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

Monday, July 6, 2015

Happy 4th of July and Malawian Independence day!!!
This week has been amazing!! Sister Tuai and I are working so hard to find those who are ready to hear the gospel and are truly being lead and guided to many people!
Last week I think I talked about a guy name Thokozani, maybe I didn't but anyways he is so sweet! We taught him on Thursday and we spent some time just following up about him praying about Joseph Smith. He goes "Yeah and I know its true!" What.... so we committed him to be baptized on July 26. He came to church on Sunday and he loved it! And then on Sunday we got the chance to teach his sister and his dad. Miracles are happening everyday!
We also contacted this guy named Solomon 2 weeks ago. My companion called him to see him on Thursday. When we knocked on the gate he comes and I start thinking "who did my companion call for us to see... this is a waste of our time". Turns out not true. We just start getting to know him and sharing a little bit about God when my companion looks to me and all of sudden I'm looking in my bag, pull out the plan of salvation pamphlet, open it up to Jesus Christ suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane. And then literally the spirit takes over the lesson as Sister Tuai and I describe to him what he did for us and how he suffered for our mistakes and sins, as well as our trials and temptations. We asked him "How does that make you feel to know Jesus Christ went through all of these things for you?" He pauses for a moment and then says "I'm just amazed. I have no words. I just can't believe he would do that for me". I just wish I could tell you how strong the spirit was in that lesson but there are no words. Throughout the lesson I just had such a feeling of love for this guy I had just met. I felt a small amount of love that God has for him and could understand and feel what Heavenly Father feels for him. After he said that about Jesus Christ he goes " You know I think I need to come to your church. I haven't been to church for a year and a half. But I want to come this week. Where is your church?"
Fast forward to Sunday. That morning we prayed to have 3 people at church. Thokozani, Solomon and another person we had met. Thokozani and the other person, George showed up but Solomon hasn't come. It is 11 and there is just one more hour of church. Sister Tuai and I were super sad that he didn't come but then we get a call from a private number. We answer it and he says he is lost and can't find the church. So we tell him we will meet him somewhere, we sprint/walk 15 minutes to that place and then get back to church 10 minutes before classes end. Prayers were answered. 
Just this morning we went and taught him the restoration and he loved the message. He said that the message means a lot to him and he knows the apostasy is true. We committed him to be baptized August 9th. One thing though that Sister Tuai and I have noticed is how much he has seemed to have changed. Thursday when we met him he just looked depressed and down. But just in these past couple days he has seemed more happy and just at peace. This gospel truly changes lives. It is just one of the best things is seeing the gospel change people and make them happier. I have even seen it since i have been on mission. I am so happy even though I have been so tired this week, I am just incredibly happy. I love you all so much and am so grateful for your prayers and support!

Love, Sister Rasband

1) Fourth of July Captain Morgan pose for her brothers! (not sure that is legal on a mission ;) )
2) Three American girls in Malawi on the 4th in their Red, White and Blue
3) Anna went on exchanges and got to go back to the village. This is Sister Kampoo. She is a less active sister. She has leg issues and can't walk to church but she and Anna have a connection and love each other very much. She doesn't speak English so Isaiah has to translate for them. I have noticed a lot of pictures of this sweet sister.
4) Isaiah and his sisters, recent converts Anna was able to teach
5) Anna mopped a member's house.