Monday, June 24, 2013

Matola -Week 61

a obra do senhor

I just want to start off apologizing for not saying anything about Fathers day last week. Here, it definitely wasnt fathers day, so I really has no idea. But I hope you had a good day!
I remembered about the birthday though! Dad really is 46 already? That´s crazy. Sounded like you had a good day!
We had a pretty good week this past week, but it was very hectic. The super division ran well with the district of T3. We did internet with them, and them played some american football, so that was fun. While we were playing, most of the neighborhood came out to watch a bunch of white guys playing some weird sport. So we challenged some teenage kids to their sport; soccer. We played an intense game! Mozambicans definitely know how to play soccer. But we ended up beating them 1-0! We scored on a corner kick, and everyone went crazy! They were pretty embarrassed to have lost to some scrubby white kids.
We are still having a few problems in the zone as far as the chapel is concerned, but that will be resolved next month. For now, we are still getting bussed out to T3 to have church. Can´t wait for our new chapel to open! It is by far the nicest chapel in the country.
We are still very much in the finding mode as far as our area is concerned.
 The finding never stops! We have a couple families that are progressing super well, and we are scrapping to get all the documentation together for marriage. This week, we should make some progress with that.
Fernando and Ivone and their huge family are still progressing very nicely, except for an incident that happened Saturday night. We went over their, to find him very drunk. He has done so well over the past few week not drinking, but this week he gave into temptation. Not only did he give into temptation, but he tried to cover it up, telling us that he didn´t drink. But after all this time in Mozambique, I know exactly what someone looks like who is drinking. He apologized and begged for forgiveness from us. Obviously we aren´t the ones who can forgive sins, but we explained that we are willing to help him. They have yet to miss a day of church since we found them. Including yesterday.
The unfortunate part of the work... dropping families. We dropped a few families this week that stopped progressing. Super sad, because I know that these families were prepared by the Lord. But people have their agency and can choose for themselves.
The work is going well, and the stress continues to pile. Me and Elder Lake deal with a lot of problems that we didn´t think we´d be a part of. We talked to President Kretly yesterday about some things that have happened over the past few days, and some problems among the Elders. We will be having another meeting with him tomorrow night to talk about the branches in Matola.
 We will also be having zone conference! With the Matola and Maputo zones together this Friday. I´ll let you know how it goes. President Kretly alwasys gives UNBELIEVABLE trainings. I´m pretty excited about it.
But, I´m still happy as ever. Time is passing way to fast. I´m doing my best to live in the moment so that we can best help this people find the truth. I´m glad to hear that missionary training back home went well. It´s so humbling to be part of this amazing work. It would not be growing like this if this wasn´t Gods work. I know God loves each and every one of us. I can feel it here among this people! Love you all, have a great week.

Love, Elder Williams.

ps. I will try to contact Estacia this week. I will see what area they live in.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Matola - Week 60

Hey family!
Well, I wish I had a lot of time to write you, but I've just spent the past 50 minutes writing a letter to President Kretly about some things that are going on in the zone.
The past week was definitely a stressful one. There are so many things that are going on and that will be going on over the next few weeks. I'm currently in a city called T3. We are doing a "super division" with on of the districts in our zone. It's an idea so that we have better relationships with every Elder in our zone. The division is going good so far!
Me and Elder Lake didn't have as much time in our area this past week as we usually do. We had been preparing a wedding and a baptism that happened on Saturday, plus we've had a couple trainings that we have been planning. But we were still able to find a couple good families and teach a good amount of lessons and contacts. But a good family in our area was baptized this week! It was good to see them married and baptized. I'll send some pictures, I just don't have my camera with me out here.
Well, I don't have much time, but I hope you all have a good week! I'm doing fine here, and I'm happy! There are just a lot of things that need to change in the mission, and me and Elder Lake are right in the middle of it!
But I still love this work, and I'm excited to see this zone grow. Love you all!

-Elder Williams 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Matola - Week 59

The weeks continue to fly by at a pace that is very scary. We are now entering into the middle part of June, so every day and every hour is so precious.
Me and Elder Lake are continuing to work hard so that we can see real growth in our area. This week, we didn't have to much time in our area as normal, but plenty of time to find and teach! We are busy talking to the assistants, and making sure the elders in our zone have everything that they need. But it's been a good service opportunity.
The past few weeks, we have been doing divisions with the district leaders that are in our zone. I did one with the district leader of Matola 1, and Elder Lake did one with the district leader of T-3. These areas are so full of people and have so much potential. We were able to help them apply better a few   principles on finding and teaching. Preach My Gospel is very clear on talking to everyone! And one thing that I have learned over time is on how to really teach in a way that allows the person to understand what we are saying. A majority of the missionaries will teach the Restoration, and then afterwards that person didn't understand. Me and Elder Lake are really trying to really drive that into the zone. 
The biggest problem we are having down south is the mentality of the Elders here. Everyone is talking about Beira. People think that here in Maputo, it is harder to baptize families. But that is not true! We just need to be diligent and obedient and of course we can baptize families. The only solution to this is to baptize families. It has got to start sometime! I'm excited to see the growth over the next few months!
I have found a lot of purposes as a zone leader that I didn't think. We are trying really hard to help a few Elders be obedient. That was something I thought we all knew! We've had to deal with a few emergency transfers in our zone because of health, obedience, and all sorts of problems. But everything will work out, and our zone will get on board.
The work continues to go on and on! I love it. Missionary work will be something I do for the rest of my life. I was glad to hear of the experience that Tiffany had. There really is nothing more rewarding than doing this amazing work. It brings a joy that I can't explain. Me and Elder Lake were talking about it this week, and we were talking about how our mission is a personal thing between us and the Lord. Just like I have good memories with my earthly father, this is a good experience I have with my Heavenly Father. It's super cool, and irreplaceable. I don't know if that made sense...
We just continue to contact and teach the families we are finding! Fernando and Ivone are progressing well! As well as Fernando and Maria. We are scrabbling to complete documents for marriage!
Mom, as for my health, I'm fine! A couple weeks back in Beira I realized I was losing a lot of weight very fast, and I was kind of worried about it. But then we found out that I had a worm! But don't worry, I have since taken pills and I'm good now! I'm putting the weight back on now!
Me and Elder Lake had a scary experience this morning... we went to go buy cinnamon right outside our house, but as we were walking we saw 3 huge dogs. And then, they attacked. we started booking it as fast as we could and then I tripped super hard! Right when I tripped, they turned away and didn't bite. It was a miracle! Haha I was so scared. They looked so mad. Dogs here? Not fun.
Well, I hope you all have a good week! We'll continue to work hard down here and see miracles from the hand of The Lord. Love you all!

-Elder Williams

ps. Andrew, go tear it up at basketball camp. I want to hear all about it 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Matola - Week 58

Well, I was glad to hear from all of you this week! Sounds like the family is doing great, and that is exciting to hear. I hope Andrew had a great birthday as well! I can't believe he is already 11? He going to beat me in everything when I get home.
As for me, I had a good week! Very stressful and tiring, but obviously it was worth it. This week we were still in finding mode. We are doing our best to find the right families that have the best chance to progress. And we found a few! 
Last week, we came into our new area, and didn't have many investigators. We had a total of 1 investigator at church. So this past week, we realized that we needed to change that. So we worked hard and yesterday we had 11 investigators at church. That number still needs to go up, but little by little we will be building this area.
Our training on Tuesday actually went very well! Me and Elder Lake presented a training of things we thought would help the zone. All the district leaders in our zone have the responsibility to transmit the information the Elders in their zone. We talked about a variety of different things. We want to help the DL's understand their roles as leaders and how they can best satisfy the needs of each individual missionary in their district. We focused a lot on divisions and district meeting and the importance of doing them the right way. The training lasted about and hour and a half or two hours, and it was a success! The district leaders left feeling excited about the work and the potential that we have here in Matola.
Ever since I've been here on the mission, Matola has kind of had a bad reputation. It has been known as the zone where the work is slow and where the Elders don't work very hard. But that reputation is going to end now. Matola, in my opinion, has the most potential than any other zone in the mission. The other zones being Maputo, Beira, and Manga. The difference is that Matola is FULL of people. We are working in the suburbs of a huge city. There is no reason why the work should not go on at a faster pace. I know we will see a difference over the next few months. Matola will have the reputation of the fastest growing zone! Like how Beira is right now. I'm grateful to be apart of the work here in Matola and I understand the growth that the Lord wants here. We just need to work hard and be obedient.
If there is one thing I've learned on my mission, it's that 19 and 20 year old men can't do miracles. But God does miracles through those who are obedient.
Let me tell you about a miracle that happened this week. Last week, we contacted a couple named Nelson and Alma. They didn't have a phone so we obviously didn't take down there number. They showed us where they lived and we said we would stop by when we had time. We stopped by, and they weren't home. We figured the chances of them progressing was not very good, so we forgot about them. Since that day, we've ran into Nelson once again, Alma once again, and them together another time! A total of 4 times since then! We never run into the same person even twice since there are like 60,000 people in our area. But last night, we were contacting, and we found them walking down the road together for the 5th time! Crazy. We talked to them, and they said they had time to hear our message right then. We walked over to their house together and we taught the Restoration. They accepted baptism, and we marked a return lesson! Just another example of Heavenly Father watching over his children. He knows which ones are prepared and which ones need the gospel now. I'm grateful that the Lord gave us multiple chances to recognize that.
Well, I hope you all have a great week! I'm happy but I'm definitely stressed. Something I heard in the MTC was, "if you aren't tired, you aren't working hard enough." And we are definitely tired.
Love you all, and have a good week!
-Elder Williams