Monday, January 26, 2015

A crazy week. A lot of chaos, but hard to explain. Electricity turning on and off the whole week, a sister staying with us before she went to the MTC for her mission was showing some sketchy signs that she was not ready for mission, and having to go to the hospital last night (for her companion). But don't worry all is well here in Lilongwe.
Br Bitto and Isaiah got the Holy Ghost yesterday and they were so happy. It was so great seeing them come to church in their white shirts and ties ready to receive one of the best gifts from our Heavenly Father. Truly we are very luck as members to have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. A lot of times I think we forget about how blessed we are. That as we continue to remain worthy the Holy Ghost is always there for. To tell us when we are not in a good situation, to comfort us when all we feel like is crying, to testify of the truthfulness of the gospel when we start to have little fears or doubts, and to strengthen us in time of need. I think a lot about my mission, and how a lot of what I am doing now I can't ever imagine doing on my own. But the Holy Ghost was even there to help to grow, to do what I need to as a missionary, to be obedient, to talk to as many people as possible, to always have a smiling face. None of this would be possible without that special gift from our Heavenly Father. He cares and loves us so much, and we need to take advantage of this gift, by being worthy and partaking of the sacrament each week. 
Br Bitto and Isaiah, truly understood the power of the gift of the Holy Ghost. They know what it can do. On Saturday as we were seeing Isaiah he continues to express his concern about Satan tempting him and delaying him going on a mission. He knows that Holy Ghost will truly help him stay on the right path and that Satan will have a harder time getting to him. He is truly preparing for his mission! Everyday he studies all the material we have given him, Liahonas, the Book of Mormon, pamphlets, and even the Teaching of President Ezra Taft Benson. He will be one amazing missionary.
We also started teaching a woman named Robson who came to church last week. When we saw her Wednesday she expressed to us how much she loved church and wants to join. When we extended a baptismal date for her she said "Yes, but I have to ask my husband first".
Saturday we see her again and she explains that her husband is not okay with coming to The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He is a Roman Catholic and feels the need for her to go there. She was so heartbroken and kept looking at us and asking "What should I do?" We then lead the discussion into Prayer, praying with faith. She understands that she should pray but never thought about praying with faith. And how often do we struggle with that. We pray for this and that, for a good score on a test, for a job, but do we have the faith that God will help us. Or do we just pray and leave it at that.  One morning as I prayed before we left to the area, Sister Falco asked "Do you have the faith that your prayer will come true" Uhh... And its true. I prayed that we would be able to find people who are ready to hear the gospel. But in my mind I didn't really believe it, or have faith. I just thought this area is too rich its very hard to find people willing to hear the gospel. But prayers will work according to our faith. Do we really believe that God will help us or show us the way?
This week we will be going down to Blantyre for Mission Tour with Elder Cook from the Seventy. I am really looking forward to hearing him talk to us, and seeing some of my favorite missionaries. Truly blessed to be a missionary and to learn amazing things from Elder Cook, my mission president, my mission leaders, and all of the missionaries. A once in a lifetime experience.
Love you all!
Sister Rasband

Monday, January 19, 2015

As I am sure many of you heard, Malawi has hit “Disaster Status”.
First off, don’t worry about me, I am fine, Lilongwe is fine, in fact
there is no flooding here in Lilongwe. It is only affecting us here in
Lilongwe by having no electricity all the time. Like none. Grateful
that the flat I live in was given a generator, because I'm pretty sure
no other flat in the mission has a generator. Without this generator…
man I would be starving.
But I have been sent the pictures from a senior couple who served
in my old branch, Zingwangwa, my heart completely breaks. The Nthenda
Family (one of my baptisms in my old area) house was completely destroyed.
Gone. The Mackawas who were also baptized this last year, maybe
August, destroyed. And many other homes destroyed. Zingwangwa was hit the
worst in Blantyre and I just wish I could go back help everyone that I
loved there. Please keep Zingwangwa Branch in your prayers.
This past week has been great here in Lilongwe Branch. Isaiah
and Br Bitto were baptized yesterday, and I know that they are going
to do wonders!! Isaiah has a strong desire to serve a mission in a
year and doesn’t want anything/Satan to get in the way. They were
both so excited yesterday as they were able to make that covenant
with their Heavenly Father.  Even on Saturday when we saw Br Bitto, he
was so excited and had us write down his testimony so he wouldn’t mess
up. “Such good people!”
Wednesday I was able to go on an exchange with Sister Falco and it was
so great! As we were driving in the village part of my area, it was
raining super hard, so a little bit of flooding, but Sister Falco and
I were able to get some good video that I can’t wait for you to see so
you can get a better idea of my area!
Saturday, we got the chance to have interviews with President
Erickson.  I always look forward to seeing him and I loved the counsel
he gave me.  He talked about how a lot of missionaries have been
trying to consecrate their all as missionaries. And how cool of us
that at this time in our lives with get to have 1.5-2 years to set
aside all of our lives and just focus on others and the Savior. As
mission president he is suppose to still care about his family, and
worry about them, but this very short time in our lives we get to just
focus on the Savior, and how cool is that.  I hope for the next 10ish
months I devote all my time and attention to serving the Lord. I love
being a missionary. I love loving everyone I meet, and seeing them a
little like Heavenly Father sees his children. I love learning
more about my Savior and giving my time to Him at this time here in
Love you all!
Also I know that I just said to devote all my time and attention to my
mission, but…. #GOHAWKS

Monday, January 12, 2015

The rainy season has started! Finally. It has been nice and chilly and
I love it!!
This week was a little bit hard because we don't have many
investigators and and it is a lot of finding.
But Br. Bitto and Isaiah will be baptized this week! After a week of
opposition we were worried it wouldn't happen. As we saw Isaiah on
Wednesday he said he got a job offer that would make him work on
Sunday and he didn't know what to do. We told him to pray and decide
on his own. But he decided the right thing: to be baptized! So happy.
I have definitely learned that Satan is real and works hard on people
who are about to make a good choice in life. Don't let Satan come  in
between what is right!
I know this gospel is true and i know how it will bless life's if we
don't let Satan get in the way!
Sister Rasband

Monday, January 5, 2015

1 year ago tomorrow I submitted my mission papers. And now here I am in Lilongwe, Malawi serving the lord! Its crazy how fast time goes. And even to think I will be home this year!
This week has been good. Nothing really to report on. We have 2 on date for baptism on Jan 18. Br Beeto and Isaiah. They are great people and come from the village part of our area.
Area 47 is super rich and its very hard to find anyone to teach. But it is nice with the village because without it, we wouldn't have anyone to teach/baptize. but man I pray every day for our area that we can just find one person who is interested in the gospel.
We saw Beatrice and Lucekelo (mention in last email) yesterday. They are so great and really want to know if the book of mormon is true. We can't seem them for a month now, but i pray i will still be in this area at that time so i can teach them! They are so great.
All is going well! I know this church is our savior's church. I know this work is amazing and i am blessed to see the gospel bless many lives here in malawi. Have a good 2015!
Sister Rasband