Monday, May 27, 2013

Matola - Week 57

Well, I'm here safe and sound in my new area! Coming down to Maputo from Beira is quite a difference. I don't even feel like I'm in Africa anymore! It honestly feels like California. The roads are way nice, just about all families have cars, and there is not as much trash in the road. The palm trees give it a Southern California feel. It really is kind of a culture shock.
The area, is good. When I got down here, me and Elder Lake decided to make a few switches with the areas in our zone. The biggest area, is called Liberdade. Which in english is Liberty. There are about 60,000 people the live in that area alone. We felt like not much was happening in that area, but that it was the area with the most potential. So me and Elder Lake, switched areas with another companionship. We have the task of Liberdade to help it grow. Right now, there isn't much going on. The last Elders who worked in here are great Elders, they just had some hard times. Hopefully we can help the ball roll a little bit more. Yesterday at church, we had 1 investigator come to church. So we are kind of starting at ground zero. But we will be working hard to help this area grow. Out of all 60,000 members in Liberdade there are a total of 0 families that are baptized in the church. Not a single one. Including less actives. Hopefully we can be apart of helping MANY families come unto the fold, and be baptized. I'm excited for the challenge.

Yesterday, we went into the city to meet up with the assistants of President. We received our zone's stats, and everything that the Matola zone needs to become a stake. Just talking about the stake of Matola. Seperate from Maputo. Each branch needs to baptize 25 more families, and we need to have 1000 more members. So we have a long way to go. But we are going to be getting started right now! And I know the Lord will help. 20 year old men are not capable of estalishing a stake. But God is capable! So we need to rely on him to be able to do it!

So when I flew down to Maputo on Tuesday, who was waiting for m at the airport? Elder Martinez! We've stayed on oposite ends of the country for our whole mission, so it was cool to see him and talk to him for a little while. The funny thing is, he got transfered up to Beira 2! We are pretty much swithing branches. Haha so I will still stay on the opposite end of the country. Kinda funny. But we were able to take a picture back at my new house. 

Here in Maputo, it is very cold! At about 6 or 7 at night it gets very chilly. (Family Note: the low is 67 degrees).  I'm going to start proselyting in long sleeve shirts it is so cold. Maputo really does feel like a whole new country.

Well, the internet here is having a lot of problems. The site is not even letting us send emails, so I hope you guys all get this! I don't have that much time to write, because we are here to make a
training that we will be giving to our district leaders tomorrow. The training should turn out pretty well. I'll let you know how it goes! I will also be doing a division with a district leader this week, so I'm excited to be able to work with them. There are a lot of good Elders in our zone, including Elder Fontes who I served with for 4 months in Manga.

Well, have a great week! So sad to hear about the pup dean (our dog), but i figured the time was close. He really as a good dog. Have  a good week and I love you all!

Love, Elder Williams

ps. Happy Birthday to the small babe! Is that 11 years old?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Call to Zone Leader in Matola, Mozambique

Dear Parents and Leaders,

Elder Zachary Todd Williams was just called as a Zone Leader.  This position is very important and is key for our success as a mission.  He has been called because of his hard work and good example that he has given for other missionaries.  Some of his responsibilities will be: representing the Mission President on minor issues, helping the missionaries in their areas, training the missionaries, doing splits with District Leaders, and having a strong relationship with the Branch and District leadership where he is serving. Besides that he will continue to have his own proselyting area where he will work, finding, teaching, and baptizing families.  Thank you for your continued support and prayers for Elder Williams.  Thank you for preparing such a wonderful missionary to serve in our mission.

With love and appreciation,

President Paulo V. Kretly
Mozambique Maputo Mission

Monday, May 20, 2013

Matolo (ZL) - Week 56

Beira 2 District - May 20, 2013

Well, 6 more weeks have gone by and that means that we've continued to work hard over the past 6 weeks! But it also means that transfers are today. And President Kretly always does something crazy for transfers!
Lets flash back 12 weeks ago... I was in Manga and thought for sure that I was staying there. And he then transferred me to Beira 2, which ended up being a big blessing for me. President definitely receives revelation.
Now, lets flash back to last night. Me and Elder Biddulph were doing daily planning, and talking about our plans for the week. I thought for sure, that I would stay in Beira 2, since I'm training Elder Biddulph and everything, but I woke up this morning to a big surprise.
I have officially been transferred to Matola 2! Matola is the suburbs of Maputo, and there are a lot of people there! Maputo, is a city of millions of people, so Matola is probably the zone with the most potential. There are 2 zones in Maputo. The Maputo zone, and the Matola zone. And since it is the biggest city in the mission, there are a lot of missionaries down there.
My companion is going to be Elder Lake, who was in my MTC group. We are pretty good friends, and both hard workers so I know we will have success. Together, we will be the zone leaders over the Matola zone to help that area explode. There is so much potential out there! I have always wanted to serve with elder Lake, and I figured I would I some point. And now we are zone leaders together! He is from Burley, Idaho and lives on a Potato Farm.
I got off the phone with him this morning, and we have already made some plans for our zone. We are the youngest ZL's in the mission, and we are serving together. We have decided to take on a new area, that he believes has potential. He has been serving down in Matola, but not in that area. He was also made zone leader today, and we will be whitewashing another area! I have done that plenty of times on the mission so far. It was a surprise when I saw transfers, and it is bittersweet. I loved serving with Elder Biddulph, and it's too bad that it won't last. He was transferred to Manga 3, and leaves tomorrow.
I've been talking to the Beira zone leaders and they say that President has so many plans for Matola, and that he wants a stake there bad. Our job there will be to baptize qualified families, and a lot of them. That way, the men can receive the Melchizedek Priesthood, and we can get our Matola Stake. President Kretly is a man of many plans, and I know that he will achieve every goal that he sets. It is an absolute pleasure to be apart of it.
This past week, I was sitting with the Beira zone leader, and he was talking to me about President's plans. Mozambique not only has the potential to have one stake, but we want lots of stakes! Then, we will be able to get a temple here, and these amazing families will be sealed forever. This past week, I got on my knees and thanked Heavenly Father for the privilege to be in Mozambique at this amazing time. Then, I pleaded to have more part in this amazing growth. I know I got my answer my getting transferred to Matola. There, I will have close communication with President Kretly, he will give unbelievable trainings to us, and we go for our Matola Stake. I'm excited for the chance to be apart of it.
As for our area here in Beira, it's looking super nice. We have one family who already has a marriage process opened, and 3 more are still working on documents this week! So I feel confident with the work that me and Elder Biddulph did, knowing that some more very good families will be baptized over the next few weeks.
Let me tell ya about an experience we had this week with a new family. We received a reference from another companionship from a street contact that they did. His name was Mario. So we called him, and went over there in the Afternoon. Mario, is a pastor for another church and that is his only job. He understands that it is wrong to receive money for that, and wants to quit but he has no other way to pay for food. His house is one small room, with a table and bed all in that small room.
We started teaching him and his wife Rute about the Restoration. They understood it very well and agreed that if they knew these things were true, would be baptized. Two days later, we went back over there. He felt like the things we taught 2 days previously were true things that would help his family. We taught the Plan of Salvation, and gave him a baptismal date. We invited him to church, but that was when there was a problem. This man named Mario works one time per week which is Sunday mornings as a pastor from 8-11. That happens to be the same time that our church starts. I realized that there was nothing we could do, knowing that this man can barely pay for bread for his wife and his small daughter. We closed with a prayer, and during the prayer I felt a strong feeling to tell him that he needs to be at the true church tomorrow. So after he prayed, I invited him to pray about what he should do on Sunday and that we would call him on Saturday night to see what his decision was.
Saturday night came, so I called him! I asked him if he was coming to church the next day. he replied, "eu fa├žo o que para chegar la." That means like "what am i supposed to do," or "how am i supposed to go." So I figured he wasn't coming to church.
Right at 8 the next day, he showed up! I wanted to hug him! He skipped work, to go to church. During sacrament meeting, he became teary eyed as the youth sang the youth theme song for the year. The spirit was so strong! After the meeting, I asked how he felt and he loved it! He received an answer right there at church!
We went over again yesterday afternoon, and had a spiritual lesson. He wants to be baptized, but can't quit work or else his family will literally starve. We applied chapter 11 of PMG and asked, "Mario, will you quit you job this week so that you can be baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God?" The spirit was so strong! I know God will help him find more work. he has unbelievable faith.
Well, time is up! Tomorrow at 9 am I'll be flying down to Maputo. It's a flight of about and hour and 45 minutes. Then, I'll be getting to work down in Matola as the zone leader. I'm excited for the opportunity. I hope you all have a great week.

Love, Elder Williams

ps. picture is of our Beira 2 district 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Beira - Week 55

Parents Note:  Yesterday we had a great conversation with Elder Williams.  We were able to talk to him for about 30 min (He wanted to ensure he kept the mission rules and limited our time.  We are proud that he wants to always be obedient).  In the last few minutes of our phone call yesterday we made him promise to send us a letter this morning.  Below is what we received:  

I'm sorry... I'm in a hurry because we are going to play football with a bunch of Elders so I don't have much time. We have to be there in 4 minutes. But I love you all!

Elder Williams

ps. I will send a better letter next week obviously.  

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Beira - Week 54 (w/Photo's)

Well, last week I told you all that we had a very hard week, full of difficulties. The difficulties continued into the beginning of this past week as well! This work is so hard, but so rewarding.
I was reading a scritpture in the doctrine and covenants that reads, after the trial of you faith, and after the challenges, come the blessings. I know that as we continue to be obediente, and as we continue to be diligent, the Lord will bless us!
Let me tell you a little bit about the week, the first few days, Tuesday and Wednesday, we had lots of lessons fall through. Between the two days alone, we had 12 fallen through lessons. 5 on tuesday, and 7 on wednesday. But that gave me and Elder Biddulph plenty of time to do street contacting! We would go back home at nights exhausted. I wonder how many miles we walked during those days.
As the week went on, we started having more success sitting with new families, and calling the contacts in which we had made. By the end of the week, we were able to sit with 7 new couples, and a total of 15 new investigators. We were expecting a breakthrough week, hoping that all these new families would come to church, but only 1 of the new families showed up. So the was a big pill to swallow. Me and Elder Biddulph will be studying a lot of chapter 11 (In Preach my Gospel) this week, so that our investigators can keep commitments. I'm sure that will help a lot!
Let me tell you about the cool fasting experience we had this week! As I have said, we are teaching a very young couple Jojo and Luisa. They are progressing nicely, its just that he wants to be sure that these things are true. He knows the Bible very well, and has had a hard time accepting the Book of Mormon. But they are coming to church, and want to know the truth. So Saturday, we went over there early in the morning to teach a lesson. We asked them how the reading was coming along, and we were surprized when he had told us that he had not read. I think he was even more surprized at the answer we gave him. In a loving, most nicest way we could, we expressed that it was completel unacceptable to not read the Book of Mormon. I know that he has a desire to know, and if he just picks up the Book and asks God, he will know. We drove that into him pretty well, and know I know that he will not forget to read again. So me and Elder Biddulph decided to do a fast so that they would receive an answer about the Book of Mormon and the truthfullness of the Church. Well, yesterday at church, a returned missionary Irmao Milion gave a powerful class on Baptism and the importance of authority.  Jojo has had plenty of questions on authoruty, so it was perfect. I know that Jojo felt the Spirit during that class, and I'm excited to go over there tomorrow when he says that he received an answer! I have a powerful testimony of Fasting. I have seen miracle after miracle as we sacrifice and put the needs of others in front of ours. And fasting here is not easy! 24 hours without water walking in the African sun, is defintely a sacrifice! And the Lord knows that.
Now I will tell you about a funny story that happened this week. We were in companion study, and marking a few lessons. we had contacted a man named Santana the day earlier and so I gave Elder Biddulph the chance to call him. When the man answered, Elder Biddulph said "bom dia irmao Satanas!" I couldn't help it,, and started laughing so hard! Instead of saying Santana, he said Satanas which in Portguese is "Satan." haha. We ended up laughing about it in the end, and we had a very good lesson with him! Haha so that is why we were able to laugh about it.
Elder Biddulph is learning portuguese well, he just needs to speak with more confidence. But I'm happy with the improvement he has made. But I am walking him to death! He is covered in blisters...
Well, have a good week! and talk to you on Sunday! Happy Mothers day Mom!
Love, Elder Williams

PS: Pictures are of a daily planning session, and the nicest kitchen in the mission, ours!