Monthly Archives: October 2014

Week 68: Sometimes, things don’t go exactly as you plan… or even close…

Hi!

Well if there’s one thing I’ve learned from my mission, its that things don’t ever quite work out like you expect them to. This week was a PRIME example of this!

Wow!

So if you’ll remember where I left off, It was the night before Elder Clayton from the Presidency of the Seventy and his wife and Elder Ellis from the Seventy and his wife and President Kretly and Sister Kretly and the entourage of translators and security guard’s plane had been delayed and we were left scrambling to figure out how to reorganize the schedules of the meetings and such.

Well, the next morning, THE MORNING OF THEIR ARRIVAL, we received a call from President Kretly, with crazy news: the airplane had been CANCELED! There would be no airplane coming from Beira to Maputo due to technical difficulties.

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Of course that would happen on the day of the special visit!! What were we going to do? All of the missionaries were already gathered at the matola chapel, and the leadership of all branches were going there. It had been planned for MONTHS, lunch was purchased, Swaziland missionaries on their way, everything was going to happen and IN AN INSTANT, IT ALL CHANGED.

We were stunned. A couple minutes later, we got another call from President. He said that they were just informed that the Airline would send 1 small, 30 passenger airline from Beira to Maputo, and that their group of 8 was going to be given 1 seat! The rest¬† would be left, stranded in Beira. It was decided that Elder Ellis would come, without his wife, and because he would be coming so late, all meetings were going to be combined! Missionaries, members, district counsel, and leadership! Luckily, it all went perfect. He arrived well, the meeting was AWESOME and all of the members loved it, A BUNCH of my recent converts were there, even Antonio, from T3! Super fun to see everyone and talk and stuff. Elder Ellis then hopped on a flight to Jo-berg and Elder Clayton and everyone else got a direct flight from Beira to Johannesberg instead. I didn’t even get to see him! Oh well. What do you do.

The rest of the week was….. kind of a downer!

Almost all of our families are having HUGE problems right now. Like, liiterally, our area is getting CRUSHED right now!

First off, Gersio and Marilia. I have been talking about them for a while, but pretty much, this week, we had a really important lesson with them. Their family had told them if they get baptized, they get kicked onto the street. We were going back to address some doubts he had about baptism, and see where they stood and if their faith was strong enough to follow their savior in the correct form of Baptism. We studied good, planned out the lesson and stuff. Got there, taught the lesson, and it went SO good. It was direct, they were participating and into it, we taught the doctrine clearly and testified, and at the end, we asked what they thought and invited Gersio to be baptized. And he denied us! He said, “No. I won’t. I’ve made my decision. I won’t be baptized. Please respect it.” and it was so sad! We asked him to pray about it, and he said he knew what he needed to do, but in the end, decided he wasn’t strong enough to do it. He then got up and left. ūüė¶ SAD! Nothing else we could do. They haven’t answered the phone, are never home, and didn’t show up to church. Sad stuff. That is really unusual here in Mozambique!! I love them so much. I know eventually they will be baptized but man it was hard.

Something similar happened with Krislerio and Johanna. All of our families are falling apart!

It is ok though. Through all of it, I felt calm and assured, like I didn’t need to worry. It was completely different from when similar things happened in Quelimane, and I would freak out and get so stressed and worry and get mad and stuff. I felt like we did our part, and I know that this week will be better! There are so many other prepared families in our area, and I know we will be able to find them.

We still had 3 complete investigator families at church, and then afterwards we were able to go to CATEMBE!!! We visited Vasco and Quiteria and baby Karli. They and the other members there are so awesome. They leave their houses at 6 AM, walk for miles to get to the boat port, pay money they have saved up during the week to ride a half hour boat ride, then walk for 3 miles on the other side until the church to get there at 9. (Realistically, 10.) They are so cool!

Anyways. SO many other good things happened this week, it really was a good week and lots of stuff happened but unfortunately, there never is quite enough time to write everything.

One piece of BIG news though, is that there might be a new office elder!! Elder Herd, who was serving in Chimoio, has 2 really bad and infected ingrown toenails. He has to get surgery here in Maputo! He flies in tonight, and we pick him up at midnight. He will stay with us, and President asked him to bring all of his things from Chimoio, because he won’t be going back! There are 3 more weeks of the transfer, and President said he will be working with us during his recovery and stuff! The same exact thing happened a couple of months ago with Elder Hall. He stayed office elder afterwards! There is a pretty good chance he stays here, we have 3 weeks to train him and stuff, and then I leave! Pretty¬† exciting, but we will see what happens.

Anyways. Sorry for the short letter. Wish they actually captured my whole week. I will try to have more boring weeks to make that happen. ūüėČ

Love you all,

Elder Poyfair

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Week 67: New Senior Couples, Devoted Branch President and preparing for a few General Authorities. NBD.

Hi,

Tomorrow Elder L Whitney Clayton from the Presidency of the Seventy and Elder Ellis from the Seventy are coming HERE to our mission! So needless to say, things have been pretty crazy with all of the preparations and stuff. We will pick them up from the airport tomorrow and bring them to the chapel in Matola, where we will have a huge meeting with all of the Missionaries, and then leadership trainings for the members in the  afternoon.  Everyone here is really excited, because one of the main purposes will be evaluating to see if Mozambique is ready for a Stake or not.

So yeah! ūüôā This week was largely spent on two things- preparing for this General Authority visit and dealing with 5 new missionaries- 1 new Elder from Mexico, Elder Moreno, and 2 Brazillian Senior Couples: Elder and Sister de Castro Deus, and Elder and Sister Lopes.

They are so funny! Old Brazillians are the best. They are so excited to be here and help out. We were thinking that one of them was going to be an Office Couple, and take our spot as Mission Secretaries. However, President told us that one of them will be going to  Beira and the other one will NOT be an Office Couple! So we will not need to train them. In the end, it is probably a good thing. It means I will probably (hopefully) leave the office sooner rather than later.

The senior couples were kind of a handful though. When the new Elders come, they are not too much of a problem. But the couples don’t have internet, don’t have cell phones, don’t have anything. We did quite a bit of Babysitting for them!

We just got news, right now right now, from the  Airline saying that the airplane for the General Authorites AND President and Sister Kretly and the translators and Security guards is delayed 2 HOURS! It was already a tight schedule, they were supposed to get here at 9:45 and then the first meeting at 10:30. SO we
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(Everything above was written last night. Then, when the flight got delayed, we had a TON of stuff to do to get all the meetings changed and get everything in order, and I had to abandon my email and work on more important stuff. Office elder life! I will continue now hahah)

So this week, a lot of cool things happened. Presidential elections were this Wednesday!  After the CRAZINESS that happened last year with the local congressional elections (Lock down inside our house the whole day, month of food storage, 3 people got shot outside of our apartment, bombs going off in Beira and stuff), we were expecting this year to be INSANE. Luckily, nothing happened. Absolutely nothing. There was no conflict, no violence, everything went smoothly! I personally think the Mozambican people are just sick of conflict and fighting, and a smooth election resulted. We were all grateful for the peace!
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Our families are all doing… good. We had to drop that rich catholic family, they were just unable to let go of the deep rooted catholic traditions they had, stopped coming to church and kept unmarking our visits. It really is one of the saddest parts of missionary work, is dropping the families you come to love. However, no effort is ever wasted and I have no doubts that in the future, as the Lord keeps preparing them, they will fully accept the gospel. Our other families are doing well too, especially Krislerio and Johanna, and Helder and Milcha.
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I was impressed this week by the dedication of our Branch President (recent convert) Justino. Gersio and Marilia, one of our families we are teaching, had requested that he come and talk with his parents, who were pretty opposed¬† to the wedding and baptism. It was a very tricky day- we had to take around the¬† senior couples since they can’t drive, and order and pay for food for the General Authority meeting, activate¬† the Senior Couple’s phones, pay the mission wide phone bill, and allocate and sign-off on all of President Kretly’s receipts on Bank of America Works. On top of that, later at night we had to take President Kretly, Sister Kretly, the Senior Couple, and Elder Moreno to the airport. Plus, Gercio and Marilia had invited their parents from out of town to come and speak with our Branch President. It was insane! We had planned with our Branch President to come pick him up at 18 (6:00 PM), but he said when we talked to him that he didn’t have a lot of time, he had General Conference to get ready for and a couple of other things to do for the General Authority visit.

So, because of everything we had to do and the traffic and stuff, we didn’t end up getting to the church until 18:50. (50 minutes late,) He went with us, and because of the CRAZY traffic we didn’t get to our investigators house until 19:20! We had to pick up President Kretly and everyone at 19:30!! So there was no way we could make it work, we didn’t like it but the only option was to leave him alone with our investigators parents! He was up to the challange though. We went from their house to President Kretly’s in lightning speed (all the way across the city in 10 minutes!) and took them to the airport, and went back to the investigator’s house. Unfortunately, over an hour and a half had passed, it was late, and the conversation did not go too well. The parents completely rejected them, and said if they get married or baptized, they will kick them out of the house (they are living with their parents) and onto the street, and never talk to them again. Wow. Fortunately, that was the exact same thing that happened to my companion, Elder Lourenco. He was able to share his story, about how he was baptized in secret and when his family found out a month afterwards, NO ONE, not Mom or Dad or any siblings, said a single word to him for over 2 months. Gersio and Marilia were quiet, but promised to keep praying and press forward.

I seriously felt like an ant surrounded by spiritual giants. Talk about faith! Would I have been able to do that? Would you?
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We were driving home and it was LATE. Our branch president was visably tired, but happy and grateful for the experience. We kept apologizing, and he kept assuring us that it was ok. Then he got a call from his wife. He said, “Yeah, you guys can start without me.” He then explained how it was his daughters birthday today, and they had a birthday dinner and cake planned, and he hadn’t seen her all day and they were going to go to bed, and wanted to know if they could start without him!! We and our investigators were so touched and grateful for his sacrifice, and I know he will be rewarded for it.
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The next day, we had conference!! Wow. What a good one. I especially liked the talks by Elder Robbins, Elder Callister, and the russian guy with the kind of funny accent. SO GOOD I swear all of the talks were made for our investigators. And me. I loved it.

Anyways, thats about all the time I have. Things are going great. The days keep chugging along, and I am so grateful to be here in this mission right now. I wish I had 6 hours where I could write to you guys and just let you know all of the miracles I see every day, but 2 hours just doesn’t cut it.

I guess you’ll just have to trust me when I say that my mission is literally the greatest thing I have ever been apart of.

I LOVE IT.

The Gospel is true. I know it is. It blesses so many Mozambicans its not even funny.

Well, I’m off to pick up a General Authority. Talk to you soon.

Love,

Elder Dallin Poyfair

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Week 66: LESSON LEARNED. Family Letter first. :)

Hi Family!

It’s Monday morning, and we are getting ready to go out and go bowling. I thought that based off my experience from last week, I would just crank this out and send it now. ūüôā

Speaking of last week. Sorry about that haha. Moral of the story is never try to do anything important at 11:30 at night.

This week was seriously such a good week!

I sent some pictures last week of us searching through some documents, but I don’t think I explained it very well. So. Our investigator named Marilia. She and her husband want to get baptized, but to get baptized they need to get married, and to get married she needs a birth certificate. And her birth certificate DOESNT EXIST. Her dad had it in a brief case but the brief case got stolen. She went to the register a couple of times, they couldn’t find anything, she even bribed some people to look and there was NOTHING! NO RECORD OF HER AT ALL WHATSOEVER. So. we decided to go to her high school, because to register for high school you need a birth certificate. Only problem is, after 2 years, they just throw all of these important documents into a huge room that they call the archives. So we went there, looking for 3 hours¬† through LOADS of documents, nothing. It was a little discouraging. Like, we were praying a lot, trying to do something good and help someone keep a commandment and get baptized, so why didn’t God help us find it? Well, like 2 hours later, we got a call from her, saying she had an idea to go and check at another government place where she got her ID card. Most people get those with a cedulla (different document) so it really shouldn’t have worked but there they had her birth certificate on file! It was seriously such a miracle and a huge reminder that sometimes our prayers aren’t answered in the way we want them to be but they are always answered.

So, Tuesday we had a successful Staff Meeting! Every month we receive a budget report from the Africa South East Area that shows our budget and where we are at and what percentage we have spent and all of our transactions for the month in each budget category and stuff. So President Kretly had asked us to prepare a 5-8 minute presentation in Staff Meeting about our current status. So we made the presentation, showed what they had sent us and showed our own tracking system, and what our projected outcome was, and it went super well! We are 75% of the way through with the year and only 67% through with our budget! So, President was pretty happy, saying its the first year since he’s been here that we are on track to not finish over budget, it was awesome. Then we went out to the Chinese Restaurant to celebrate. That was super awesome! President was way excited with us and said we were never getting transferred. Elder Snelson, one of the senior couples, suggested that if we wanted to get transferred, we needed to finish over budget. Yaaaaay haha. ūüôā

So the plan was, there were two new brazillian couples coming to our mission, but then their visas got rejected and they got reassigned to missions in Brazil. Everyone here was really sad, especially since one of the couples was supposed to fill our position as financial secretaries.

Well, we got a call from President Kretly at like 11 o clock at night this week, and he asked us to put it on speaker phone so us and the APs could hear. He said, “Elders, do you beleive in MIracles?” and we were like “yeaaaaaaaah” Because it was late and we were tired and then he was like “Elders, do you beleive in miracles?” And he was really excited so we said “Yeaaaah!” a little more excitedly and then he told us that the Couple’s visas were miraculously approved, that the brazillian consul had a complete change of heart and they would be coming! They get here TOMORROW. Still no word on if one of them will fill our position. It one of them is, they will need to be trained. Which would take another three months hahahahhahaha. So that is pretty cool!

District Meeting on friday was good. We talked all about the Baptismal Invite, and its importance and how to do it effectively and read some examples from the scriptures of when prophets gave the invite, (see Acts:22, 12-16. The way Ananias helps Paul see his leadership potential is EXACTLY what we need to do with our investigators here!) and yeah, it was a good meeting. The sisters in our district have had 2 families they have been teaching for a while now, that are already married but would not mark a baptismal date. They said this week was a miracle, they were able to mark a date within this transfer for BOTH of them! Super awesome.

This week, we were walking down the street, and this man and women came up to us and said, “Hi! My name is Elvira!” and like, contacted us. They said they were a family baptized a couple of years¬† ago, but were EXTREMELY inactive. They asked us to come and visit them and help them go back. So we went over there, helped them understand their simple process in how they became inactive (They were really confused, blaming an evil spirit and stuff), how once they stopped reading the scriptures together as a family, they stopped saying their prayers together and then stopped going to church, and there it was. ūüôā Well, yesterday they came to church! The whole family! It was great.

Then, Friday night, I was getting ready to go to bed, and it was like 10:00 and the APs still weren’t home! So I called them, and they said they were helping President unload the stuff from his trip to South Africa. Then they said, “But don’t go to bed yet!” So I was kind of nervous, because I thought President was going to have them tell us we were training the new couple or something. Well, I was writing in my journal, and they came in, and they held out A MCDONALDS BAG and said, “Bah dah bah bah bahhh”! PRESIDENT KRETLY BROUGHT US BIG MACS FROM SOUTH AFRICA. It was literally the greatest night of my mission. We were all pretty much crying as we microwaved our big macs, and french fries. There is no Mcdonalds in Mozambique, and that was the first like fast food hamburger that I have had in over a year! Not to mention it was a BIG MAC!!! I opened some of the Mountain Dew that Elder Douglas had smuggled me in from swaziland and we all ate drank and were merry. Literally the best thing ever. I love our President. ūüôā

Sunday, we had planned to take our Branch President and his wife (that I baptized in may) to help us teach Paulo and Johanna, our rich catholic couple. Then it didn’t work out with the catholic couple, so we decided to take them to visit Gersio and Marilia. To refresh- Gersio and Marilia are that young couple that was a reference off of a crappy street contact that have a cute daughter named ashley and got the awesome testimony of the Book of Mormon by praying about it three times who we speant last Pday looking for her birth certificate so they can get married and baptized. Well, at church, they were saying how they went to try to get one of the documents, and the person working there is his uncle! And their family is prohibiting them from getting married, and they want to do it in secret, and they didn’t know what to do so they didn’t know what the next step would be, they were kind of scared.

So we show up with President Justino and Cacilda, and Gersio and Marilia were SO honored to have them there. They were like, “OHHHH WOW President! Come in come in! And they got out these nice chairs and dusted them off and wiped them with a rag and were just so in awe that he would be there at their house. Marilia said the prayer, and in the prayer she thanked God for the “Marvelous opportunity we have here with the Branch President”. So we got talking, and they told us that they had decided they were just going to tell the whole family everything and not even worry about what they thought. AWESOME. Then they said that the only thing holding them back right now from getting baptized was the money, they are kind of hurting this month. Justino started asking what he did, and he said he works with like steel construction and welding and stuff, and Justino was like “OH! I need this and this and this done and you should come and fix this at the church and blah blah blah just giving him all this work and then Cacilda was like, hey I need a new oven and this and this” and it was awesome! Then, we started teaching and it was the greatest lesson. Justino and Cacilda shared their experience with marriage and stuff, and then we committed them to really start living the law of chastity until their marriage on the first of November. It was one of the best lessons ever!

But anyways, thats my week. I am doing so good. Things were crazy today, the couples are coming tomorrow and it was a mess getting the apartments ready for them and stuff. On the bright side, I did break 100 in bowling today!

Life as a missionary is the greatest. Life as an Office Elder is even greater.

Lots of love,

Elder Poyfair
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Week 65: Elder Poyfair is unhappy about losing the email he wrote :(

I am literally so mad right now. its 11:17 at night and we are waiting to go pick up Elders from the Airport atmidnight and I just wrote this huge update and it got ERASED. All of it. I just spent forever writing it and it is gone.

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Well, we had two baptisms, Maezinha and Atanasia. They are daughters of our recent converts, Ernesto and Claudia, and were living far away but moved in with the family.
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Transfers were today and I am still in the office. This is my 6th!

We speant most of today looking through dirty, dusty, unorganized archives for an investigators birth certificate at a school. We were unsuccessful. Talk about needle in a hay stack.

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Our investigators are good. Everythings good. I’m not going to lie, I am pretty ticked my letter got erased, but I am good. I guess thats how it goes.

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Elder Poyfair

(I realize this letter sounds so negative and depressing. I really am ok. Everything is going good. Its just late and I am tired and just wasted a bunch of time on a good letter.)

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Week 64: Short, Sweet and posted very late

Hi!

So. We were here after a long P-day of not too much “P” ing (preparing¬†haha) and just starting to email our families, when we got a call from¬†President Kretly, saying he really wanted us to be able to go out to¬†our Area and work tonight. We don’t really know why, but right now we¬†are trying super super hard to get all of our emails done so we can go¬†out and work obediently. Who cares about month end reports…. ūüėČ

Its good, but the moral of the story is some stuff is going to have to¬†get sacrificed in this email. ūüė¶ Oh well. I still have many many more¬†weeks to write!

So this week we had Zone Conference. IT WAS SO GOOD. So President Kretly was the CEO for Franklin Covey in Brazil before the mission, and this Zone Conference was ALL about the first three of the seven habits of highly effective people (missionaries.) It was very very motivating, helpful, interesting, and inspiring! I got to translate for the new missionaries from Portuguese to English. The first three habits are Be Proactive, Start with the End in Mind, and First Things first. It was awesome! We talked alot about how it all relates to Missionary work and stuff, and how the principles taught correspond
directly with gospel principles. I really can be a lot more effective,¬†and I felt like I really benefitted from the conference. Being the¬†Financial Secretary, I felt like I can apply a lot more of the¬†professional side right now than most missionaries. ūüôā

Most of our families are doing good. Jersio and Marilia are great,¬†they are getting along again and doing well. They both came to church¬†with Ashley again, Jersio showed up wearing a skinny gold tie I gave¬†him and a silver suit jacket, he looked like a BOSS. ūüôā Hahaha. They¬†are getting friends in the church and showing a lot of progress. The¬†only thing in the way is that she doesn’t have a single marriage¬†document, even the most BASIC one that you use to start the whole¬†process with the Birth Certificate. She has gone and bribed the¬†Register, and they couldn’t find anything! Its like she doesn’t exist.¬†So that is hard, but we are working on it. ūüôā

That family we found last week, the rich already married one is doing GREAT! They are progressing so well, ready to leave behind their Catholic faith because of the answer they have received. Very very excited about them!

I’m good. My companion is good. I found some shrimp flavored potato¬†chips today shopping, they were AWESOME. ūüôā

And finally, last night. Like I said, Krislerio and Johanna? They are¬†still doing really bad. REALLY BAD going to get seperated and stuff.¬†And we thought it would be the best if we took Elder and Sister¬†Tidwell, one of our senior couples with us! So we went and picked them¬†up and went to teach this family. It was one of the best lessons I’ve¬†ever been in! We started talking about forgiveness and the curing¬†power of the atonement, and watched that mormon message about the guy¬†who gets hit by a drunk driver and it kills his wife and kids and he¬†still ends up being able to forgive the drunk driver. It was great!¬†Then we talked about the Tidwells, (They and the family were already¬†friends from earlier, at church and family history class and stuff, so
they were friends.) Anyways, we talked about how the tidwells have¬†been together for 45 years, and how they solve their problems together¬†and stuff, and then we watched another mormon message about that old¬†couple that takes care of each other and stuff? Yeah it was super good¬†and everyone was crying and it was awesome. ūüôā

But yeah! That was my week in a nutshell. Sorry it was so rushed. Things are great though, next week are transfers, I am excited to see if I finally leave!

Probably not though.

Love,

Elder Poyfair

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