Monday, August 26, 2013

Matola - Week 71

(Parents note:  Occasionally we see words appear in Elder Williams' letters that are in Portuguese.  This week is no exception.  Look for a couple of words that should have been in English).

Baptism of Sara, Jessica & Joao
Well, the weeks continue to go by at a scary pace. I never, in my whole life, thought that time could go by as fast at it is going by. I recgonize how short a mission is, and that I need at make the best use of my time as possible. I'm definitely trying to do that!
We had a good week done here in the zone of Matola. A lot of positive things are happening, but we also need to get a lot better in the way that we do missionary work.
The week started of with a training given by President Kretly. It was the trainers training the he always gives to the new missionaries and their trainers. He talked about how the trainers need to treat the new missionary like a seed, and we need to make sure we plant them in good ground. The role of the trainer is so important. President has been traveling to South Africa, so he gave the training using go-to-meeting. There were four different groups on the meeting, Beira, Manga, Maputo, and Matola. It ended up being a super nice training, and the internet at the new chapel worked out great for us in Matola! I did have a headache after the meeting, because I had to translate for the new Elders... usually it's better to switch translators halfway through. haha
Another thing that happened this week, is I got started doing divisions with the Elders in the district. I switch back and forth from the roles of Zone Leader and District Leader. I didn't know it was possible to be both at the same time... but it definitely is possible. I grateful that I have even more of an opprotunity to serve the fellow Elders of the mission. 
Our investigators are doing very well! It is unbelievable to see the growth that has happened in our area just over the past few months. We can't even keep track of all our investigators at church anymore! We've had over 20 at church the past 2 weeks now. We have found families over the past few weeks that are fighting to open marriage processes so that they can be baptized. Antonio and Arminda were going to open it, but after getting all of his documents ready, he needed to do them again under his other name. He legally has two names that are completely different... long story.
Pedro and Olga continue to do well. They are by far my favorite. We have taught them 3 times now, and the Spirit in their house in amazing. They are by far the poorest people I have taught on my mission. They have one open room, made of straw and sticks. I have never met a person with a sweeter spirit than Olga. It is crazy. She is going directly to the Celestial Kingdom. Everytime we teach them, they accept everything so willingly. The Plan of salvation lesson this past week was so powerful. She got a little emotional as well. We made plans finacially to get her a new identification card so that she can get these marriage documents. It was necessary, because they litterally have nothing. But they sacrificed, and we went this morning to show her where to get a new card. As I was talking to her, somehow I got out of her that she hadn't eaten since before church, and she was feeling a lttle bit sick. We ended up buying some cookies to share with her. She wa so grateful. As we've been teaching them, I realized how grateful we are. I don't know why I deserve the things that I have in my life. If anybody deserves them, it's Olga. All she cares about is following God. My life would be a success if I died half the person that she is. She was so excited to tell us that she was chosen to pray next week in relief society.
But with all these good things that happened, we also had some rain. We caught 3 progressing families in sin this week... 
Sara, Jessica, and Joao, are now baptized! We had a good baptismal service, and they were confirmed on Sunday. The branch presidency of Matola 2 was also reorganized yesterday. We are excited to work more with them. Also, Feliciano and Manuel received the priesthood yesterday!
We found some new families this week that came to church as well! Marcos and Leila, and Geraldo and Emma. Marcos and Leila have tons of potencial. But the law of chastity lesson didn't go well with Geraldo and Emma. Emma almost started crying when Geraldo said he didn't want to marry her. It was a very awkward moment as you could imagine. 
Our district continues to work hard. As I've been doing divisions with the Elders, I realized that one thing we need to focus on is teaching simply enough so the investigator understands. There is a whole section on this in Preach My Gospel. We focused on that for district meeting, and we did pratices, teaching the restoration with clarity and simplicity. I believe that will helpout the work a lot.
So we had a good week! The work continues to go on, and it will go on strongly.
My testimony is getting tried each and everyday. I have seen the difference over the past few weeks. Satan is trying to stop this work. But he won't stop. Porque (Because) everytime that my testimony is tried, it gets strenghtened. And I'm grateful for that.
We will continue to work hard to see more growth out here in Matola. I am especailly happy to hear about Morgan's baptism. I want pictures from the baptism! I have grown a true love for baptisms, as these people are making promises with God. Congratulations Morgan!
I will send that talk in photo form... hope you can read it fine.
Elder Williams