Monday, March 25, 2013

Beira - Week 48

Well it has been kind of a long time hasn't it? Last week we didn't have much time to email because where did we go? We went to go see monkeys! There is a cemetary in Inhamizua that was rumored to have a ton of monkeys. So we figured we would check it out with a few other elders in the house. And sure enough, lots of monkeys! I got some pretty cool pictures and videos. 
We have had an unbelievable week here in Beira. Things are going extremely well. Especially in our branch. We had a baptismal service which was an absolute priviledge to be apart of. We had 16 people baptized at the service! It was unbelievable! 13 from our branch and 3 from Munhava, which is between Beira and Manga. The best part about it, is that they were all families that were baptized! Me and Elder Vestia had a family of 4 that was baptized in our area as well. In two weeks, we have baptized 2 complete families, and another family of 5 will be getting baptized next week after the wedding. The Lord has blessed us and given us the priviledge to help these people come unto Christ.
As you could imagine, the were a lot of confirmations that took place on Sunday during Church. It took up the whole sacrament meeting! But it was good to see families baptized and confirmed. They are exactly the kind of families we need. Quality, and quantity.
We have found a GOLDEN FAMILY this week as well. Crayton and Albertina. He is a chapa driver, and we contacted him on the way home one night last week. He seemed like a pretty humble guy, so we gave him a call the very next day. He works from 5am-10pm every single day except Sunday. So on Tuesday afternoon, we were only able to sit with Albertina. She is a super nice lady who is tired of churches. She hates tithing and all the blessing that random churches had promised her. We testified to her of the truthfulness of our message and invited her to church on Sunday. We were not able to return because of his work schedule. On Sunday morning, I called Crayton and asked him if they were coming to church. They said they were on their way, and they showed up in time for Principles of the Gospel. Afterwords, we had sacrament meeting and I sat with them. I explained that sacrament meeting was different today because of the confirmations, and normally, talks are given. They seemed to like the meeting. 
We then went back to their house yesterday afternoon after church. And we had an unbelievable lesson! We taught them the Restoration, and the importance of the Book of Mormom. They were able to feel the spirit as well, so that was good! And they really did understand the message that we shared. We invited them to be baptized when they receive a spiritual witness, and they accepted. We will be praying for the Spiritual witness to come. And I know it will. After the lesson, Crayton offered the most humble sincere prayer I've ever heard in my llife. Me and Elder Vestia cried as we talked about the prayer afterwards! He asked the Lord to bless his family, so that he can put food on the table, and he asked the Lord to help him be a Worthy Father. I have never heard any man ask for help to be a worthy father. And it is exactly what every man should pray for. He is so humble, and we are very excited to be apart of this.
This might be the happiest I've been on the misison. We are working hard and things are snowballing. I am so grateful to be here in Beira with the chance to help these people.  It really is an exciting time. The only challenges I have is cooking. Mom, do you think you could send me some easy recipes? Because I am eating a lot of corn flakes and tasteless spaquetti. Haha. I tried to make peri peri chicken last night, but as I took a bite, it still had blood inside, so I had to throw it out. Yes mom, I have eaten peri peri chicken. There is plently of peri peri here in Beira.
Sounds like things back home are going good! Andrew first overall pick in the baseball draft? That is honestly so sick. I am going to take over his coaching in a few years and we will win tons of championships together. Keep up the good work man!
I love you guys so much, and I'm glad you are all good! I am fine here, and I could not ask for anything better. I really am loving this work. There really is no greater responsibilty than preaching the gospel. I am excited to see where cousin Tanner gets called! Hopefully he will love it out here in Mozambique! haha 
Have a good week, and don't forget to have family home evening tonight! Love you all!

Love, Elder Williams

Monday, March 18, 2013

Beira - Week 47

Dear Parents,
Today was complicated. We did internet this morning just for 20 minutes, to email president and then we went to see monkeys. Then later the internet had problems so we didn't get to finish. And we are heading out to teach right now! So sorry, but I'll send a nice letter next week. I have plenty pictures of monkeys! Have a good week!


Elder Williams

Monday, March 11, 2013

Beira - Week 46

Fiquei Doente (I was sick) 

This was not a fun week... not because the missionary work wasn't good, but because this was the first week I got sick during the mission. But Mom don't freak out, it was not a big deal.
The week started off great! We had a few good lessons Monday night, and into Tuesday the week was going well. I came home Tuesday night with just a headache, but I figured it would pass with a lot of water, and a good nights sleep. But that's not what happened. I woke up a little bit worse on Wednesday, but I figured everything was fine. We worked it just like a regular day, and we worked Thursday like a regular day as well. I was having body pains everywhere! Arms, legs, head, and I was coughing nonstop. It was quite difficult to work those days. When I realized the fever wasn't passing, I called Sister Kretly on Friday morning and explained the situation to her. She told me to go to a specific clinic, so we ended up going there Friday night. They had to draw my blood to make sure I didn't have Malaria. But luckily, the test came out negative. The doctor told me I had received some respiratory infection, and it caused the fever and body pains. Super weird. They gave me some medication, and I'm still taking it. I started feeling better Saturday night and into Sunday, so that's good. And as of right now, the only thing I have is the cough. So I'm better!
But when I started getting better, my companion started getting worse. Late Saturday night he was in a ton of pain. We called Sister Kretly again, and he explained what was going on to her. My companion was taken to the hospital about 10:00 that night for a Malaria test as well, but also came out negative. He is still feeling super weak. We should be heading back to the Hospital today with one of President Kretly's counselors, so we'll see what happens.
But as for the work this week, it was good! We are making progress with a few families as they are keeping commitments. We will be baptizing a family of 3 this Saturday, and a family of 4 next Saturday. This Saturday, it will be Lua, Recy, and their daughter Jacquelina, who is about 13 years old (He's the Bulls fan, and his wife is from Zimbabwe). They are an unbelievable family. We had a great lesson with them this week, as we taught the law of tithing and committed them to live it. During the lesson, he asked me what ten percent of 3,000 is. I did the math in my head, and even though I failed pre-cal my senior year I was able to give him the answer of 300. And as I thought about it, I realized that that is exactly how much money he makes, 3,000 Metacais per month. Which is about 100 dollars. He is a guard at night time for a local business, and works two nights on and two nights off. After we taught the Sabbath day, he talked to his boss so he would never have problems coming to church.
But this man so humbly, accepted the law of tithing. He said he would pay every month. Such a testimony builder to me, and after the mission, I will always willingly pay tithing as well. He has 100 dollars a month to buy food for his family of 5, clothes, electricity, water, school, and everything. They live in one small room. Unbelievable family, I honestly love them so much. And they are already married! Which is a miracle. A family that was truly prepared by the hand of the Lord.
Another really nice family is Nharingue and Gracinda. She is from Malawi, and he was a guy without a job that struggled with the Word of Wisdom. We had a lesson about the Word of Wisdom, and that is really what turned things around. He said that ever since he stopped drinking and smoking, his relationship is better with his wife. Haha well obviously! But I'm glad he recognized that. He really has changed a lot in just a few days. We talked to them today, and he's still going strong. Their baptismal date is April 6. They are really excited and want to be baptized in order to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. We did a few documents with them today, so we'll see what happens.
I liked the story Dad shared about the priesthood blessing. I've had plenty of chances to give blessings, and gave one late Saturday night when my companion was sick. Me and Elder Fontes gave tons of blessing together too, so that was nice. In Manga, I also had to chance to confirm the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and even ordain a few recent converts to offices in the Priesthood. The Lord is giving me plenty of chances to speak for him, and I'm so grateful for it.
Well I better go, but I hope you all have a good week! I'm doing good here, and I really am feeling better. This is the Lord's work, and he is responsible for us teaching these amazing families. Have a great week!

Love, Elder Williams

ps. Mom, I read in a Liahona this week about ideas for Primary teachers who teach children with cognitive disabilities. You might want to look into it. Love you! 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Beira - Week 45

Mudan├žas, mas estou gostando as mudan├žas

Great first week here in Beira! It's a new experience, completely different than other experiences I've had in other branches. Beira 2 is the strongest branch in the mission. Easily over 220 were in sacrament meeting. The chapel was so full! It was very strange sitting in a full chapel, that looks almost like the chapels from back home! With air conditioner in the chapel. It was super nice.
The branch has teachers that teach every class, so I'm pretty sure I won't be teaching any Relief Society or Principles of the Gospel while I'm serving here. It's nice to be able to participate in the classes with our investigators! Quite a different experience.
The house I'm living in now as well is super nice! Brand new, and the Elders have only been living here about six weeks or so. We live next to the Central Hospital of Beira, which is right on the Beach, so that's nice as well. There are 6 of us in the house, and there is plenty of space. We even have 2 refrigerators. I live with Elder Vestia (my companion), Elder Christensen from Firth, Idaho; Elder Robinson from Eugene, Oregon; Elder Phillips from Boise, and Elder Derrickson from Tooele. They are all obedient Elders, so that's nice.     
The area is looking promising. It was an interesting week, with Elder Vestia and I having to get to know the new area. Tuesday afternoon, I walked with the Elder who used to be in this area, and he showed me the houses of some investigators. But I had to memorize where the houses were. But the Lord has blessed with with a good sense of direction all throughout my life, and now I know why!
We have some nice families that are progressing nicely, but after a few really good families, we don't have very many investigators. So this week I really want to hit the streets and find more families to teach. We knocked on a lot of doors this week, which was nice. In Quelimane we had a lot of success contacting apartment buildings, and this week we also had success. Door knocking never gets old for me. Every door really is a new adventure! And a new potential family that could get baptized as well. We had 15 new investigators this past week, and a new family that we found came to church! And they are already legally married! So we are really excited about them. We also did tons of street contacting! President Kretly has a mission goal for us, that every week, each companionship should make at least 35 qualified contacts a week. A qualified contact is a man over the age of 25, who believes in Christ, is either legally married or would like to legalize his marriage, and has a desire to hear our message. I've always been able to get 30-40 qualified contacts a week, but this week me and Elder Vestia destroyed that number. From just Wednesday-Sunday, we made 60 qualified contacts. The gives us a lot of new families to work with over the next few weeks, so that's exciting. But usually what happens, is that when we call on those people the second time,  they don't answer, or they give a different excuse. That is why it's so important to contact a lot of people!
Cool story with an investigator this week, Lua and Racy is a family that will be getting baptized soon. She is from Zimbabwe and he is super tight! He asked me what state I was from and I said Utah. The following is an exact translation of what he said, "I know Utah because of the Utah Jazz. I used to watch them on cable many years ago. But I prefer Jordan, Pippen, and the Chicago Bulls. They were always better." Haha I was so happy when he said that! It made my love for him grow even more! Even people here in Mozambique know to not root for the Utah Jazz, and that Jordan was always better. It's kinda a funny story.
I got a phone call from President Kretly last Monday afternoon as well, and he asked me what I thought of the transfer. I was honest with him and told him that I was surprised, and that I didn't want to leave Manga 2 but I was excited about the new opportunity. He told me that I will have a lot of success in Beira 2 with this branch, and that he has confidence in me. So I really am excited to be here in Beira 2! I'm confident that we will baptize many families here. We were only able to see a few of our families in Manga 2 get baptized, but here I'm sure we will see many more, so I'm excited for the chance that is ahead.
Glad to know that everything home is good! I can picture the look on small babes face when he saw other kids with lots of basketball skills as well. He needs a humbling experience like that. He just needs to play with confidence. He needs to be humble, but he needs to understand that he has the same ability as anyone on the court. He just needs to play the game he knows best. 
Nick, don't feel disappointed about not making JV. Your only a freshman! Other chances will present themselves, so just keep playing! And keep doing doing what's right and live the commandments. And listen to EVERYTHING that Mom and Dad tell you. Those people are brilliant. I guarantee none of your friends have parents like you do.
Morgan, I love you so much! Keep preparing for your baptism, and do your best in dance!
I love you all so much, I'm perfectly fine here, and perfectly happy. I realize that it really is a privilege to be in Mozambique during these exciting changes. This week I was thinking about a line in my patriarchal blessing which reads, "you will be eternally grateful to your parents," and that is so true. I am only now starting to realize that. 
The church is true. I'm so grateful that our Heavenly Father has called a prophet in these latter days to guide us through these difficult years ahead. "Remember, it is upon the rock of our Redeemer that we must build our foundation." Helaman 5:12.
Have a good week!

Love, Elder Williams