Monday, April 28, 2014

Maxixe 37th week - April 28, 2014

Preparation day we had two lessons marked which both fell through. We had to go to the Registro to see what the problem was with some marriage documents. The couples weren’t being given their marriage certificates. It turns out that the problem was our fault but we were able to correct a couple of things on the documents and then all was well and we were able to move on to making some contacts. I was feeling very courageous so I went to contact a man that had just gotten out of a very nice very new Ford Ranger. He was super nice and a great contact. We have not been able to sit with him yet but I think we will. He actually seemed really interested. 

We had a really good lesson with Sxxxxxx and Ixxx. We taught the gospel of Jesus Christ. They understood it very well. We also had a recent convert lesson with Axxxxxxxxxx and Exxx. They haven’t been reading the Book of Mormon like they should be. We read some with them and talked about the importance of daily reading. 

We had some lessons this week that made me think something about Moçambian culture. It is very frustrating and can be wrapped up in 1 phrase or 3 words “God is One”. Let me explain, because it is true, God is One, He is unchanging, the problem is that to Mozambiçans this means all churches are right because they talk about God and they are all talking about the same God so they are all right. But that’s not true, if God is one, which He is, then Logically He is one and unchanging. That means He is “the same yesterday, today and forever” Mormon 9:9. Or in Malachi 3:6 “For I am the Lord, I change not…” so as in ancient times, He has one church, which has to have a living prophet, 12 apostles, and Priesthood keys.. Sometimes in lessons we explain this and the people understand. A lot of other times they seem to understand and say they understand, and I really think they do. Then they say “but all churches are good because they talk about God”. They completely turn 180º on us… Okay, I am done ranting. It’s just so frustrating to me. In the USA it’s completely different, the mindset is the opposite. Everyone thinks only their church is right, So I guess it’s something I am not use to. 

We had a lesson with Jxxx and Axxxxxx on Wednesday and they are awesome. They, with their teenage son and daughter all participate in the lesson. They ask questions and actually really pay good attention. The best part about Wednesday was the lesson we had at 16 hours. It was way out in Scanjanini which is a good 45 minute walk. It was so worth it! They really participated in the lesson and asked questions. They have a very nice house and the wife is going to college studying psychology. A crazy thing happened at the end of the lesson. We taught a little about the Book of Mormon, sadly, we didn’t have one with us to give to them. We told them we would bring one on our next visit. Then the husband said “The Book of Mormon? I have one, I will go get it” (well he basically said that but in Portuguese). He ran into the house and came back out with an older but nice hard black bound copy. He explained that in Maputo in 1999 a work associate had taken him to church. The work associate had given it to him as a remembrance of his visit. How cool is that. The spirit was super strong. I really think he will marry his wife and his family will be baptized. 

There are some really sandy places here in Maxixe, not as sandy as T-3 but still a lot. As I was walking in a sandy spot, I thought of a Gospel analogy. Without even realizing I was doing it, I would gravitate towards the grassy parts in the sand as I walked. After I realized that I was doing it, I thought “why” I realized that the grassy areas of sand were firm and not sloshy and soft like the bare sand. It was much easier, and more efficient to walk on the firm ground. When I walked in the sand, I couldn’t walk as fast and felt like I was working much harder. I came to the conclusion that the grassy parts were firmer because they had roots or a firm foundation. It’s like our eternal progression, if we stay on a firm base and keep walking with the roots of the gospel under our feet we will continue to progress. However, if we walk in the shifting sand of the empty thinking of the world, we will not move forward. We will slide from side to side not progressing towards our goal of eternal life and real happiness.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Maputo/Maxixe 36th week - April 21, 2014

Elder Kanaga and Elder Williams

P-day was Elder Williams last. We went to the church building in Matola and played basketball and soccer. When we were emailing our families I found out I would leave Wednesday at 2:30 in the morning to go back to Maxixe with Elder DePina. It also became apparent that I have a hernia. 

The next day, the hospital ran some blood tests and I had an ultra-sound. The doctor thinks if I quit doing sit-up, push-ups, crunches, or anything else that works my abdominal muscles, I should be able to finish my mission without needing surgery. 

I got one hour of sleep before we caught the bus to Maxixe. This was a much nicer bus than the one I took to Maputo. It had much larger seats which reclined. One of the times I woke up there was a little tray in front of me with two pieces of cheese, two rolls, a sleeve of biscuits (cookies) and a soda. When we got back to the house at Maxixe I realized I had lost the keys to our room. I ended up deciding to pay for the door to get fixed (after I kicked it in).

Thursday we had five solid lessons and Friday we had four. We also got word that we will be a trio as another missionary will be coming to Maxixe. I also got word that President Kretly was pleased with the luggage room I organized in Maputo. 

 Something good I like to make: I mash up and avocado and mix it with a little water and some hot sauce. Then I put beans, chicken and onions in a pan to start cooking. After the chicken has cooked I add in the avocado mixture and serve it over brown rice. Very good. 

Saturday morning started out sad as we had two lessons fall through. When we called to confirm, both numbers were fakes. That makes me really sad. A lot more of our lessons fell through. In fact only one lesson worked out. While we were waiting for the people to show for the lesson I had a nice chance to stare up at the stars. While doing so, I was interrupted by an odd sound. I looked down and saw a fair sized pig strolling by... The odd things that happen here! 

Sunday was Easter and we had 34 people at church.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Maputo 35th week - April 14, 2014

I will be honest, this week was great! 

I really loved walking with the AP's. Due to "National Woman's Day", Monday was not a normal P-Day, but a normal day of missionary work. So this week Tuesday was our P-Day and it was Elder Greenman's last P-Day so we went to the beach with a bunch of other missionaries and played volleyball. It stormed and rained a bit so it was cold but very fun. That evening we had one lesson and another lesson that fe1l through so we did some contacting.

Wednesday I walked with Maputo 1 and Thursday even though I am not in a leadership position I got to go to a leadership training meeting. President Kretly talked about the seven habits of highly effective people. Afterwords, Sister Kretly was telling some of us the story of getting called as mission president and mission presidents wife. It was really neat. 

Friday we had some really great lessons and dropped elder Greenman's off at the president's house in preparation of him going home. Wow! 

Saturday we had a lesson with a family that called us. The AP's have a sign on the back of their truck that says "Do you want a happy family? Call us!" How neat is that? The AP's are awesome they had a lot of office work on Saturday so I got in a lot of study time. 

On Sunday we had 251 people in attendance at church . Wow! President Kretly also gave some "family history" training.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Maxixe/Maputo 34th week - April 7, 2014

P-day I didn't need to grocery shop or do a lot of preparation for the week since I knew I would be traveling to Maputo the next day for Zone Conference on Wednesday. A ward member did come by to help me cook Feijoada. With a little supervision I was able to make it!

The next day was a very long and uncomfortable bus ride to Maputo. When I got there I walked with some Elders in Maputo 2. Then the A.P.'s picked me up so I could sleep at their house. Zone

Conference! Wow! It was so nice, President Kretly focused on the temple and family history. He wants us to really start focusing on them from the beginning with our investigators. It will be really cool. The temple and family history are two things that aren't usually brought up for awhile. However, I truly believe it will make a huge difference in the work. President told me I would be staying in Maputo for some time.

I don't know how long but I will be walking with the A.P.'s while I am in Maputo.I have really enjoyed walking with Elder Williams this week. We had some really amazing lessons and a lot of great contacts this week. I found out I like "collard greens" cooked in a certain way. Sunday it was weird being in a branch with so many people. I really like it though. There were some really great testimonies and lessons.