Monday, August 19, 2013

Matola - Week 70

I don't even know where to start this week. It is very possible, that this was the most miraculous week that I have ever seen on the mission. The Lord continues to bless us, and wants His kingdom to grow here in Matola.
But we also had a few Gadianton Robbers try to stop the work of the Lord. Matola has been under close guard over the past few weeks with robbers. There is a group called G20 going around and wreaking havoc all over this side of the city. It is a gang of 20 people that target house and beat, rape, and even kill them. Over the past few weeks, there has been rapes and killing by this group, but it looks like things are starting to slow down. The area seventy has asked us to be home an hour early because of the situation. One night, we did a prayer as a distict with us 6 Elders in the house. It was very powerful, and I know for a fact, there was an angel on ever corner of our house watching over us. The Lord will obviously protect us, because his work needs to, and will go on!
So obviously, Satan is going hard at Matola. But i is nothing compared to the power of God. The week that Satan tries hardest, the Lord works more miracles than ever.
So at the beggining of the week, me and Elder Brandao sat down to redivide some areas. Elder Carl Cook said that he doesn't want us working more than 30 minutes from the chapel. And the beginning of Liberdade is a solid 30 minutes walking by foot. So we needed to make some changes. Me and Elder Brandao decided to focus on the two roads that are closest to the chapel in out area. And holy cow.... we found people like crazy. It just so happens, that Manuel e Linda live the 3rd house closest to the chapel in our area. And Luis and Linda live on the same road. So we figured there would be more families in that area that would accept the restored gospel. We ended up teaching lots of families in that area.
One of them, being Antonio and Arminda. This is an absolute miracle... We taught them for the first time on Monday. They accepted to read the Book of Mormon, and ask if Joseph Smith was a prophet, and they accepted to be baptized. Wednesday, we taught the Law of Chastity and invited them to get married. They got almost all of their documents already! We are opening up their process this week. Within less than 2 weeks, they will have been found, and open up the process of marriage. That is crazy. We recognize the hand of God in finding a family that was so prepared. They loved church yesterday!
This week, we also taught Mario and Nilza the Law of Chastity. I love this family. He reminds me of Dwayne Wade. Haha. And they have two little girls that are just adorable. So they accepted the Law of Chastity and everything, but they said they wanted to talk to their parents. They talked to the in-laws, and they rejected the idea of getting married. Mario has yet to pay Lobolo, which is the tradition of paying the in-laws for the daughter, and they can't get married until he pays. He will not be able to afford to pay lobolo for years... So yesterday, we went over there, praying hard about the direction to take with the lesson. We invited them to get get married without telling anyone so that they can be baptized and keep the commandments of God. They accepted. If that isn't Faith, I don't know what is. That is why this country is seeing so much growth. They know they will be blessed by the Lord if they keep their commandments. It was a testimony builder to me on the power of obedience. That was a hard decision that they had to make. But that is the only way they can truely be happy!
The marriage and baptism Manuel and Linda went well. After the baptism, it was amazing to see them bear testimony on the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. As I saw them in the water, I could only picture the moment when me and Elder Lake contacted him one June afternoon in the market. It is amazing to see the change in people. One more proof of the truthfulness of out message.
The baptism of Sara, Jessica, and Joao will be this saturday at 10:00. Ever since the open house, we have filled up the baptismal font every saturday. The church is going to have to pay a pretty high water bill out here in Matola! The best part is, they are families! 
We started teaching another family as well named Pedro and Olga. They are unbelievably poor. She is the skinniest women I think I have ever seen. But they have such a desire to live the commandments and do what is right. They also made it to church yesterday, and really enjoyed it. We will see how they continue to progess throughout this week. We other families as well that are progressing and working towards baptism. Most of them, are brand new families who came to church yesterday. In just mine and Elder Brandao's area, we had 7 complete families at church, and 3 that came imcomplete. A total of 23 investigators at church yesterday. Real growth, is starting to happen. But thiss is just the beggining.
We are doing our best to help the other Elders in our zone catch this wave that is starting to catch us. Many Elders are struggling to find new families. In district meeting, (I'm also the district leader) I gave a training on "Having Faith to Find." If we don't even believe the God will put these people in our path, then he won't! We need to be obedient, patient, and obedient in order to see these things happen. I think the district learned a few new principles. We will also start divisions this week as well. With the elders in our distrcit, other DLs in the zone, and the APs. It should be a good week of learning for me and many other Elders.
Me and my companion get along great. He is a recent-convert and teaches powerfully with the Spirit. He was baptized about the time I graduated high school. He has a very intressesting conversion story, which includes him making the Sister missionaries cry during lessons because he tried to prove so many things wrong with the scriptures. He knows the scriptures so well. It's crazy. But a lot of people look up to him on the mission, and I know we will do good thhings together. The Lord is starting to bless us know more than ever!
Well I could go on all day about our week, but I still need to email President. I'm trying to load pictures, but I am having a hard time. The internet is so slow. So we'll see if you get any pictures.
I am preparing my talk for Morgan's baptism, don't worry! You'll get that next week. I was also excited to hear this week that Jane and Adelina from Manga, (A family I had found and taught) just got baptized. So exciting! I still frequently talk to people I've taught from up North, and they are all doing well with callings in the church! Such a blessing. Well I hope you all have a great week!
-Elder Williams