Monday, November 25, 2013

Matola - Week 84

Nicholas is dating? What the heck? I didn't think that he could start dating until he was 16. My mind is not capale of grasping the concept that he is 16. Time is a very weird thing... But I hope he has a fun time at the dance!
The week here in Matola was unbelievable. The Lord continues to bless the amazing people of Matola. I have so much to say, but so little time!
Let me start of by sharing a fasting experience we had this week. Hxxxxx and Fxxxxx is a couple that has been taught since July. They have an amazing story as me and Elder Lake dropped them, and me and Elder Brandao started teaching them. They have developed unbelievably strong testimonies over the past few months, and their eyes are already on the temple. I honestly love them so much. The only battle has been one of his birth documents from Quelimane so that they can get married. We have sent his information up there before, but The elders there were unable to find his document in the registro up there. These week, Elder Santos and I did a fast that we could get his document this week. Hxxxxx traveled to Gaza to try to get his cedula, and from there we sent the information to Quelimane. I jumped and shouted with joy when we receieved a text from the Elders in quelimane saying they got the document. They can get married and baptized! Hxxxxx and Fxxxxx were very greatful as well, and very excited! We will open the process this week after quelimane mails us the document, and they can be married and baptized in about 25 days. It was one more proof that God is aware of us and the sacrifices that we make!
This experience really help me understand better the Atonement. As representatives of Jesus Christ, we do things that he would do if he were here in Matola. We follow his example. Christ, suffered and sacrificed himself so that others could be happy, and cleansed from sin. We as missionaries also need to make sacrifices so that others can be cleansed from sin. By us fasting, we gave up something so that Hxxxx and Fxxxxx could keep the commandments and be baptized. So this week, I was able to walk in Christ shoes a little bit and understand a little bit better about his atoneing sacrifice. I am grateful the Lord answered our fast.
I have grown an interest and desire of learning more about the atoneing sacrifice of Christ. There is a lot about it that I don't understand. This week, I finshed Jesus the Christ and it left we wanting to study more about his llife and become more like him. But sometimes I get discouraged knowing that I have a long way to go!
The work continues to go on! Txxxx and Axxxx will be getting interviewed this week, and married and baptized next week. We are teaching many other families as well. Sxxxxx and Cxxxxx are progressing really well and well. They are very young! She is only 18, but they are make plans to get married already. He should have enough money by January, so that is what we are looking at. They understand very well the Book of Mormon, and are reading well together! It is amazing to see th difference in the couples that read together and the ones that don't it is so easy to tell. There is an immediate change in attitude when couples read the Book of Mormon together. It is unbelievable.
Our goals right now in Matola is to split from the district of Maputo. We want to split the branches of Matola 1 and Matola 2 to make the Matola 3 branch. We are almost there! Our branch just needs to have a consistent frequency of 150. Sometimes we have 150, but it isn't consistent. Yesterday we had 144. We will need many more miracles to be able to split the district within the next few months.
There was lot of hectic stuff going on because of elections. We had to stay in our house all day on wednesday! it was the worst. But I knocked out a solid 200 pages of Jesus the Christ and read tons of liahonas! So tha part was nice to be able to do that. So I haven't been very detailed about (elections & political issues) other stuff that is going on. It's just that I am not here to do other stuff and hear about other stuff that goes on. I am here to invite others to come unto Christ. But next week will be a response week! Everyone ask questions, and I will answer ALL OF THEM next week. Thanks so much for your patience!
I hope that everyone has a good week!

Love, Elder Williams
I tried sending pictures but this interent cafe is not nice at all. The computers are so slow.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Matola - Week 83

This week was a roller coaster of emotions and feelings. I don't even know where to start to talk about the week. I will start with the beginning of the week and work towards the weekend, which was the highlight!
This past week, was very hot and very humid. I don't know how I've already survived one Mozambican summer. I was remembering last year in my Manga days when I was walking through the heat up here. Down here as well, it is almost unbearable with the humidity. After being outside the house for about 5 or 10 minutes, your mouth becomes completely dry, and you are already soaking wet with sweat. I don't know exactly how hot it gets in fahrenheit, but it's over 40 degrees Celsius. And with a 95 percent humidity, man it is tough. We are waiting for those days when it will pour and cool everything off.
The heat, unfortunately really affects the work. The people here, are used to the heat but that doesn't mean that they don't complain about it. When it is hot, it is a lot harder to find. People are more irritated,and in a hurry to get home to the shade, and they aren't afraid to offend you. I've never been rejected quite as much as we were this past week. 
Elder Santos and I were having an interesting discussion about this. That this is the time when we show the Lord what kind of missionaries we are. When it is unbelievably hot, when 90 percent of the people reject to talk to us, when lessons fall through, and when we are looking for people to teach all day and all afternoon. If we get lazy during the hard times, this shows the Lord what kind of missionaries we really are. Because when everything is going well, we are baptizing, and everyone accepts! That is when it's easier to be a disciple of Christ! We need to always be faithful to him and his work!
Yes, this week was a big challenge physically, mentally, and emotionally, but plenty of good things happened! We had our division with T3 this week, so I send Elder Santos out there to work with the new District Leader for a day. It was a good division, as they worked hard to find and teach out there. Travel for those divisions is complicated and we always come home late when we go out there. Chapa's are complicated...
I also did a division with Elder Martins, who is another new District Leader in the zone. We were busy contacting and opening up the marriage process of a Tome and Adelia! They will be married and  baptized in the 7th of December. After about 3 or 4 months of saving, the were able to get everything together. 
I will be doing another division with Elder Bigelow, starting tonight as I will go stay in his area. It will be a good experience. I have yet to walk in that area, so I am excited.
Saturday, consisted of the wedding and baptism of H. and B.  They changed so much as are striving to keep the commandments of God. Think of a family problem, and they've had it. They really did fight to get in the waters of baptism. But they did it! After many interviews,including interviews with the mission presidency, they have truly repented of their sins. The baptism, felt right. We went over there on Saturday night, and they were so happy! One more proof that happiness in the family is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the principles of the gospel. It is so true.
My internet expires in 3 minutes, but I hope you all have a great week! I wish I had more time to share all the miracles that are happening. But I will be sure to write them in my journal and you can all read later!
I am happy! We are working hard, and seeing results! The Lord is blessing us. Today we are fasting to get Helder and Fatima's birth certificate. I know the Lord will provide a way! 

Elder Williams

Monday, November 11, 2013

Matola - Week 82

Dad's note:  Sending your son or daughter out to the world is difficult. However, it is letters like this that make the separation possible and bearable.  Our son Zachary has learned that complete obedience, hard work, and a positive attitude is the key to a successful mission.  Our joy is full because he has developed a true love for the People of Mozambique and is finding true success in leading people to the Lord.  


Dear Family, 

Um amor verdadeiro

If everyone back home had a week with 50 percent of the happiness that I felt during this past week, nobody back home would complain. What a week it was. 

The week started of with me receiving my new companion Elder Santos, from Cape Verde. He is 27 years old! I went to the airport on Wednesday to pick him up with the other Elders that came in from Beira. It was good to see some of the Elders I havent seen since Beira. Including Elder Biddulph, who was transfered into the Matola zone this transfer.
I am liking Elder Santos a lot. Last Monday, I got a call from President and he talked to me a little bit about the transfers. He thanked me for the good work I did with Elder Brandao. When I first started serving with Elder Brandao, president told me that I had the responsibility to help Elder Brandao become a successful leader. President Kretly told me this past Monday, that we have the responsibilty to develop missionaries, and men. We have the opportunity to help develop the Leadership of the church in Cape Verde as well, so it is important that we give these leadership opportunities to them. Elder Brandao has the strongest testimony of anyone I have ever met in my whole life. He will one day, become a great leader in the church. I am greatful for the opportunity I had to help him and serve with him. 

President also told me that was sending me one more Cape Verdian who has a lot of potential to be a great leader in the future, Elder Santos. He told me that I have the same responsibility with him as I had with Elder Brandao. So I am excited to spend the next 2 transfers with him so that I can help him. President also assured me that Elder Santos would be my favorite companion. He is very spiritual, easy going, and willing to do the Lords work, the Lords way. We teach with a lot of unity, and we get a long very well. We have a lot in common as we both feel a sincere love for the people of the country. President Kretly, is inspired, and this is the Lords will. That we are together in Matola.

When he got in on Wednesday, we had a good planning session after lunch. We immediately established our goals for the zones, our meetings, our divisons and other things for the transfer. That got him excited to start off here in the South. 

I have been getting to know our district leaders better as well as we have been having daily contact with them. We are doing a good job following up on the districts and the families being taught by each companionship. In our room, we have 3 white boards with information on each family that is getting taught in each area. This helps us have a wider vision on what is being accomplished in the zone, how we can better understand the needs of each missionary, and how we will atingir (reach) our goals for the transfer. I am excited for the transfer, and I know that the Lord has a lot in store for us.

We continue to try to help other companionships "catch the vision'' and develop the faith to find. Our district continues to have struggles with investigators at church. Our district of 3 companionships had a total of 20 investigators at church yesterday. 18 of them from the area of me and Elder Santos. So this is a struggle that we are having. As we have faith that the Lord is preparing the hearts of the people, He will guide us to them, or will guide them to us. This work is impossible without faith.

We are going to baptize Horacio, Berta, and their daughter Chan on Saturday after they get married. That will be 7 complete families baptized in our proseylting area since May. Such a miracle. It is  one more proof that this is the Lords work. It took a little longer than expected because they were having more marrige problems. But it is all cleared up. They recognize that the Gospel is the only thing that can change their family. They really have gone through a lot. I am super excited for them, to enter into those waters of baptism.

More familes continue to prepare! And for the first time in my life, I am falling in love. I love this work. I love it more than basketball, more than ESPN, more than McDonald's, more than my friends, and more than anything else. Preach My Gospel is true when it says, "More happiness than you have ever experienced awaits you as you faithfully serve God's children."

It true. Am I am so grateful to be apart of it. I really will make the most out of every day I have to do it. I hope you all have a great week.

With all the love of my Heart,

Elder Williams

President Kretly note to parents regarding church growth, missionary health and current political instability in Mozambique:

Dear Parents, Families  and Leaders of Missionaries serving in the Mozambique Maputo Mission:

As you know your missionary that is serving in Mozambique is doing very well. In general, all of them are in good health and are doing fine serving the Lord.

The most common health  problems we have here are: Malaria, ingrown toe nails,  stomach problems, some skin allergies and weight loss. Only a few  have anything different than these.

My wife and I,  are trying  hard to teach them how to avoid these problems.

For example:  Malaria can be avoided 99% of the time, simply by  taking the medicine that the mission provides every day, using repellent, and sleeping under a mosquito net.

We also encourage them to wash their hands and use a hand sanitizer. Regarding the hand sanitizer,  we ask that all new missionaries,  purchase in the MTC, eight (8) two ounce bottles of a product called Pure Bio Sense.  This product is applied to the hands and provides 24 hours protection. Eight bottles should last two years. Please help us, by reminding  your missionary to be 100% obedient, including the small things like these.

As some of you know, Mozambique have some political instability. We are very aware of that and we are taking care of your missionary very well. All the transfers we made is flying, and we try hard to make them feel safe where they live.

The main reason we are writing to you today, is to announce that this week, the mission has passed the land mark of 200 complete families  baptized into the Church within the past 11 months ! This is a Miracle ! The idea is to share with you this great news and to ask you to unite with us in offering prayers of thanksgiving to Heavenly Father, to recognize His  hand in this great work!

On this path, we are assured that the Church will continue to experience real growth. Within one or two  generations there will be a strong Church here, with stakes and perhaps, even a temple in Mozambique.

Please continue to pray for your missionary to work hard, to be blessed in their health and to find, teach and baptize  families, here in Mozambique.

Your missionaries are wonderful,  we really believe that they are the best missionaries in the world. We love them, we pray for them and we enjoy sharing their mission experience with them.

Thank you for your continued support and prayers.

With love and respect,

President and Sister Kretly

Mozambique Maputo Mission

Monday, November 4, 2013

Matola - Week 81

Good Morning!
We had another good week here in Matola as we were able to baptize 4 more people in our area. The Lord has really blessed our area. The 4 we baptized, Faustino, Sonia, Sandra, and Vania, really have repented of their sins. There was a lot of support from the members as well which was good. The Spirit was definitely felt, and the whole branch presidency was able to make it! I attached some pictures of the sacred event. During baptisms, the Spirit is so strong as people make promises with our Heavenly Father. I  love it!

Transfers are today as well, I feel like I am in my home ward here in Matola, so it would be really hard to leave. I figured I would leave because of the time I have in the area, and because I have been able to show the area to Elder Brandao for the past 2 transfers. I had an interview with President last week, and expressed my desire to stay, but that it all depends on the Lords will. And today we had a few surprizes! I am staying! I get another transfer in Matola, and Elder Brandao will be leaving. I was greatful to serve with, and we learned a lot with each other. I had the chance to train him as a zone leader, and I learned a lot more about his culture. He is going to Maputo to be an AP, and Im staying put!

I will be recieving a new companion, Elder Santos. He was a district leader up in Beira, and so he is becoming a zone leader for the first time! I have never met him, as we have never served near each other. But I have heard nothing but good things about him, and I am excited to start working with him in our area. 
We had a few changes in our zone this transfer, and we will ge working with 3 new district leaders which will be good. I am excited about the changes, I know that it is the Lords will, and that it is what is best for our zone in Matola. 
Manuel and Linda, our recent converts had their baby! It is a beautiful little girl! I will have to send a picture next week to you!
It has been raining hard here in Matola over the past few days! I sent a picture of me covered in mud. What happened, was me and Elder Brandao were running back from a lesson, and it was pouring rain. I tried jumping a huge puddle, but I tripped and ate it! It was quite the experience!

Well the Lord is continuing to bless Matola! We are seeing a lot of growth, and I am excited to still be apart of it. This week, me and Elder Santos will be having a district leader training for our 3 new district leaders. So that will be good! We also plan on having a zone activity next week, so that everyone in the zone can get to know everyone. 
I know that this work is the Lords work, and that he is in front of it. I love Matola. This really is my home! I love the branch, the members, the recent converts, and the investigators. I will continue to do my best to help this people receieve the truth. Since I have been here, we have seen 6 complete families baptized just in our area! This, truely is a miralce. 
I love you all, and I wish a good week for all of you!

Love, Elder Williams