Monday, January 25, 2016

January 25 letter

We have yet to go to the capital city or the palace. I really like the house. It's good. Elder Barros is a good companion. By interesting I mean that it's weird having an african, brazilian, brit and american. I've never had such a diverse house. Also, my current zone is made up of more africans than white people. It's really weird. It's the only time I've ever heard of that happening on this mission. 

(In response to some news I told him): That's crazy about all the people so angry with these policies and whatnot. People will fall for stupid reasons but Satan is powerful. Honestly If our conversion is superficial then we will be blown away by the superficial temptations of the devil like disputes over church policy. People are converted to the church and not to the lord, but it needs to be the other way around.. In order for that to happen we must have experiences with the power of atonement. These people have never felt the moving power of the atonement and therefore don't have a truly deep conversion. 

This week was really pretty hard. We now have our first really solid family though. Next week I expect to have a really productive week. It's harder to get the fire to work here in Swaziland because people are much ruder. contacting people on the road is hard because people just make fun of you and stuff. It's fine though, the work is the same. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

January 18 letter

So Swaziland is definitely a new animal. You can look up the city of Manzini that's the city where I serve. The language is probably the hardest part about Swaziland. Their English here is honestly really bad. They only speak their dialect language of Swaziland. It actually has clicks in it and many names of people and places have clicks in them so that's interesting to get used to using clicks. It is really frustrating not being able to speak normally. You have to talk way slow and not use big words in order for them to understand. It really sucks because I feel like I can't get real relationships because I'm talking to them like a robot. Mozambiquans speak way better Portuguese than Swazis speak English.
Next week we might got to the capital which is about 30 minutes away and see the kings house. It's weird being in a country ruled by a king. They literally call it the Kingdom of Swaziland on the news and stuff it's really pretty funny. It's definitely more rich here though than in Mozambique. The infrastructure and general wealth is much higher, and I work in a poor area.

Zone conference was really good. Nothing of note to mention though. Also, let me say that the restaurants here are better too. We are going to play soccer today which will be pretty nice. Elder Donker and I are trying to see how many headers we can get back and forth so we've been doing that at nights and stuff which has been fun. It's really weird living with more than just my companion again. It's been pretty wild and I really like it. Although, Chimoio will never stop being my favorite area I am enjoying my time so far here in Swaziland. 
These are pictures from the safari on the way to Swaziland.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Letter from the mission office on his way to Swaziland

The Baptism on Saturday was really so spiritual. Honestly probably the most spiritual and reverent baptismal service that I have ever had. The family loved it so much and were just talking about how much they felt the spirit and how they have an assurance that the church is true because of what they felt and stuff. It really was awesome. We are currently in the office and getting ready to head over to Swaziland so that's why I am so early in writing.

That's the first and second counselors with the family.  They were baptizing. The first counselor (the one next to Elder Brown) was actually the Padrinho o witness kindof thing of the marriage. I was really happy with who they chose because I always like them to choose members first and Elder Brown had never baptized anyone so it worked out pretty well. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

January 4 letter - answering questions from Mom

The Swaziland zone was the biggest zone in the mission but they are now dividing it into two zones so they will be average sized zones now. I don't know many missionaries anymore seeing as that I've been in isolation for so long and honestly I don't really care who my companion is anymore. I feel like I can get along with anyone especially now that I'm on the final stretch with only 4 more transfers left.

I don't have a favorite baptism but my favorite wedding would either be the 5 couple one in Maraza or my wedding when I wore the crazy suit coat with Elder McAllister. My second favorite area after Chimoio is definitely Maraza and then Baixa with Magoanine way behind. Magoanine was way strong when I was there (the strongest in the mission) but has since split. The baixa is by far the weakest branch I was ever in and struggles to date. Maraza is really strong and Chimoio is pretty strong as well. The leaders are learning but solid at the same time. The best leadership was Magoanine for sure because a lot of them are returned missionaries but in my other places there weren't any returned missionaries in ward leadership. The biggest problem of new members of the church would have to be that they are more converted to the church as opposed to the lord. They are converted to the visits or missionaries or activities or any number of other things when their conversion should be founded upon Christ. The vision of the mission as far as families go is the same yes.

I have grown exponentially in the spiritual spectrum. My understanding of the gospel and the significance of it in the life of anyone, especially me has drastically changed. I feel like my humor and personality is the same though. Some missionaries get weird on their missions and shy away from media and whatever and I really just don't see that being me. Things that I wished I did before the mission would be to have read the book of Mormon and understood it before the mission. Honestly I think those people who just go crazy and wake up early every day and do all sorts of weird things for months before the mission are just wasting their time.  I promise you'll do fine without all this crazy nonsense.