Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Home...

Epilogue...

Well,  a two year journey that started with a white envelope being sent from a Prophet ended on Wednesday evening with a simple conversation with one who holds Priesthood Keys.  In the past 30 months, the Williams Family has undergone a transformation due to simple call from the Lord.  

We retuned home on Wednesday after a long and uneventful flight from Johannesburg, South Africa.  We feel lucky to have been able to travel to Mozambique and visit the wonderful people of this land.  For those that helped donate shirts, we thank you deeply.  We delivered these shirts to President and Sister Kretly once we arrived.  We know that they will be used by humble missionaries who desire to serve.  We feel honored to have been able to help in such a small way.  
After spending the weekend of April 18th in Maputo, Mozambique, President and Sister Kretly delivered Elder Williams to our hotel on Monday morning.  We spend the day just getting to know each other again.  It was wonderful. I remember the few hours that we spent alone in the hospital with Zachary when he was first born and the past ten days have been very similar.   We got to understand who our son had become and how the Lord had changed him.  This time was precious and I will always be grateful to the Lord for this time.  I suspect in the coming weeks, months, and years, I will continue to get to know who Elder Williams has become.  I look forward to this time.  
Monday afternoon and evening was spent visiting families in Maputo and Matola.  Words are not adequate to describe the feelings we felt as we met these humble people.  We felt honored to be welcomed into their homes and to feel of their spirit and commitment to the Lord.  During the next week we spent time in Maputo, Matola, Beira, Manga, Johannesburg, Kruger National Park, and Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.   We talked a lot about the people of Mozambique and about the lives that were touched by the Lord.  Ultimately, we talked about the truthfulness of the gospel and ability of each of us to be crafted by the Lord.  This is truly His work and we are His children.  

We arrived home on Wednesday, April 30th and were greeted by welcoming family and friends.  It has been a wonderful time to be together again.  A few days later, as I sat around the dinner table on Sunday and had all of my children seated around me, it occurred to me how good life really is.  

Today... there were no empty chars.    



Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sunday afternoon thoughts by Elder Williams' Father

Words can't describe the emotion that I have felt as we have arrived in Maputo.  We arrived late Friday evening after a few very long flights.  As we walked down the ramp from the plane and took the shuttle to the international arrival terminal, my wife and I were as anxious as the day he arrived in our arms.  After passing through immigration and then customs, we could see a missionary (Elder Bigelow) through the tempered glass.  As my wife anxiously passed through the breezeway and caught the attention of Elder Williams standing off to the right she dropped her bags and ran into the arms of her waiting son.  I quickly joined as the three of us shared common tears at a joyous reunion.   I can tell that Elder Williams has (and at this writing probably) profound feelings at the prospect of leaving this wonderful country.  He is truly not the young boy I left at the curb two years ago.  Like everything that we give to the Lord,  he multiples and leaves us eternally in his debt.  Elder Williams, like everything else that I own, belongs to the Lord.  He is our strength and our guiding light.  The work that is being done by the Lord here in Mozambique is unique and priceless.  These young men who have been called to serve in this amazing place are being guiding by His hand each and everyday.  Elder Williams has learned that when we are obedient to the commandments of God,  he can bless us as we heed the promptings of the spirit.  As Elder Williams’ earthly father, I will always be thankful to the Lord for sending my son to such a humble place with such loving and kind people. I share my testimony with that of Elder Williams that I know he has been engaged in spreading the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I know that He lives for I have seen his guiding influence in the lives of these Mozambicans.  These humble pioneers are leaving their families and the traditions of their fathers to join His church.  I have as much admiration for them as I do my own ancestral pioneers that joined the church in the British Isles and traveled the lonely seas and dusty plains to arrive in the Salt Lake Valley.  As I have met and hugged and kissed the people here in Maputo and Matola I have felt their love for their Savior as they try to humbly keep the commandments as taught to them by ordained ministers of the Lord Jesus Christ.  

I will always be grateful for the experience my son has had in Mozambique, for it gave him what he needed to always remain faithful as he continues to strive for eternal life.  And… along the way, he took me with him.  

Joy


Monday, April 14, 2014

Maputo - Week 104 (Last letter home)

Today has been so crazy... we have been running around all day doing all sorts of stuff. We thought we would have a little bit of down time this afternoon, but we ended up having a very important meeting with President this afternoon about transfers. So this is the only time we have to write. We have a little bit of time before we go to the airport later tonight to pick up a missionary.
Well, I never thought this week would come... but it came. And a lot faster than I had expected. I appreciated the emails I received today. Some of them made me very emotional. I kind of had an emotional breakdown this afternoon...
I was asked to share two things in my last letter home. First, all that I have learned over the past two years; and second, my testimony. It will be absolutely impossible to share all the I learned over the past few years. But I'll share the top few things.
1. God is our Loving Heavenly Father- I didn't even almost understand this before the mission. He really is so aware of us. He only wants one thing for us which is our happiness. It's no wonder that this is the first topic in the first missionary lesson. I have felt God's love for the mozambiquan people, and it's real. 
2. Atonement- Two years ago, I had no idea how much I was going to need to rely on the Atonement. The Atonement is what carried me through each and everyday. Everytime we were rejected, everytime it was hot outside, everytime I was thirsty, everytime I slept in hot mosquito net, I knew that someone else had been then before me. Someone a lot better than me.
3. I am not even close to perfect- This one might be a surprize. But this is one of the most important things I learned on my mission. Everytime I studied the scriptures, everytime I did companion study, read Preach My Gospel, studied the Christlike attributes, I realized how much room I have to improve. Sometimes, I felt llike I wanted to be perfect in all Christlike attributes. I really did come to realize that, ''I can't be perfect know, but in the Lord's time and with His help, I can become perfect.'' I can't wait for that day!
4. Obedience brings happiness- This applies in misisonary work and in life in general. The happiest missionaries, are the ones the follow all the mission rules. Also, the people who follow our Heavenly Father's commandments are the happiest. Commandments are our guidelines to a fullness of joy.
5. Revelation is real- So many times, the Lord made things known to me about investigators/district/zone. Revelation come to those who diligently seek it with a sincere heart, having faith in Christ. It is one more proof of our Heavenly Fathers love.
I could go on and on... I really have learned so much. But because of time, I won't be able to. I am so grateful for these eternal truths that I have come to know. If it wasn't for the misison, I may never have gotten to know them.
I bear my testimony of the truthfullness of all of this. I didn't just spend two years on an african adventure. But I participated in our Heavenly Father's work. I know he loves us. For I have felt his love. I know that his plan of happiness really does bring happiness and salvation to all uf His children. I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the universe. Everything revolves around Him. It is only through his Atonement that we are able to joyfully live this life and voltar to the presence of our Father.
I know, the in the year 1820, Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ. I know he was a true prophet of God and the the Book of Mormon contains the fullness of the Gospel, It really is true that,''man will become nearer to God by abaiding by its preciepts then by any other book.'' I know that true temple work and preisthood ordinances that families can be together forever. I am so grateful for this knowledge that I have.
I love misisonary work. I can't wait til I can serve again! For the rest of my life, everytime I hear the word 'mission' or 'missionary' or 'elder' or 'africa' I will think about my mission. It's been the greatest gift to me. I now know why people say ''I wouldn't trade my misison for anything.'' Because it's so true. They really are the best two years. Thank you for your support.

Love, Elder Williams

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Maputo - Week 103

This week was maybe one of the most meaningful weeks of my whole mission. I have learned so much, and I have had so many experiences that I will never forget. 
Tuesday, we touched  up some final things for zone conference and made sure that everything was ready  to go. The Matola zone leaders did a very good job setting everything up and cleaning the chapel before. We also got that sticker (which you already saw) put on the back of President Kretly's car and on the back of our car. It says on the back, "Queres ter uma família feliz?'' Which means, "Do you want a happy family?'' Then, it has the assistant phone number. Someone already called as well! It was a man that lives in our area. We marked with him, but the lesson ended up falling through. We know that prepared people really will call! 
Zone Conference...was unbelievable. Even though I helped prepare the training, I learned just as much if not more as I have in any other conference. President Kretly taught so well, and the Spirit was so strong. I learned a lot about family history and our purpose as missionaries. We also learned about the pride cycle, (which was one of the last second things we felt needed to be included). We talked about ''mission life'' and ''real life.'' That our mission life prepares us for our real life. If we can't learn to be obedient now during our mission life, then we won't be obedient in our real life. Also, the rules of real life are a lot harder and less fair than the rules of mission life. So really, our mission prepares us for the rest of our lives. I was really touched by that part. 
So after lots of preparation, zone conference was a complete success. I'm very happy with how it turned out. The missionaries loved it as well. I had the chance to bear my testimony at the end of the conference as well since it is my last one. I'm grateful for that chance.
As for the rest of the week, I worked in the area! It has been really nice. There were some problems going on in a few areas so President needed to move some things around in some areas. I have been walking a lot with Elder Kanaga from Mesa, Arizona. His area is in the city of Maxixe. But until he receives his companion, he has been working with us here. We have had the chance to ''kill two birds with one stone'' and work in the area and the office. Elder Kanaga is a really good missionary and I've been impressed with him. He is speaking good portuguese, and he teaches really well. We have learned a lot from each other. Together, we participated some very spiritual lessons. One of which was with Michael and Joyce. It was an unbelievably powerful plan of salvation lesson. At the  end Michael said that he will never think of life  the same ever again. He asked, ''how many ways can I receive an answer that the Book of Mormon is true?'' After explaining that there are many ways that they can receive an answer, he said, ''this message took out lots of doubts that I've had my whole life. And all of the answers were in the Book of  Mormon. I know that it's true.'' The spirit was so strong! They are very smart, and we prepared lots of scriptures to help them understand the plan of salvation. All the scriptures touched them so much, and they accepted a baptismal date. As we were planning that morning, I felt like Michael and Joyce would have lots of questions about Adam and Eve and that we shouldn't talk very much about it because they would have enough questions. I expressed that to my companions, and we planning according. It ended up being right. As we talked about the pre earth life, Joyce had already thrown out a Adam and Eve question, and we were prepared. We were able to respond with the scriptures we had prepared, and they understood. The spirit really did help us during our studies so that we were prepared to teach the right things. I am so grateful that the Spirit helped us and prepared us.
We have also been working with an inactive member named Dxxxx. He was baptized by Elder Workman in Marromeu. he now lives with his wife, and he wants to come back down the right path. We have been working with them,  and we are so excited for them. His wife is also excited to get baptized after they get married. 
Another new family that we are excited about is Fxxxx and Ixxxx. They have had all sorts of problems together... they are struggling to find happiness. But we are trying to help them apply the Atonement of Jesus Christ in their lives. I won't write that much about them because I don't have time. (I'll write it in my journal). We are going to go teach them right now!
Cxxxxx and Axxxx and Rxxxxx and Ixxx continue to progress as well. We had 6 full investigating families at church in our companionship. The Lord is really blessing us as we are diligently  working in our area. 
This week, should be interesting... It's Elder Greenman's last week. We'll lose him on Friday. He has been doing good, and is working hard until the end. This work really does bring satisfaction. I'm so happy doing this work. The lives of these people really are changing. I'm so grateful for it. I love you all.

Elder Williams  

Monday, April 7, 2014

President Kretly's letter to parents... It's a Miracle!

Dear Parents and Leaders of Missionary from Mozambique Maputo Mission,

Your missionary is doing great. All are in good health and today we are having zero problems with that and obedience. The mission is growing and the Sacrament attendence is growing each Sunday.

About 20 months ago the Sacrament attendency was 1,700 in 18 branches. Today the Lord blessed us with 3,200 total attendance in 24 branches. It's a miracle! What your missionary is doing here is amazing and we have no words to thank you for preparing such a great missionary. I think we can have wonderful missionaries in other missions even great ones like we have here, but not better. We really enjoy working with them and my wife loves them as her own sons and daugthers. They are adorable!

Please, keep praying for them, and the families that they are working with. By the way, since we started to measure that, (Dec 2012) the Lord blessed us and they baptized 274 complete families! Is this not a miracle? More than 85% of them are still active on the church!

Our next big goal is to send these families to the Temple this year.  This will be a big challenge  but with God nothing in impossible and our missionaries knows that.

Thanks again for all you doing to help them and lift them.

With love and appreciation,

President and Sister Kretly

www.presidentandsisterkretly.blogspot.com


PS. Please, be aware that today is holiday here in Mozambique (Women's Day) and your son or daughter will write to you tomorrow.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Maputo - Week 102

Mission Extension (April Fools!) 

I don't even know where to start... This week was very hectic in zone conference preparations and in other things as well. I learned a lot of things this past week.
Elder Williams, Elder Santos, Elder Greenman
Last week, we ''thought'' we had the zone conference training all planned and ready to go. We had sat down with President Kretly before he left and looked over it together and everything. But throughout the week... we kept feeling like there were more things that needed to be talked about, and other things that didn't need to be talked about. Lets just say, that the training that was done a week ago, and the training that was actually presented was quite different! I know, without a doubt that inspiration and direction was given for this zone conference. there was a few times when Elder Greenman, Elder Santos and I knelt together in prayer by our computers so that we could prepare everything that was necessary. The spirit literally guided us as we were able to finish off the last touches. We are very happy with they way it turned out. I personally feel, that it the Lord's will was talked about in zone conference. After looking over the training one night via Skype, Sister Kretly reminded us that zone conference is like the ''general conference'' of our mission. Each missionary will hear that with they need at that time to help them in the work. I liked that thought, and it will help me when we actually have zone conference here in Maputo on Wednesday.
As far as we know, zone conference in Beira went very well. During our follow-ups with the zone leaders they were able to tell us how it was and they said that it was spiritual experience and that the missionaries learned a lot. It was worth all of the late nights.
The area is coming along well. To be honest, we didn't spend as much time in the area as we thought because of some zone conference prep. But since there are three of us, we were able to be even more effective. Elder Santos was able to walk with Elder de Pina who came down from Maxixe for a couple of reasons. So although it was a busy week, it was an effective week. We sat with some new families as well which was good. One of which came to church yesterday,Cremildo and Célia. They are a very special family with a lot of desire to follow Jesus Christ.
And the other families are progressing well. Ronaldo and Iva and Nelson and Luisa. They continue to see changes in their lives through the gospel. 
We had an interesting experience with Carlos and Ana this week... we taught the law of chastity and Ana does not want to get married right now. Carlos was very clear to her explaining that they need to keep the commandment. Ana was saying that she needs more time to prepare family and a party and stuff. Carlos asked her, ''If you had to choose between a party and salvation, what would you choose?'' Ana justified it saying that it was different. Carlos pretty much condemned her with his words. He wants so bad to be baptized in this church. It will happen. With his wife. We are starting to see lots of growth with her. She started reading the Book of Mormon this week!! I was so happy. If she reads with a desire to follow Jesus Christ, she'll get baptized. The Book of Mormon is a lot more powerful than sometimes we think. it really does change people.
Time for a miracle story.... on saturday morning, we were doing contacts and we ran into a super nice looking couple. The wife, I had recognized from Matola. She sells bread at the local bakery by where I used to live in Matola. I talked to her so many times and I had a pretty good relationship with her. That helped them have confidence in us to accept to hear our message in there house. I had the chance to plant the seed for 8 months, then see some fruits. We marked for Sunday afternoon, but we had so much to do that it didn't work out. We dropped the ball on that one... Hopefully the Lord will forgive us and give us the chance to teach them this week. 
I am writing fast this week, because there isn't much time. I love you all and thank you for the encouragement! These next few weeks will be some of the most special weeks of my life. 
I really am so grateful for the chance I have to be a missionary. Love you all.

Elder Williams  

Monday, March 24, 2014

Maputo - Week 101

Looks like mom got me back pretty good on the subject heading... I was pretty nervous when I saw ''ambulance and paramedics ' as the subject. Now I know not to joke around in the future! haha sorry about that.
PD Activity in Maputo
This week was very stressful, yet very rewarding. We were very busy this week getting president's trip to Beira ready and getting zone conference ready as well. As I have said before, this zone conference we will be talking about two powerful keys to conversion. The Book of Mormon and Family History. We have been working a long time on the ''prezi'' for zone conference and we are now done with it! It took a long time... but it turned out really well. This week we finished another ''prezi'' as well which is the training that President Kretly gave this past weekend to the members in Beira and Manga on family history. They were two different presentations. I'm grateful for the opportunity I had to help with the presentations. We have received as an assignment one more prezi to make before the end of the transfer. We are going to get started on that as soon as possible. Because of a lot of zone conference preparation, we had very little time in our proselyting area this week from tuesday to friday. Including one day we weren't able to go at all. It was stressful, but it's good to know that zone conference is almost all ready to go! When we sat with president this week and looked over the presentations, he liked them a lot. I am excited to see him powerfully teach the missionaries on the importance of family history work. 
Elder Greenman
Our family home evening with Carlos and Ana went very well! We took Nelson and Luisa (progressing family) to Carlos's house it we had a lot of fun. There was so much lightening that night as well, so I think that made it more memorable. The spirit was strong as we had a little lesson on the importance of being obedient to the commandments of God. Obedience really is the only way that we can reap all the blessing the the Lord has in store for us. After the lesson we played a few games. We played ''agua na cada'' and ''batata quente'' which is hot potato. I'll have to explain these games another time. They all loved the games and they had lots of fun. It was incredible to see how much the family grew together through that small activity. The family proclamation really is true when it says that successful families are most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ and that recreational activities are also important. And at the end of the FHE, we all ate cake! It really did help their family. We plan on doing more FHE's like this in the future.
Elder Biddulph & Elder Williams
Ronaldo and Iva, continue to progress really well. We had two-very powerful lessons with them this week. We taught the Plan of Salvation with the first counselor of the branch and his wife. And it helped Ronaldo and Iva see the importance of the decisions that they make in this life. The second lesson was very powerful as well and they had many questions about repentance and baptism. That lesson specifically was very powerful. They showed up EARLY to church on sunday as well and are just missing one document. Their baptismal date is for next week... so that is the goal. It would help the branch as well since our area hasn't baptized a family in over a year. The branch needs more members out where we are working. Ronaldo and Iva would be a great place to start.
Nelson and Luisa are progressing very well as well. They will get baptized for sure! But we don't know when... They don't have money for documents and he doesn't work. They they have done so well teaching their 2 young kids how to pray and they do so well reading the scriptures together. We just need to be patient with them and they will continue to progress. 
We are working with other families as well and doing our best to help them keep their commitments and follow Jesus Christ. Following Jesus Christ is not an easy task.... but it's what we need to do to be able to have true happiness. A lot of the people we meet don't understand that. 
Some people rejected this week as well as we did street contacts. It really is so sad to see, because they don't know what they are turning down! Now I understand a little bit better when Jesus Christ said ''forgive them, for they know not what they do.''
Elder Williams & Brandao
It's sad when people hear negative things about the church. But yesterday people heard positive things about the church on TV. Mozambique TV (TVM) did a program on the church and it came out yesterday. It's the number one watched TV program in the country so everyone was able to learn a little bit about the church. My interview made it as well. Today while we were doing shopping some people recognized that I was on TV yesterday. Hopefully it doesn't become to distracting. We heard that since it came out, a pastor of another church has become interested in the message we have and will be sitting with other missionaries. We hope to see more fruits from this program.
The work continues to go on! Don't worry, I'm healthy. I got a little sick this week with a cold, but I'm almost all the way recovered. We hope to spend the next few weeks working hard on this last prezi, and preparing more families to enter into the Lord's fold. I am excited to see what these next few weeks have in store and what kinds of miracles the Lord is going to do amongst our investigators. 
I love this work and this people. I honestly believe I am one of them. I feel like the Mozambican people is way closer to my heart than the american people. I'm grateful for the chance I have to serve them. I know this work is true. Thanks for all the support that has been given to me all this time. I love you so much.

Elder Williams

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Update on White Shirts for Mozambique Missionaries!

CALL TO HELP!!!  WHITE SHIRTS FOR MOZAMBIQUE ELDERS... 

An update: 

Thank you for all of the support to aid in our desire to bring white shirts to Africa.  These shirts will be made available to young men from Mozambique who are called to serve throughout the world.  Due to the financial hardships that many young men face and the scarcity of high quality white shirts we feel it an honor to help these young men who will have such great opportunities to grow and then return to Mozambique as faithful, experienced leaders.   

My wife and I will be leaving for Africa on April 12th and will be bringing with us a suitcase full of white shirts.  We will leave the suitcase and shirts for these missionaries.  I have coordinated with Mr. Mac (Clothing Company in SLC) for very high quality shirts for $14/each.  I am hoping to bring close to 50 shirts with us.  Please email us directly for more information.  

Sincerely, 

Todd & Cheryl Williams
toddwilliams0@yahoo.com

Monday, March 17, 2014

Maputo - Week 100

Malaria! 

Dear family, 

We had a very good first week of the transfer. It was full of teaching and getting together things for zone conference. Zone conference is coming up fast so we are making sure we are staying ahead on things and not falling behind. Especially President's training. We are very excited about the training the President is going to give. It will help the missionaries open their eyes a little bit on the importance of family history. Zone conference in Beira will be on the 28th of March, and then here in Maputo on the 2nd of April. We are very excited!
It's been a privilege to work again with Elder Santos, and the three of us are getting along well. It is a little bit of an adjustment teaching with 3 missionaries all of the time, but we have adapted and we are always trying to get better. 
After going out to Matola to pick him up, we all sat down and talked a little bit about the transfer and prayerfully made some goals. We decided to start our divisions as soon as possible. So this past Thursday, we did a division with the zone leaders from Maputo. They work in Magoanine, which is place where the church has been growing a lot lately. I was excited to get the chance to walk out there and get to know the zone leaders area. I walked with Elder Heaton from American Fork, Utah in his area. He was called to be a zone leader this transfer and is an unbelievable missionary. He works very hard, and is always focused. We were able to have a very successful day together. It rained super hard that night, so we slept without power. And like I've already said so many times... sleeping without air conditioning is brutal. But it was a good experience to have another cold bucket shower... I haven't had one of those for awhile.
The day of the division was a very special day. The night earlier we had talked about some the goals that they had for the zone for the transfer. The focuses of the Maputo zone are 1) to train the District Leaders help establish a branch mission plan, and 2) turn contacts into investigators with a baptismal date. So the next morning we studying about these things and we were able to talk about what will help the zone do these things. It was a very affective study. Then we were out the door, and we saw lots of miracles. We sat with 4 new families that day, 2 of which we had found that very day. One of the lessons in particular was one of the most powerful Restoration lessons I have sat in on. We taught in unity, and the Spirit was so strong. It really was a good division. We learned a lot from each other during the division. Elder Heaton and I will be going home at the same time. 
Carlos continues to progress... he said if it was his choice only, he'd be baptized tomorrow. But he know that he needs to get married first. He doesn't miss church, and reads so well in the Book of Mormon. He know that this is the true church on the earth. HE KNOWS FOR SURE. It's been a miracle. His wife Ana, is struggling a little. But we are working with her. Tonight we are bringing the relief society president to help us out. We will be doing a family home evening tonight at their house. When Elder Hamilton was here he said that Family Home Evenings can be our ''Secret Weapon'' to uniting the family. So we have high expectations with this family home evening. We have planned a lot for it as well. I pray that Ana's heart may be touched tonight. 
With the relief society president, we will also be taking another progressing family with us to Carlos and Ana's house. Their names are Nelson and Luisa. They are progressing really well! The Lord put them in our path this week, and they cam to church together the first week at together with their 2 kids. They are such humble people and ready to received the restored gospel. They are such a cute little family. Especially Cintia, the 9 year old. They live very close the Carlos and Ana, so we think it will be a good thing. 
Ronaldo and Iva also continue to progress... they came to church again and are reading in the Book of Mormon. But we still feel like they need something else.... we just don't know quite what it is yet. We are praying trying to figure that out. If everything goes well, their marriage process will be opened this week.
We continue to ''shuffle through'' the families. We need to find and teach so many families, so that we can find the ones that really have been prepared by the hand of the Lord. One of those families is Julião e Âmparo. Last night, we had an unreal Plan of Salvation lesson with them. It really did give them a new vision on life. They have lots of potential. They live next door to Ronaldo and Iva, and we have already marked with the first counselor and his wife to teach them with us on Tuesday night. We are excited about a lot of these families!
When I was on my division this week, I realized something that I hadn't realized before... With each time that I teach the Restoration, i teach with more passion and from my heart. I realized that my testimony of the Restoration has grown so much since the beginning of my mission. I have taught the Restoration so many times, that it is apart of me. My life really does revolve around the Restoration of the Gospel. I am so grateful for the testimony I have gained of the Restoration and of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. 
I'm working hard! But it's hard. There were a lot of people this week that rejected us. There were some people that said bad stuff to us as well. That is the one thing that makes my heart hurt. But seeing the change that has happened in Carlos, is worth every rejection. I love you all. 

Love, Elder Williams
(don't worry I didn't get malaria, I just couldn't think of anything else to write as the subject)  

Monday, March 10, 2014

Maputo - Week 99

Transfers!

Hello Family!
This week was very very busy! There was transfers so there was a lot to get ready. We also had 5 new missionaries arrive from the Provo MTC so there was a lot to get ready for that as well. Not to mention the normal meetings and things we had going on in our own area.
It was an interesting experience as the new elders came into the mission this past week. It reminded me a lot of when I first came into the country. I remember that I had a thousand things going through my head as we were driving through the city after getting picked up at the airport. I was definitely able to relate to the new missionaries as they came in. I was and am so excited for them. They are coming into the mission at such an exciting time. They really have no idea what they are getting into, and they have no idea what kind of experiences they are going to have. It really will be the best 2 years. All of the new missionaries stayed here in Maputo, and 4 of them went to the Matola zone! So I was able to talk Matola up a little bit and get them excited to serve there. They are going to love it! I'm glad that we were able to spend a couple of days with them and get them even more excited about serving in ''The Greatest Mission in the World.'' Me and Elder Greenman gave them the training for all new missionaries which is called, ''Welcome to the Greatest Mission in the World!'' it was a good opportunity for us to start ''passing on the vision'' to these next generations of missionaries. All 5 of the new missionaries are very impressive. This mission only gets the best!
Another meeting that we had this week was Staff Meeting. We have staff meeting each Tuesday morning. But the Staff Meeting we had this past week was a little bit different than normal. President Kretly wasn't there, so me and Elder Greenman had the opportunity to direct the Staff Meeting and talk about the items of business. The meeting didn't run as perfectly as it does when President is there, but it still ran! It was a good learning opportunity. 
This week, President Kretly gave a leadership training to all mission leadership. He focused on just a few of the '7 Habits of Highly Affective People.' I always learn so much when he gives his trainings. He makes it very clear that the principles he teaches aren't just for our mission life, but will help us for the rest of our life. It was a very good training, and I'm already looking forward to the on that will be coming up this next transfer! 
And as for the area, it's going really well! Ana came to church with Carlos, Ronaldo and Iva showed up for the baptism and marriage that we had in the Branch, and we keep finding more! Yesterday after church we taught 2 very special families. One of them we had contacted the day before, and the other was a house contact that we ended up teaching right then and there! The lessons we very powerful, especially the second one with Nelson and Nayomi. It was raining so hard and so it was very noisy considering there roof is made of tin. Then, during the middle of the Restoration the power went out. So there were a lot of natural things against us during the lesson. But the Spirit was very strong. We were gathered up close together so that they could hear our message over the loudest of the rain. The only light we had were from phones and from lightning in the windows. They are a very special family. They were very touched by the Book of Mormon as well. They committed to read it without any problems, but then after we prayed and started walking out of there house, he stopped me and said, ''Elder, when I told you during the lesson that I would read the Book of Mormon, I was lying. But now, I really will read it.'' Something touched his heart to point of him reading the Book of Mormon. Maybe he was touched by the fact that we were about to walk in flooded roads without boots on or maybe when he said the closing prayer he felt the urge to read the Book of Mormon. It was a very special moment. I'm so grateful that the Lord touched their hearts. We will go back on Tuesday night to read the Book of Mormon with them. 
Other things are going well in the work! We are getting Zone Conference ready for the first week of April. We are very excited for the Zone Conference and lots of things will be learned. 
As far as transfers are concerned... The Lord's will happened again! It was great to have the chance to have a more active part in transfers and to see how inspired President really is. Lot's of changes happened in the mission. As for me and Elder Greenman, we will be staying together. But since we leave at the same transfer, it would be really hard for two new assistants to jump in after we leave and learn everything by themselves. So we are going to have a tri-panionship. Me, Elder Greenman, and Elder Santos! I have already served with Elder Santos. We served as Zone Leaders together in Matola, and i get to serve with him again! I Love Elder Santos so much. He is a very special missionary. So the plan is for us to train him to do all the things that he needs to so that he can not only be an Assistant next transfer, but train the next one. So he has a lot on his plate! But if anyone is capable of this challenge, it is Elder Santos. Tonight we will go pick him up from Matola. And it will work out perfectly because Elder Greenman goes home a week before me anyway, so then I will stay with Elder Santos and have a companion the whole time. I am really excited about this transfer.
I'm grateful for the chance I have to serve one more transfer. I am going to take advantage of each and every week and day that I have. It will be the best transfer of all! I love this work and I know that the Book of Mormon is a lot more powerful than sometimes we think it is. I love you all.

Elder Williams

''Work like it depends on you, pray like it depends on the Lord.''

Monday, March 3, 2014

Maputo - Week 98

Hello! This week was absolutely amazing! We saw so many miracles this week in our area, and in the mission in general. We are now starting to see the ball roll in our area, and it's ben truely amazing to see. 


Carlos and Ana are doing great! We visited them with President Kretly this week, and we taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Faith, repentance, and baptism. It was a great lesson and they once again, accepted the baptismal invite. Carlos almost finished 1 Nephi already as well! He came to church with 2 of his kids as well. He is slowly starting to become converted... it's amazing to see. Ana, wasn't feeling to well, so unfortuneatly she didn't make it to church. But we have hope that she will come this next week. We want to teach them with the Relief Society president to help Ana out a little bit more. I think that would help her come to church. So that's our plan for this week.
Ronaldo and Iva are doing very well. They came to church for the second time in a row, and they accepted the baptismal date of the 29th of March. We'll gotta push to get them married by that time, but they already accepted to get married before that time. We commited them to go do some documentation today, so we'll talk a little more about them tonight when we visit them. We've brought a few couples from the church to meet them already, and Ronaldo and Iva are very excited about the church. We've already been able to see the difference in their countenance. That is one more proof that the Gospel is true... It changes people, fast.  

Another good family that we are teaching is Richete and Belinha. This is very interesting how they were put into our path. She was out in the yard and we started talking to her. She said her husband wasn't home, but that he badly needed a message about Jesus Christ. She said we could come back another day around 4:30 because that is when he is usually home. She said that if we marked a lesson, her husband would intentionally flee at that hour. So we decided to pass on day at 4:30, and he was home! Richete reminds me of Dwayne Wade. He is like 6'4 and 250 pounds. His muscles are so big, that he could play in the NFL. The first lesson, was interesting... But we were ale to notice something about him. We noticed that he is a very sensative man and wants to change his life. We were able to see the desire in his heart to know the truth as well. The first 2 lessons were very interesting. The second lesson, Belinha said that she didn't want to sit with us because she ''has her church.'' But she'll come around. She made sure to open the windows from the other room so that she could here us teach Richete about the Book of Mormon. He paid very close attention as we taught him about the Book of Mormon. There was one part of the lesson that was very special when the Spirit was very strong... I said this to him, ''Richete, you have a lot of potencial. Did you know that?'' He was kind of caught off guard by the question as he replyed, ''no i didn't.'' At that moment, he knew he could change his life. We expalined that it was only possible to reach his potencial through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm grateful that The Lord put into my mouth the exact thing that would touch his heart. The Spirit was so strong! he said he would come to church, and he did! He showed up in his car.... which we didn't know he had. He took notes during church and loved it. We remarked to go visit him again on Tuesday at 4:30. He is very special. I love him so much! He really does have so much potencial.
We are working with a few new families as well who came to church, Orlando and Felizmina and also Ernesto and Fernanda. Our focus with these families is to read the Book of Mormon and receive an answer from God of its truthfulness.
Lots of other excited things happened during the week as well, like going out to lunch with President Kretly as few times, and volleyball on the beach for P-day. But that stuff isn't nearly as cool as seeing our investigators people change their lives.
This week should be a very busy week. We have new missionaries coming in, and we will be giving a few trainings this week as well. It is the last week of the transfers so it should be a busy one. Elder Greenman says that the last week of all transfers and the first week of transfers are always the busiest. So it should be an interesting week! I'm excited to take it on.
I am learning so much as President Kretly's assistant. But I still have so much more to learn. I've learned a lot about leadership in the church, and leadership in general. My testimony has grown so much as I see miralces of the Lord in the whole country. Truly the Lord's hand is in Africa. 

Elder Williams

PS... I loved the quote... It's so true -  "Once the red clay of Africa soils your feet, you never wash it out." (Ernest Hemingway)









Elder Biddulph & Elder Williams

Elder Reed & Elder Williams







Monday, February 24, 2014

Maputo - Week 97

Good morning! I hope everyone had a great week. I am so excited to tell you all about the amazing things that happened today here in the World's Best Mission. 
Sorry I wasn't able to send my email from last week, I had started writing it but I didn't get to finish it or write everything that I wanted to. The plan was to save it and then finish it this week when I had more time. But it's hard to remember everything that happened so I ended up sending the message like it was anyways. Sorry about that. Last P-day, we spent most the day at the hospital... we were playing basketball and soccer and Elder Greenman rolled his ankle pretty bad. So we went to go do an x-ray. But it isn't broken and it has gotten a lot better. President didn't want us to work in the area for a few days, but I was able to go and work with other missionaries in our area. 
The week was full of very good things that happened, and also a lot of sad things... it is so hard to watch people use their agency incorrectly. We're losing Paulo and Elsa and Augusto and Rosalina. We had such powerful lessons with them this past week. We watched ''It's a miracle'' which is the 10 minute video of mozambiquan couples leaving the traditions of their fathers to follow Jesus Christ. Paulo was very emotional and he realized that he can get married without doing the traditional african marriage stuff. We had a powerful lesson with Augusto and Rosalina as well! Embora que (Although that) their kids were crying and yelling just about the whole lesson. But they really were able feel the influence of the Holy Ghost. But after these lessons, their pastor of their old church went to visit them and convinced them to go back to their church. At that church, they have more friends, and it isn't a 40 minute walk. Satan really is going hard after these families. But there is always opposition when a family starts progressing. (2 Nephi 2:11).
So right now, they aren't progressing anymore. I feel like the only thing that can help them is Book of Mormon study. So we will continue to help them in their reading so that they can make the right decision.
The Lord is being very loving by putting more families in our path. He blessed us with a family of 10! Caros and Ana. This is very interesting how they came across our path... we had contacted him in the road, but the lesson fell through the next day. A few days later, we ran into him again! He said that he was sorry that it didn't work out the first time and that he was willing to hear our message. For some reason, I was being hard-hearted and said that since we had already tried to sit with his family, it was not going to work out. He said, ''Ok well here is my card anyway, I'm free tomorrow.'' And he handed me his business card. That was very impressive when he did that. And I realized that I had straight up denied him the gospel. I thought a lot about that experience during the day, and repented of that dumb mistake I had made. The next day, when we were out in the area I realized that I had forgotten his business card at home... what a mistake! But you won't believe this... that same day, we ran into him again on the road! We were so grateful. We walked straight to his house with him and taught his whole family the Restoration. They are pretty strong in their church, but they accepted a Baptismal invite if they know the things to be true. We left the Book of Mormon there, and came back to teach with the Branch President 2 days later. Carlos was already in chapter 16 of 1 Nephi! We had a very good lesson with them, and then Carlos came to church with his son on Sunday. Ana wasn't able to make but we have lots of hope for her as well. This is a proof that as misisonaries, sometimes we make incorrect decisions... but the Lord loves his children so much that he was willing to give us multiple chances to teach a prepared family. I'm so grateful for that. This family has so much potential.
Another family that was put into our path this week was Ronaldo and Iva. We found them by knocking on the wrong door! The day before, we had contacted a man and marked a lesson for the next day. He pointed to where he lived and we said we would be there. The next day, when it was time for the lesson we started walking to his house. There was a little bit of confusin of where he lived, but i was assured that we were at the right house. We knocked on the door, and it was the wrong house! Ronaldo answered the door. We talked to him and ended up teaching him the Restoration right then and there! They accepted baptism and to come to church 2 days later. On Sunday, we picked them up and walked to church together. They are a super nice little couple and have lots of potencial as well. We will visit them tonight as well and we are excited to see their spiritual progression. 
One intersting experience we had this week was to take part in the local television here in Mozambique. The number 1 news channel in Mozambique did a segment on the church at the Matola chapel. President Kretly had us invite some misisonaries to be there, and they ended up interviewing 4 of the missionaries. 2 Elders and 2 Sisters. I was interviewed with a missionary from Mozambique. They asked us what we do, and a few other questions. It was a good opprotunity. The news segment will come out this weekend. So, I'm going to be on TV. Sister Kretly was also interviewed. 
So, the work continues to go on! And so does the time! It is so scary how fast it really goes by. We are trying our best to make the most out of our time. We are happy, trying hard to share the good news we have! But don't get me wrong... it's hard as well. Lot's of stress. But it's worth it. Thanks so much for everything!

Elder Williams  

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Maputo - Week 96

February 17, 2014

This past week was very busy and exhausting! We had lots of things to do and I feel like we worked effectively throughout the week. It was "the week of meetings."  On Tuesday we had staff meeting, Wednesday we had Mission Leadership Council, Thursday we had a zone training, Friday we had district meeting, and Saturday we had two sessions of District Conference. So we were very busy with meetings. Even with all these meetings, we were able to see miracles in the area and be effective in the mission office. 
This week in the mission office we have been doing all lot of research on family history because the next Zone Conference will be focused on family history used in missionary work. I don't know much about family history, so it's been good to learn more about it. It is actually very interesting! Now I know why G-pa always wanted us to do indexing with him. I've learned that missionary work and family history work are two parts of one great work. I needed to create a family search account and it didn't accept my myldsmail account so I had to use it through gmail. But I ended up finding out that as I missionary, I already have an account! But I'm excited to learn more about family history and get zone conference ready. Zone conference will be the first week of April.
As far as the meetings are concerned, they all went well. Mission leadership council was good and all the zone leaders shared insightful and inspiring counsels about what will help the mission and each area. Elder Greenman and I talked about "passing on the vision" to the younger generation of missionaries. That was something that Elder Hamilton wanted us to share with the zone leaders. It is important that we pass on the desire, hope, faith, and vision that we have, to the younger missionaries so that these miracles can continue and that more mozambiquans can come to a knowledgeof the truth. It was a great meeting.
We were also very busy this week with District conference here in Maputo. It actually needed  a lot more preparation than I had expected. There were some problems with sound, video, and space, but for the most part, it was a success. A total of 807 people attended the conference. Almost 200 more than last time. That shows how much Maputo is growing! The Matola chapel was full!
We saw lots of growth in the area as well this week.
I have a lot more to say, but today is kind of crazy. I will send a better email next week!

Love, Elder Williams  

Monday, February 17, 2014

Maputo - Week 96

Parents Note:  We are convinced that Elder Williams forgot to hit the "send" button yesterday as we didn't receive an email from him this week.  But we know he is well as Elder Greenman (eldergreenman.blogspot.com) wrote of the miracles that they experienced together.  We are grateful for Elder Greenman and Elder Williams and their obedience and diligence in moving the work of the Lord forward in Maputo!

Todd & Cheryl Williams

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Maputo - Week 95

This week was very good, and full of miracles. I am going to write this letter a little bit differently than I normally write them. I will talk about each day and the many amazing experiences and miracles that we were able to participate in.

Monday was a holiday here in Mozambique, so it wasn’t a typical P-day. Preparation day was actually moved to Tuesday. Since it was a holiday, lots of families were at home and not many men were at work.  We did the best we could to take advantage of the holiday and we were able to see some blessings. We sat with a new family Juvensio and Tereza. They are a family that we had found as we did street contacts in our area. He was coming back from work, and he was very hard to miss considering he had a bright orange shirt on. We ended up going to his house to teach him and his wife. They live in a very small house of metal sheets, and no electricity. We taught them in the candle light of their home. They didn’t understand the restoration as good as they could have because their kids were making so much noise. But they definitely felt the Spirit and they was enough to help them get to church! The wife came with the 3 kids. He was unable to get off of work, but has plans to go next week with us. And somehow, they are legally married! So they have potential to progress quickly. They are very humble and we are excited about them.

Another highlight from Monday was teaching with President Kretly. He sat in on the lesson as we taught 2 families the restoration. The Spirit was very strong, and he bore powerful testimony to the family on everything that we had shared. The families accepted baptism!  It was very tight for all of us in their small home; it was very humbling to see these families in these conditions. But they were so humble, accepting the invite to follow Jesus Christ and be baptized. That was a lesson that I will never forget!

Because of the holiday Tuesday became the p-day. But we still had so much to do! We participated in staff meeting like we do every Tuesday. The staff consisted of President and Sister Kretly, all missionary couples, the secretaries, and assistants. It has been a good experience to participate in staff meeting and see how the mission runs. I have grown a love for it! I always look forward to staff meeting. But besides that, we sat with a new family on this day as well! Their names are Samito and Ancha. They have 6 kids! They are very smart, and could be a real help to the growth of the church here. But once most important is that, this family can become even more special through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We had an unbelievably powerful lesson with them when we taught the restoration. A member was also present. We have been seen a big difference as we teach with members. Even from the very first lesson. They all accepted baptism, and we are very excited for them. We plan to teach them this week with a couple that was baptized this past week in our branch.

Me and Elder Greenman have been focusing a lot on having more effective Restoration lessons. We studied about that during the week on some things we can do so that this specific lesson is more powerful. And the Lord has helped us as we’ve been striving to get better. We have seen a BIG difference in our Restoration lessons as we’ve made a conscious effort to get better. Our investigators are benefiting a lot from our effort as well. This will help our investigators keep their commitments if they are able to feel this big difference from the very beginning. We know this will help out not only our area, but the whole mission. I am grateful that the Lord poured out his Spirit amongst our investigators this week!

Wednesday was also a very good day and the Lord blessed us with another family. Each and every day we work very hard in the mission office so that we can get to our area as soon as possible and find the families that are “far from the truth because they know not where to find it.” We usually have enough time to do a little bit of finding and teaching. And blessings that we have seen for the amount of time we have in the area has been incredible. That is one more proof that this is the Lord work and he backs us up 100%. As we talked to everyone on Wednesday, we ran into a family that just so happened to be the neighbour of Augusto and Rosalina which is one of the families that we had taught with President Kretly. We taught them, and they accepted baptism as well if they received an answer that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. It’s a miracle that the Lord had been preparing two families that lived right next to each other. They will be able to support each other through the commitments that we extend. So we are excited about that. The Lord is doing a lot of things to help these people keep commitments.

Thursday- We had some very memorable experiences, including sitting and teaching two new families. One of these families is Michael and Dinizia. He is from South Africa and doesn’t speak any Portuguese. She is from Mozambique, and doesn’t speak any English. They communicate through their African dialect languages. It is pretty interesting. Michael is a man that I had contacted the week before, but when we called him to meet up for the lesson his phone was off and we weren’t able to get a hold of him. Well, this week we ran into him again! But this this, he stopped us. He owns a little store, and he called after us from his little shop. We could tell he really wanted to talk to us! He said that his phone ran out of battery and that he wanted to hear our message. His wife was with him, so we sat and taught them the Restoration inside of his little store that he has. We taught in English and Portuguese. We would say a statement to Michael in English, and then in Portuguese to his wife right after. It didn’t know how it was going to be teaching life this, but surprisingly enough, it was very powerful. And they accepted everything! Since we’ve been back they also said they have already received an answer to the Book of Mormon. There is only one problem... his mom is a witch. Like a legit witch. She is traditional curer. And those things are completely of the adversary. She doesn’t want him going to church, so Michael now knows that he could possibly put his relationship with his Mom at stake. We are going to do our best to help him Follow God, and not fall into the false traditions of his parents. But they do have a lot of faith. I know he will make the right decision!

We have been trying really hard to work with the members of our branch as well. Since I am new in this branch, I am doing my best to develop a good relationship with the Branch President. This week, we started weekly correlation meeting with our branch mission leader. There hadn’t been a correlation for a long time, and that needed to change. There needs to be good communication between the branch and us in order to see real growth and to help the most amount of people get to know the truth. There are 9 full time missionaries in our branch. And so we need to take advantage of this number and do the work the right way, which is with the members. There is no reason why there shouldn’t be multiple families baptized each month in the branch. So this is the vision that we need to have. We need to rely on the Lord as well and recognize that we aren’t capable of having this success by ourselves, but that it is his work. I know that as we do this, the Lord will be with us, and He will make us instruments in his hands so that we can bring “many unto the truth.”

I didn’t get to write even close to the amount of things I have to say about this week. I learned so much, and I’m so grateful for the experiences that the Lord is giving me. The mission that I have had so far has really be “customized” just for me! Everything I have experienced, has been for my own good. But what’s more important, is that I get to share the gospel with the people I love.

I know that this is the Lord’s gospel. The world is full of people... and everyone is different. But one thing that everyone has in common is that we all want to be happy! The only way they can truly be happy is through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. That kind of puts into perspective how important our purpose is. “to make these things known to the inhabitants of the world.” I love you all and have a good week!

Elder Williams


Ps. You are getting this today because yesterday there was no internet. I wrote this yesterday on Microsoft word and saved it on my computer.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Maputo - Week 94

The past week has been so crazy. I think it was by far the busiest week I've had on my whole mission! But I had some experiences that I will never forget as well.

The trip to Beira and Zone Conference there went very well. Elder Hamilton taught us so much in the leadership meeting and in his training he gave during Zone Conference. Sister Hamilton also taught us the importance of having companionship unity. It was like a General Conference, but all about missonary stuff! It was good to be able to be up in Beira to help President Kretly and Elder Hamilton with all the preparations. And it ran super well.
Zone Conference - Maputo (Elder Williams is 2nd row far right)

Last Monday Elder Greenman and I were able to visit come people that we had taught up in Beira and in Manga. We weren't able to visit everyone because of the time, but we were able to visit Lua and Recy, Nharingue and Lucinda, Sabado and Laura, and Samo and Mimi. All 4 families are doing really well! Lua and Recy now have a new house which is a lot bigger (blessings of tithing), Lucinda is the second conselor in the relief society presidency, and Samo and Mimi had a big surprize to share with me. They will be going to the South Africa temple in April to be sealed for time and all eternity. As you could imagine, that made my day! Ever since the beginning that family has been so willing to follow Jesus Christ and they are now almost ready to make the biggest covenant of all! They invited us to be present during the sealing as well... but it depends on what day they go. They will keep me updated, so we'll see if it will be possible! If I were present for the sealing, I would have witnessed the whole process of conversion with them.... from street contact, to baptism, to the temple. That would be a very special experience. I feel blessed and humbled to be apart of this with them. I will send some pictures of last weeks visits with these families.
Zone Conference in Beira (Elder Williams is 2nd row, 2nd from the left) 
Zone Conference here in Maputo went good as well. President Kretly's training was about the need to recognize the hand of the Lord in all the miracles that have happened until now. He used the example of two Bible servants, Gehazi and Samuel. Gehazi saw many miracles, but saught the glory of the world and didn't rocognize the hand of the Lord in the miracles that had happened. He was cursed with leprosy because of it. Samuel on the other hand, was an obedient servant from the very beginning, and was extremely blessed by the Lord. Me and Elder Greenman put together his training for him, and it was amazing to see how President Kretly presented it. He is such a good speaker and teacher. I've learned a lot from how he teaches.

One highlight from Zone Conference was getting to know Elder Hamilton. Elder Greenman got to know him especially well and that was a neat experience. He gave me so much life advice, and taught me a lot about the church. He is a a man full of wisdom, and full of the Spirit of the Lord. He was without a doubt, called of God. I already had a certain respect for him after hearing his General Conference address from October. He said it is an unreal experience giving a talk in front of the whole world. But I couldn't even tell that he was nervous. I will never forget Elder Hamilton.

I have been thinking a lot about what Elder Greenman and I can do to help other missionaries fulfill their purpose as misisonaries. The idea of referals kept coming back to my head. As a mission, we focus so much on street contacts that we forget to ask referals from everybody. So Elder Greenman and I put it to test, and then Elder Hamilton had us share our experience during Zone Conference. We ask for referrals from everyone! We saw that lots of people were willing to invite friends to here the Gospel, even if they weren't interested themselves. That is a new mission focus... ASK REFERRALS FROM EVERYONE. Elder Hamilton promised that ''the missionaries who do this will have so many investigators that they won't be able to handle them all.'' We are excited to see the number of new investigators and progressing investigators go up. 

Because of all the things we had going on this week, we weren't in the area very much but we still found a good amount of time in the area. That was another thing that Elder Hamilton made clear to Elder Greenman and I... That we need to be the best missionaries statistically and spiritually. I am trying so hard to live up to that so that the missionaries in the mission have a good example to look up to. But the one family that was progressing last week, started having a lot of marriage problems and looks like they will seperate. We tried so hardd to help them, and we taught them everyting that they needed to do to have a family, and successful family. But we need to respect the agency of people as well. It was very sad to see. It didn't help that the wife was only 17 years old…

But the Lord blessed us with 2 new families! Paulo and Elsa and Augusto and Rosalina. They were a street contact, and we taught them for the first time on Saturday night at about 9 o'clock. Because of the time, we talked to them about our purpose and made plans to come to church together the next day. They are so humble that they accepted without any problems. When they were all at church, something very bad happened.... their oldest child got lost! After Primary, he got confused when the Maputo 1 Branch left so he left the church by himself. We looked all over the church grounds and we even drove around and sent search parties to go look for him in the city. After a few hours, he was found! This 6 year old boy was able to walk home all by himself. A little over an hour of a walk. Because of this experience, many members were able to comfort them and they already made lots of friends! So it could be a good thing. Plus, President Kretly wanted to meet them as well so he taught them the Restoration with us last night. It was a very powerful lesson. We are very excited about the progress of these two families. We feel like they will both get baptized sometimes next month. 

So that pretty much sums up my week! It was so crazy, but I learned so much. I'm so grateful for the many experiences that I had and the miracles that I saw. I thank you so much for being such a good support system during my whole mission. I really have been so blessed. I know this is the Lord's work. If it wasn't, so many good things would not be happening! I know He loves each and every one of us. Have a good week!

-Elder Williams