Thursday, April 28, 2016

April 25 letters

To Mom:

South Africa is really very dangerous from what I've heard. I've actually heard many stories of missionaries getting mugged and stuff to be honest. Saying that, I will also say that I'm sure the mission is very careful and Adam won't be put in any serious danger. Also, I think that Cape Town is the safest of the three missions in South Africa but I'm not 100% sure. 

So this week we had a couple of fun experiences. So Saturday we were visiting two of our families (they're neighbors so we were all together) and we got the idea that they should officially ask their wives to marry them. They did this whole ridicously funny ceremony to ask their wives on the spot to marry them (This was the day after we had finalized the documents)and it was really funny. They got some fake flowers in their house and went and bought a little chocolate from a street vendor and knelt down and everything, it was pretty funny. The second guy put the chocolate in his mouth and had his wife eat it for like a cheesy chocalate kiss hahaha. 

On Saturday in the morning we all went to the chapel and got all the brides set up with their dresses and shoes and everything as well so everything is coming together well for the wedding. Elder Carvalho and I are going to make 7 identical ties from this cool Capulana that we bought so that the grooms, their padrinhos(best man type deal) and us can be matching at the wedding and other preparations were also made. All in all a really good week. 

To Dad:

So this week was super nice. We had many spiritual lessons and noticeable growth in our investigators. We had three families finalize their documents for marriage in the register on friday and so the triple marriage/baptism on the 7th of may is a gaurantee unless someone drinks or something which won't happen because they are seriously very good families. Their names are Felix and Fatima, Paulo and Luisa and Jovenal and Elia. The family of Felix and the family of Paulo are best friends and we often visit them together because they are also next door neighbors. We actually had a really fun experience with them this week but I'll put it in my email to mom. Jovenal and Elia are just really quite and humble but also very faithful and nice. Their obviously not as fun to visit but They are equally as good of a family. There are also a bunch of youth that we will be baptizing that day so it should be pretty insane. Our area combined with the other area will make so many baptisms on that day that I think it will be a record. It should be really nice. 

To celebrate the awesome week with the 3 document finalizations we went to a really nice restaurant and ice cream afterwords (Elder Carvalho and I) which was way nice and now it's all just wedding planning and baptism planning from here on out. 

To Aunt Sabra:

Certainly I feel like a wedding planner. There are several other companionships that are preparing baptisms and marriages but for some reason the responsibility of truly planning it all seems to land on me but it's all good I think that it's a lot of fun and really no other missionary really knows what they are doing. I've done enough by now that I at least know how to provide the necessities. However, I can say that a quick Mozambique marriage to be baptized is an entirely different matter than a Utah wedding. Way more planning would go into that. That fact aside I think it would be fun to help organize some weddings, haha. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

April 18 letters

To Mom:

The people from Chimoio will be visiting here in a couple of weeks which will be way nice so I'm just waiting for that to happen but it has yet to happen. The work with week was absolutely fabulous and we are seriously destroying it. Statistically, these are the best weeks of my entire mission. Our goals for next week are just absurd. 

Here in our mission we are actually very familiar with the south african missions especially because a nice chunk of missionaries in the mission were called to the durban mission but were later transferred with Swazi. Swazi is basically the exact same thing as South Africa so I have basically lived and served in SA. The only difference is that South Africa is a lot more dangerous than Swazi. Everything else is basically the same though. I also have spoken with many South Africans. 

I like all the plans and schedule and everything so thanks for all of that. Can you please ask Bishop what my topic will be or if I can just choose, which would be nice. 

Also on Mother's day we'll talk for only 30 minutes. Elder Carvalho and I are in charge of scheduling it so maybe I'll get to squeeze in a little more time though. Who knows. 

On the 7th of May we are having a huge marriage and baptism. 13 from our area and another 8 or so from the other companionship in the ward. 5 couples in total. It should be a way sick day and then mothers day the next day will be nice. 

To Dad:

So this week was super awesome with the work. Statistically, this week was absolutely crazy. We had so many lessons and so much work and tons of people at church and stuff. I actually have a book where I keep my records of  all the different stats of my mission and this week will definitely enter the record books in several different categories, however, I only enter it in at the end of the transfer so maybe this next week will surpass it which wouldn't surprise me. We actually have a goal for 30 member present lessons this week which would be way dope and break my record haha. Stats don't really mean much but they are pretty fun sometimes, haha. 

We found two really good families this week that I can almost guarantee will progress to baptism. They both have tons of family in the church and came to church and loved it and the spirit is incredible in every lesson that we do with them. With one, the husband is the cousin of the bishop and his best friend is the young mens president. With the other, the wife is the sister of a missionary serving in Brazil, and he has tons of friends in the church. The cool part is that the first family I just randomly contacted the guy and he turned out being so well connected in the church. 

We also walked with President Koch in our area this week which was nice. It was actually yesterday and he came and did a few lessons with us. 

I forgot to tell mom this so I'll just tell you but I actually knew of Adam's mission call on your Thursday because Sister Koch called me on Friday and told me all about it. She saw it on face book and just couldn't resist telling me. 

Monday, April 11, 2016

April 11 letters

To Mom:

I'm way happy to be here in Beira, it's seriously so nice here, it was like coming home. President and I didn't make any deal but I think that was maybe his line of thinking. I asked him several weeks before coming if I could come here and he probably put me as zl as kind of the price. Honestly ZL is way better than DL though. 

Elder Carvalho and I get along great and he is definitely a great companion.

So what day does school start? The problem that just came up this week is that Elder Keck (my old companion) just got engaged. Really I'm not that surprised I even told him that he would get engaged within the first 6 months and here we are 4 months in and it already happened. Anyway, he has asked me to come to the wedding and be one of the groomsmen. The sealing will be on the 26th of August so I will definitely have to go to it. It will be in the Seattle Washington temple.

Sorry I won't be able to send any pictures I forgot my camera at home. Honestly, as the mission has gone along I've lost the desire to take many pictures. I'll try to take some this week.

Some people from Chimoio should be visiting this week which will be way awesome. 

To Dad:

This week was super nice. We worked way hard this week and had tons of lessons and new people found. We also got the majority of the work done for our three weddings that will happen on the 7th. Everything is pretty much set and we should be having 14 baptisms that day which will just be insane. I will be way busy making cakes and doing all manner of preparations for the weddings. We also have to get the dresses set up and all of that good stuff. We are seriously working way hard though. 

We also had a way nice family night at the church on Saturday night. There were about 100 people there and we made three cakes and juice and stuff. It was really good and everyone loved it. The ward is really growing and should split here in the next few months. It's truly ready as well. I wouldn't be surprised if one of my recent converts from last year became the bishop as well which would be super cool. He is doing way good and honestly I think it will be him. 

To Aunt Sabra:

Our house and bathroom are currently flooded right now as well. Also the water is barely coming out because some people came to fix it and messed up so we take freezing cold showers every day. The living conditions are bad news right now. Also, every night I wash a mountain of dishes while my companion cleans surfaces and then we fall into bed exhausted because we are working so hard all the time. It's kind of frustrating but good because the time is flying.

Monday, April 4, 2016

April 4 letters

To Dad:

I will live in the same house and the same room and everything as before. It's pretty crazy that I'm really back after such a long time being away. The area is going awesome and we should be having tons of baptisms. The attendance of the ward shot up this week and I believe that I can do a lot of work these last two transfers in the ward. The members here love me and will pretty much do whatever I ask so we are getting tons of references and tons of member present lessons. We get like 6 per day, haha. It's way nice. We are planning a wedding of three couples and the baptism of like 10 people at the end of this transfer that will happen for sure so it's way good. It was seriously such a glorious moment to see the old families again. We were so happy to see each other. 

The reason I was never leader is because I always told president that I didn't want to be one. I never wanted to be a leader. To me it's just added work on top of what is really important which is the actual missionary work. I certainly never wanted to go to the mission office as AP or anything. All you do is sit inside and do nothing. It would be the worst area ever. Fortunately I never ended up having that fate. Elder Hruby, one of my good buddies is AP, though and he hates it. He has asked to leave several times but the mission president keeps rejecting him. He will stay there until the end of his mission. He goes home with me. 

I haven't ever taught anyone who smokes. If they do I pretty much always drop them. It's a big enough fight with those who don't smoke let alone someone with that bad of an addiction. We teach a lot of people with drinking problems though. People are mostly just kind of too poor for smoking or maybe it's just not the culture, I don't know. In Swazi, the biggest challenge was bible bashes in every lesson. At the very least you would have to back up absolutely everything that you said with some scripture in the bible. I actually really loved teaching in Swazi. I really miss it to tell the truth. They understood so well and sharing the message was challenging but really fun. The success we had in my second transfer was really nice too. 

To Mom:

If Adam goes to Brazil then I will definitely be able to talk with him. I have now had 3 straight Brazilian companions. First was Elder Barros, then Elder Goes and now Elder Carvalho who is the old assistant yes. He will be going home at the end of this transfer yeah. I will then be getting one last comp and go home. I never talk about how many people I baptize to anyone. I really actually don't want anyone  to know. I will never tell anyone including you guys. If I get recognition and satisfaction from what other people think of me then I wouldn't get any of the blessing that God can give me. He will just say that I already have my reward. I don't want any of the credit to go to me. Really it shouldn't, the lord is the one who gave me any baptism that I already have had. We are just mere instruments. Do we compliment the pen when a wonderful author writes a way good book? No. So it is with the mission. That's why I admire the sons of Mosiah so much and enjoy reading their words and comments about missionary work. 

Seriously I'm way excited to get home at this point. The pictures that Adam sent of Caleb made me miss home a lot.  Also what you and him wrote about with Caleb made me feel so happy and thoroughly excited to see everyone again. 

Everything has gone super amazing this week really. The area is doing wonderfully. I love this area with all of my heart. We are working so ridiculously hard it's nuts. We are going to have tons of baptisms, honestly the lord is touching this ward. I wrote a poem last week but another missionary is helping me revise the poem so when it's done I'll have to send it to you. It's got biblical references and a clear theme and whatnot so I think you'll like it. 

Anyways, I love you and am way excited to see you,
(Yes, he signed his letter to me "Heald".  What? :))