Good morning family!
I loved receiving the letters this week from everyone. Sounds like everyone is doing well. I want lots of pictures from the Alaskan cruise!
Well, I don't even know where to start. The past few weeks have been so busy, and we have gotten so much down out here in Matola.
Preparations for the open house continue to run smoothly. We are handing invites out like crazy! Over the past few weeks, we have given out about 13,000 invites. We give one to every person that passes by us. Men, women, and teenagers. We contact the men that give them out to. President Kretly said that he wants every house in Matola to have an invite to the open house. We have a long way to go, considering just our area has over 53,000 people.
Other preperations have been made as well this past week. Me and Elder Lake were assigned to make a "script" for the tour at the house. During the tour, missionaries and returned missionaries in the area will be basically teaching the Restoration as banners will be throughout the cultural hall. I show some pictures when the open house actually happens.
We also did a group fast as a zone so the the open house will run smoothly, and so that families can be baptized out of it. I know the Lords will bless us.
Our area definitely saw some growth this past weeks. Miracles are happening day after day, and families are accepting the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Feliciano e Joaquina is a family that we has found the very first week of last transfer. He came to church the first week with his daughter, but we couldn't get Joaquina to get to church. Their marriage documents had problems as well, so we dropped them. We told them that when they come to church together, we would go back to teach them. A couple weeks went by, and they didn't come. Then last Sunday, they both came! We went over to their house that very day, and taught them. We started on their documents with them the next day, and the the got everything done in a matter of days! We will be opening their marriage process with them tomorrow, and will be baptized a few weeks after. What a miracle! We helped them realize that The Lord didn't give them help with marriage documents until they both acted and came to church. That is when the blessings come. This past week, we brought over Joao e Heriqueta, our recent- convert family and it seems like they are the best of friends! They came to church together yesterday. We will be doing a family home evening over there over the next few weeks.
Last night, we went to Feliciano's again, and we talked about Lehi's vision of the tree of life. Feliciano's two kids, 23 years old and 16 years old, are both going to the Catholic church, but he has been trying so hard to help them find the truth. Feliciano has developed such a strong testimony just over the past few weeks. Last night he went off on this 10 minute tangent on how he has never had a happy life, he has never had a lot of money, and that only bad things have happened to him. His other daughter died at 13 years old and he didn't know why. (the plan of salvation lesson with them was amazing.)
He said last night that he has "found that which will show him salvation. He want to "partake of the fruit" with his whole family. So we will see if his kids can get on board. It was a very spiritual lesson last night. After he stopped talking, I couldn't help but stand up and give him a big hug. Such an amazing family.
We will be opening the process of another family tomorrow as well. Manual e Linda. Great family that has been keeping commitments. Our focus with them, is member present lessons. Linda is very shy, and needs some friends in the church. So hopefully we'll continue to have success will member present lessons this next week with them. We will be going by there tonight.
We are doing everything that we can with a new family as well! Aires e Jurema is a money family that would help the church so much here in Matola. They are very intelligent, educated, and fairly wealthy. We found him contacting on his street. We actually contacted him twice before sitting him. Obviously the Lord wanted us to teach him. The Restoration lesson went super well, and they excepted baptism. But when we talked about the Law of Chastity, they revealed to us that they have marital problems, so they weren't willing to get married. Because of how much they work, and stress about building their new house, their relationship has gotten worse over the past few months. So we focused in on strengthening their realtionship. And what strengthens the family? Obviously daily prayer and scripture study. They said they were willing to try it to see what happens. Then, I threw a question at Aires. I asked him "when was the last time you told your wife that you love her?" He didn't respond... He couldn't remember that last time he had said it to his wife of his chiildren (he has the 2 cutest kids in the world.) He admitted that it had been weeks. So we made him tell right then and there. He struggled, but he got the words out! It took her a lot longer to him that she loved him, but after 7 or 8 minutes of awkward silence, she got it out as well! I know for a fact, that their relationship will get better if they say that to each other each day and do daily and weekly scripture study.
I learned a lot from this experience as well that I can apply to my personal life. I promised myself that I won't let a day go by, with out telling my wife and kids that I love them. And we will not miss a single day of family prayer and scripture study. The difference it makes, is unbelievable. I've seen it.
So that has been the past few weeks for us! So many ups, and so many downs. I learn so much each day and I'm trying to make the most out of my experience. I am so excited to hear about Jarrett's call to Madrid, Spain! He is going to love this work. I am getting emails from other friends of mine who are putting in missionary papers and preparing to serve the Lord. It's so hard! But it's worth it. They will be so happy.
Heber J. Grant said, "The key to happiness is laboring for the happiness of others." So true. I love you all so much. Have a good week!
Love, Elder Williams