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