Monday, September 16, 2013

Matola - Week 74

Good morning family! It had been awhile since I have written a letter. Last week, we went to 3 different internet places, but none of them had functioning internet. So we didn't have a choice. It's a little unpredictable here, but that is part of the adventure!
Since I didn't write at all last week, I have so much to say! I don't even know where to start. So many miracles happened, that I can't even count them! I will try to fit in 2 weeks worth of missionary work so that you all have an idea on what we've been up to.
The split we did out in T3 was a success. We decided to change the split up a little bit, and me and Elder Brandao both went out there to work with the district leader. I walked with the District Leader in his area, and Elder Brandao walked with his companion, also in their area. Right at 8 am, we hit the streets. We street contacted the way that street contacting should be done. By lunchtime, me and the District Leader and Elder Brandao and his companion for the day, we came back to the house with the phone number of 20 new families. 40 in total. We are trying to focus a lot on street contacting, because that is how we find people to teach! Preach my Gospel says, "Nothing happens in missionary work til you find someone to teach." A lot of Elders struggle finding people to teach. So we are working hard with talking to everyone! Presidents goal for us, is 35 qualified contacts a week. Which is 35 complete families that are interested and give us their phone number. As we have looked over the stats, we have seen that one family is baptized about every 400 contacts. So we need to contact a lot more to find the prepared families. Me and Elder Brandao end up with about 70 or 80 each week. That way, we can shuffle through the unprepared familes, and find the ones that are prepared. So T3 had seen so many changes over the last few weeks, and I'm excited to see the improvement out there.
We had a baptismal service on Saturday the 7th. And this a miracle. When we woke up on the 7th, me and Elder Brandao had no clue that we would baptize someone in our area on that day. Haha but a few hours later we ended up baptizing someone, the very day of. 
It was supposed to be a baptismal service of the Matola 1 branch. 2 teenagers we're getting baptized. We had the responsibility to fill up the font since we are the ones with keys. As we were at the church, I got a phone call from Elders in Maputo wondering if we were having a baptism. They said they had no water in the Maputo chapel, and wanted to come out to be apart of our baptismal service. In the meantime, seminary and institute was going on at the church. During that specific week, I recieved a phone call from a 19 year old girl in our area who said she wanted to be baptized. Her name is Eva. She said she's come to church, has learned and wants to be baptized. I told her that on Sunday we would mark a baptismal date for her, and make goals. Well she showed up at institute that Saturday morning, and afterwards, expressed her desire to be baptized. The Spirit told me and Elder Brandao both to baptize her then! I said to her, we are going to have a baptismal service in 30 minutes if you feel ready. She said she felt ready, so thirty minutes before the baptism started, we did a baptismal interview and she was very prepared to be baptized. Twenty minutes later, we put her in the water. She shared her testimony during the interview and she was very emotional. She has plans to be on a mission here in one year. It was a cool experience. I know we made the right choice. 
Our area is seeing a lot of growth, and so is all of Matola. Just to have an idea, yesterday the frequency (church attendance) in Matola 2 was 151. Never before has that been seen in Matola 2. It seems like yesterday when I came here four months ago and bore testimony in a living room of a house. (that is where we had sacrament meeting.)
Now we are seeing real growth, and it is amazing to see. The best part is, all 4 families that me and Elder Lake had baptized together are staying very strong. 2 of the men passed the sacrament yesterday, and another gave principles of the gospel. It is so cool to see.
Not including recent converts, me and Elder Brandao had a total of 7 investigating families at church yesterday. and not just 7 families, but 7 complete families. Dad, mom, and if they have them, kids. So Matola is about to explode even more!
We are excited about the growth and we know that the Lord will continue to bless us if we work hard. 
As we enter into the last week of the transfer, we will be working our tails off. We need to leave our area stronger than we've found it. I feel like we've done a good job so far, but we can still get better. I imagine that I will continue to serve here, to see even more growth here in Matola, but I guess we'll wait and see! I have grown to love this people here in the southern part of the country. They really are special.
I don't have very much time to write today, becuase we are on our way to the city to pick up some materials for Matola. I hope you all have a great week! 
I know this is the Lord's work on the earth. It's not my work, it's not President Kretly's work, nor President Monson's work. It really is the work of our living Heavenly Father. And His son and our Savior is at the head of it. I'm honored to be apart of it. 
I love you all!
Elder Williams