Monday, December 30, 2013

Matola - Week 89

Well this week was a blessing. Finally were able to see Hxxxx and Fxxxx in the waters of baptism. It was a miracle. They have been through so much as they have prepared to get married and baptized behind their families backs. As missionaries, we help people develop faith in Jesus Christ. But in my whole life, I don't know if I have met a couple that has more faith in Jesus Christ than they do. It is a complete honor just to know them, and it was humbling to play a part in their conversion. The baptismal service was beautiful, and they are happy! We will see what kind of callings our Branch President will give them over the next few weeks. I am excited for that.
That was the big exciting news of the week. The other excited news is that my companion is here! Elder Walker landed in Mozambique on Saturday afternoon. He was actually brought to the Matola chapel at the end of the baptismal service and had the chance to meet Helder and Fatima. It was interesting to see him, minutes after landing. He was in culture shock for sure, but he has already grown a deep love for the people, and he has the eagerness to serve.
He was doing a good job adjusting to the time difference until about yesterday afternoon when his jetlag kicked in. I felt super bad for him. But he is hanging in there, and doing great! He seems happy as well, which is really important. 
His first full day in the country, he had a very crazy experience! It had become something so normal to me, so I was grateful that he was there to help me recongnize the experience we were having. This is what happened... We woke up early Sunday morning to go pick up some investigators. It had rained all night, and it was coming down hard. I don't have an umbrella, and Elder Walker's umbrella was in his luggage that didn't exactly arrive in Mozambique yet. We also have yet to buy rain roots. We left the house at about 6:30 am, knowing we were going to get soaked. We walked 40 minutes to our investigators house. Puddles were everywhere, so our journey consisted of us jumping puddles, scaling walls, and walking in lots of water.. Our shirts were got a little dirty, and there was not a dry spot on my body by the time we got to the investigators house. Our investigators thought we were crazy! But they got ready, and joined us in our journey for another 40 minutes to the church. The path to the church included a very full chapa ride, (Elder Walker's first.) That was quite the experience for him. We all got to church soaked! I laughed as I explained to Elder Walker that we need to do EVERYTHING to get our investigators to come to church. Gxxxx and Jxxxx showed a lot of faith as they were willing to go to church in that weather. Our investigators really are learning the importance of following Jesus Christ.
Zone Conference and the Christmas party went well, I had the chance to direct zone conference again since it was here in Matola. President Kretly inspired me once again. I always learn so much from him.
The Christmas party was a little weird as we sat around and talked at the mission office. I'm not used to sitting around like that... it was kind of weird. 
We are excited to work this week, and we know the Lord will bless us. I pray that everyone will have a happy new year! I pray that we will use this next year to become more like our Savior. That is what the Lord expects of us. Have a good week!
Elder Williams

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Skype!


Looks like I'll be skyping on the 25th at 17:45. They told me that was 8:45 AM your time, but I'm not sure. I hope thats a good time. If I have any trouble, I'll just call you. 

(Editor's Note: His Mom couldn't be happier... and makes for a very special Christmas morning for the Williams family).  

Matola - Week 88

Feliz Natal!

We just finished the first week of the transfer, and it was a crazy week. I still do not have a companion! My companion is Elder Walker who is currently in the MTC. He was supposed to come during the weekend, but he got stuck in Salt Lake during that snow storm. He was at the airport waiting, but his flight was cancelled. He will be coming in on the 28th now. 
So for now, we have been walking in a threesome. Me, Elder Santos, and Elder Ebmeyer. Elder Ebmeyer was serving in Matola 1, and just got done being trained by Elder Bigelow. Elder Ebmeyer is a good Elder. I am very pleased with his growth, and is speaking the language pretty well. We are excited to have him be apart of our branch in Matola 2.
This week, we entered into Tslala. I don't know if missionaries have ever consistently worked out there. It is packed with people. A lot of peole were very curious to talk with us as well as they were wondering who we are. We were able to teach a few new families out there, and we even found a nice family Manuel and Lucia who were willing to show their faith the first week by walking a solid hour to church. So our first impressions of Tslala are nice. it has a lot of potencial and we are excited to see what the Lord has in store for the people the live there. 
We have also been working in Liberdade. We are doing our best to work in both of the areas. We founf some nice families this week! Felizberto and Alzira is a couple that is legally married and they recieved an answer of the Book of Mormon the first day. He is very smart, and said after reading the introduction pages of the Book of Mormon and the first 3 chapters of 1 Nephi, he said that there is no way the book isn't true. They are very strong in their church and he is worried about leaving his church, although he understands that he needs to. Helder and Fatima went to the same church that they go to, so we plan on bringing Helder and Fatima over to their house. We are excited about this family.
We took a new family to church this week as well, Gito and Joana. We had two good lessons with them this week. And we picked them up early Sunday morning and walked to church together. Those are our Sunday mornings. Waking up early to go get our investigators. We need to do everything in our power to help these people keep commitements. Our other prrogressing families are doing good as well. Especially Sebastiao and Celeste. They always show so much faith saving money to get their marriage documents. It is very impressive. They usually have to take 2 chapas to church, and two chapas home. With time, that money adds up! 
Not to mention the distance that they live away from the chapel.they made a big sacrifice and walked to the branch christmas party on Saturday with their almost two year old baby. Super impressive. Don't take your cars for granted.
Recent converts are getting callings as well which is good to see. Faustino and Sonia were called to be family history leaders, and Sonia also teaches in Relief Society. Manuel was also called to be second counselor in the young mens presidency. They are all doing well! 
The branch christmas party was good as well! There were a few weird things that went on... but it was a good experience for the investigators that were there. 
We also watched the Christmas Devotional again here in matola. We did our presentation as well for the members. We sang many Christmas hymns, and it turned out very nice. I'm so grateful for Christmas and this season.
We will be another conference tomorrow as well here in Matola. It will be our Zone conference/ Christmas party. I am so excited to here another training from President Kretly. He always gives the best! Zone conference always leaves the missionaries pumped to work even more. Looks like that's what we need now in the zone. T3 has been struggling a little bit lately. But there are some good Elders there that are helping others be obedient.
Helder and Fatima have been interviewed, and will be baptized on Saturday. That is with out a doubt the best Christmas present I could ask for. It's been a long battle with them! It's been like 6 months now. I have developed a relationship with them that I have never developed with out investigators before. I know them so well. I absolutely, knew them before this life. I will have an eternal relationship with them. I really do love them.
One thing that I have been focusing on is Christlike attributes. I strive so hard to develop the Christlike attributes. But man, I have so long to go. I feel like I'm not making any progress! Developing Christlike attributes is something that will takemy whole life for me to develop. But I am able to recgonzie my weaknesses and work on what I feel I need to. Elder Santos told me of an apostle that once said, "We don't realize how imperfect we are, until we strive so hard to be good." I can testify of that.
So that's how the week was! Other good stuff happened as well but I can't talk about all the good things that happen. There just isn't time. While I was halfway through this letter, the power went out and we had to come back to finish. 
But I hope everyone has a great Christ-centered Christmas. We always try to focus on Christ during this time of year, but He also needs to be the focues of our lives. Each and everyday, we should remember of Him and strive to become more like Him. My strongest desire, to be completely honest, is to be more Christlike. I know that through the Atonement, it's possible. We can all become better. Have a great week!

Elder Williams

"For God so loved the world, that He gave his only Begotten Son. That whosoever would believe in Him, should not perish. But have everlasting life."

Monday, December 16, 2013

Matola - Week 87

O nascimento de nosso Mestre

This week was completely unbeliavble. One of the most memorable weeks I've had on the mission. The Lord has been so good to us, and is blessing our area as we are diligente and obediente.

I'll start off with news of transfers... I have been in Matola for 5 transfers, but I had reason to believe that I would stay for my 6th. That's what I was hoping anyway... And I'm staying! I am so excited to still be apart of this amazing work in Matola.

With some public manifestations that have been going on recently, President didn't want to change many things for transfers. But 2 new Elders came in so there had to be some changes. 

When I saw the transfer slide, I knew that it was the Lord's will. On Friday, I had an interesting conversation with Elder Greenman one of the AP's. He asked me if our house would have room for one more companionship for the next transfer. I said, "Elder Greenman, tell President I can sleep on the floor for the next transfer if it means that our branch can have one more compaionship. And they granted us our wish! We will have one extra companionship in the branch! Me and Elder Santos are splitting, and I am training one of the new Elders. Me and Elder Santos are still the two Zone Leaders, so we will still work a lot with each other. We will just have different companions.

The Lord knows all things. With more missionaries, we will be opening up an extra area in Matola. I think it will be Tsala which is the area right after our area, Liberdade. For some reason, me and Elder Santos started teaching two families in Tsala this week! We decided that we should go out there more. With this transfer, we will for sure be working out in Tsala more. I'll probably send Elder Santos and his companion Elder Ebmeyer to go work out there. It is amazing how the Lord prepared us this week to start working out in Tsala. I had never worked out there ever since I got here. But me and Elder Santos felt impressed to start this week. We were truely led by the Spirit, unknowingly!

Me and Elder Santos gave a training on friday. It ended up running very well. We spent a lot of time on it during the week, and hoped and prayed that it would turn out well. It was a prezi presentation.  The Lord helped us and inspired us a lot. It was on "How to baptize one family per month." That is the goal in the mission right now. And in the past two months, Matola has baptized 5 families. 4 of them from our area. So we need to do more to help the other areas. So we talked a lot about Preach My Gospel. All the secrets to missonary work are in Preach My Gospel! But just about all the companionships in the zone, have families that are progressing. We just need to continue to work hard so the the Lord can bless us even more! 

Even with all these blessings, there are always problems. (It is necessary that there is opposition in all things). 
Some obedience problems scattered over the zone here and there. We had a good talk with President Kretly this week as some very serious problems came about in the zone this week. But the missionaries are good now, and are focused! For the most part.

We weatched the Christmas devotional last night! We also presented a program to the members in Maputo. The missionaries sang, and Pres and Sis Kretly were the narrators. It turned out really well. I have grown a true love for music. I used to hate singing hymns! But now I'm obsessed with it! Sometimes I like to sing a hymn alone before I go to bed. It really is a way to worship, and invites the Spirit. I am so grateful for music and what it offers. We will be doing the same program for the members in Matola this next week.

Hxxxx and Fxxxx are getting clser to baptism! They will be getting in the water on the 28th of the month. It's about time! Me and Elder Lake found them in July! But they are so strong in the church. It's been unbelievable. I love them so much. That will be a special day.

To be honest, I could go on and on about the week and the amazing things that happened. But I don't have enough time. You can ask me all the questions you want when we talk on the phone. I don't know when that will be. I think next week.  Just be patient Mom :)

I love you all so much, and I will tell you about my new companion next week! I don't even think he is here yet... Have a good week! Merry Christmas!

Elder Williams

"And He shall be born of Mary in a town called Bethlehem..."

Monday, December 9, 2013

Matola - Week 86

This week went by unbelievablely fast. We are now entering into the last week of the transfer! This transfer seems like it was just two or three weeks... it's geeting scary!

To start off, i will answer the question that everybody asked me... why was I wearing two different shoes during the basketball and soccer activity at the Matola chapel?

Well my nikes, were stolen. So I recently had to buy a new pair of athletic shoes. The pair I bought, were also stolen. So I got stuck using old shoes from the Matola 1 house but they only had two different shoes! Beggers can't be chosers. I decided to not buy any more shoes.

Elder Williams (6th from the left) is conspiculously wearing two different shoes.  We believe that his companion (Elder Santos) is far left. 
This week, Txxx and Axxx were baptized with their 13 year old daughter Hxxxx. That was a very special day. It seems like yesterday, me and Elder Brandao ran into Axxxx in the road and she said she wanted to be baptized! The road has given us some very prepared people to work with. Txxx took some time to get his head on straight... but he has a testimony now. He has seen the difference in his family, and he isn't going back. It was a humbling day. The highlight is always watching the recent converts bear testimony after being baptized. The Spirit always hits me so strong when that happens. I truely am grateful to the Lord for the chance I had to teach them. 

During the week, we watched a video with Txxx and Axxxx on temples and eternal marriage. Txxxxx got a little emotional and asked to watch the video again. Axxx totally called him out and gave him a hard time on getting emotional, because that isn't how Txxxx is. That was a very special moment for all of us. I won't forget the feeling that was in their home during that lesson.

This week we were very busy. We had our mission leadership council this week which was good. It is a chance for all zone leaders to get together and talk about zone things that we think could help the whole mission. It is amazing to see how each leader prepares something different that ties beautifully into what the other leaders talked about. Me and Elder Santos kind of related it to General Conference. Each apostle talks about something different, but everything is necessary for all members of the church. Same with the mission leadership council. We hear different things from different mission leaders on how we can improve our zones. me and Elder Santos talked about patience with our investigators. We need to be patient and help them with their problems instead of dropping them when problems occur. Lots of missionaries in the zone are looking for "the perfect family" and when problems arise with a family, they take it a a sign that the family isn't prepared. But through the Atontement, imperfect families can be turned into near perfect familes. 
Well I have two minutes... the past 30 mintues has been used for these workers to fix these broken computers with viruses... So frustrating.

I will be sure to write extra good in my journal this week!

Elder Williams

ps. Don't worry, I am happy, and healthy! Love you all!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Matola - Week 85

The week here in Matola mentally and physically exhausting. Sometimes I feel like begging for mercy... but it was also very rewarding and lots of good things happened!
This week we had a mission wide fast. We thanked the Lord for the many miracles he has blessed us with, we fasted to recognize his hand in the things we do, and we fasted so that the miracles can continue. When lots of missionaries fast together, the Lord will bless us even more. We are already starting to see some of these blessings!
This week, me and Elder Santos have been working and focusing on working better with the members. We have been attending meeting with the branch presidency, and we are starting to work well with them but we still have a long way to go. This week the branch said that they will start taking over the lessons to all recent converts. That will be a blessing to us as we will have more time to teach new families and to find more. There are currently 27 recent converts in the branch that have been baptized within the last 6 months. Preach My Gospel teaches us that it all starts wih our relationship with the branch president. We have a very good relationship with President Cunguara. He is a very good branch president and is a true blessing to the branch. He has developed confidence in us as well.
Elder Santos... is unbelievable. I love him alot. I feel a true love for him. He is very spiritual and we lift each other up. We often talk about the christlike attributes and how far away we are from where we want to be. We are trying to develop them together. He is very patient with me and with our investigators, and recgonizes his weaknesses. These are some things that I have learned from him, and that he is teaching me. It truely is a pleasure to serve with him.
We had the opprotunity to participate in the district meeting of Matola 1 this week. It was a good district meeting. Elder Bigelow gave a good training on 5 things we can do to help our investigators solve their problems, from preach my gospel in chapter 10. Then we did some practices with real problems that investigators have. I left the meeting uplifted spiritually. I admire all 6 of the Elders in Matola 1. They are all working very hard. It could very well be the stongest district in the mission.
T3 is coming along as well. Little by little they are working to try to find and teach. Elder Barroso (district leader) has a true desire to help each missionary individually. He is doing an amazing job as well.
This week was interesting in our area... since me and Elder Santos have been trying to develop more christlike attributes, earlier during the week i had asked the Lord for more humbling experiences. And He gave them to us! Street contacting has become very difficult. People reject us often, and even say things that hurt sometimes. It is very hard to not say anything, and move on. It reminded Elder Santos and I of the book of Alma when Alma and Amulek were rejected and people cast them into prison and began to curse them. I like the part when they just ignored the people and kept their mouths shut. They were true representatives of Jesus Christ. I have become more patient with the people, but we still have a long way to go to like Jesus Christ!
The Lord was able to bless us with 2 new families this week as well. Jxxxxxx and Mxxxxx, and Axxxxxx and Hxxxxxx. We have had good lessons with them this week, so we are excited about the potencial. This week, we will focus on bringing members to get to know them. We had an interesting experience leaving Jxxxxxx and Hxxxxxxx house this week. It was a little overcast when we went into the lesson, but as we left, it started sprinkling. Then in a matter of 5 mintues, there was a storm that I had never before seen! You would not believe how hard it rained. The lightning was unbeliavble as well. The lightning was non stop in every direction of the sky. I was scared! We ran to Hxxxxxx and Bxxxxxx houe which was close for shelture. We taught them a quick powerful lesson in candle light since the power was out. We were grateful that they lived close by!
This week, Txxxxx and Axxxxxx were interiewed for baptism. They will be baptized with their daughter Hxxxxx this Saturday on the 7th. It seems like just yesterday came up to us in the road wanting to be baptized! It took a while with Txxxxx... he didnt care very much at first. But he has changed a lot and has seen changes in his family. I am grateful I had the chance to teach them. They will be getting married in Saturday as well. So we are really excited for this week!
Thanks for the questions that were asked! I usually eat pasta... it is the only thing I can decently make. To be honest, I havent learned much about cooking... But I can make a mean peanut butter and jelly sandwich! I have also recently learned how to make a good egg salad. Macaroni and chesse is getting a little old... but the corn flakes never get old!
Investigators usually make rice, or sheema. Sheema is like flour and water mixed. I think it is pretty similar to what the pioneers used to make. But my favorite mozambiquan dish is matapa with rice. That always gets me excited.
The spiritual experiences that have changed me are the many frequent experiences we have. Some with investigators that I will never forget. Whether it is answers to a prayer, or giving blessings, or spiritual lessons. These three things have been spirtual experiences for me.
And what I have learned about myself, is that I like serving! Before the mission I didnt serve people as much as I should have. I will always have the desire to serve people, but that is what makes me happy. Service will carry me to have a happy life.
Being the time of thanksgiving, I want to thank you! Tiffany sent me a letter reminding me of how lucky we are to have the parents we do. That is so true. Thanks for the little things you did for me when I was young. The little things made the biggest difference. Have a good week!

Elder Williams

Monday, November 25, 2013

Matola - Week 84

Nicholas is dating? What the heck? I didn't think that he could start dating until he was 16. My mind is not capale of grasping the concept that he is 16. Time is a very weird thing... But I hope he has a fun time at the dance!
The week here in Matola was unbelievable. The Lord continues to bless the amazing people of Matola. I have so much to say, but so little time!
Let me start of by sharing a fasting experience we had this week. Hxxxxx and Fxxxxx is a couple that has been taught since July. They have an amazing story as me and Elder Lake dropped them, and me and Elder Brandao started teaching them. They have developed unbelievably strong testimonies over the past few months, and their eyes are already on the temple. I honestly love them so much. The only battle has been one of his birth documents from Quelimane so that they can get married. We have sent his information up there before, but The elders there were unable to find his document in the registro up there. These week, Elder Santos and I did a fast that we could get his document this week. Hxxxxx traveled to Gaza to try to get his cedula, and from there we sent the information to Quelimane. I jumped and shouted with joy when we receieved a text from the Elders in quelimane saying they got the document. They can get married and baptized! Hxxxxx and Fxxxxx were very greatful as well, and very excited! We will open the process this week after quelimane mails us the document, and they can be married and baptized in about 25 days. It was one more proof that God is aware of us and the sacrifices that we make!
This experience really help me understand better the Atonement. As representatives of Jesus Christ, we do things that he would do if he were here in Matola. We follow his example. Christ, suffered and sacrificed himself so that others could be happy, and cleansed from sin. We as missionaries also need to make sacrifices so that others can be cleansed from sin. By us fasting, we gave up something so that Hxxxx and Fxxxxx could keep the commandments and be baptized. So this week, I was able to walk in Christ shoes a little bit and understand a little bit better about his atoneing sacrifice. I am grateful the Lord answered our fast.
I have grown an interest and desire of learning more about the atoneing sacrifice of Christ. There is a lot about it that I don't understand. This week, I finshed Jesus the Christ and it left we wanting to study more about his llife and become more like him. But sometimes I get discouraged knowing that I have a long way to go!
The work continues to go on! Txxxx and Axxxx will be getting interviewed this week, and married and baptized next week. We are teaching many other families as well. Sxxxxx and Cxxxxx are progressing really well and well. They are very young! She is only 18, but they are make plans to get married already. He should have enough money by January, so that is what we are looking at. They understand very well the Book of Mormon, and are reading well together! It is amazing to see th difference in the couples that read together and the ones that don't it is so easy to tell. There is an immediate change in attitude when couples read the Book of Mormon together. It is unbelievable.
Our goals right now in Matola is to split from the district of Maputo. We want to split the branches of Matola 1 and Matola 2 to make the Matola 3 branch. We are almost there! Our branch just needs to have a consistent frequency of 150. Sometimes we have 150, but it isn't consistent. Yesterday we had 144. We will need many more miracles to be able to split the district within the next few months.
There was lot of hectic stuff going on because of elections. We had to stay in our house all day on wednesday! it was the worst. But I knocked out a solid 200 pages of Jesus the Christ and read tons of liahonas! So tha part was nice to be able to do that. So I haven't been very detailed about (elections & political issues) other stuff that is going on. It's just that I am not here to do other stuff and hear about other stuff that goes on. I am here to invite others to come unto Christ. But next week will be a response week! Everyone ask questions, and I will answer ALL OF THEM next week. Thanks so much for your patience!
I hope that everyone has a good week!

Love, Elder Williams
I tried sending pictures but this interent cafe is not nice at all. The computers are so slow.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Matola - Week 83

This week was a roller coaster of emotions and feelings. I don't even know where to start to talk about the week. I will start with the beginning of the week and work towards the weekend, which was the highlight!
This past week, was very hot and very humid. I don't know how I've already survived one Mozambican summer. I was remembering last year in my Manga days when I was walking through the heat up here. Down here as well, it is almost unbearable with the humidity. After being outside the house for about 5 or 10 minutes, your mouth becomes completely dry, and you are already soaking wet with sweat. I don't know exactly how hot it gets in fahrenheit, but it's over 40 degrees Celsius. And with a 95 percent humidity, man it is tough. We are waiting for those days when it will pour and cool everything off.
The heat, unfortunately really affects the work. The people here, are used to the heat but that doesn't mean that they don't complain about it. When it is hot, it is a lot harder to find. People are more irritated,and in a hurry to get home to the shade, and they aren't afraid to offend you. I've never been rejected quite as much as we were this past week. 
Elder Santos and I were having an interesting discussion about this. That this is the time when we show the Lord what kind of missionaries we are. When it is unbelievably hot, when 90 percent of the people reject to talk to us, when lessons fall through, and when we are looking for people to teach all day and all afternoon. If we get lazy during the hard times, this shows the Lord what kind of missionaries we really are. Because when everything is going well, we are baptizing, and everyone accepts! That is when it's easier to be a disciple of Christ! We need to always be faithful to him and his work!
Yes, this week was a big challenge physically, mentally, and emotionally, but plenty of good things happened! We had our division with T3 this week, so I send Elder Santos out there to work with the new District Leader for a day. It was a good division, as they worked hard to find and teach out there. Travel for those divisions is complicated and we always come home late when we go out there. Chapa's are complicated...
I also did a division with Elder Martins, who is another new District Leader in the zone. We were busy contacting and opening up the marriage process of a Tome and Adelia! They will be married and  baptized in the 7th of December. After about 3 or 4 months of saving, the were able to get everything together. 
I will be doing another division with Elder Bigelow, starting tonight as I will go stay in his area. It will be a good experience. I have yet to walk in that area, so I am excited.
Saturday, consisted of the wedding and baptism of H. and B.  They changed so much as are striving to keep the commandments of God. Think of a family problem, and they've had it. They really did fight to get in the waters of baptism. But they did it! After many interviews,including interviews with the mission presidency, they have truly repented of their sins. The baptism, felt right. We went over there on Saturday night, and they were so happy! One more proof that happiness in the family is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the principles of the gospel. It is so true.
My internet expires in 3 minutes, but I hope you all have a great week! I wish I had more time to share all the miracles that are happening. But I will be sure to write them in my journal and you can all read later!
I am happy! We are working hard, and seeing results! The Lord is blessing us. Today we are fasting to get Helder and Fatima's birth certificate. I know the Lord will provide a way! 

Elder Williams

Monday, November 11, 2013

Matola - Week 82

Dad's note:  Sending your son or daughter out to the world is difficult. However, it is letters like this that make the separation possible and bearable.  Our son Zachary has learned that complete obedience, hard work, and a positive attitude is the key to a successful mission.  Our joy is full because he has developed a true love for the People of Mozambique and is finding true success in leading people to the Lord.  


Dear Family, 

Um amor verdadeiro

If everyone back home had a week with 50 percent of the happiness that I felt during this past week, nobody back home would complain. What a week it was. 

The week started of with me receiving my new companion Elder Santos, from Cape Verde. He is 27 years old! I went to the airport on Wednesday to pick him up with the other Elders that came in from Beira. It was good to see some of the Elders I havent seen since Beira. Including Elder Biddulph, who was transfered into the Matola zone this transfer.
I am liking Elder Santos a lot. Last Monday, I got a call from President and he talked to me a little bit about the transfers. He thanked me for the good work I did with Elder Brandao. When I first started serving with Elder Brandao, president told me that I had the responsibility to help Elder Brandao become a successful leader. President Kretly told me this past Monday, that we have the responsibilty to develop missionaries, and men. We have the opportunity to help develop the Leadership of the church in Cape Verde as well, so it is important that we give these leadership opportunities to them. Elder Brandao has the strongest testimony of anyone I have ever met in my whole life. He will one day, become a great leader in the church. I am greatful for the opportunity I had to help him and serve with him. 

President also told me that was sending me one more Cape Verdian who has a lot of potential to be a great leader in the future, Elder Santos. He told me that I have the same responsibility with him as I had with Elder Brandao. So I am excited to spend the next 2 transfers with him so that I can help him. President also assured me that Elder Santos would be my favorite companion. He is very spiritual, easy going, and willing to do the Lords work, the Lords way. We teach with a lot of unity, and we get a long very well. We have a lot in common as we both feel a sincere love for the people of the country. President Kretly, is inspired, and this is the Lords will. That we are together in Matola.

When he got in on Wednesday, we had a good planning session after lunch. We immediately established our goals for the zones, our meetings, our divisons and other things for the transfer. That got him excited to start off here in the South. 

I have been getting to know our district leaders better as well as we have been having daily contact with them. We are doing a good job following up on the districts and the families being taught by each companionship. In our room, we have 3 white boards with information on each family that is getting taught in each area. This helps us have a wider vision on what is being accomplished in the zone, how we can better understand the needs of each missionary, and how we will atingir (reach) our goals for the transfer. I am excited for the transfer, and I know that the Lord has a lot in store for us.

We continue to try to help other companionships "catch the vision'' and develop the faith to find. Our district continues to have struggles with investigators at church. Our district of 3 companionships had a total of 20 investigators at church yesterday. 18 of them from the area of me and Elder Santos. So this is a struggle that we are having. As we have faith that the Lord is preparing the hearts of the people, He will guide us to them, or will guide them to us. This work is impossible without faith.

We are going to baptize Horacio, Berta, and their daughter Chan on Saturday after they get married. That will be 7 complete families baptized in our proseylting area since May. Such a miracle. It is  one more proof that this is the Lords work. It took a little longer than expected because they were having more marrige problems. But it is all cleared up. They recognize that the Gospel is the only thing that can change their family. They really have gone through a lot. I am super excited for them, to enter into those waters of baptism.

More familes continue to prepare! And for the first time in my life, I am falling in love. I love this work. I love it more than basketball, more than ESPN, more than McDonald's, more than my friends, and more than anything else. Preach My Gospel is true when it says, "More happiness than you have ever experienced awaits you as you faithfully serve God's children."

It true. Am I am so grateful to be apart of it. I really will make the most out of every day I have to do it. I hope you all have a great week.

With all the love of my Heart,

Elder Williams

President Kretly note to parents regarding church growth, missionary health and current political instability in Mozambique:

Dear Parents, Families  and Leaders of Missionaries serving in the Mozambique Maputo Mission:

As you know your missionary that is serving in Mozambique is doing very well. In general, all of them are in good health and are doing fine serving the Lord.

The most common health  problems we have here are: Malaria, ingrown toe nails,  stomach problems, some skin allergies and weight loss. Only a few  have anything different than these.

My wife and I,  are trying  hard to teach them how to avoid these problems.

For example:  Malaria can be avoided 99% of the time, simply by  taking the medicine that the mission provides every day, using repellent, and sleeping under a mosquito net.

We also encourage them to wash their hands and use a hand sanitizer. Regarding the hand sanitizer,  we ask that all new missionaries,  purchase in the MTC, eight (8) two ounce bottles of a product called Pure Bio Sense.  This product is applied to the hands and provides 24 hours protection. Eight bottles should last two years. Please help us, by reminding  your missionary to be 100% obedient, including the small things like these.

As some of you know, Mozambique have some political instability. We are very aware of that and we are taking care of your missionary very well. All the transfers we made is flying, and we try hard to make them feel safe where they live.

The main reason we are writing to you today, is to announce that this week, the mission has passed the land mark of 200 complete families  baptized into the Church within the past 11 months ! This is a Miracle ! The idea is to share with you this great news and to ask you to unite with us in offering prayers of thanksgiving to Heavenly Father, to recognize His  hand in this great work!

On this path, we are assured that the Church will continue to experience real growth. Within one or two  generations there will be a strong Church here, with stakes and perhaps, even a temple in Mozambique.

Please continue to pray for your missionary to work hard, to be blessed in their health and to find, teach and baptize  families, here in Mozambique.

Your missionaries are wonderful,  we really believe that they are the best missionaries in the world. We love them, we pray for them and we enjoy sharing their mission experience with them.

Thank you for your continued support and prayers.

With love and respect,

President and Sister Kretly

Mozambique Maputo Mission

Monday, November 4, 2013

Matola - Week 81

Good Morning!
We had another good week here in Matola as we were able to baptize 4 more people in our area. The Lord has really blessed our area. The 4 we baptized, Faustino, Sonia, Sandra, and Vania, really have repented of their sins. There was a lot of support from the members as well which was good. The Spirit was definitely felt, and the whole branch presidency was able to make it! I attached some pictures of the sacred event. During baptisms, the Spirit is so strong as people make promises with our Heavenly Father. I  love it!

Transfers are today as well, I feel like I am in my home ward here in Matola, so it would be really hard to leave. I figured I would leave because of the time I have in the area, and because I have been able to show the area to Elder Brandao for the past 2 transfers. I had an interview with President last week, and expressed my desire to stay, but that it all depends on the Lords will. And today we had a few surprizes! I am staying! I get another transfer in Matola, and Elder Brandao will be leaving. I was greatful to serve with, and we learned a lot with each other. I had the chance to train him as a zone leader, and I learned a lot more about his culture. He is going to Maputo to be an AP, and Im staying put!

I will be recieving a new companion, Elder Santos. He was a district leader up in Beira, and so he is becoming a zone leader for the first time! I have never met him, as we have never served near each other. But I have heard nothing but good things about him, and I am excited to start working with him in our area. 
We had a few changes in our zone this transfer, and we will ge working with 3 new district leaders which will be good. I am excited about the changes, I know that it is the Lords will, and that it is what is best for our zone in Matola. 
Manuel and Linda, our recent converts had their baby! It is a beautiful little girl! I will have to send a picture next week to you!
It has been raining hard here in Matola over the past few days! I sent a picture of me covered in mud. What happened, was me and Elder Brandao were running back from a lesson, and it was pouring rain. I tried jumping a huge puddle, but I tripped and ate it! It was quite the experience!

Well the Lord is continuing to bless Matola! We are seeing a lot of growth, and I am excited to still be apart of it. This week, me and Elder Santos will be having a district leader training for our 3 new district leaders. So that will be good! We also plan on having a zone activity next week, so that everyone in the zone can get to know everyone. 
I know that this work is the Lords work, and that he is in front of it. I love Matola. This really is my home! I love the branch, the members, the recent converts, and the investigators. I will continue to do my best to help this people receieve the truth. Since I have been here, we have seen 6 complete families baptized just in our area! This, truely is a miralce. 
I love you all, and I wish a good week for all of you!

Love, Elder Williams

Monday, October 28, 2013

Matola - Week 80

Good afternoon!
I hope everyone had a good week back home! It sounds like the family continues to be blessed and I was glad to hear that consistent family scripture study is taking place! Good work!
We had a crazy week here in Matola. The past 2 weeks have been crazy, and I don't nearly have enough time in this internet cafe to write about everything that goes on. 
Last week, we had the privlidge of watching General Conferece in our branches. I am completely obssessed with conference. The 4 hours went by so fast. I think it is easy to forget how cool it is that we have living prophets. It's not just old men giving us words of wisdom. They are prophets of God that are telling us the Lord's will. I learned so much, and our investigators loved it! Mormon Tabernacle choir is completely unbelievable. When I hear that choir I feel like I'm getting hit with a spiritual tsunami. I don't know why I didn't watch Music and the Spoken word more. I have developed a true love for music, and especialaly the church hymns. I love singing in church! I plan on participating in many church choirs! That really would be cool.
Last week we also did divisions with our District Leaders. Over the past few transfers, Elder Brandao and I have been able to see the importance of divisions. We feel like we've been able to have a positive influence on the Elders in the zone through our divisions. Elder Proksch, is a very good Elder. He has grown so much over the past few transfers as the District Leader in T3, and that is why he is seeing results. Him and his companion Elder Poyfair baptized a very good family, that I have met and taught as well. The Lord is blessing them because of their obedience. Elder Poyfair, is in his second transfer and speaks unbelievable portuguese. I did a division with him, and I was more than impressed. He will do amazing things on his mission. 
We were also able to participate in the district meeting of Matola 1 this past week. One thing that I have learned on the mission, is that I can do divisons with missionaries, I can give trainings to missionaries, but one thing I can't do, is give missionaries the desire to work and be obedient. That, is out of my hands.
Okay, now we are going to talk about the miracles that happened in the Matola zone this week. 3 complete familes were baptized, and 14 people in total. We had a baptismal service that reminded me of the ones we had up in Beira when I was there! Never has Matola seen baptismal services like these! This will continue as Me and Elder Brandao will be baptizing 2 more familes on saturday. The Lord is really blessing us!
Ivan, is the kid that was baptized this week. He his half chinese, and his parents don't agree with him getting baptized again, because he was"already baptized" in the catholic church. But he received a testimony of the Book of Mormon, qand made up his mind. He was a reference from Joao, our recent convert. It is amazing to see recent converts play a part in this amazing work. The frequency here in Matola continues to grow. Matola 2 yesterday had 160 people. The most ever. Matola 1 as well with 174. Little by little, this new chapel with fill up. 
Let me talk a little bit about the families that are progressing in our area. Horacio and Berta, are doing well. They have seen big differences as they have done scripture study together. 
Helder and Fatima, might be my favorite family that I have ever taught. They have such strong testimonies! We are fighting do get his birth certificate down from quelimane so that they can open their marriage process. 
Jose and Sandra, is a family that was so prepared.
Tome and Adelia is a family from Beira. She contacted us in the road! haha. Tome has changed a lot! He never went to church before and is seeing big differences. Elder Martinez is taking care of their paperwork up in Beira. We should get it all by next week.
Faustino and Sonia, is the married couple we are baptizing on saturday. And Isaque and Vina is a family that me and Elder Poyfair found on our division. We took them to church Sunday, and they loved it. They plan to just sign an dbe baptized as soon as possible. They will start the marriage proccess next week after he gets money.
Our are continues to grow! More than 20 investigators at church and more than 20 investigators with a baptismal date. The Lord really does miracles.
As we go into the last week of the transfer, we will be working hard as ever! I have two more divisons to do with two elders in the district, so I'm excited for that. Whatever happens with transfers, will be the Lord's will. I love Matola. The Lord's eyes were on Matola during that baptismal service on Saturday. What a miracle.

Love, Elder Williams

Monday, October 21, 2013

Matola - Week 79

Hello Family, I have so much to say this week, that I don't even know where to start!
We've had a crazy 2 weeks, our past 2 weeks have been full of blessings, headaches, trips, splits, disapointments, miracles, and probably just about anything else you could think of.
Two weeks ago, we did a division with the AP's. That was a good experience, as I worked in Maputo for the first time since my very first day in the country when I walked with the AP's. Maputo is FULL of people. Street contacting is unbelievably easy, and a lot more people are home during the day. Most of the people in Matola, work in Maputo and traffic getting home is usually pretty bad. But everyone who lives in Maputo, also works there! So it is easy to find a time when the whole family is home. The area in which we worked was a pretty poor area, so the people were very humble. It was a good experience, and I liked my 24 hours of working in Maputo. We had an interesting first lesson with a family... Instead of inviting them to be baptized and closing with a prayer, we went to the police station to arrest the head of the house! He had found a brand new Samsung Galaxy, and refused to try to find the owner. We needed to do something, because a brand new Samsung Galaxy is worth more than a yearly salary of the people where we were working. So the police took him to jail, and the owner got their phone back. It was a pretty crazy experience.
Many miracles happened as well, I will share one with you. So last week, we went to go open up a marriage process of Horacio and Berta. In Maputo, it only costs 350 Meticals ($11/USD) to open a marrige process, and Matola it costs 750  Meticals ($25/USD).  About 4 days earlier, during the split in the city, we had treat Berta's birth certificate at the register. It usually takes a while to pick up a document after treating it, but we exercised our faith, and took Horacio and Berta into the city to try to pick up the document, and open up the process at the same time. As I was standing in line, there were people complaining about how their documents weren't ready. People who had come in weeks before we did. But when it was my turn to turn the receipt in, the document was ready in just 4 days! It was a miracle because usually it takes weeks. There process was opened this morning, and we had the chance to go with them to do so. 
They are a very interesting family. We have been teaching them for probably a month now, and they have been through everything. Every problem that a family could have, they've had over the past few weeks. But about a week and a half ago, they decided to get serious with family scripture study. And it changed everything. They are happier, more united, and super excited to recieve a remission of their sins. Because it takes 20 days to get married, they will be getting baptized on Novembar 9th. They have become so strong in such a short period of time. They have quite the age difference as well! He is 29, and she is 44. But as long as they do scripture study, they won't have problems!
Other things that happened this week is we did splits with the district leaders in the zone. It was a good experience, as I was able to show our area on both occasions. We were able to find a few things out as well because of the splits that we did. The zone is running into the same universal problem... obedience. A lot of elders are struggling working all the hours of the day, and going to bed on time. These are little things that should not be a problem. Elder Brandao also said that there were Elders that were listening to music that wasn't appropriate for missionaries. The worst part is, when they are told or corrected, they make us look like the bad guy.
I am trying to do my best to be a servent of Jesus Christ and to do what he expects of me. One thing that I have learned is that miracles don't happen until we are obedient! But the Lord is always willing to bless us. Even though we are having a few problems with obedience in 2 houses, the Lord is still pouring blessing upon us! So i can't even imagine what's gonna happen once everyone is 100% obedient!
This weekend and the next. We are going to have a pretty good size baptism here in Matola. 5 complete families will be getting baptized with a few teenagers. We will be baptizing Ivan, who is a 20 year kid who has changed a lot, a family who is already married, Faustino and Sonia, and two sisters named Sandra and Vania. And then, will come the baptism of Horacio and Berta! So we are seeing lot's a progress still in the zone. Yesterday, there were 23 complete investigator families at church in the zone! So that is a miracle. Me and Elder Brandao are doing our best to help other Elders find and teach as well, because 7 of those families were just from our area. The other 16 families were divided between 9 other companionships.
So it's a work in progress, but the Lord is in charge! The Lord is blessing us as well through these hard document processes. And another family that I found and taught in Beira, was baptized! Andre and Philomena. Such a blessing. They changed a lot.
I am so grateful for this Gospel, and I know the Lord is in charge. His hand is working with us each and every day. I love you all!

Elder Williams
ps. sorry I was in a hurry, I'll write next week real good!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Matola - Week 78

Parents Note: Elder Williams has been blessed with great friends.  All of them are currently serving missions throughout the world.  Before they left, they agreed to write a letter to each other that can be sent in a newsletter every quarter.  This weeks letter was the only letter we received due to a slow internet connection in Matola, Mozambique: 

Well Hello Friends! 

It has been a long time since I have written to all of you. I hope and pray that all of you are enjoying these two years and having very successful missions. I will be excited to read and hear about the experiences you are all having, all over the world.
For me, I am doing well and I love the place in which I serve. Never, in my whole life, have I been as happy as I am over the past 18 months. I have had many experiences. Some crazy, some funny, some scary, some frustrating, and many spiritual as well. I have served in a total of 4 areas on my mission and I grow a love for each area more than the previous. I am currently serving in an area called Matola. And I have been here for almost 6 months now, which is longer than I've served in any other area. It is the suberb of the countries capital Maputo. There are tons of people out here! I believe there are about one million people in the suberb of Matola. 
As some of you may already know, the country of Mozambique has seen many miracles in the work here. The church is very new here. There are no stakes, and only 2 districts in total. But many missionaries are working hard and we have gotten to the point where these two districts, are ready to become stakes. It has been an amazing opportunity to be one of the pioneers in this country in misisonary work.
We do lots of contacting. Everyone believes in Christ, and it is very easy to find people that are willing to hear our message. Then the majority of them, are strong in their church and won't leave. Even if they receive an answer. Being in Africa, there are many churches the are big into witchcraft and spirits and stuff. So for some people, it is easy to recognize the truth when they see it.
I've been serving as the Zone Leader for almost 6 months now, so I've had the chance to help in the training of church leaders here. There are a few returned misisonaries, but other than that, the church is being led by recent converts. In this mission, we focus on familes. Over the past 10 months, the mission has baptized 172 complete familes. It has been a miracles to be apart of it.
I have learned a lot about the Love our God has for his children since I have started my mission. I know he loves us, and that he is in front of this work.
i have also grown a love for the Book of Mormon. I know that it contains the truth of the things we need to do to be happy and to gain eternal life. I invite all of you to make the most of this time we have! It goes by fast. Here in time we'll all be home thinking about these past 2 years. I love you all and miss you!
Elder Willliams

Monday, October 7, 2013

Matola - Week 77

Good Afternoon! I hope everyone had a great conference weekend. I really took for granted the whole conference deal before the mission. We have to wait until the 19th of October to watch conference! I am so excited to watch and hear the counsel for us in this changing world. We are so lucky to have living prophets to guide us in this wicked world.
But it was a conference week for us as well! Except we had zone confernce here in Matola. Elder Brandao and I had a lot to plan in preparation for the conference, but it ended up turning out great! We heard a lot of counsel from our amazing mission president and his wife. He showed us the progress of the mission, and helped us remember the importance of our calling. He showed a missionary video, and the song playing was ''I hope they call me on a mission." I realized that ever since I was young, I looked to this time of my life. And it goes by so fast, I really am living my dream. I am doing my best to live it up the best that I can. I feel like I am doing my best to serve this people and live my dream without any regrets. 
I was able to see and meet some new missionaries that I had never met before during the conference, including my MTC companion Elder Porter. I had not seen him since our first transfer! It was amazing how much time had gone past.
As for us in our area, we had a very busy week. I did 2 splits this past week. One with Elder Martins, and the other with Elder Evans. They are 2 elders in our district. I am doing my best to try to balance my responsiblities as district leader and zone leader. The splits will continue as well. This week, we are doing a division with the AP's and then we will do splits with the District Leaders in the zone. Then, towards the end of the transfer, I will do 2 more splits with 2 other Elders in the district. I have a big opprotunity to help others with the experience I have gained. We have seen a lot of growth because of the splits we do. Many missionaries think splits are a chance to "be away from your companion'' but it is way more than that. If you go into it with the right attitude, you can real help the missionary change his mission. Depending on what his needs are as a missionary. I believe that the growth we are seeing in the zones are because of the effective splits we have done. Hopfully we can continue the pace!
More Elders have opened more processes this week! We had two marriages, and a a family baptism this past weekend. This transfer, Matola is on pace to baptize more families than it ever has before! And more families are getting found and ready for next transfer. We recognize the hand of the Lord in the work. It is because we hav e some really good Elders in the zone that are working hard to find, teach, and baptize.
One thing that is improving a lot, is the way we work with the members. We had a very good meeting with the branch presidency, and with the auxiliary leader after church yesterday. We planned to watch "The work of Salvation'' on Saturday, and that will help them get the fire to shre the gospel and to work together. The frequency continues to climb, but we need to hang on to these people that we bring. Our companionship alone, brought 6 complete families to church on Sunday. 20 investigators in total. I was very pleased to have a member sitting with each of those families at church. This is what we want! As we continue to teach with members, and have them sit with our investigators, the work will explode. Even more than it is now.
We found a super nice new family this week. Jasinto and Joaquina. They had been to church before, but stopped for some reason. Well we went over there, and they accepted! They came to church with us on Sunday. It was a cool experiecne on working with old investigators. They will for sure be getting baptized! We also started teaching a 20 year old chinese kid! His name is Ivan. He was a reference from our recent convert Joao, who is the son of Sara. Ivan will be getting baptized here in a few weeks.
We continue to find, drop, find and drop! We have quite a few families that will get baptized for sure, but we don't know when! Most of the families we are teaching, and pretty poor, and don't have enough money to get married, or need to viajar in order to get documents. We are working with Elders in Beira and Quelimane in order to get these documents. But until the end of this year, our area should have a lot of families baptized! We are doing our best to strenghten the testimony of these families and hold on to them, as we continue to find more!
It is starting to get a lot hotter down here in Maputo as well! I don't know how i got through the last summer! I come home just soaked everyday. One of the best feelings in the world, and taking a nice cold shower at night. I have grown a true love for the cold shower at night. Some people think we are crazy walking around in the heat like this. I have no clue how hot it is, but with the humitity, it feels a lot worse!
We have a good house, and all the Elders are working hard. There is tension sometimes with a few Elders, but Im doing my best to be the peacemaker. The house gets dirty easily, and it is frustrating. We made goals to always have a clean house. I think I am starting to turn into a clean freak. Haha!
Jose and Sandra are doing alright. They didn't go to church, so we were really worried. We went over there last night, and he was sleeping. I asked Sandra if he had been drinking and she just stayed silent. I knew they he had been drinking. We received a text from him this morning saying that he is frustrated these days because no one pays him for the work he does. He said he fell into temptation because of the stress. Because of these work problems, he is unable to tratar a single documento. We will see the progress with that this week. We are going over there later today to try to help him with his problem. I want nothing more to be able to help them with this problem. I will let you know how it goes.
Well I hope everyone has a good week! I will have a good week as well! I Love you all, and dont forget to do family scripture study!

Love Elder Williams

Monday, September 30, 2013

Matola - Week 76

2 anos realmente sao 2 semanas

I almost don't believe how fast one week can past. Every week goes by faster and faster. But we did have a good week here in Matola.
Being the first week of the transfer, all of the missionaries in the zone were excited to work. I'm going to do my best to help everyone have this desire always. And we did see some miracles in the zone this week. More marriage processes have been opened, and more families are continuing to be found.
But on the same hand, Satan is constantly trying to destroy the work here in this country. One thing that this mission has struggled with in the past is gossip. I bet just about all missions have this problem. It is almost as if there was a rivalry against missionaries. Many Americans think that the natives are out to get them, and many natives think that Americans are out to get them. We ran into a little bit of tension in our house this week, and it is completely unacceptable. Every missionary needs to think before they say something. I had the idea of doing nightly prayer as a district, and since then, there has been no problems. It strenghtened my testimony on the power of prayer. ALWAYS, will I hold daily prayer with my family. It defintely keeps the Spirit in the home, which is what we want.
But the work goes on! This Wednesday, me and Elder Brandao put on a training for the district leaders. A lot of missionaries overlook the responsibility of the district leader, and the influence that he can have. We helped them understand they they have a big role in the real growth in their branch. We also showed them how the zone is growing. Over the last 6 weeks, we have been teaching three times as much as we were. And more investigators are coming to church. The zone has been seeing big differences over the last few weeks, and will only continue. Receiving the numbers last night from the companionships, I was pleased to see that everyone really is working a lot harder than before. "They key to missionary work, is work!"
Yesterday, it rained here in Maputo. And mozambiquans do don't like rain! That is always to first excuse to not go to church. The frequency went down in all the branches in the zone. One thing we are working hard at, is to help the members develop more faith. The members need to be the examples for the investigators. Rain is no excuse to not come to church. It strenghtened my testimony of the Sabbath Day. We will be teaching the Sabbath Day many times this week. 
On the way to church yesterday, we passed a Catholic church. They were singing and the church was full off people. Hundreds and hundreds it seemed like. There were cars parked all over the neighborhood. I thought to myself, 'how to they bring so many people to church so easily?' I got a little discouraged and thought to myself, 'how is it that we have the true message, true authority of God, and a living prophet, and we can't even fill up one building in Matola? and these others churches have mutiple all over the city and thy are easily filling up?' I don't understand how people are so blinding from the truth. I don't understand why people don't want to follow Christ's true church on the earth! Sunday afternnoon read the following verse in 1 Nephi 14:12-
"And it came to pass that I beheld the church of the Lamb of God, and its numbers were few, because of the wickedness and abominations of the whore who sat upon the many waters; nevertheless, I beheld that the church of the Lamb, who were the saints of God, were also upon all the face of the earth; and their dominions upon all the face of the earth were small, because of the wickedness of the great whore whom I saw."
That was a huge reminder to me that the truth will always be rejected. Just because the church of the Lamb has fewer members, does not change the truthfulness of our message. I wouldn't deny the truthfulness of this work and gospel, even if I were the only member in the whole world. So that was a pretty cool experience I had this week.
We have been very busy with preparations for zone conference! Tomorrow morning at 10 am we will be having zone conference here in Matola. We have ordered food, and this afternoon, we will be going to set things up at the chapel. We ordered food from Mimo's, the local pizza place. We were asked to order a total of 70 pizzas! So we will eat pretty well. They aren't big pizzas obviously, but still. haha
There will be a total of 55 missionaries participating in the zone conference, so I'm excited to receive more trainings from President and Sister Kretly. I talked to President Sunday night, and he asked me to conduct the zone conference tomorrow, so that will be a good experience. I write abut the things we learned next week.
Our investigators continue to progress as well! We had to wait til the end of the month to get some marriage documents, because our investigators were waiting on their salary. This week, they will get paid, and jump all over the documents!
We will be baptizing 2 more families in the zone this weekend! One of them being Narciso and Telma, a family that we had contacted in the street, and started teaching during my weeklong division with an Elder in the district. THe Lord defiintely blessed us that week! I will be doing some more baptismal interviews this week, so that's always exciting becuase people are getting baptized!
This week, I got a little emotional... I guess it hadn't really hit me that we are entering October already. It is so scary. I will continue to make the best of the time I have in this amazing country. I honestly think I could go on forever! I never want to take of this missionary badge. It has been the most rewarding thing that has ever happened to me. And it is something very personal to me. 
I love you all so much, and I hope you continue to do what is right! We really do live in a state of happiness when we keep the commandments. I love you all!

Love, Elder Williams

Monday, September 23, 2013

Matola - Week 75

Well more weeks have past, and that means that transfers have came. I was very pleased and satisfied to know that I will be staying here in Matola this transfer. We have a lot of unfinished work that we need to take care of, so I am very excited! Me and Elder Brandao will also be serving together still. I is nice to have a companion that is always willing to work hard with me. I know we will see many more results this transfer. 
The Matola zone has improved dramatically over the past 4 weeks as far as numbers are concerned. This work is not about the numbers, but it's a sign that the Elders are working hard and the work is continuing to go forward. Ever since we have done those splits with the district leaders, the elders have caught a new fire, which is good to see. We focused on contacting, saying that when we start street contacting well, the other numbers will go with it, and that's exactly what happened. The contacting number doubled, the lessons taught tripled, and they investigators at church with a baptismal date skyrocketed. We are starting to do things the right way as a whole zone. As we continue working hard and be diligent, the Lord will bless us just as times in the past.
The Lord blessed the area of Elder Brandao and I as we have been diligent over the past few weeks. We came across a couple named Jose and Sandra. Never before, on my whole mission, have I seen a family so prepared. And that is saying a lot. We contacted them one afternoon as they we walking to church! They went to a church called "A Igreja Mundial" which is "The Worldly Church" quite a name right? They went to church every afternoon together.
So we marked a lesson with them for the next morning, and I we went over there. They understood the Restoration so well. They are very educated and they asked very good questions as well. We explained the importance of the Book of Mormon, and that afternoon, they went to their church to say goodbye to them and that they will never go back. 
They have already recieved and answer that the Book of Mormon is true, and they aren't going anywhere. They were the first ones at church both Sundays! The other miracle is that they want to do a simple marriage! So we are going to bring someone who has authority to perform a marriage, and they will sign in their house with normal clothes, in order to be baptized the next day.
They are the perfect example of a family that is 'Searching for the truth, but they know not where to find it.' I'm grateful that the Lord has placed these prepared families in our path.
 These people aren't only changing their lives, and repenting, but they are making the necessary steps to live in the presence of our Heavenly Father again. It is amazing to see. 
As we are seeing these families progress, we are seeing others that aren't progressing. We continue to find, drop, find, drop, so that we can find the prepared familes. 
As we see these miracles, Satan continues to try to destroy our Faith and Hope. My testimony has been tried so hard over the past few weeks, but at the same time, it has been built. We have ran into more Anti-Christs than I've ever seen. We taught a man from Melbourne, Australia who tried to destroy me and say that there is no God. Lots of Jeovah's Witnesses as well have ran into us as well. And I do not have a answer for many of the questions that are thrown at me. I don't know that Bible very well either. But I know for sure, that the Book of Mormon is true. So that is all I need to know. I have felt the presence of God so much, that I can't deny that he is real. I know he is Real and that He loves us. I know this is his work, and I'm so blessed to be a part of it. I wrote a long letter to President this week, so I didn't have much time to write.
I hope you all have a great week!
Love, Elder Williams