Monday, March 17, 2014

Maputo - Week 100


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)