This week definitely went by super fast. It was kind of a crazy week. Still adjusting to everything that's going on, and all the changes. Me and Elder Andrade are getting along. But it's super weird. We have such different teaching styles so we're still trying to figure out how to get used to each other so that we can teaching more effectively. I got so used to teaching with Elder Workman after teaching hundreds of lessons together. So we're slowing adjusting. He likes to use a lot of scriptures. And that's good cause scriptures are important! Also... he LOVES to sing. Non-stop. So that means he especially likes to use hymns at the beginning of lessons. And it's a good idea cause it invites the Spirit. We're slowing adjusting and I know we'll find an affective way to teach together. But he's a super nice guy! It's hard to understand his English every once in awhile, so it's easier to speak portuguese. But he's a super nice guy! As we get more used to each other, we'll become closer as well.
Our investigators are coming along! We have about 18 progressing investigators right now, and we'll be adding to that as we find new people each and every week. This week we'll be up in the twenties I'm thinking. We have a family getting baptized on Saturday, Jazila and her 9 year old daughter Joyce. They have been so ready for a long time. So I'm so happy for them! We also found an awesome new family a few days ago, Realdo and Elsa. He asks the perfect questions, and the Spirit is always so strong when we teach him. And I know he can feel it. He asked if God provided the world with a proof that Joseph Smith really restored the Church. Answer? The Book of Mormon. So I hope as he reads he will grow a testimony and know that Joseph Smith really did restore the true church of God. He is one of those that is already to recieve the Gospel.
We have also found some other really nice families as well, who I think will progress very nicely this next week. It's been nice to have some more finding time lately as we drop the investigators who aren't keeping commitments. That's one of the hardest things for me. Dropping investigators.
Now I'll answer the questions that dad asked me. My camera, is fine. And I am taking pictures! The past few weeks we've been trying to send pictures but I guess this internet cafe doesn't really work with sending pictures. So I'll hold on to them and send them when I can. Sorry about that!
What brings me the most happiness? Probably when and investigator is keeping commitments and when they recieve answers to their prayers. I love that! And I actually love doing little acts of service for others. I'm always happy when I do that. Which is weird... cause I used to hate that! But that's a good change! But easily the best feeling is to see people change their life through the Gospel and Atonement. The other Elders in the house are great. Elder Christensen from Idaho is a super good missionary, and also Elder Sornenson, from Mountain View in Mesa. So we actually have a few mutual friends cause he know some people from Gilbert. And also Elder Berg from Lehi, and Elder Gibson from southern california. (sorry I didn't tell you that earlier). I get along very well with everyone... they're all nice guys!
What do I wish I would've done better in my teenage years? Scripture study. I always read the Book of Mormon, but never really studied it. That Book is amazing. I feel bad it look me so long to develop a real love of the scriptures. And I wish I studied the Bible more as well. But my biggest help growing up, Seminary and friends. I honestly believe seminary is so important.
So that's what Small babe (Andrew) and Coke Dean (Nicholas) can do to better prepare. Scriptures, Friends, and Seminary. So important.
Sounds like everything back home is going well! Football, work, school! Sounds like a lot of fun! I love hearing about things that are going on, so keep me updated!
Nate dog (friend from High School) is finally leaving on his mission! Whoo!!! So pumped for him. Go up and talk to him for me as well after he speaks and tell him I love him. Like for real. I do. Haha.
So I got a terrible rash this past week! So painful! But it only lasted for about a day or so. It was super weird. But I'm good now. I don't kow why I told you that, but just figured I would! It hurt so bad you don't know...
A cool experience I'll share we'll quick. So we are teaching this women Pasqoa. She has developed a testimony, and so this week we reviewed the Plan of Salvation with her. Her neighbor is catholic and sat in the lesson with us. We were talking about what will happen after this life, and Pasqoa's friend asked her if she actually believed all that stuff we said. And Pasqoa said an unbelievable testimony to her! It was so cool. It's cool to see people's testimonys grow. And that Pasqoa doesn't care what her neighbor thinks, because she knows it true. Such a good example to us all.
Well, I'm out of time, so I'll talk to you next week! Keep asking questions! And I'll keep working hard. The church is so true.
I hope you all had a good week! It's been crazy for me with all the change that's been going on. New companion, new Elder's in the house, etc. First of all, let me apologize about saying my companion was Elder Mendes. The transfer slide has his name and his picture, but then I got a phone call later in the day saying I was getting Elder Andrade. I'm still not sure exactly what happened... But the point is I have Elder Andrade as my new companion.
Elder Andrade is from Cape Verde though as well. But he actually speaks english pretty well! I was surprised. I was looking forward to speaking just Portuguese with him, but we pretty much do that anyway I guess. Our area is UNREAL. I was super nervous to show the area, but it went really well! We have unbelievable investigators that are progressing nicely. Some families we are just waiting on getting married before baptism. Many people that are "married" aren't married legally. But we're making progress! And we're finding families that are legally married. For example, Octavio and Candida. They are a great family and have been coming to church as well. The are EATING UP the gospel. It's so cool. I could see all 6 of them getting baptized soon. We have a family getting baptized on the 29th. Jazila and her daughter Joyce. We've done family home evenings over at their house with the Osborn's, and Jazila is so ready to be baptized it's crazy. She's been ready for awhile. She just wanted to make sure for certain. And we helped her realize that she is ready! So I'm excited for that. The families baptisms will start snowballing pretty soon.
Me and Elder Andrade get along great. He was a little shy the first few days, but everyone's a little shy around someone new for awhile. He's been on the mission about a year I believe. It's a good opprotunity for me to grow in the language by leading lessons Elder Andrade is still getting to know the people we teach. But me and Elder Andrade are already starting to get in a rythmn. We're getting some serious work done. It's a lot easier then in the past now that I can understand everything people are saying to me and can respond intelligently. I feel a lot more efficient now that I can communicate with everyone. Such a blessing.
Yesterday was a good day cause almost every single one of our progressing investigators came to church. Except for one... which was sad. We went out a little early and walked with some people to church so that they wouldn't forget. And we had a really good turnout yesterday! Except yesterday after church was hard after some difficult lessons. We ran into this house and realized we had never talked with anyone there, so we decided to go for it. It ended up, the guy was married legally and everything! And he definitely knew the Bible very well. Right away, he started "bible bashing" with us. It was such a joke. I had a feeling we should get out of there asap, but we were probably there a little longer than we should've been. The Spirit is never there in those types of settings, and so now I know to leave those situations right away. But we did find some other people yesterday to teach, so that was good! I also saw a monkey yesterday! Super sweet. We were actually in an apartment complex, and we saw a big monkey climbing around on some bars! I don't know how it got there, but it was super cool! We also saw a HUGE bat the was dead in the road. It's tough to see animals when we're in the city part, but still cool!
Like I said, I hope everything at home is going well! New job, school, play, church, work, etc. I love hearing about what's going on back home and that everyone is doing good.
As for me, I'm doing SO GOOD. I'm so happy here. I've really learned some qualities that I have that I never really realized. Before my mission I thought everyone was an "idiot." Haha. But I really grown to love others, and I love serving. I always look for ways to serve other Elder's in the house. When I'm serving and putting others first, I'm happy. That's an important thing I've learned. I love this work, the people, MY AREA, and I never wanna leave Quelimane. I know this is where I'm supposed to be and I'm so blessed to be here.
I hope you all have a wonderful week, and don't forget to read your scriptures! Reading is not fun, but there is a difference between reading, and studying the scriptures. Dig in deep! There is such good stuff in there. Each verse has many different things we can apply to our lives. So grateful for the Book of Mormon. Have a good week!
It has been a crazy week! Losing my companion, being the only person responsible for every living soul in my area. It's a scary concept. This is probably the thoughest time for me right now during my mission. But I know I'll learn a lot once it's all over and once I get back in the rythmn of everything.
Yesterday was especially scary for me, because I showed my area! I'm walking with members until my new companion shows up. So yesterday I walked with Patel, he's nineteen and I have been a missionary for a longer time then he's been a member. So as you could imagine, I was terrified to walk and teach with someone who didn't really know what he was doing. I ended up doing all the talking in every lesson, all day. I prayed so hard that the Lord would help me understand so that I can help my investigators. And he definitely blessed me! Tomorrow I'll be walking with another member as well. And we have a big day planned! So it should be interesting.
We just recieved the transfer slides seconds ago. My new companion is Elder Mendes from Cape Verde. That means he speaks one language... Portuguese. I know it will help me grow in the language a ton. I'll make it very clear that we'll be working hard. We can't ruin the progression of our investigators that we've worked so hard for. He should get here probably Thursday.
Sounds like everything at home is going good! Soccer, school, work, church, more play, sounds like everyones busy!
Dad, let me know about you work of work! Where's your office at anyway?
You guys are all in my prayers, but I would have you know that my focus is here and the people in my area. I've grown to love this people and I would honestly do anything for them. But I love hearing from all of you!
Britt, You can do it! If this is something that Geoff is supposed to do, the Lord will help you. I feel all alone as well, especially knowing that the only chance these people have for salvation is because of me. So I feel alone right with you! But the Lord is always there.
Nick, keep it up in school! I know it's tough to be a teenager, but keep doing what's right and you'll be happy. And I know you'll find friends that will help you get on a mission as well. That's what's important. And I hope you serve in Portugual! And the vans? I don't really care. Take whatever makes you happy!
Small Babe, you better keep reading the Book of Mormon and being nice to Morgan! Love you!
Morgan, hope school is going good and dance! Love you!
Tiff, keep staying busy! It's good for you. Haha love you!
And Mom, I'm glad your preschool kids love you! I don't blame them, you're the best! I love you so much and thanks for everything you do for me!
Well, I don't have much more time, but this week will probably be a hard week to be completely honest. But I know if I do what's right, the Lord will help me with my investigators. Although this work is difficult, I love it and I am happy! President Holland said it best, missionary work isn't easy because salvation never was easy.´
I'm so grateful to be here in Quelimane and the Church is SO true. Wish me luck this week! Love you all!
Sounds like a good week back at home! Everyone sounds like they are plenty busy, so that's good. Wow, I don't know where to start with this past week, so I'll start with saying something to the small babe.
Small babe, MOW THE LAWN. No excuses. Andrew, you need to be a good example and mow the lawn so that your mother doesn't have to. If I hear that Mom ever mows the lawn, then I'll be disappointed in my small babe. So do the right thing babe! I know you will. Love ya!
Haha, this past week for me was crazy. I literally thought I was going to die this past week. Because that bus ride from Quelimane to Beira is unbelievably painful. Obviously I had a middle seat (bad luck). Try 15 hours on a bus with hard seats, worse leg room than the back seat of the suburban, and bumpy dirt roads so we´re bouncing all over the place. On top of that, add no air conditioning while driving through the African desert, while wearing a suit jacket, while everyone on the bus smells terrible cause they don´t take showers. What a day. I thought I was going to die. But it was definitely a good experience, one that most missionaries in the world don´t get to have. And the view from the window on the ride there, was UNBELIEVABLE. It was like a national geographic magazine the whole way there. We drove through a mixture of jungle, desert, and sagebrush. It was crazy. And it´s crazy cause there are even little mud huts in the middle of nowhere. Some of those people probably haven´t even seen white people before. It´s so crazy. So it was a long day, but I grateful for the opprotunity, and the things I saw. So I wasn´t complaining about the situation, I promise. I really am grateful for it.
The zone conference was super cool! It was good to be able to meet Elder and Sister Renlund and hear their message for us. Elder Renlund talked about page 10 of Preach My Gospel, and how we can be successful missionaries. Sister Renlund talked about helping people make commitments, and how we can better teach the commandments.
It was also a pleasure to hear from our amazing mission president and his wife. They really are amazing. He talked about our potential, and being extraordinary missionaries, not ordinary. And Sister Kretly talked about our health, and that we needs to keep our houses clean. She´s all about clean!
It was also good to be able to meet some more Elders in the mission as well. I got to know some new people, and I got to see my entire MTC district as well. So it was good to catch up with them and see the different experiences in the different cities. I also got to talk with Elder Martinez again. It feels like we're in sixth grade all over again. Haha. He´s a good Elder, and maybe we´ll be companions one day!
Another posotive thing about the conference was that I was able to understand every word the President and Sister Kretly used during their trainings. The Language is really coming along fast, and it really is a miracle. But it is a lot easier to understand their Portuguese, because they speak correct and conjugated Portuguese. Which isn't really the case here.
But I'm so grateful I'm growing in the language, because this week I lose my trainer. Elder Workman flies down to Maputo on Friday, and then flies back to the US on Monday. It´s amazing how fast time flies, and that I´m already getting a new companion soon. But I won´t be getting my new companion until sometime next week. So we'll be walking in three-somes here until then after Elder Workman leaves. I'm pretty nervous abut getting a new companion. Especially because I would be showing my area to my new companion. But it´s a huge opprotunity to grow as a missionary as well. I´ll let you know who my new companion is when we get transfers and everything. Should be interesting.
Our area is still going unbelievably, and I´m so excited about it. We found another UNBELIEVABLE family this past week. Octavio Cossa, and his family. He´s got two sons Kelvin and Marvin who are 19 and 21. They are such studs who are already reading the Book of Mormon and praying. I´m so excited for them, and seeing how they progress. We should be making baptismal dates for them this week! So excited.
This P day (today), we are going to do something super sick! We're going to feed crocodiles! And what are we feeding them? Live chickens! Haha dead serious! The Osborn's are taking us at 13:00 (1:00pm). It's going to be crazy. I'm sure we'll get some crazy pictures! I'll let you know how it goes!
Well, I hope you all have a good week! I love getting emails from G-ma and G-pa, and Nana and Pops as well. Even if Nana and Pops address the email, "Elder Bushnell". Haha! But I understand, cause they're used to writing him. But I did get a kick out of that. I love all my granparents! Thanks for everything you do for me!