Monday, February 23, 2015

February 23 letter

This week was nice. One problem did occur though with our area. We usually work on the beach (a really poor area) but this week the tides came in and broke the sand barriers. The water came rushing through and many members' and investigators' houses are flooded. We have to wear big boots everywhere we go because the water is too deep. We spent several nights bucketing water out of their houses and doing the best to help them in this time of need. It really did show their faith though when they came to church despite the many problems with water that are happening in the zone of praia nova.

Belmiro and Isabel are still doing great and we are looking at a marriage and baptism date of the 21 of March. It should be an awesome day blessed with many marriages and baptisms with happiness all around. We are working really hard with several families for this date. The problem is really just coming down to if they stay strong and have the money to do marriage documents. 

This week wasn't really full of awesome stories so I don't have anything really miraculous for you guys but I will say that our families and investigators are coming along great. 

Rosita and Gonzolvez

Belmiro and Isabel

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Feb 17 letter

So, this week was really crazy. 

First, we finally got the first stake in Mozambique and it was created in Maputo! For the occasion, on Wednesday, we got the information that all the missionaries in the mission would be going down to the event of the creation of the stake. The Elders in Beira all took a bus for 18 hours to arrive there in Maputo. It was sort of like a mini vacation and was super awesome. The new stake was created and the leaders were called by Elder Ellis of the seventy. We went to a chapel in Beira on Friday night and slept until 3 in the morning at which point we got on the bus. We arrived in Maputo late, ate a quick dinner and then left the chapel there to stay at various places. For me this place was at one of the senior couples house along with 7 other missionaries. The next morning we woke up and went over to the chapel where the stakes would be made and all the missionaries were there. We got to see a lot of wild Africa but didn't see anything particularly noteworthy. The stake was created, and after the meeting we went back and lunch was provided by the senior couples for all the non-Maputo elders. We ate and then went out into the city of Maputo to tract and stuff. We knocked a few apartment buildings and stuff and then came back at 6 o clock for dinner. After dinner we went to bed immediately because the next morning we had to leave on the bus at 4 o clock again. It was a really awesome experience. The bus did get a flat tire on the way back which was kinda funny but they repaired it in about an hour and we were on our way again. We were in a small little town when that happened so we just bought cokes and sat around and waited. 

With Belmiro and Isabel (it's Isabel not Elizabet, typing error there), we just taught them law of chastity and they accepted marriage so we'll start on their marriage documents and in no time they will be married. It is super exciting. It was a little difficult being away from the area for 3 days but lots of people still went to church which is really nice. 

Another miracle that happened this week was that we had to register a women so that she can get married (one of our investigators). We went to the register and tried registering her but because she is 22, it's really hard to register. (not registered means not even a citizen of Mozambique yet, no birth certificate, no nothing). They rejected her but then we went in there and were able to sweet talk the boss of the register and she was registered! this is awesome because now they can get married here in a month or so and baptized on the same day.  They are a super awesome family, her name is Rosita.

Oh and our house stayed the same in transfers other than Elder Walker left and we got an elder from Portugal in his place.
This picture is all the missionaries that came in with my group from the MTC.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

New Stake

We received this from the A.P.s:

Parents of Missionaries,

This Monday, some of our missionaries will be travelling from Maputo to Beira and will not have the opportunity to write home until Tuesday.  Please know that they are safe and well!  This trip is due to a miraculous weekend in which the first Stake in the country of Mozambique was organized!  All of the missionaries in the entire mission came together to witness this miracle.  The mission and the people of Mozambique are being blessed by the efforts of your missionary and your prayers in their behalf!  Feel free to respond to this email with questions or concerns.

Monday, February 9, 2015


Family night in Praia Nova
From Feb 17 letter: The thing about the other kids is that when they see a party they just mob the area in hope of getting some food or something so that's why we had a bunch of bandwagoner kids at the family night. We did do the family night again and got even more people there, it was super awesome again. 
At a birthday party - I hope hand symbols are different in Mozambique. :)
From Feb 17 letter: The middle finger means the same thing but it's not really as bad and I don't really know what those kids were doing anyways, they probably just didn't know.
Calton and Delilah's house
From Feb 17 letter: Calton and Delila are the richest family that I have ever baptized, but they are not the way rich family that we do p-day family nights with. 
Baptism of Ludmila and Catarina
From Feb 17 letter: That other elder is Elder Thurstan and he is in my house. Elder Thurstan and his companion, Elder Reed, taught Catarina and Elder Dustin and I taught Ludmila. 

Feb 9 letters

Today was supposed to be transfers but they delayed it so, according to them it will be on Wednesday but I don't know. I've made the biscuits these past 2 weeks a few times now and they have turned out just great. So what we do in our house for meals is we do house meals. We have six missionaries in our house so how it works is each person cooks for the rest of the people on his day. This, on that day, is in the place of language study so it keeps lunch times down and less time wasted on cooking. So I make 1 meal for everyone else each week. I don't know how that will continue for the next weeks with transfers and all but we'll see. I have made biscuits 3 times now. On my last two meals and for my comp in his last meal. They turned out super good and everyone loved them. I actually used margarine which maybe made the difference but I don't know. I didn't actually make the biscuits the first time I just gave the recipe to my first comp and he made them so he probably just messed up and did something stupid. Either way I think butter works out just fine. 
President Kretly will leave right around my year mark which will be sad but I'm sure whoever will come in will be super awesome too and have a whole bunch of new different things to teach me and the rest of the missionaries.
That family that I contacted last week are still going super awesome. They went to church last week and it was super awesome. He actually bore his testimony on his first day of Church. His name is Belmiro and her name is Elisabet. We are taking them to the family night at the Moianies house this week (that rich family) which should be super good.

Another really awesome story is about a family night that we had with a bunch of families all in the part of our area called Praia nova. We have the main city area, Ponta-Gea, Maquenino and this area called Praia nova which is the most poor area in any area in all the mission. It is super awesome and all of our investigator families are from there. Also, we have a few members there as well. We did a family night for all of our investigators in Praia nova and all of the members. We ended up having a total of 29 people there with a bunch more random kids. We made cake, played the game "cat and mouse" with our ties and they bought soda. Also, I talked about temples and tons of new friends were made. We are planning to do this weekly and I think it will be a big success. I'll send some pictures of the family night.
To Dad: This week we had the awesome opportunity to hear from Tadd R Callister of the sunday school presidency and Brother Gibson of the young men general presidency. Brother Callister talked about some really awesome things about the Atonement because he is an expert on the subject with his book "The Infinite Atonement" which, I forgot to tell mom, but that would be awesome to send me in the package. Elder Gibson also talked about some other cool stuff. I definitely grew as a person and as a missionary from listening to them talk and I look forward to applying the things that they talked about in my life and as a missionary. 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Feb 2 letters

To Mom: My comp will probably be transferred this next week so this is my last week with him most likely. The house is really nice and I'm loving the vibe everywhere. Everyone gets along and it's all good at home. It's super hot here right now and rains a ton but other than that everything is going great. 

We had 3 conferences with the seventy Elder Ellis this week. 1 zone conference for the missionaries. 1 Saturday night leadership session and, also on Saturday, an adult session. And on Sunday, the general session. Mozambique will receive stakes on February 14, 2015, which is a huge accomplishment. The first stake to be established will be in Maputo. That is the only currently authorized one, though, so Beira has a little longer to go before we will be getting a stake. It's all good. In the meantime, we will continue to help the branches and district become self sufficient with better leadership and higher attendance so that we can be ready for stakes here shortly. 

This week we started marriage documents with several of our families. It looks like in the next month or so we'll be getting 3 more families to the waters of baptism. This is all super exciting and I love how the lord is preparing the way for so many people in this area.

This week I had a super spiritual experience. We were walking and we passed a family walking on the road. We were walking with another man to his house for a lesson so it would have been very inconvenient to stop this other guy to contact this family. We walked past them and I just glanced and didn't think much of it. Then, a couple seconds later, I got a super powerful spiritual prompting to go back and talk to this family. I stopped, following the prompting, and the next day we visited them. They are an amazing family and I know the spirit has prepared them. As of right now, they haven't progressed very far because it's only been a few days. But I have a lot of faith that this family's life will change and they will be baptized. 

To Dad: This week the announcement that we are getting the first stake in Mozambique came in so that should be nice. We will have another meeting this tuesday with Todd R Callister, President of the Sunday School and former seventy presidency so that should be nice. I really enjoy reading his talks. I'm curious to see if we will be receiving some sort of an apostle for next week or what. I hope so. 

This week was super awesome. We found some really awesome people and a lot of our investigators are going super well. We had to have a few heart breaking dropped families but other than that the work is definitely accelerating. I'm super pumped to start the final leg of baptism and marriage with some of our current families. 

One thing that we do is always work in the finding sector, as well as all other sectors. But we find it super effective to try and find 1 new family to teach every single day. This works out really well and we can get a good consistent 20 or so investigators at church. We are trying to increase this number but it's been a little tough with some sicknesses in our investigators. Also some of the wives of our investigators are being tough cookies so that's another tough difficulty. Work is another big hindrance for church attendance. We are having good success fighting through a lot of these difficulties, though, and should begin to see a bunch more baptisms. This week we will baptize a 14 year old girl that we have been teaching too, so that should be super great as well.