Sunday, May 29, 2016

May 23 letters

To Mom:

So there were a few things that I forgot to mention last week that I would have liked to mention. First, I forgot to say that President Koch is going to send our baptism to the Liahona to be an article there. That should be pretty cool to be in the Liahona. Also, I forgot to mention that our Batthroom problem is now fixed which is nice. They had to remodel the entire thing but finally, finally the shower kindof works. However, it's really been sucking with the hot water still and really the house still has water problems it's kindof depressing. Today I didn't take a shower because the water is out. Every time I get bummed about it though I just think of the shower downstairs at home and smile and get excited for unlimited hot water. 

We have been planning my last week in Beira lately and there are a bunch of families which will be throwing parties and stuff for me to go home. It should be super nice. I'm sad to leave all of them but at the same time excited to see everything at home. 

We have two men who have been coming to church for several weeks and are super cool and way good investigators and their wives finally came this week for the first time with them and seriously loved it so it's looking like after I leave there will still be lots of good stuff rolling in for Elder Huffaker and his future comp. They are really prepared families and will definitely get baptized. Things are really going well in the area. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

May 16 letters

To Mom:

ok so sorry about last week, unfortunately none of the internet places were working. Half way though reading the emails they all shut off and we were going along and trying all the internet places and none of them were working. Honestly it was really making me angry so sorry about that. Either way, I'll try to write a long letter today to make up for last week. 

So last week, like you know, was the wedding. It was a crazy week of wedding/baptism preparations and it was just so crazy and passed by incredibly quickly. On Thursday, I spent all day inside making cakes. literally from 7 in the morning until 11 at night I was just going crazy with making cakes. It was fairly tiring. Then, on Friday, we went to set up the church, eat Elder Carvalhos final lunch in Beira and then came home to decorate the cakes (seven of them). Saturday was awesome as you can see by the pictures and by my explanations in skype. After the wedding, I parted with Elder Carvalho, like I said on skype and went to a bunch of wedding parties which were awesome. I don't know if I've ever said this but I've just fallen in love with coke since coming to the mission and I must have drank 8 cokes that night haha. They just brought me whatever food or whatever I wanted because I was one of the guests of honor. It was way cool.

On a random side note: so for the cakes they only require egg whites so when we were done with the cakes and frosting and everything we had 100 plus egg yokes in a bowl. What we did is make this massive pan of scrambled eggs using only egg yokes and it was the greatest serving of scrambled eggs that I have ever had. It was so creamy and good. My cholesterol probably rose a ton though.

The next day, of course, was skype, which I loved. Then on Tuesday morning we headed to Maputo for a special zone leader council. It was all the zone leaders in the mission with President in the mission office. I felt like some way special business man flying to a meeting to fly back the very next day. It was a good meeting and spiritual. I enjoyed the meeting. I also got to meet with this Chinese family in Elder Donker's area (who is currently serving in Maputo) who they are teaching. They are way interesting and the questions they ask are just ridiculous. They have absolutely no knowledge about God so they ask questions like "why did God not kill Satan?" or "why did Christ choose Judas if he knew that he would betray him?" It was definitely a cool and fun experience teaching them. 

So we are currently teaching this amazing family named Castro and Ana. They also have a little boy named Rei. They are so amazing and will be incredible members but I just thought I would share their story a little bit here. So I just contacted him on the road and we visited them without realizing that he was the bishop's cousin and the very best friend of our young men's President. He is also next door neighbors with the young men's president as well as the three families that we just baptized and a bunch of other members (That area is like a mini Utah just tons of members). All of them are really good friends with him and had invited him many times to church but he always just blew them off. I contacted him in an entirely different area on the road and it was clear that the lord guided him to us. He accepted a visit and when I asked him where he lived he just told us to ask Ossumane (young men's president) so we asked him he explained how he was his best friend and the bishop's cousin and everything else and we were way excited and asked him to visit castro with us but he said he wouldn't. We asked some of the others but they were all afraid to visit him because he had denied them several times already. So we just visited them and it was a great first lesson and they really felt the spirit. That night, Ana, who was a very strong member in the Seventh Day Adventist Church, had a dream that this was the true church after asking the lord in prayer. It was quite the experience. A few weeks passed as we taught them and then the day after the baptism (the day I skyped right before actually) we visited them and taught the law of Chastity saying that they needed to get married in order to be baptized. She accepted great but he had a few doubts about the wedding. Then, he said that really he didn't want to be baptized because he didn't know if the message was true. At that point I was walking with Elder Brown (my old trainee) because Elder Carvalho had left. So, I gave a nice reading assignment in Alma for him to read because he hadn't been reading that well. Also we gave this reading assignment to all the people present in that lesson who were: two of the couples that we just baptized, the bishop and the young men's president. I then went to Maputo leaving this reading assignment with all of them to read together and also charging the members with the duty of going to his house and following up and bearing testimonies and whatnot. Anyway, I got back with Elder Huffaker, my new companion, and we visited them on thursday. We learned that the night after we left, his wife and he were praying to know if the church was true and she had like a Joseph Smith experience were she like seized up and couldn't pray so he was afraid and just kept praying for her and for help and stuff and all of the sudden everything stopped and they had a great sense of peace. He then immediately went and started reading The Book of Mormon and he said that he just knew it was true since then. When he told all of us that he wanted to be baptized and married we all just cheered and were so happy, it was great. They are always are going to church, she sang in the choir this week for ward conference and will be baptized and married on my last day in Beira the 18th of June. 

So this Sunday we had a pretty miraculous thing happen. We had ward conference and all the stake people came to do it and stuff. It also happened that tons of members showed up and we ended up having an attendance of 300! That is a number that has never been seen in the history of Mozambique. it was a massive frequency and really just incredible. When I sent in the zone stats to the Aps they texted back just kindof saying haha yeah right what was the real frequency of Maraza. It was pretty awesome. The whole Choir wore matching outfits and really it turned out great. One funny story however, is that when I got there they asked me to play the piano for the choir. I of course said yes but some of the songs I didn't know how to play. I had little time to practice but was able to pull it out well in the end. One song however, I am a Child of God, the director had arranged it a little with the choir to jump around a little in the hymn instead of just singing the verses normally. Unfortunately he said nothing of this to me so I'm just playing along and all of the sudden they just hop to the beginning and then to the middle and I was just frantically trying to find where they had gone and follow. Also, because none of them really understand rhythm too well, the timing on all the songs was terrible. They would draw out notes they shouldn't be drawn out and I would just have to try and follow even though I had never practiced with them. It was a bit of a disaster but after, everyone thought I was amazing and was complimenting me and stuff, haha. 

So two of the families that we just baptized are just killing it in the visits that we do with them. Honestly we take them to every visit because they just do all the work and then we will leave and the family will just say like yeah, I know it's true because their testimonies are so strong. We'll just sit back as they just all bear their testimonies and talk about their experience and it's great. Especially the two wives just kill it with the wives of the current families that we are teaching. They are best friends with Ana who I mentioned before and she should enter in to do the same thing as well. All in all, a fantastic two weeks. 

To Dad:
That's awesome that your choir worked out so well when my experience was very all of the sudden and less than excellent. The ward conference really was incredible though. We are also planning a ward activity where I will show all the relief society how to make "bolo de Elder Heald" or Elder Heald cake, haha. I'm pretty much famous for my cakes in this ward. They are always begging for the recipes and stuff so I figured we'd just do an activity to silence all the begging. 

Everything is going fabulously, we are getting everything lined up for one last big baptism before I leave on the 18th of June which will be so awesome. Two seriously way awesome families, one of which I spoke about with mom, Castro and Ana. The other one is Castigo and Luisa and they are way awesome as well. Along with some younger single people. 

It's crazy being so close to the end. How was that for you on your mission? Especially knowing that you would go home and get married right away? something that I certainly am not thinking. My last week many of my recent converts are playing several parties and stuff that I will be going to in my last days to say good bye so it should be amazing. Capping it all off with a large marriage/baptism on the last day. 

Anyway, love you dad, have a great week, I'll only be emailing 4 more times and then I'm home, haha, it's crazy. 

The picture of the couples in the wedding picture goes like this the far left is Felix and Fatima then the couple from Munhava ward, Jovenal and Elia, Paulo and Luisa and then the couple of the other elders in Maraza on the far right Fernando and Joaquina. The couples of Paulo and Felix are the ones that are just killing it.

 this next picture that I'll send is all of us with our matching capalana ties.
Then the other pictures are the baptism, clearly, the brides and in the end the matching Relief Society women who just kicked butt. 

Here are some pictures Sister Koch sent me from leadership training meeting that Daniel mentioned in his letter.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

May 3 letters

To Mom:

Capulana is this material that is basically just some cloth with cool designs that they do. For example the suit that I have is made of Capulana. We bought the cloth and then brought a bunch of crappy ties to this lady who sews stuff. There are tons of those here in Moz and they are way cheap. Anyway, we brought them to her and she then sewed us a bunch of ties! We already have them and they are way cool. I'm really excited for the weddings this week and we will be having some crazy preparations that will be time consuming but it should be the best wedding I've had on the mission so far. 

I will be skyping on Sunday at 18:00 my time so plan accordingly. They want us to say that if there is a conflict with church that you should just go to another ward. I would like to have a doctors, dentist and eye appointment all fairly quickly yes. The doctor just to make sure I don't have any weird diseases that are killing me or something. 

So I decided to send a few pictures to you that were a bit funnier haha instead of just the usual boring ones. 

This week was really good and I'm super excited to talk with you this Sunday. 

To Dad:

It really is crazy that I'll be home next month. I never thought that the day would come. It honestly still feels that way but sometimes I actually think that it's actually close. 

This week we had some really cool lessons and good work done. We gave a zone meeting to our zone which went well. We did a family home evening last yesterday with all of our best investigator families and a few other families. It was way good. We watched a church film on the big screen at the church and Elder Carvalho and I bought cookies and soda for everyone. We also gave out our ties to the grooms and padrinhos. It was really fun and everyone loved it. We are getting close to ready with the preparations with the baptisms and wedding so it's pretty good.