Monday, February 25, 2013

Manga - Week 44

Well I got blindsided this morning! When I went to bed last night, I was almost certain that I would stay here in Manga 2. But I was absolutely shocked to see that I was transfered. Tomorrow morning, I'm heading to Beira 2. To be honest, I´m completely heartbroken. This morning my life was dashed into a million pieces. Leaving Quelimane was so hard! But it doesn't even compare to how difficult it will be to leave Manga 2. I grew a love for my area, the branch presidency, the branch, the routine, the investigators, and the investigators who were baptized, the english class I taught, and the mission prep class I taught. I dont feel like its my time to leave Manga 2! I feel like I've done alot to help the branch, but with more time, i can do more!
The fact that I was serving in the branch presidency, I thought for sure I would stay! But I'm the only Elder that will be leaving Manga 2. Elder Fontes will stay in our area and he will serve with Elder Andrade, my past companion in Quelimane. I have now left 2 of my areas to him.
I will go serve with Elder Vestia, from Lisbon, Portugual. (He actually knows Elder Bushnell). He is pretty new in the mission, and I already lived with him for a transfer here in Manga. He was getting trained about the same time as Elder Fontes. Together, Elder Vestia and I will enter a whitewashed area. Which means that he doesn't know the area and I dont know the area. So we should have fun first week here in Beira! But I've done a whitewash before, so it shouldnt be to bad. I just hope the past Elders wrote in the areabook!
Church yesterday was great! 133 showed up. The Lord has given me the chance to see growth of almost 100 people in the branches frequency. Such a blessing! I'm grateful to have been a part of it. I'm also glad that I was able to help this branch have meetings. Im almost positive that after I leave, these meetings will still happen! I'm grateful for the large role I had in helping this branch get going.
This morning, me and Elder Fontes walked with ANOTHER family to get documents for marriage. Baptisms here in Mnaga 2 will be snowballing real fast over the next few months! Its a shame I won't be here to witness it, but the same thing will happen in Beira 2, so its all good!
I dont have very much time, because my internet account is about to run out of time. But I want you to know that I have been transfered! And I really am devastated. But I know there are more opportunities for me here in Beira, so we will see what happens!
Glad to know everything at home is going well! Nick better tell me how soccer tryouts went! I bet he did great. I saw the article on Elder Allred. Thats so tight! He looks great. I wanted to cry when I saw that picture of him. Haha he's doing awesome work out there in SC!
Well have a good week! Love you all.

Love, Elder Williams

Monday, February 18, 2013

Manga - Week 43

So sorry about last week, I wrote a letter home but the internet died before I could finish the letter! I'm not exactly sure how the internet died, but it did. So this week, you are lucky to recieve two letters from me!
We had a good week here, but lots of rain! We've been walking in rain boots for the past few weeks. The roads fill with water unbelievably fast. And sometimes the rain boots still don't do the trick and we have to walk with water up to our knees and water in the rainboots. We just have to make sure to wash our feet and legs really good at night to not catch possible diseases from the water.
Me and Elder Fontes taught tons of lessons this week! Our area is far away, so it takes awhile to commute to and from, but even with the commute we were able to teach 41 lessons, which is a fairly good number. We are finding new families as well. Our families that are progressing and preparing for baptism are Sabado and Laura, Sammo and Mimi, Jane e Adilina, Jorge and Argentina, Jaime and Anita, Diogo and Guida, Rudy and Edna, Rafael and Paula, and Nelson and Ancha. We have some new families as well tht have plenty of potential! We'll see what happens over the next few weeks.
The small branch of Manga two is slowly growing. Yesterday we had a number of 127 in sacrament meeting. That is the highest number the branch has had! We were so excited! No it's a matter of working with the members to keep the people that are coming, as well as bring more members. Before this transfer, we had a goal to have 150 in sacrament meeting by the end of the transfer, we'll see if we reach our goal next week! 
As well as having a high number in sacrament meeting, we had our first successful branch council on saturday! We've always tried to have these meetings, but the members have showed up! But as more people are coming to church, it appears that the members have more enthusiasm to work. It was the first meeting we had with members from each presidency present. Elders Quorum  Relief Society, Young Mens, Young Women, Primary, Sunday School as well actually! Our Branch President and First Counselor don't know how these meetings should be, so I have been conducting these meetings. Fortunately, I have participated in many ward council meetings when serving as Deacons Quorum President, Teachers Quorum presidencies, and First Assistant to the Bishop. I grateful to have had those positions, so that I know how to run these meetings, and help the branch here to have these meetings. We had a great meeting, as we discussed things we can do do improve the branch. We followed the Church Administration Manual 2, Chapter 4 that explains about this meeting. We talked about the welfare of the members in each group, spiritually and physically; Missionary work; and recent converts as well as less actives who are returning to the church. We developed plans to help each group reach goals that they have. I was really excited about the direction of the branch after the meeting we had. If we continue to have these meetings each week, and if we do the things we say we will do, I know the branch will grow even that much more.
I was able talk to the Nichols family last week! Great family. We need to be friends with them! So stay in contact with them, especially when they return home to Alpine. They are just loving their time here in Mozambique, and are having some cool experiences!  That's good they got to have these experiences. They won't forget this family trip they had!
Mom, don't worry I always feel safe. The only times I don't feel safe is when I almost get hit by cars, which happens a few times a day. But this past week we had people try to break into our house! Elder Monteiro, and Elder in our house woke up to the sound of people trying to open our metal cage the surrounds the doors. But he flipped on the light, and they ran away. He thinks he knows who it is. But they haven't come back since that night. I don't think they'll come back.
An Elder told me that he found a place hear in Beria that sells contact solution! I don't know if it's true, but we'll see if I have time to stop by there today. But for know, I'm good on contact soution. Should last me another 8 months or so. So don't worry! 
This morning we went with a family to the government building in Beria in order to prepare wedding papers. It is so hard here! We need to take out a document, but they have a rule that you need to wait 10 days to take out the document after paying, even though they have the documents sitting right there! And the people who work there are always in a bad mood, so they don't want to help us. Haha. But it's ok, the Lord will prepare a way for these people to get everything ready!
Sounds like things back home are good! The trip to europe sounded like a cold one! I won't have to worry about cold for awhile. But I hope everyone is happy at home!
Nicholas, if you don't have a consistent habit of scripture study, START NOW! As well as consist personal prayer. These teenage years are so important! Who you spend your time with is who you will become. The adversary doesn't want you to serve a misison, so he will put obstacles in the way. One of my favorite scriptures is Doctrine and Covenants 10:5- "Ora sempre, para que saias vencedor; sim, para que vencas Satanas e escapes das maos dos servos de Satanas que apoiam o trabalho dele." This is what you need to do everyday! Love you!
I hope you all have a good week, I know that this is the Lord's kingdom on the Earth. We have a prophet of God in these latter days. A fulness of the everlasting gospel is on the Earth, and everything we need to know to return home. Another scripture I love Mosiah 2:41. I invite the family to read this scripture together. Love you all! Have a good week!

Love, Elder Williams

Manga - Week 42

Note this week: "So last week, I wrote an email home, and when I was almost finished, the internet here died. So I wasn't able to send it. So this week, I'll send this weeks letter, and last weeks letter. Haha that's what happens here!"

Good week here in Manga! We had a week full of baptismal invites, so that is really exciting!
So this morning, we arrived here in the city by train! It was super cool. The train station is right behind our house so we figured we've give it a try. 
But this train experience was like nothing I've ever experienced. They cram people into the train until the point where people are only hanging on with their arms! And when people want to get off the train? They just jump off! About halfway through the train ride, the train slows down so that people can get off halfway through the ride. But the train doesn't come to a complete stop! Haha it was crazy! But don't worry, the other Elders and I waited until the last stop to get off, so we didn't have to jump. Haha but I won't forget this experience! I'll have to take some pictures next week when we take the train again!
The branch here in Manga 2 is a work in progress! So much potential, if everyone does their part. The missionaries, members, and other branch leaders. We've called branch meetings, but members don't show up for the meetings. So this is a challenge that we are having right now. But we hope to help these members keep commitments as well so that we can successfully have these meeting to help the branch. I know that as we start to get more organized as a branch, things will start happening, and these meetings will be a success! And I know we will see REAL GROWTH here in Manga 2. Which is our mission goal.
So I got a phone call for Catia Nichols on Saturday. I was able to talk to her and her husband saturday afternoon. They got my number from Elder Hall, a senior couple here in Beira. But one thing very interesting, is when I was talking to John Nichols. He said, "so a few people I know told me that I need to call you Zona." haha I was so surprized! I asked him who he knew, and he said we know a few mutual people in common. They are here in Beira, and sounds like they are having just a wonderful time! They head up to Quelimane this week, (lucky for them). So you'll have to keep in touch with them!
Glad to hear that everything back home is going good! That's sick that Dad is in Norway! He is so right about the London airport. It's the worst. I spent many hours in that airport... haha.
Andrew is tearing up the basketball court! Keep doing work! Try to get him on the best team possible. But make sure it's right for him. I remember when I was his age, I played on those competive teams and it did nothing good for me. But when I left those competitive teams, I really developed as a basketball player. But Andrew has more talent than me as well.
So sad to here about the girl from PG. Yes I did know her. So sad.
I like what Dad said to me in his letter this week. He said hasn't read a single "he's the worst" or "I hate him" in my letters. I can't believe I thought that stuff about people! I was the worst in those situations. I'm learning to love others. And view them through the eyes of Christ. The way He would see them. Sister Kretly taught in a zone conference that this is the way we should see others. The way Christ would see them. It really adds a whole new perspective to missionary work and life.
Well we gotta take off, but have a good week all of you!

-Elder Williams

Monday, February 11, 2013

Photo - Meeting the Nichols in Beira

This is a photo of the Nichols family who started following the blog over the last several months.  They were visiting Mozambique and were able to visit with Elder Williams and Elder Fontes in Beira.  This photo is taken at a local hotel. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Manga - Week 41

This week flew by! The past few weeks Elder Fontes and I have been really focused! Time really is something very strange on the mission. Well, it's currently raining again here in Beira, which I am grateful for because yesterday was probably the hottest day I've had so far on the mission. It was so hot! Some people think we're crazy. People yesterday asked us, "you guy still walk around all day with this kind of weather?" But the work most go on!
Yesterday was a holiday here in Mozambique. So President Kretly moved P-day to today, and we worked like it was a normal day yesterday. Because most places were closed, shopping and internet would have been difficult. I bet you guys were confused when you didn't receive a letter from me yesterday!
The work continues to go on here in Mozambique! Sometimes I feel like the work just stops. I felt that way because we prepare families for baptism, but they can't be baptized because they aren't married! Aghh! We are currently helping them get documents ready, but it's so difficult. Every family of ours that is progressing prefectly, lives in a mud house. That's the situation in my area right now. But the Lord will bless these families as they continue to sacrifice. We did a fast with a family this past week, Sabado and Laura, so that we can get all the legal papers and money ready for the big marriage that was supposed to happen on the 15 of February. But during the fast I was talking to the Zone Leaders about exactly what would happen during the wedding, and they told me that it won't be happening. I was annoyed, because the Zone Leaders told me to prepare a family for that day, and they would prepare the party. But now they won't be preparing anything for Sabado and Laura. So we'll see this week what will happen. We will continue to pray that Sabado and Laura will be baptized on the right day.
Another family, Jane and Adalina, are progressing so nicely! They too, live in a mud hut and don't have much money. We are helping them save money and prepare financially for everything, but on Thursday night, men with machedes and knifes entered their small home and took everything. So hard. All these people want is to do what's right and follow the gospel of Jesus Christ, but things like this happen to them. So sad! But I know the Lord will bless them as they continue faithful.
Another family, Diogo and Guida, are progressing unbelievably as well! They read the Book of Mormon together and always have questions written down for us when we come. But this week we found out that the family of Guida wants a lot of money from Diogo to "legally" marry her.  An African tradition that makes things difficult. We're trying to figure out the best route to take with them. It looks like they might forget about their family and get married and baptized anyway! Which would be un amazing sacrifice. We'll see what happens this week, We'll be sitting with them tonight.
So our area is having a lot of challenges, but many blessing at the same time! I know the Lord will bless our area with all of our labors and they way we are working. This area has NEVER baptized a whoe family before. Only part families and teenagers. So we are definitely heading in the right direction!
The branch is a work in progress as well. We are now having branch meetings, which didn't happen before. Leadership in a few presidencies in the branch will change as well, so we are heading in the right direction! 
My health is good! I have yet to suffer and physical problems here on the mission, I haven't even had a blister! I had an ingrown toenail last week, but it disappeared? It was super weird... So that's not a problem!
Sounds like things at home are going good! Super bowl Sunday? So tight! Hope everyone had a fun time together. And did Nick really only spoke Chinese during the play? That's super cool! Good work!
Well, I love you all and hope you have a good week! The Church is true! There really is nothing more rewarding than sharing the gospel. Even if it is unbelievably hot!

Love, Elder Williams