Monday, November 24, 2014

November 24 letter

I am a senior companion but I'm not training or anything, although that does sometimes happen. I'm with Elder Dustin from Bountiful in the city of Beira. My area is called Baixa A. It has some of the coolest things in the mission. There is a restaurant that is the most beloved restaurant of missionaries of Mozambique in it called Muslim Mondays. The missionaries call it that at least. You get fries, chicken and other, more Mozambiquan dishes there. It is super good. I love it. There are lots of cool shops that sell awesome stuff. There's a bridge that the missionaries call beggars bridge with a bunch of beggars. I think I'll buy a bunch of fake watches, African sculptures, African backpacks and a bunch of other stuff before I come home for sure. The area really is super awesome. We have tons of families that are really doing well and will be baptized in the next month or two. 

I feel perfectly confident in the language; there is no problem there. The dialect here is different than in Maputo, but here they don't really speak it nearly as much. We have three companionships in my house. They're all a bunch of good guys. We have Elder Williams and Elder Walker, both from Utah I think, Us and Elder Reed and Veloso (a Mozambiquan). Reed is from Logan. The house is really cool and I like it a lot. Up here in Beira I'm finally close enough that we can play soccer ever pday! so I'm super excited to play for the first time today. 

The people are great in both places but I would have to say I'm liking this area better. It is just the sickest area in the mission. Tons of awesome families that are super prepared for the gospel, great stuff, and our house is waaaay nicer. We even have a dryer. My room is like 3 times as big and the ground has tile and the shower is way nicer. It is really nice. Plus the store where we go shopping is in our area too so that is super nice. No, we definitely do not have any sister missionaries because there are only like 8 in the whole mission and they only serve in Maputo. All of them were in my last zone, the only zone that has sisters, and we saw them occasionally. They worked in the city (the only missionaries that do besides the office elders and AP's). Also the only elders that are ever in their district are also the office elders and AP's. Actually, Swazi has like 4 sisters too.

The package thing is really iffy. I doubt I'll get all of these abundance of packages. Many will be forgotten or not given to me in a good amount of time. If they did, it would be a miracle. However, there is a new AP, so maybe he'll be a little bit better about getting the packages out really well, idk. I doubt it, though. I'm super excited for those packages though!!

That's awesome about Uncle Dave and that side of the family. I really do miss parties over there, the food especially. Speaking of which, do you think you could send me pictures of a bunch of recipes? I was thinking... cookies and deserts (especially lemon bars), Nana's meat pie (if possible, pastry included), scones, navajo tacos, tortillas, fajitas, and just all the meals I loved. Although, if it has cheese or shortening, it won't be possible. Stuff with potatoes is great. 

I'm super excited for Thanksgiving. We will be making a great Thanksgiving banquet on Thursday as a combined house effort. Should be really good. I really miss Thanksgiving and Black Friday shopping, you guys are super lucky. I bet Adam is just gonna have the time of his life. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Leadership - Senior Companion

We received this letter from the mission president today:

This is to inform that Elder Daniel Colin Heald has been called as a Senior Companion.  He has been called because he has the maturity enough to lead the missionary work in his companionship.  He has already developed some skills to find, teach, and baptize and help others endure to the end.  In this capacity, he will be able to train other missionaries and help them to experience the same journey that has brought him to where he is now.  Your support and prayers for him and for the people here in Mozambique are greatly appreciated.  We thank you for preparing such a missionary for this service.

With love and appreciation,

President Paulo V. Kretly

Mozambique Maputo Mission

Monday, November 17, 2014

November 17 letter

We had a wedding and Baptism and stuff like that these past two days. Also transfers is today and I'm going to be going up to Beira, so I fly out tonight. 

The Wedding was nice and the baptism was the next day before church because the font was kinda dirty from the rainstorm the day before. (the font is a pool outside the church) After the wedding, which was nice, we went over to the house of the bride's mom and had a little party. It was really cool and a really happy occasion. We had a really scary moment when they did the usual champagne cap popping thing and toast but fortunately our couple just grabbed some coke at the last moment. We were sweating bullets, though. The baptism was really nice, too. Elder Stubbs did the baptizing and it went really nice. 

Other than the baptism and wedding, there really isn't that much to talk about this week. We had a fairly tough week and had a lot of tough work to do. One day we did a service project and went to clean up a soccer field (sand field). I was able to rally the help of like thirty little kids and we actually got a lot of work done which was really cool. I just said things like "who wants a clean field?!" "what do you need to do?!" and stuff haha, they loved it and hopefully it makes an impression on them to not litter and stuff. 

We have a little ice cream machine in our area that Elder Stubbs and I frequently have gotten ice cream from which is kindof cool. It isn't quite as good as american Ice cream but it's like 30 cents haha. For last P-day, we went to the beach and played soccer. It was good and everyone had a good time. There were snacks and treats and we just had a good time. Everyone was kinda weirded out because of a bunch of white people on the beach but it was fun. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Nov 10 letter

Everything is lined up for the wedding and baptism; this week will be stressful but fun. We have several other families, but none who will be looking at baptism in the next month or so. I might get transferred next week, anyway, so I may not have any other chances to work with people in this area. 

This past week we found a guy named Eddie who said that when we found him he was very preoccupied and worried about many things and when we came he felt peace. He is super awesome and we are very excited to work with him. His children are really awesome and his wife is cool, too. We stopped by last night and gave them a Book of Mormon and said a prayer to try and help his wife feel better. The current family that will be married next week have only one little two year old girl. I will be  doing quite a few weddings because we only baptize families really and almost nobody is already married so we have to do many joint baptism/marriages. 

I never have to play the piano but maybe in a different branch I will. I don't know. I don't have any callings. Occasionally, missionaries are called to be in the branch presidency or branch president, but I don't have any calling yet. 

Next week will be my last week of training so we'll see what happens. Who knows? I might get transferred to a new area, possibly Beira. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Nov 3 letter

The policy of teaching and baptizing families is a preach my gospel principle, not a mission principle. The fact is is that most other missions don't have the amount of willing people, or discipline, to follow this principle. Plus, for example, in the US, there aren't enough families to teach to fill up the time and needed numbers. Here in Moz, we have a lot of humble people and a country that is very ready to hear the gospel to work with so we can enact the type of work that truly helps the church grow. When you baptize a family, there is a far greater chance of them remaining active in the church. Mozambique is experiencing astounding numbers as a result of this vision. The church attendance rate is rising faster than the baptism rate because the retention is so high and reactivation is taking place to some degree.

We have several really awesome families currently, which is really nice. We are working with several people that we just found and it is really awesome. This area has truly experienced a lot of growth in the past four weeks and my companion and I are working like crazy to make this area a really prosperous area. We work in all phases of the work at the same time, with helping members go to the temple, finding and teaching investigators as well as reactivation. It is really rewarding and our area is experiencing a lot of growth. Today, we arranged a family night between several families (our investigators, less actives and a really strong member). We will buy the treats and come up with an activity and it should be a really good experience that will help these members and investigators grow and integrate. 
Dad, that's funny that you would mention risk because we play risk quite a lot. We played on the election day and when we have to stay at home and on p-days and stuff; it's super fun. Also, we went bowling once. The problem is there isn't any place to play basketball or soccer or anything. The church is just a house so it's got nothing in there. The only way we could play good sports is if we went all the way to Matola which is three hours away, so there isn't enough time for that. We went looking for hippos but it was perfectly safe, plus we're protected as missionaries.