Hi Friends and Family,
Happy Monday! This was a great week. Each week keeps getting better and better. 🙂
First of all, it started with one of my favorite things in the world, a midnight airport run. 4 Elders arrived from Beira at 12:00 AM, so we picked them up and took them to their areas. We ended up getting back to our house at around 2:30 AM just in time to get 3 hours of sleep before some other elders who were staying with us had to be taken to the airport at 5:30 to fly to South Africa. It would have been nice to come home and catch up on some sleep, but we had our staff meeting at 10:00, and we still had some things we needed to do. So we pushed through Staff Meeting, and went out with President and all the senior couples to our favorite Chinese Restaurant for some Staff “Eating”. We did more office work (This week was pretty busy with Month End Reports and making sure everyone got paid and stuff), and we were getting ready to go out to our area, when President Kretly came in and shut the door and started talking to us and the APs.
He talked about how he appreciated all we do, and about how much we help the mission and that he knows it isn’t fun staying up late and waking up early and stuff, but that we do a lot and he is grateful for the good work we do. And honestly, that helped SO much. Like, everything could be going wrong and I could hate it, but little things like that from President is really all it takes for me to be happy and excited and motivated to get work DONE. He then told us that we could sleep in until 10 o clock the next day!
The next morning, we were VERY obedient to our Mission President and did as he directed, sleeping in until 10:00. OH MAN. It felt so so so so so good waking up so late. My body was grateful as well for the sleep. Those extra hours really did SO much. From that morning on, things started getting much, much better. President started yet another travel (He is so busy!), flying to Beira and then driving from Beira to Quelimane and then Nampula. Everything worked out will with his hotel reservations and stuff, and we were able to finish all of our reports and everything!
I’m feeling good. 🙂 Mozambique is the best country in the world. I think I am SO lucky for being called to serve here!
We had some funny stories this week. I got pulled over. It was night time, and we were driving home. A funny thing about Mozambique, I don’t know if I have already said this, but the cops don’t pull you over in their cars. Like, you will never ever get pulled over by a car putting on their sirens behind you. They never drive cop cars, they just stand on the road, and then walk out in the middle with their flash light and their AK-47s. So. Anyways. I get pulled over by this cop, and he says, “Can I see your License and Registration?” I said, “Sure!” and reach to my pocket. No license, I forgot it at the office. Then we go to where we keep the registration in the car. No registration! I realized we had left it in a bag at the office when we cleaned out the car. So there I am, pulled over by a cop, with no License OR registration!!!! I got really really scared. But, I just started contacting him. Asking about his family and small talk and stuff. Then he said, “So about the license and Registration….” And I blurted out, “I don’t have anything!” and explained what happened. He got super upset! “How are you driving around without a license or registration!! We are going to the police station right now, Come on, lets go.” And I said, “No, we are going to visit a family and we are late and we are missionaries and volunteers and we don’t have money blah blah blah” and he just started laughing and said, “Ok, go ahead!!” He let us go without anything! We were so lucky and protected it was awesome.
Speaking of car trouble, last week I backed into another car. 😦 I was trying to turn around, and you know when you try and ALMOST make it but not quite and you have to back up a little bit? Yeah. So that happened. I looked, no one around, and it was such a small thing I didn’t think my companion would need to get out. So I slowly started backing up, and out of no where, we bumped into a car. Luckily no one was hurt, and our cars barely touched, but we traded some paint and the other driver was mad. In my defence he came out of no where and didn’t even honk. 🙂 But anyways. Tualufo, our secretary came and helped us out, everything got solved with insurance and stuff no problem. The best part was, I was able to hide the scrape from President Kretly by always parking facing the other way until he left!! We will take the car in while he is traveling, insurance pays for everything and he never has to know. 🙂 Its not dishonest, just one less problem for him to worry about. 🙂
James Conlee is famous in Brazil! My companion was listening to his music, a flash drive of LDS music he brought from Brazil, and James Conlee’s “Abide With Me” came on! I said “I know that guy!” and explained how he was one of my young men’s leaders and he helped me out a lot and made a big difference in my life. The other Elders thought that was pretty cool and that he is a very good singer, and I thought it was funny! James Conlee, if you are reading this, you somehow ended up on a brazillians flash drive! You’re big in Brazil! Congratulations!
Our families we are teaching are doing WELL. Anselmo and Beatriz already have their birth certificates, and they will do their final document this wednesday, open the process next week and get baptized September 20th. Jersio and Marilia are doing good as well, really all of our families showed good progress this week.
I had two really cool experiences this week with working with members.
First off, Ernesto and Claudia, one of our recent convert families, agreed to come help us teach another family. Claudia the wife is pretty shy. But we get there, and start teaching, and Claudia starts asking them all these questions! She said, “Did you come to church on Sunday?” and they said, “No….” and she said, “Tomorrow?” and they said, “Well, he has to work and I am going to stay home and take care of the kids.” And she starts going AT them, saying “Going to church every week is a commandment from God! It is so important that we keep this day holy!” and started teaching them without us saying anything. She said, “We will pass by tomorrow to pick you up (the wife, the husband had to work), ok?” And she accepted! Then, Ernesto started testifying, staying how he lost his job and has been unemployed for six months because his boss told him he had to work on sunday or lose his job, and he has gone to church ever since and lost his job.
And I thought that was SO cool! I didn’t even know that had happened. What faith.
The other experience was with Krislerio and Johanna. We were doing our Weekly Planning, and really felt strongly that we needed to bring our Branch President with us to teach them. So we took him with us, went there, and started teaching. To give some background, both of these families, Krislerio and Johanna and Justino and Cacilda had similar situations: want to get married and baptized, but the man was married to another woman and has to get legally divorced from her before they can get married again, but she does not want to get divorced and will only sign the documents if she gets paid a lot of money. Justino and Cacilda, who me and Elder Douglas baptized in November, took over a year to do it, going to church and being active this whole time. It has already been over a year with Krislerio and Johanna as well. So, Justino has already been through it, and we thought he could help Krislerio and Johanna. He started talking, and said, “We were trying so hard to get the divorce but nothing was going write. We had so many problems, and we didn’t understand why. We got really frusterated. But then, one time we were being taught by some Elders and they told us something that we had never really thought about- That the Law of Chastity applies to us! We thought it only applied to young teenagers and stuff. But this Elder told us that WE needed to stop all sexual relations until we were married. So, we did. It was DIFFICULT. But seriously, once we stopped, things started changing like THAT. All of the sudden, her heart was softened, and she would sign everything, and it all worked out. But we realized it was true- while we were breaking that commandment, our prayers were blocked. How could we receive blessings while breaking a commandment so serious? So. I invite you, right now, to start living the law of chastity.”
And the spirit was so strong! I had no Idea that that had happened!
Krislerio and Johanna looked at eachother, kind of started to laugh, and said, “We already are. About a month ago, we heard in a talk that very thing- that it applies to us. So we came home, and decided to stop. So for over a month, we have been doing that!” And I was so impressed. How cool! Our branch president said, “Then I know it will work out.”
I know they will be blessed for their faith and be able to be baptized. They are very poor, and right now are saving what little
money they get to be able to pay the ex wife for the divorce and then be able to purchase the marriage documents. All in all, it will cost about 100 Dollars. They have been saving for months to get it. But I know The Lord will prepare a way. They are too special.
Anyways. That was a little bit of my week. I am so grateful for everything that has happened so far to bring me here on my mission. I love it here. I don’t want to leave. 🙂
PS Love you dad! Found this kid with your name on his shirt. He rocks