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! 🙂 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
(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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Elder Dallin Poyfair