Monday, January 6, 2014

Matola - Week 90

Mais Milagres!

I have been blessed to have witnessed a beautiful miracle of the Lord. My time in Matola might be a lot, but I will never get sick and tired of seeing the Lord bring to pass his work. One more testimony builder to me that this is nobody's work but the Lord's.

After a week of rain, the sacrament frequencies have been very low... Matola 1, 70. Matola 2, 59. And T-3, 69. Weeks like that aren't going to help us acheieve the Lord's goal to split the branches here in Matola. So me and Elder Santos thought long and hard about what we need to do to help the frequency. We came up with a few ideas and thaught the distrcit meetings in the zone. We established a new goal of at least 5 lessons with a member present a week for each companioship. This will help the members be more excited about missionary work, and they will invite more people to church. Well this week, almost all companionships attained the goal of 5 lessons with a member present! We also did a zone wide fast so that we could raise the frequency in the zone. While we were in the middle of the fast, we saw big changes in the frequency! Yesterday, Matola 1 had 203, Matola 2 had 171, and T-3 had 195! It really was a miracle! If we maintain this frequency, the branches will be ready to be divided here in no time.

Sorry, I am kind of writing fast today but I hope that everyone will still be able to understand how amazing the week was.

Elder Walker, is doing great. He isn't used to this kind of work, this kind of heat, this kind of culture, language, or anything else. But he has been diligent and I am very impressed with the effort he has put out. Besides for all the blisters on his feet, he is very healthy! He had also participated in his first mission fast which was a good experience for him. I reminded him to drink lots of water Friday night and Saturday morning so that he would be able to make it from Saturday afternoon til Sunday afternoon without drinking water. He assured me that he would be okay and that he had fasted before. But it is a lot different walking around in the african heat all day. When we got home from church on Sunday afternoon, I watched him down 4 liters of cold water, which he threw up about 5 minutes later. He underestimated fasting and how much of a sacrifice it would really be. But now he knows what to expect for next month. He really is a very good missionary. He just didn't know what to expect. I'll share some statements that he said to me this week:

"Wow... this is a lot harder than I thought it would be."
"I guess I totally underestimated missionary work before the mission."
"Elder, are you tired and thirsty all the time as well?"
"They told me it would be the hardest thing I ever did. They weren't lying."

I have shared these quotes with his permission, and this expresses the thoughts and feelings of a missionary after the first full week of work. We did work hard this week, and the Lord blesses us in our area. We had some very good lessons, and the Lord blessed us with an amazing new family Jose and Amelia that the Lord put in our path as we were doing door to door contacting. He is picking up the language very fast as well. He is a great missionary and will help a lot of people on his mission. I am very excited for him.

His teacher in the MTC was Elder Workman! So that is kind of a coincidence. He sure learned a lot of good things from him and Elder Workman was able to get him off on the right foot.

I don't have that much time to write today, but I hope everyone has a great week! The work is going great, and we are excited about the way things are going!

I will be sure to write in more detail next week. I love you all.

Elder Williams