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.

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