opposition.
We have been getting some really good referrals from members which is so great!! Won't ever complain about it. And most of them are super solid. They all committed to come to church but then only 1 came to church. Sickness, funerals, and other things are getting in the way from them coming to church. 
Our investigator, Solomon, was suppose to be baptized yesterday but last week as we were teaching him we found out that he was married. 2 days later when we go to fill out his record, we find out that no, they aren't officially married. And then my companion looks at me to break the ice..... "So......"
Since then we started teaching his "wife" Joy and she is really interested. We thought she was faking it just for Solomon but she is super interested. She even came to church yesterday without Solomon! Happy and frustrated at the same time..
Vannessa, Thokozani's niece, has been great and really wants to be baptized, but hasn't come to church since. 
A lot of opposition lately, but it really is just helping my companion and I to grow and become who the Lord wants us to be. I have been studying a lot in Heb 12 about how the Lord chastises us. "happy is the man" who got chastises us. When the Lord gives us trials he gives it to us because he loves us and can see far in the future of who we can become. I am just so grateful that the Lord trusts me enough to be in this area, go through these trials and learn from them!
Love you all so much!
Sister Rasband

Monday, July 27, 2015

This week was really good! I am just so grateful for where I am and what I am doing! Congrats to Andrew and Adrienne!!! I am so happy for ya guys and wish I could have been there.
Sunday was Thokozani's baptism. Man that guy was so excited to be baptized. He had been looking forward to it for many days and brought his son and niece to the baptism. His niece, Vannessa shared with us after church that she wants to start being taught! We were so excited to start teaching her. 
Sunday night, John and Naz, a member couple that lives in our area, invited us over for a brai (which is like a barbecue) and they cooked us really good meat. I haven't had such good meat in 14 months!!! I was a pretty happy camper. 
This morning, the sisters in the zone (which is a total of 4) went on a sister activity  to a wildlife reserve. It was super fun. I mean who wouldn't want to stop the car and get out every time a senior couple sees a squirrel. I sure don't. I was super duper excited to see an ant climbing a tree.  Haha but it reminded me of when we went to Alaska and how our bus drive stopped the bus for everything and Andrew and I started claiming we saw a butterfly on a bush. It was almost the same. But we did get to see Zebras. So happy indeed. And I got a selfie with a zebra. Its official I've done everything in Africa now. I can come how now. haha kiddding!
I love you all so much!! Thanks for everything and the support! 
Sister Rasband


Monday, July 20, 2015

Another really good week!
It amazes me almost everyday how happy I am here in Malawi. I have the best area with the best members and investigators. I have the best companion right now who is always making me laugh. I have the best mission in the world. I have a family and friends who love and support me always. I am just so grateful that I get to serve a mission here in the Zambia Lusaka Mission although I haven't even see Zambia. I have learned so much and have grown to love the Malawians that I serve.
Thokozani passed his interview yesterday and will be baptized this Sunday. Sister Tuai and I have been saying how much of a blessing Thokozani is. One of my first days in the area we knock on this one gate, they let us in and then we meet Thokozani. He says "I know you guys. Once I met you guys in Blantyre. I have one of your books. I just saw it this week" We came back the same week committed him to be baptized and he has been ready since. He is one investigator that has just been ready to hear the gospel. The Lord has prepared him and Sister Tuai and I just got to watch him learn and live the gospel. On Saturday as he was saying the closing prayer he said "Help me to follow thy son's footsteps" and we just wanted to cry!
We were suppose to have 2 baptism next Sunday, Thokozani the one above, and also Thokozani from another area. The other Thokozani this week mentioned that after his baptism he will go back to his home village and live there for awhile where there is no church. "oh.... okay well" So we talked about it and Sunday after church we met with him and explained he can't be baptized if he is going home. It was really heartbreaking to tell him no. It really felt like we were denying him the privilege of accepting the gospel.
On Saturday we brought the sisters in Lilongwe to our area and we molded bricks for our recent converts. Turns out I was the best, as I already had experience from doing it a year ago. But we all woke up Sunday morning so sore. 
Love you all so much! ENJOY THE WEDDING!!! I AM SO EXCITED FOR BOTH OF YOU!!! I wish I was there more than anything but I know I am exactly where I need to be.

Sister Rasband