LETS GET DOWN TO BUSINESS.
(The quicker I write all my emails the quicker I can go and take a little nap and man, am I tired.)
It’s been approximately 1 week since the last time we communicated, and in that time, SO much has happened! Wowee.
First off. Krislerio and Johanna and Tinara and David. Remember them? There are that one family we have been teaching for FOREVER, he has to get divorced first but his ex wife won’t sign the papers until he pays a ton of money and stuff, right? She has an awesome afro and they are one of the best families of all time?
(Just to jog your memory a little bit)
Yeah. I’ll be talking a lot about them this week. 🙂
We got a call from them last monday, while we were doing our shopping, and they said them had some SERIOUS doubts about the church and they wanted us to go over there and clarify them that night. So after writing last weeks email, we hurried on over to their house, which is about half the size of my bedroom (where they all live, sleep, cook, EVERYTHING).
To bring you up to speed, the lesson before that we had talked about eternal families, and without really thinking about the whole contents of the chapter, we assigned them to read section 132 of the Doctrine and Covenants. Little did I know, the end of that section talks all about Polygamy, like it is still in practice today!
We show up, start with a prayer and everything, and they said, “We have concerns…. do we have to practice polygamy when we are baptized?”
We kind of smiled at eachother, and read through the the Official Declaration (Manifesto) and explained how Polygamy was a practice used IN THE PAST and that today the Church not only doesn’t practice it but doesn’t tolerate it, and why it happened and everything. They kind of started laughing, said it all made sense, and then started to tell us about this huge conspiracy theory they had thought up, that they had been coming to church for a long time but everyone was hiding it from them and stuff. It was super funny. They really are one of the best, most prepared families.
The next few days were consumed by President Kretly’s return travel to Maputo. He has been traveling for literally the entire month, visiting all of the outside areas and stuff. Mozambique is a BIG country, and since we don’t have stakes yet, he functions as both the Stake President, and the mission president. It is a big job and he is super busy, and once he starts traveling and going to the branches, it takes SO LONG.
When President Kretly is gone, there is always a ton of work to do, holding down the fort here in Maputo, making all of the hotel reservations (and canceling them and remarking them when things go wrong). Fun stuff. ALSO! Our mission has about 30 dollars to its name right now! 🙂 One of the other things that stinks when president is gone is that he is the only one who can sign checks and things for us to have money. We normally refill our cash supply about once or twice a month, so we have been running on fumes for a while now, and President is now in Swaziland. Gratefully we have all the checks written and stuff, and as soon as he gets here (ON WEDNESDAY) we will be sitting pretty again. #officeelderlife
Anyways, back to the cool, non-boring stuff. 🙂
Wednesday night, I had a really tender experience with my companion. We were planning at night for the next day, and at the end, he asked, “is there anything I could do to be better?” and I paused a little bit, and told him how sometimes I think he could be a little more proactive in the office, not having to be told what to do all the time, because sometimes, I get swamped with things to do and he will be reading scriptures on his computer. So I had just kind of said that, like so we could work on it to be better in our companionship, right? And it kind of…triggered something in him. And he started talking about how he knows he needs to be better, but he is just trying to help his family. He started crying. He is the only member in his family, and his family is having a lot of problems right now (and for a long time.) And he has been trying to get them interested in the church but they won’t. And he was bawling now. All he wants is for his family to be sealed and he has not had any success. It is so hard, not being able to help them, when they are struggling spiritually, and financially.
And my heart just broke for him. I felt so bad for him, and wanted to help him so bad. And I got this flood of gratitude for the family I have, and how blessed I have been to have an active, strong, supportive, loving family. We hugged, it was pretty awesome. 🙂 Companionship inventories man. I kind of felt like a sister missionary. 🙂
A lot of our families are struggling right now. Its kind of hard, but you just gotta keep swimming. 🙂 Looking for new families and putting your trust in the Lord, that you really are there in that area for a reason and he is preparing people for you to teach. This is what I signed up for, the easy and the hard. 🙂
Saturday night was WEIRD. We had a lot of catching up to do in the office, and we left at about 4 in the afternoon. We went to our area, and had just started contacting people when we got a call from one of the senior couples, saying that they needed us to go there to the other side of the city and pick them up and take them there to the airport. So I mustered a grin and left our slightly (extremely) neglected area and we went and took them to the airport, and they left us some money to fill up the car that they were using. So we pull up to the gas station, and as we pull up I see the numbers on the machine showing 500 meticais in gas. So I was driving Sister Kretly’s car (AUTOMATIC!! IT WAS SO WEIRD DRIVING AN AUTOMATIC AFTER DRIVING A STICK SHIFT FOR SO LONG!), and I had never driven it so I did not know how to open the door to put gas in it. So after looking for a big and struggling, we finally find it, and opened it. I asked him to put in 1000 meticais in gas. I kid you not, like 10 seconds later the guy comes and says that he only put in 500, so we have to pay the 500 now and then he can put the other 500 in after. And I was like, NO WAY! I saw, it was there before, and you are trying to scam me! So I got in this HUGE argument with this guy. Like, big. Talking with the boss and stuff. It was proved that I was in the right, but they just told me to leave, they didn’t want to put gas in my car. I don’t know why I wrote so much about it but it took a lot of time and was super weird. Anyways. 🙂 From there President called us, and gave us a couple of things to do, so we went back into the office and didn’t end up getting home unil 11 at night. #officeelderlife
This week we focused a lot on helping the branch and working towards the temple. For district meeting, we focused on how we can REALLY help these families prepare and get to the temple, and I brought some poster board and markers and stuff, and we talked about simplifying the process for a mozambican family to go to the temple. (Most missionaries don’t know the process. If the missionaries don’t know, how are the families supposed to know???) And we came up with 9 steps of how to get there, and together made the posters with these steps, leading to a big picture of the temple. Then on sunday, with the Branch President’s permission, we hung them up around the church. On sunday all the members loved them! Hopefully it helps. We also started the temple prep class in our branch. We had been told for a while that if the temple prep class is not working in your branch, you need to start it. But blah blah, excuse excuse, we had never started it. Well, this week we started it and it went well. Also this sunday we had 230 people at church, which is the highest in over a month. So that was good. 🙂
Then, Sunday night. We had planned to go and teach Krislerio and Johanna. (If you don’t remember, look up at the top). We went there, and had one of the most intense lessons of my whole mission. It was also one of the most spiritual. When we went there, things were not good between them. We knew they had been having problems in the marriage for a while, but Sunday was the worst. She said after many months of thinking about it, she was leaving and they would seperate. And they started opening up to all of these CRAZY, deep, layered complicated problems they have, from years and years of bad communication, trust issues, and former marriages and children of both of them. There was a lot of built up resentment between both of them, and they had been keeping it inside for so long! Basically I could talk forever about it, but it was a really good lesson, guided by the spirit. One time during the lesson, I felt like I needed to say, “Krislerio, say 3 things you admire about Johanna” and vice versa. I shrugged it away, and looked at my companion for him to talk. He said, “Krislerio, I want you right now to say 3 things you admire about Johanna”!!! It was so cool. Turned out to be a really good lesson. At the end, they decided that they were going to work through it, and have a family fast. They would plan what they would fast for, and then text it to us. Late last night, we got there text:
1. The divorce- our marriage and baptism.
2. Love, loyalty, and happiness in our marriage.
3. Custody of Krislerios sons (the mom is currently abusive)
4. The family centralized in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
They are so awesome. I know they will make it. The spirit was so strong, during the whole lesson. 🙂
Anyways, that was my week. I’m not sick anymore, I am fine. It was just mini-ebola I think. 😉