Monday, October 28, 2013

Matola - Week 80

Good afternoon!
I hope everyone had a good week back home! It sounds like the family continues to be blessed and I was glad to hear that consistent family scripture study is taking place! Good work!
We had a crazy week here in Matola. The past 2 weeks have been crazy, and I don't nearly have enough time in this internet cafe to write about everything that goes on. 
Last week, we had the privlidge of watching General Conferece in our branches. I am completely obssessed with conference. The 4 hours went by so fast. I think it is easy to forget how cool it is that we have living prophets. It's not just old men giving us words of wisdom. They are prophets of God that are telling us the Lord's will. I learned so much, and our investigators loved it! Mormon Tabernacle choir is completely unbelievable. When I hear that choir I feel like I'm getting hit with a spiritual tsunami. I don't know why I didn't watch Music and the Spoken word more. I have developed a true love for music, and especialaly the church hymns. I love singing in church! I plan on participating in many church choirs! That really would be cool.
Last week we also did divisions with our District Leaders. Over the past few transfers, Elder Brandao and I have been able to see the importance of divisions. We feel like we've been able to have a positive influence on the Elders in the zone through our divisions. Elder Proksch, is a very good Elder. He has grown so much over the past few transfers as the District Leader in T3, and that is why he is seeing results. Him and his companion Elder Poyfair baptized a very good family, that I have met and taught as well. The Lord is blessing them because of their obedience. Elder Poyfair, is in his second transfer and speaks unbelievable portuguese. I did a division with him, and I was more than impressed. He will do amazing things on his mission. 
We were also able to participate in the district meeting of Matola 1 this past week. One thing that I have learned on the mission, is that I can do divisons with missionaries, I can give trainings to missionaries, but one thing I can't do, is give missionaries the desire to work and be obedient. That, is out of my hands.
Okay, now we are going to talk about the miracles that happened in the Matola zone this week. 3 complete familes were baptized, and 14 people in total. We had a baptismal service that reminded me of the ones we had up in Beira when I was there! Never has Matola seen baptismal services like these! This will continue as Me and Elder Brandao will be baptizing 2 more familes on saturday. The Lord is really blessing us!
Ivan, is the kid that was baptized this week. He his half chinese, and his parents don't agree with him getting baptized again, because he was"already baptized" in the catholic church. But he received a testimony of the Book of Mormon, qand made up his mind. He was a reference from Joao, our recent convert. It is amazing to see recent converts play a part in this amazing work. The frequency here in Matola continues to grow. Matola 2 yesterday had 160 people. The most ever. Matola 1 as well with 174. Little by little, this new chapel with fill up. 
Let me talk a little bit about the families that are progressing in our area. Horacio and Berta, are doing well. They have seen big differences as they have done scripture study together. 
Helder and Fatima, might be my favorite family that I have ever taught. They have such strong testimonies! We are fighting do get his birth certificate down from quelimane so that they can open their marriage process. 
Jose and Sandra, is a family that was so prepared.
Tome and Adelia is a family from Beira. She contacted us in the road! haha. Tome has changed a lot! He never went to church before and is seeing big differences. Elder Martinez is taking care of their paperwork up in Beira. We should get it all by next week.
Faustino and Sonia, is the married couple we are baptizing on saturday. And Isaque and Vina is a family that me and Elder Poyfair found on our division. We took them to church Sunday, and they loved it. They plan to just sign an dbe baptized as soon as possible. They will start the marriage proccess next week after he gets money.
Our are continues to grow! More than 20 investigators at church and more than 20 investigators with a baptismal date. The Lord really does miracles.
As we go into the last week of the transfer, we will be working hard as ever! I have two more divisons to do with two elders in the district, so I'm excited for that. Whatever happens with transfers, will be the Lord's will. I love Matola. The Lord's eyes were on Matola during that baptismal service on Saturday. What a miracle.

Love, Elder Williams

Monday, October 21, 2013

Matola - Week 79

Hello Family, I have so much to say this week, that I don't even know where to start!
We've had a crazy 2 weeks, our past 2 weeks have been full of blessings, headaches, trips, splits, disapointments, miracles, and probably just about anything else you could think of.
Two weeks ago, we did a division with the AP's. That was a good experience, as I worked in Maputo for the first time since my very first day in the country when I walked with the AP's. Maputo is FULL of people. Street contacting is unbelievably easy, and a lot more people are home during the day. Most of the people in Matola, work in Maputo and traffic getting home is usually pretty bad. But everyone who lives in Maputo, also works there! So it is easy to find a time when the whole family is home. The area in which we worked was a pretty poor area, so the people were very humble. It was a good experience, and I liked my 24 hours of working in Maputo. We had an interesting first lesson with a family... Instead of inviting them to be baptized and closing with a prayer, we went to the police station to arrest the head of the house! He had found a brand new Samsung Galaxy, and refused to try to find the owner. We needed to do something, because a brand new Samsung Galaxy is worth more than a yearly salary of the people where we were working. So the police took him to jail, and the owner got their phone back. It was a pretty crazy experience.
Many miracles happened as well, I will share one with you. So last week, we went to go open up a marriage process of Horacio and Berta. In Maputo, it only costs 350 Meticals ($11/USD) to open a marrige process, and Matola it costs 750  Meticals ($25/USD).  About 4 days earlier, during the split in the city, we had treat Berta's birth certificate at the register. It usually takes a while to pick up a document after treating it, but we exercised our faith, and took Horacio and Berta into the city to try to pick up the document, and open up the process at the same time. As I was standing in line, there were people complaining about how their documents weren't ready. People who had come in weeks before we did. But when it was my turn to turn the receipt in, the document was ready in just 4 days! It was a miracle because usually it takes weeks. There process was opened this morning, and we had the chance to go with them to do so. 
They are a very interesting family. We have been teaching them for probably a month now, and they have been through everything. Every problem that a family could have, they've had over the past few weeks. But about a week and a half ago, they decided to get serious with family scripture study. And it changed everything. They are happier, more united, and super excited to recieve a remission of their sins. Because it takes 20 days to get married, they will be getting baptized on Novembar 9th. They have become so strong in such a short period of time. They have quite the age difference as well! He is 29, and she is 44. But as long as they do scripture study, they won't have problems!
Other things that happened this week is we did splits with the district leaders in the zone. It was a good experience, as I was able to show our area on both occasions. We were able to find a few things out as well because of the splits that we did. The zone is running into the same universal problem... obedience. A lot of elders are struggling working all the hours of the day, and going to bed on time. These are little things that should not be a problem. Elder Brandao also said that there were Elders that were listening to music that wasn't appropriate for missionaries. The worst part is, when they are told or corrected, they make us look like the bad guy.
I am trying to do my best to be a servent of Jesus Christ and to do what he expects of me. One thing that I have learned is that miracles don't happen until we are obedient! But the Lord is always willing to bless us. Even though we are having a few problems with obedience in 2 houses, the Lord is still pouring blessing upon us! So i can't even imagine what's gonna happen once everyone is 100% obedient!
This weekend and the next. We are going to have a pretty good size baptism here in Matola. 5 complete families will be getting baptized with a few teenagers. We will be baptizing Ivan, who is a 20 year kid who has changed a lot, a family who is already married, Faustino and Sonia, and two sisters named Sandra and Vania. And then, will come the baptism of Horacio and Berta! So we are seeing lot's a progress still in the zone. Yesterday, there were 23 complete investigator families at church in the zone! So that is a miracle. Me and Elder Brandao are doing our best to help other Elders find and teach as well, because 7 of those families were just from our area. The other 16 families were divided between 9 other companionships.
So it's a work in progress, but the Lord is in charge! The Lord is blessing us as well through these hard document processes. And another family that I found and taught in Beira, was baptized! Andre and Philomena. Such a blessing. They changed a lot.
I am so grateful for this Gospel, and I know the Lord is in charge. His hand is working with us each and every day. I love you all!

Elder Williams
ps. sorry I was in a hurry, I'll write next week real good!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Matola - Week 78

Parents Note: Elder Williams has been blessed with great friends.  All of them are currently serving missions throughout the world.  Before they left, they agreed to write a letter to each other that can be sent in a newsletter every quarter.  This weeks letter was the only letter we received due to a slow internet connection in Matola, Mozambique: 

Well Hello Friends! 

It has been a long time since I have written to all of you. I hope and pray that all of you are enjoying these two years and having very successful missions. I will be excited to read and hear about the experiences you are all having, all over the world.
For me, I am doing well and I love the place in which I serve. Never, in my whole life, have I been as happy as I am over the past 18 months. I have had many experiences. Some crazy, some funny, some scary, some frustrating, and many spiritual as well. I have served in a total of 4 areas on my mission and I grow a love for each area more than the previous. I am currently serving in an area called Matola. And I have been here for almost 6 months now, which is longer than I've served in any other area. It is the suberb of the countries capital Maputo. There are tons of people out here! I believe there are about one million people in the suberb of Matola. 
As some of you may already know, the country of Mozambique has seen many miracles in the work here. The church is very new here. There are no stakes, and only 2 districts in total. But many missionaries are working hard and we have gotten to the point where these two districts, are ready to become stakes. It has been an amazing opportunity to be one of the pioneers in this country in misisonary work.
We do lots of contacting. Everyone believes in Christ, and it is very easy to find people that are willing to hear our message. Then the majority of them, are strong in their church and won't leave. Even if they receive an answer. Being in Africa, there are many churches the are big into witchcraft and spirits and stuff. So for some people, it is easy to recognize the truth when they see it.
I've been serving as the Zone Leader for almost 6 months now, so I've had the chance to help in the training of church leaders here. There are a few returned misisonaries, but other than that, the church is being led by recent converts. In this mission, we focus on familes. Over the past 10 months, the mission has baptized 172 complete familes. It has been a miracles to be apart of it.
I have learned a lot about the Love our God has for his children since I have started my mission. I know he loves us, and that he is in front of this work.
i have also grown a love for the Book of Mormon. I know that it contains the truth of the things we need to do to be happy and to gain eternal life. I invite all of you to make the most of this time we have! It goes by fast. Here in time we'll all be home thinking about these past 2 years. I love you all and miss you!
Elder Willliams

Monday, October 7, 2013

Matola - Week 77

Good Afternoon! I hope everyone had a great conference weekend. I really took for granted the whole conference deal before the mission. We have to wait until the 19th of October to watch conference! I am so excited to watch and hear the counsel for us in this changing world. We are so lucky to have living prophets to guide us in this wicked world.
But it was a conference week for us as well! Except we had zone confernce here in Matola. Elder Brandao and I had a lot to plan in preparation for the conference, but it ended up turning out great! We heard a lot of counsel from our amazing mission president and his wife. He showed us the progress of the mission, and helped us remember the importance of our calling. He showed a missionary video, and the song playing was ''I hope they call me on a mission." I realized that ever since I was young, I looked to this time of my life. And it goes by so fast, I really am living my dream. I am doing my best to live it up the best that I can. I feel like I am doing my best to serve this people and live my dream without any regrets. 
I was able to see and meet some new missionaries that I had never met before during the conference, including my MTC companion Elder Porter. I had not seen him since our first transfer! It was amazing how much time had gone past.
As for us in our area, we had a very busy week. I did 2 splits this past week. One with Elder Martins, and the other with Elder Evans. They are 2 elders in our district. I am doing my best to try to balance my responsiblities as district leader and zone leader. The splits will continue as well. This week, we are doing a division with the AP's and then we will do splits with the District Leaders in the zone. Then, towards the end of the transfer, I will do 2 more splits with 2 other Elders in the district. I have a big opprotunity to help others with the experience I have gained. We have seen a lot of growth because of the splits we do. Many missionaries think splits are a chance to "be away from your companion'' but it is way more than that. If you go into it with the right attitude, you can real help the missionary change his mission. Depending on what his needs are as a missionary. I believe that the growth we are seeing in the zones are because of the effective splits we have done. Hopfully we can continue the pace!
More Elders have opened more processes this week! We had two marriages, and a a family baptism this past weekend. This transfer, Matola is on pace to baptize more families than it ever has before! And more families are getting found and ready for next transfer. We recognize the hand of the Lord in the work. It is because we hav e some really good Elders in the zone that are working hard to find, teach, and baptize.
One thing that is improving a lot, is the way we work with the members. We had a very good meeting with the branch presidency, and with the auxiliary leader after church yesterday. We planned to watch "The work of Salvation'' on Saturday, and that will help them get the fire to shre the gospel and to work together. The frequency continues to climb, but we need to hang on to these people that we bring. Our companionship alone, brought 6 complete families to church on Sunday. 20 investigators in total. I was very pleased to have a member sitting with each of those families at church. This is what we want! As we continue to teach with members, and have them sit with our investigators, the work will explode. Even more than it is now.
We found a super nice new family this week. Jasinto and Joaquina. They had been to church before, but stopped for some reason. Well we went over there, and they accepted! They came to church with us on Sunday. It was a cool experiecne on working with old investigators. They will for sure be getting baptized! We also started teaching a 20 year old chinese kid! His name is Ivan. He was a reference from our recent convert Joao, who is the son of Sara. Ivan will be getting baptized here in a few weeks.
We continue to find, drop, find and drop! We have quite a few families that will get baptized for sure, but we don't know when! Most of the families we are teaching, and pretty poor, and don't have enough money to get married, or need to viajar in order to get documents. We are working with Elders in Beira and Quelimane in order to get these documents. But until the end of this year, our area should have a lot of families baptized! We are doing our best to strenghten the testimony of these families and hold on to them, as we continue to find more!
It is starting to get a lot hotter down here in Maputo as well! I don't know how i got through the last summer! I come home just soaked everyday. One of the best feelings in the world, and taking a nice cold shower at night. I have grown a true love for the cold shower at night. Some people think we are crazy walking around in the heat like this. I have no clue how hot it is, but with the humitity, it feels a lot worse!
We have a good house, and all the Elders are working hard. There is tension sometimes with a few Elders, but Im doing my best to be the peacemaker. The house gets dirty easily, and it is frustrating. We made goals to always have a clean house. I think I am starting to turn into a clean freak. Haha!
Jose and Sandra are doing alright. They didn't go to church, so we were really worried. We went over there last night, and he was sleeping. I asked Sandra if he had been drinking and she just stayed silent. I knew they he had been drinking. We received a text from him this morning saying that he is frustrated these days because no one pays him for the work he does. He said he fell into temptation because of the stress. Because of these work problems, he is unable to tratar a single documento. We will see the progress with that this week. We are going over there later today to try to help him with his problem. I want nothing more to be able to help them with this problem. I will let you know how it goes.
Well I hope everyone has a good week! I will have a good week as well! I Love you all, and dont forget to do family scripture study!

Love Elder Williams