|Elder Williams is doing great... he's with the "cook" on the left and Elder Fontes (companion) |
on the right. :) We've never seem him so happy...
Sunday, December 23, 2012
Posted by Todd WIlliams at 10:39 AM
Monday, December 17, 2012
This week was crazy. As usual. And it was super stressful as well. Lets start off with what happened at church yesterday. Because church is always an adventure, and is always when I'm stressed out the most and have the biggest headache. So for the past THREE WEEKS IN A ROW the first conselor in the presidency did not assign talks or anything for church. That responibility is obviously no longer his. So last second, me and President Mounga were scrambling to find people to give talks. I gave one last week as a result of this situation. It's really frustrating, and can't happen. So we are trying to better in this department. And I'm positive that it will get better.
Then, during relief society, the President said that she didn't prepare the lesson so she asked me to teach. But obviously I didn't prepare the lesson either, so I knew just as much as she did about the lesson. So that's frustrating. But we are really trying to help the members become less dependent on the missionaries, we are trying really hard with this. But other than that! The branch is great! I really do love it. I'm learning alot and I feel privileged to serve with these amazing people. But it is a headache and a half!
Saturday, was good as well. We had a lesson that was extremely powerful. The family of Diogo and Gida. they are progressing nicely and will be getting baptized after we get them married next month. They read the Book of Mormon together, pray together, and even write summaries on what they read. It's super nice! We were talking about the importance of baptism, but kinda turned into a testimony metting. We asked them if they have felt and difference in their lives since they've started coming to church and reading the Book of Mormon. We asked Gida first. tears began to develop as she explained the peace she feels as she reads the Book of Mormon. Diogo then expalined that without a doubt he has seen a difference. He said that the realationship in their marriage has been better, they are happier, and they feel more purpose. This has all happened in just a few short weeks. these really are blessings of the gospel.
The Spirit was very strong as we testified of these blessings that the Lord is giving their family, and that this is how the Holy Ghost testifys that these things are true. I always feel good after lessons like this. I get even more happy when I se them walk into the church together. They live all the way past the airport too! These families are making sacrifices to come to church. It's a good reminder for me, because before the mission, I complained when I couldn't drive to the church. 2 streets down... I will not complain about that again.
We had a HUGE turnout in the branch yesterday. Most of them are new investigators. By far the biggest turnout since I've been here in Manga. We've been working hard on helping investigators come to church, and yesterday it finally paid off. I'm excited to see the growth grow even more next week.
I've also been teaching the English class that we put on, considering I'm the only one that speaks English in the branch... It's every saturday at 16:00. We usually have a pretty big turnout, but on saturday, only one person showed up. An 11 year old girl. She was super shy as she does talk very much. So it was a task to teach her when she didn't really want to say anything. I'm trying to think of more ways to have people come to the class. We'll see if we have a bigger turnout next week!
Christmas should be good. But I guess we'll only be able to skype for 30 minutes. It'll be nice! But you'll have to add the Hall's as a friend on skype so that it works. Their email is xxxxxxxx. So if you guys could do that that'd be great! Also something I would love in a package is gatorade packets. I've been craving gatorade for a long time. So hook it up with LOTS of packets!
Well, that's it for this week, as much as the stress that I'm having, I'm having even more happiness. It's amazing to see people apply the gospel in their lives and see changes. I love the gospel and I'm so grateful to be a servant of the Lord. Have a good week!
Posted by Todd WIlliams at 6:37 AM
Monday, December 10, 2012
We had an awesome week here in Manga! A lot of different things happened! We felt the Spirit super strong, and also had a ton of fun! There's not a better combination.
It's been a busy week as we continue to find families and help them progress and receive testimony. Our finding our the past weeks has payed off, and now we have a solid investigator pool. We have about 14 couples or families that as of right now, are progressing. This week we will be working hard in trying to set specific dates for baptism. We believe that we can prepare everyone of these to be baptized on the 12th of January, which would be UNBELIEVABLE! I can't even imagine how that day would be. But we realize that most of them won't happen because none of these couples are legally married. And it's kinda a brutal process. That is the biggest challenge in baptizing, marriage. Especially because many don't have sufficient money to marry. But hopefully we can get at least a few couples legalized to prepare them for the 12th of January. So we'll see how that goes.
We had a Christmas party this week! President and Sister Kretly flew up from Maputo into Beira on Friday morning and they spent they day with all the Elders in the Beira area. Elders from Tete and Chimoio also came down. Friday morning, was the zone conference, and President Kretly gave us a training. It was good to see the growth the mission has seen in the past few months, and I know it will continue to grow. President Kretly emphasizes being "extraordinary missionaries." And the traits we need to have to become like that. I love the advice he gives us, and I'm trying to get a little better each day at the things he teaches.
After the training, we had a nice lunch altogether, so that was super nice! After the lunch, we had activities all afternoon! Different districts prepared different skits and songs, and we played some games as well. President and Sister Kretly also gave us all new matching red Christmas ties! I love ties. So now I have a Christmas tie to wear on the 25th! After the activities we had a SUPER NICE dinner. Best food I've had in awhile. So I was definitely grateful. Overall, it was a great day!
It continues to rain here in Manga unbelievably hard. We woke up yesterday for church, and it was pouring so hard. I have branch presidency meeting at 8 am, so we left our house about 7:30 to leave for the chapel. I figured we'd arrive at the church dry, because we had umbrellas, but I thought wrong. Not only did we get wet, but we were wet up to our waists. The roads were completely flooded, and we had to cross a river (which is normally a road) to get to the church. Haha it was a crazy adventure! Me and Elder Fontes were laughing almost the whole time. And when church started at 9, there was barely anyone there. More more showed up as time went on. It was a crazy day!
One thing that's super sad happened this week... One of our investigators died. David was 49 years old and very sick. His 20 year old son is a member and it was really sad when we heard he dies. He was a good guy. Always read The Book of Mormon and always had questions, but because of health, was unable to come to church and other things. There's already been 3 deaths in the branch since I've been here. Super sad.
Mom, to answer your questions... We walk A TON! every single day. I have no idea how long, but a ton. There are no bike taxis here like in Quelimane, so it's been an adjustment for me. But we walk plenty of miles every single day. Plenty and plenty of miles.
Glad to here the package is sent off! You're sending another? I would love more washable ties from mr mac, contact solution, face wash would be nice, and I thought about something else the other day but I forgot... haha those things would be great!
Glad to hear things at home are going good! Christmas is fastly approaching! Which is weird. Thanks for setting up a skype account. That's how we will be communicating, so that'll be nice!
Well I hope you all have a good week! And make sure you rememeber the true meaning of Christmas!
Love you all!
ps. Yes I know Elder Ruiz. He was the AP here. He just left last week. Small world!
Posted by Todd WIlliams at 7:47 AM
Monday, December 3, 2012
Well, another week just flew by. I can't believe how fast time flys and that the month of december and christmas time has already come. Sounds like everything back home is going well, and things here in Manga are going well as well!
We recieved transfer slides this week, and me and Elder Fontes will be staying together for another transfer! So that's good. I'm glad we'll have another transfer together, and I think we'll see some real progress that we've been working for over the past few weeks.
An interesting story happened yesterday during church... so every Sunday at 8 am we have branch presidency meeting. It's usually an ideal time to have the meeting, and usually everyone always shows up. But when me and Elder Fontes showed up at 8 am yesterday, nobody was there. So we waited a little bit... 8:30 passed. Still the branch president and first conselor didn't show up. 8:50... still no one. Church starts at 9! So at this point I got nervous because yesterday was President Mounga's week to prepare the sacrament meeting. because it was his turn to dircet. He needed to prepare Prayers, songs, talks, etc. So left left me with 5 minutes to prepare the meeting. I assigned prayers, chose hymns and prepared to conduct the meeting. Then, at 9 o'clock, I started the meeting. Without the bresident and without the first conselor. They straight up didn't show up. So frustrating. President showed up halfway through the meeting, and the first conselor didn't show up at all. Things like this cannot happen. A lot of things need to change if we really want a change in this branch and in this area. Completely unacceptable. And it doesn't help that right after church, the president goes straight home. It puts a lot of pressure on me and the executive secritary. So hopefully things will change.
Other than that, I don't really have any new news! Besides the fact the now I am the only english speaker in my house. I'm really excited as I get to improve in the language even more than I already have. So that will be really nice!
I enjoyed my scripture study this week as I did an in depth study of Jacob chapter 5. I never really like Jacob chapter 5 very much, but now I love it! And I understand it as well! As I diligently stufy the scriptures I have expanded my capacity to understand those deep chapters that are difficult to understand. I really have grown a love for the scriptures as I diligently study them daily.
Today should be a fun activity! We are going to the beach here in Beira with some Elders here in Beira. We're gonna have lunch and play some frisbee! I love frisbee. It'll be just like when me and Nicholas used to play frisbee every single day on Manly Beach in Australia. Those were good times!
Dad, obviously I still have that little bag that you gave me. It's with me right this very moment! It's quite handy and is the perfect size. Fits perfectly in my pocket! Thanks so much!
Mom, congrats on playing the organ in church! That's awesome! I know you did awesome :) You'll have to teach me when I get home!
This week we're going to have a sweet christmas party here in Beira! I'm not really sure about all the details, but I'm pretty sure it will be with all the missionaries in the Beira area, and President Kretly. I'm excited to see President Kretly and learn more for him. I really have learned so much from him in such little. We as a mission really are lucky. I have no doubts that he was called of God to be the mission president here during this time. So I'll let you know how the party goes! I think it's this Saturday, but we'll see.
So I really don't have much more to say. I'm trying to use most of my internet time trying to figure out how to send pictures. Ireally struggle with computers and technology. Not my strong point... But I think I'll be able to figure it out.
Well I hope you all have a good week! I hope clear creek will be good and everything at home! Have a good week!
ps. I don't know if you've already sent a package, but sister hall gave me this Beira address:
A Igreja De Jesus Cristo Dos Santos Dos Ultimos Dias
Caixa Postal NR. 1396, Beira, Sofala,
Posted by Todd WIlliams at 8:00 AM