Monthly Archives: March 2015

Week 90: Missions. Love that stuff. :)

This week was one of my favorites, hopefully my email update can do it justice!

Monday was another Elder in my house’s birthday, and mine was on tuesday, so we bought a cherry pie at the store to celebrate our birthdays together and on Monday night we tried to light 20 candles on fire on top of it. The only problem was, we didn’t have any candles, we only had matches. It was a pretty big failure, but it was funny as well. 🙂

Tuesday was my birthday! 20 years old. We went to my favorite chinese restaurant to celebrate. That night, we had a really cool experience with a less active member named Laura. We had some lessons fall through, so we decided to visit her, and we went over there and started talking. At first everything seemed ok, but we started asking her some questions, and she started opening up. We asked her what was most important to her in this life, and she just broke down and started crying. She said, between tears, that the most important thing to her are her children. She has 3 of them. Her youngest daughter has some serious problems with her health, as do her other children. She is supposed to be taking her youngest daughter to the hospital three times per week, but she can’t afford the bus fare, and it is a 2 hour walk there and back. Her husband works all the time but is rather unsupportive, never home and keeps most of the money. She feels like she is failing as a mother, because she walks out in the streets with her kids and they ask for things and the mother has to tell them that they cannot afford them.

It was a really, really, really tender moment. The spirit was so strong. You could feel this woman’s complete sadness, and hopeless and despair. But miraculously, at the same time I could feel, pretty strongly, God’s complete love for her. I was able to testify that he was satisfied with her efforts as a mother, and testify that one day, everything that is unfair about this life will be corrected through the atonement of Jesus Christ. She looked me straight in the eyes, and nodded. She even smiled a little bit.

Nothing can help these people like the gospel can.

We left that lesson, pretty humbled and completely filled with God’s love and the desire to help EVERYONE. Missions. Love that stuff. 🙂

The next day, I did a division with Elder Coelho! He is the other zone leader. We had a great day! We were both so pumped up and excited. We set some pretty high goals and went out and worked our guts out. It was a lot of fun. We both are really happy, excited missionaries, and it was awesome to work with him. We also studied and collaborated about our focus for this transfer as a zone, and prepared for our Zone Training.

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Who needs a teeter totter when you have a wooden bench?

Thursday was awesome. Me and Elder Huffaker left in the morning to teach a new family me and Elder Coelho had found while street contacting named Manuel and Laura. It was such a good restoration lesson! They were interested and understood the message and accepted baptism. Then at the end, we taught Manuel how to pray and asked him if he would say the closing prayer. He accepted and said a beautiful prayer. Then, his wife Laura was like, “I want to try, can I say a prayer too?” So we nodded and she said ANOTHER great prayer. 🙂 It was so funny. I have never seen that happen on my mission. Golden family,on sunday we went there in the morning to pick them both up for church with their baby, and they were all ready to go and she had invited her neighbor to come to! So we walked to church with the four of them. AWESOME. 🙂

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Me with the sons of one of our investigating families. They are soo cute. The one one the left’s name is “Meek”.

That night, I did baptismal interviews for Elder Reinstein and Elder Herd (Elder Herd is the District Leader). You won’t believe who the interviews were for! 🙂 Remember Crislerio and Johanna? They were one of my favorite families, Elder Douglas and I started teaching them about a year ago, and they were progressing well and stuff but he needed to get a divorce, she had a big afro, I wrote a lot about them and sent a picture. Anyways. Then me and Elder Lourenco taught them, but things were not going well and they were fighting and stuff, and basically they ended up seperating. He moved to T-3, she stayed here with her kids. Well, he got baptized in T3, and I interviewed her and her daughter! They got baptized yesterday. The best part is, they are working on his old divorce process and will get married and then move in together again! Wow. Miracle for sure. It was weird interviewing someone I had taught. 🙂

Friday was our Zone Training and it went SO good. 🙂 Our focus was D+C 4:2, and we focused on how we can better serve with each of those individual parts of us- our heart, might, mind, and strength. We had lots of games and activities and examples and videos, and then zone loved it. At the end, we talked about there was someone who had already done this, and given all that he had in his service, and showed the video “thanks to him”, about Jesus Christ. Me and Elder Coelho bore our testimonies, and the spirit was SO STRONG. A sister gave the prayer, and seriously at the end half of the Zone was crying. SUCH a good meeting. 🙂 I loved it.

Anyways. That was pretty much my week. I got my travel plans. Not too much of a surprise, since I was the one who had sent in the request while I was in the office. 🙂 Hahahaha perks I guess. It is crazy though. 11 more weeks is nothing.

Love you all!

-Elder Poyfair

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Week 89: Setting Goals, Turning 20 and Loving Mozambique

Goooooooooooooooood morning friends and family!

Today is transfers! So crazy. Its my second to last transfer, and the time has FLOWN by. I am staying in Sommerschield with Elder Huffaker, the missionary I started training last transfer. I am SO excited, the next six weeks are going to be fantastic. I am staying as Zone Leader of the Maputo Zone, and the other Zone leader is Elder Coelho (literally translated to Elder Rabbit) from Brazil. He is one of my favorite missionaries, so I am really excited to work with him. This is his last transfer!
This week was a really good one. First off, last Pday we had a Zone Activity. We all met at the Mission Office and made chocolate chip pancakes! We had whipped cream and syrup and peanut butter and nutella and sprinkles and juice and everything. The whole shebang. We ate pancakes and then went outside and played some get to know you games. It was a lot of fun! Everyone enjoyed it. I make good pancakes.
We lost a couple of our investigators this week. Antonio, the father of one of our families who was doing SO good, had to move to Beira for work, so that kind of makes it harder for them to get married. A couple of our other families were not progressing too well, so we needed to stop visiting with them.
One thing I have really learned this transfer is setting high goals and doing everything in your power to acheive them. We were focusing really hard on working with the members more. In our mission, the goal is 6 member present lessons per week. At the beginning of the transfer, me and Elder Lara, the other Zone Leader, decided that our zone could do 10! I was a little scared at first, because I had never taught 10 lessons with a member present in a week, but we decided to do it. Every week since we made the goal, we were able to get 10 or higher! Teaching with more members has really blessed our investigators as well. We are closer with the members, and our lessons are more effective. It definitely requires more effort, but it is worth it.
Elder Huffaker is an incredible missionary. He has grown SO much during the past six weeks. At the beginning it was a little rough, he is a lot older than I am and it was a little hard for him to be trained by someone who is younger. It is always hard adjusting to missionary life, and working hard and stuff, and there were some times where we didn’t agree on things, but I was really able to learn patience and humility, and I felt like it helped me become more Christlike. I love a quote from Richard G Scott, from a couple of conferences ago, that says,
“We best serve our Father in Heaven by righteously influencing others and serving them. The greatest example who ever walked the earth is Jesus Christ.”
That was really my theme this transfer. And I am so grateful for the chance we had and still have to work together. Things are going a lot better now, and I am really excited for the next transfer.
Our day yesterday was pretty insane. We woke up early and left the house at 7:15 in the morning, to walk to the outskirts of our area and go to the house of a new family we had taught who agreed to come to church with us. We got there at about 8, (church starts at 9), and they informed us that they didn’t want to go to church because they weren’t feeling good. So we walked ALL THE WAY BACK TO THE CHURCH, and taught the temple prep class, and then me and Elder Huffaker both gave talks in sacrament meeting! I spoke about the story of Naaman, and small and simple things that a family can do to be happy. I got pretty into it, and told stories and stuff, I think it went really well. 🙂 Then we went out and taught, came home at 21, and I had to call and follow up with the WHOLE ZONE since the other Zone leader and district leaders were going home. Got to bed right at 10:30 after taking a 3 minute shower. LIFE NEVER STOPS SO BUSY ALL THE TIME but I love it. 🙂
My family has been complaining about the lack of pictures of African Kids. Sorry about that, I will really try and do better. 🙂
Anyways, things are going great out here. I am working harder then I have worked in my whole mission and I LOVE it! Not even a spare moment to think about going home…. although they did call me and ask what airport I would fly home to! WOW.
And I turn 20 tomorrow. WHAT IS MY LIFE!
Mozambique is the greatest.
Love,
Elder Poyfair
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Week 88: Tender Mercies and blue horse racing cats

Hello friends and family,

This week was filled with little tender mercies, in which I was able to see the hand of God here in my life! This really is his work and this week that was proved to me.

For example, one day, we were leaving our house and we were late for a lesson. We needed to be on the other side of the city, and were were trying to grab a seat on a “chappa” (public transportation, cramming 25 people into a 15 passenger van) but every single one that passed us was full. There was literally NO space, and we tried for 20 minutes with no success. I said a prayer in my heart, that God would give us a way to make it where we needed to go, and literally 5 SECONDS LATER a Chappa that was COMPLETELY EMPTY passed by, pulled up right next to us and was going where we needed to go. We were the first ones on, and 5 minutes later it was full. MIRACLE.

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I bought this shirt on the side of the road for 1 dollar. I was pretty happy with the purchase.

Yesterday, we were walking home from church and out of no where I hear a Mozambican yelling, “Elder Poyfair! Elder Poyfair!”. I turn around and there is this guy in full out Mozambican army uniform with a gun running after me! I was really confused at first, and even a little scared, but then he got closer and stopped and said, “Hi Elder Poyfair!” It was Criva! He was someone I baptized up in Quelimane over a year ago! Literally, picture you teaching and baptizing someone in Maryland, and then not talking to them for a year and then randomly running into them in salt lake. SO COOL. He had no phone, and moved away to a place where the church didn’t exist last year. I thought I would never see him again. He moved to maputo, got a job in the army but had no idea where the church was. Such a cool experience to find him. He lives in our area and will go to church with me this sunday.

The Zone Leaders go on divisions with the APs ever transfer, and this Friday I was able to go with Elder Shumway, one of the APs. We had a great division, taught a lot of people, and since I used to work in their area, I got to teach some of my recent converts and take them with us to teach lessons. I got to sleep in my own bed again!

Other big news, the Office Elders are back. Elder Reinstein and Elder Herd were emergency transferred this week, back to the office. Elder Herd is new and Elder Reinstein was my old companion. Good news for me, means I don’t have to go back there as much (aka At ALL)

Anyways, as always, no time. The work is going SO good here. All of our families are doing fantastic, and we are being really blessed. I have never been happier.

Have the best week!

Love,

Elder Poyfair

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Week 87: Have Dr. Pepper. Life is good.

Dear friends and family,

I only have 9 more minutes of internet time so this one will have to be short!

This week was fantastic! First off, we baptized Arlindo and Anastancia! It was such a nice baptismal service. They had been married in December. They walk for over an hour every week to get to church, with 3 little kids. The gospel has blessed their lives so much! They were so happy on Saturday. 🙂

We were in a tripanionship, but today one of my companions, Elder Souza, was emergency transferred! He got sent to Quelimane. I was jealous. So now, it is just me and Elder Huffaker. He is the new missionary I am training, still in his first transfer. He is doing so well with the language, and getting into the routine of Missionary work. He is a really good companion and we are working hard.

Other news this week was, I FOUND DOCTOR PEPPER! Seriously. News started spreading around the mission that one of the supermarkets had it, so last Pday we made a special trip and sure enough, they had it. It was in different packaging, and REALLY expensive (almost 2 dollars per can!) But I bought 8 cans. I have been rationing them and still have four left. Life is GOOD. 🙂

We had four complete families at church this week! All of the families we are teaching are doing so well. We taught the Law of Chastity many times this week, and all of the couples are starting on their documents to be able to be married and baptized.

The work is going great, I am happy and healthy. Mozambique Rocks!!

Love,

Elder Poyfair.

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Week 86: Marching On, Jaredite Barges and Happy People

Hi!

Isn’t it crazy that we are already in March? WOW.

The days have been going by so fast. I feel like 10 minutes after I wake up my head hits the pillow to go to sleep again.

Biggest news from MOZ is that this Saturday we are baptizing a family! Arlindo and Anastacia. They got married in December, and had some problems with coming to church because she just gave birth (they named their baby waverson) but now they are good and they are SOLID. A really cool family. I love them a lot and am excited for them to get baptized.

Our ward is growing so much! We had 145 people at church this sunday. The ward divided in December. The work is going well and we are keeping busy.

One of our families is named Antonio and Rainha. They are in their twenties, and have a toddler named Fazbem (Translation is “Does Well”). We taught them and then they agreed to come to church so we went two weeks ago and picked them up and walked for an hour with them to church and they liked it. They were really shy at the beginning but they have slowly been breaking out of their comfort zone.
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We taught them the Book of Mormon and invited them to pray about it, and they said they would. They did, and when we came back, Antonio explained how they read together and then knelt to pray and ask if it is true. As he was closing the prayer, he said he felt a jolt of electricity go through him, that filled his whole body with peace and strength, that stayed with him for hours after wards and they know it is true! So awesome. When families get an answer like that, it becomes really easy for them to keep all other commandments. And its been true so far with this one! They got to church together before we did on Sunday, and accepted the law of chastity, agreeing to get married ASAP.

Being a missionary for a church without the Book of Mormon would be hard.

There is a family in our ward named the Reed family. They are a cute, young American family, he works at the US Embassy here, and they live in our area and this week they invited us to dinner! We were so excited. We hardly knew what to do at a dinner appointment. But we went over there, entered in the American Compound (and got a pretty intense security check) and then went to their house! Their familiy was SO american. I felt like I was home. We played go fish with their cute kids and ate mexican tacos, and chocolate chip cookies (which I havn’t had in YEARS). After, we shared a spiritual thought from Ether 6 in the Book of Mormon, that my home teachers had shared with my family a couple of years ago before I left on my mission, when my Dad was unemployed. They explained how the jaredites and the barges can be likened to our lives here on earth, and how even though sometimes we are underwater, God is ALWAYS blowing us towards the promised land.

The next day was sunday, and during fast and testimony meeting, Sister Reed got up and bore her testimony! She shared about how we had gone over there and what we shared and how it really helped their family and stuff. We felt SO GOOD!

So thanks again to Brother Haws, changing lives today through a home teaching message shared over 3 years ago. It really meant a lot to them. We are hoping it gets us more dinner appointments. 😉 Just kidding. Kind of.

Mozambique is so great. I love the people and their way of life. They are SO HAPPY. So happy, all the time. They have NOTHING and they are so happy. Who needs an xbox or gi joes or pokemon cards or any of that stuff? These kids are more happy here with a tire or an empty water bottle then any kids in the united states. Its the best. 🙂
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We had a Zone Activity today on the beach. We played soccer. I’m getting pretty good at soccer. We also saw a cute baby who’s parents had buried him in the sand. I am including the photo, as well as a picture of me! Enjoy.

Have a good week!

Love, Elder Poyfair
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