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.