Monthly Archives: May 2015

Week 97: Life Lurches forward here in Mozambique!

This week was a good one but it started out a little rough. We went to one of our investigating families house, Jose and Ana. They have not been baptized but their daughter Latia was a couple of years ago. She is fifteen, very strong, and wants the rest of her family to be baptized more than anything.

Unfortunately, on Monday, we had found out that because Jose was born a couple hundred miles away from Quelimane, his birth certificate, which is required to get married (and therefore baptized) would be difficult to get. On top of that, the Register where his documents are  burned down during the war. Thus, for him to get married (and baptized), he needs to register again. This costs about 2000 Meticais, or 60 US dollars. The price tag scared him and he was angry. We tried to come up with creative ways of how he could earn the money, even offering him some odd-jobs he could do at our house or having him wash the cars at the mission office, but he would NOT have it. He said that his baptism (and consequently the baptism of his wife, since she can’t be baptized until she marries him) would have to be delayed until the future when he can go personally there, to the other side of the country, and try to work something out.
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Which will end up costing more money anyways. He was super mad at us and didn’t want us to come back, and his wife and daughter and son were like crying. So that was rough. His wife and daughter are sooooo sweet but unfortunately, unless she leaves him, his wife will not be able to be baptized. They fed us an awesome dinner they had prepared afterwards, of Xima (corn flower+water) and matapa (ground up leaves with coconut and peanuts.) It was a pretty awkward dinner. Actually probably the most awkward one I’ve ever eaten. 🙂

BUT. The work goes forward, and we were grateful to the humble family for sharing their food with us even after such a hard lesson.
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An inactive family had showed up at church last week, and we went after church and visited them and they ended up being really nice, with strong testimonies. We then took them with us this week to teach some of our investigating families, and they testified better than any other member I had taught with! They really helped our investigators resolve their concerns, and it was fun to watch the (formally) inactive family’s testimony grow.
Friday, we had District Meeting. For district meeting, our whole zone meets at our chapel and has district meetings seperately, in class rooms. We have three districts in our zone. Then at the end, we meet with the whole zone for 30 minutes, for a mini training that us as Zone Leaders give. We try to keep them fun and motivating. This week I brought a bunch of my lesser-liked ties and each companion tied one leg together with a tie, and we had a three legged race as a zone. Then we talked about the importance of unity between a companionship and the benefits of working better together, communicating, making plans, going at the same speed, etc. It was a lot of fun. Then I let the missionaries keep the ties. 🙂 They enjoyed that. I have aquired quite the tie collection here…
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We did back-to-back divisions this week! On friday I walked with Elder Ball, the district leader from Magoanine in my area, and we came back friday night and then the office elders, Elder Herd and Elder Reinstein, came a couple of minutes later and I went with Elder Reinstein back to Chamanculo and Elder Herd stayed with Elder Christiansen. The divisions went well, Elder Ball is a really good missionary, he is a young, hard working potato farmer from idaho. He makes funny farm jokes all the time and he likes ford trucks. He says things like, “I don’t know what the dang those investigators were thinking!” with a nice country accent. I like him. 🙂 It was fun to work with Elder Reinstein again as well, he was one of my favorite companions.

Then on Sunday night, me and Elder Christiansen were both pretty wiped out from the divisions, and we were short 2 member present lessons for the week to hit our goals. All of the members we had marked to walk with were busy or didn’t answer their phones, and we were a little frusterated. We walked to almost EVERY members houses with no luck. Then we said a prayer, stopped by the last members house and he agreed to come with us and in the lesson we taught, this member had been through the SAME marriage experience that the couple was struggling with. He was able to help them and show pictures from his baptism on his ipad and we were grateful for the experience

Anyways. My life here is fantastic! I love it. Today for Pday, we went with the whole zone to a golf course me and Elder Christiansen found, and played ultimate frisby on the nice grass. We had no idea a golf course that nice even existed out here! Our zone rocks. The church is true. I love being a missionary and am scared out of my mind for the next phase of life. Luckily I still have a couple more weeks here in paradise. 🙂

Love,

Elder Poyfair

PS- found this quote from Elder Uchtdorf this week and loved it. I think it really applies well to a mission:

Doesn’t it seem foolish to spoil sweet and joyful experiences because we are constantly anticipating the moment when they will end?

Do we listen to beautiful music waiting for the final note to fade before we allow ourselves to truly enjoy it? No. We listen and connect to the variations of melody, rhythm, and harmony throughout the composition.

Do we say our prayers with only the “amen” or the end in mind? Of course not. We pray to be close to our Heavenly Father, to receive His Spirit and feel His love.

We shouldn’t wait to be happy until we reach some future point, only to discover that happiness was already available—all the time! Life (and I will add in “A Mission”) is not meant to be appreciated only in retrospect.

Anyways. Thats all. Enjoy the pictures.

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Week 96: New Companion, Skyping with the family, Constant Miracles

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Good morning and Happy Pday to everyone.

I am happy, healthy, and grateful to be here in Mozambique. 🙂

(You would think after almost two years of writing weekly updates I would have finally figured out a better way to start my weekly letters. Sadly, I still havn’t.)

This was mine and Elder Christiansen’s first week together here in Sommerschield. I remember picking him up from the airport when he first came in the country when I was an office elder. We walked together in my area, and when we found out he was going to T3, my first area, we looked through my old pictures of T3 together. That was almost a year ago, and now he is my companion!

He is a really good missionary. He is a good teacher, speaks the language well, works hard, is obedient, and is FOCUSED on the work. Plus we are the only two elders who live in our house! The cons are that sometimes it gets a little lonely. The pros are its really hard to get trunky, and our house is CLEAN, all the time, and you don’t have to wait for other people to shower or iron your shirt or use the washing machine. Its definitely a benefit, I’m grateful we get to serve together this transfer!

We got to skype our families on Saturday! That was weird. I can’t believe that I have skyped them four times already! I was thinking about it, how Skyping your family is a really big deal. Like, its something you look forward to for a long time, and It kind of becomes a landmark on your mission. I am here, really far away from them, but for 40 minutes we get to connect and its like we never left. Skyping sometimes seems like its a bigger deal for our families than it is for us. However. If someone told us we could skype them everyday, we would be ecstatic!

I was thinking about how skyping is kind of like prayer. We are separated from our Heavenly Father on this journey, and he misses us! He gave us an opportunity to communicate with him, and unlike skype on a mission, we can do it everyday! But often we don’t treat prayer like we treat skyping our families. I can just imagine God getting on to skype us, being really excited to connect with us and see how things are going and us turning on the webcam and being like, “Hey, I’m doing good, please send me a package, nothing much to report, thanks, bye.” and disconnecting.

It made me want to pray more meaningfully. 🙂

Other than that, we saw some definite miracles this week! We found a family named Armando and Arminda. They are RICH, and we street contacted us and asked if we could teach him, and he took us to his house, and we taught about temples and eternal marriage and baptism. Kind of weird for a first lesson but it felt right. Than we walked with them to church the next morning! They are really awesome, have a lot of desire and we felt to spirit there with them strongly.

Our other families are doing great as well.

Anyways. I have one minute left but I am doing fantastic, I love and miss you all! Have a good week!

Love,

Elder Poyfair

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Week 95: The Home Stretch, Transfers, and Daily Miracles

Good morning all-

I realized this week that I don’t have too many more of these emails to write, and my letters lately have been pretty lame. So I’m sorry, I willl really try and make these last few as good as I can. 🙂

Monday was good, after we emailed, the elders from Quelimane flew in and me and Elder Huffaker divided with them to go and teach in our area. I went with Elder Rebollo, an Elder who was about to leave (he flew home today). As we walked, we talked about how his last tranfsfer went, and how before he started he kind of assumed he wouldn’t learn too much, but he talked about how much he learned and the experiences he had and it made me really excited. We got to the lesson with one of our investigating families, Zebedeu and Carolla, and were suprised to see one of our recent converts there! At first we were really excited, we would have a member present at the lesson, we liked that he was visiting our investigators.

However, after a few minutes of teaching, it became apparent that our recent convert was sadly, drunk. He acted weird, and smelled strongly like alcohol. I was devestated! I wondered how we could effectively handle the situation. We finished the lesson, and marked to visit with him later in the week. He accepted, and we went home, pretty sad.

Tuesday was ZONE CONFERENCE! Ah. I love Zone Conference. The spirit was so strong. We talked about the Atonement and Grace and Planning and learned so much. It was probably the best one I have been to. Luckily we will have one more, the week I go home. The highlight of Zone Conference was probably at the end, when all of the leaving elders bore their testimonies. I watched some of my best friends give their final advice and testimonies through tears- Elder Hamrick, the AP I lived with for over 7 months, Elder Lourenco, the Brazillian companion I served with for 6 months, and Elder Coelho, the other Maputo Zone Leader. I was really close to all of them! Missions go so fast. I swear we were all just starting.

Wednesday was fantastic, me and Elder Huffaker went to visit the family of that recent convert, who we had found drunk two days before. I was pretty nervous- earlier in my mission, we had run into a similar situation with a member, and when we went to try and talk to him about it, it went AWFUL, he denied it and called us liars and stuff. So I was anxious, and we said a prayer before we went in, that we could know what to say and how to help him. And seriously, the lesson went so good. It was such a delicate thing, but the spirit guided our words and after some time, he admitted to what had happened and asked what he needs to do to repent. I felt the spirit SO strong. I was so so so happy, inside my whole body, with his desire to come clean and erase it. We directed him to the bishop, assured him of Gods love, and left feeling great.

I had another cool experience this week, I was on a division with Elder Charles (a young elder in our district) in his area, and we went to teach a family who had been investigating for a long time. And at the beginning of the  lesson, I was being pretty bold. I might have even crossed over into “over bearing” territory, talking very firmly on how they need to repent and be baptized. As I was talking, the thought came into my head that I should ask them if God is answering their prayers. “What?!?” I thought, “That has nothing to do with what we are talking about!” We were talking about the law of chastity and stuff. But I asked the question, and the room got silent and they thought, and both said, “Without a doubt.” and began to talk about personal experiences they had had and their desire to keep the commandments and anyways. It ended up being a really good, productive lesson and I am grateful to the Spirit for the inspired question.

One other time something like that happened this week. We were out pretty far away, and our lesson fell through. Me and Elder Huffaker were deciding what to do, and Elder Huffaker said we should go to Arlindo and Marias, a non progressing family that we had dropped. I didn’t really want to, but I agreed, so we went. We had almost got there, when I saw a neighbor house and wanted to knock it. So we did, and a really nice rich family let us in and we taught them and it was great! After we passed by the orignal house we had wanted to go to, and they weren’t even home!

Moral of the story is. We were guided to that house, but not just by me or Elder Huffaker. God gave part of the revelation to Elder Huffaker, to go to the non progressing families house. If I would have said no, we wouldn’t have found the family. Then after, he gave it to me to knock on the neighbors door. If Elder Huffaker had said “no, we have to go the family we planned’s house”, we wouldn’t have found it either. But we both yielded to each other and it was perfect. I was grateful for that.

My mission is the best. Today we saw transfers. My last transfer! Wow. Me and Elder Huffaker will NOT be serving together- he got transferred to Beira! I stayed. In Sommerschield. I am the only missionary in the whole mission who never served in Beira!!!! Oh well. 🙂 I am really excited to stay here. I will stay Zone Leader, and be companions with Elder Christiansen. He is the other Zone Leader! It will be a good transfer. He is a really hard worker, and obedient. I picked him up from the airport when he started his mission. I am excited. 🙂

Have the best week!

Love, Elder Poyfair

 

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Week 94: Bowling, Shrimp and a lot of hard work

Good evening!

This week was one of the best ones. We just got home from our mission president’s house! He loves our Zone hahaha. We had a Zone activity today, we went bowling! I got the highest score in the Zone! 161. I felt pretty awesome. 🙂
Then we went over to President Kretly’s house where we had an AWESOME shrimp lunch. The shrimp in Mozambique are really the greatest and biggest, and President Kretly knows how to make some GOOD shrimp.
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It was fun to be with the whole zone and President Kretly! Everyone is pretty excited for Zone Conference tomorrow! Rumor has it we are going to watch Meet the Mormons for part of it. Here, Zone Conference is an all day event. Like, 8 in the morning until 6 or 7 o clock at night. We love Zone Conference! Should be good. Then, next Monday is transfers! I am excited to see if I spend my last transfer here in Maputo.
So many cool things happened this week, but I really don’t have too much time.
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One night me and Elder Huffaker were doing street contacts. Elder Huffaker is doing great with the language, but he hasn’t been here for 3 months yet so he is still learning. So this guy comes up, and we are trying to figure out if he has a family. He is an older guy but says he is single. So I started to say, jokingly, “What?!? How do you not have a wife! You have a beard, you are old….” and Elder Huffaker cut in and said, “And young!” and me and the guy looked at him and I kind of laughed a little bit, and was like, “Yeah! Ha ha…” And then we all laughed. Then Elder Huffaker was asking him for references, and he said he didn’t know anyone. So Elder Huffaker wanted to say , “You don’t know anyone?”  But instead said, “You don’t know ANYTHING!!” And yeah. Really funny. The contact took it well though. We laughed for a while. I love my companion.
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We watched General Conference this week! It was SO good. I really liked Elder Bednar’s, Nelson’s, and Holland’s talks. All of them were great though. We had a bunch of investigators come! 4 complete families and a bunch of others. We found a new family this week named Helder and Yolanda. We walked to church with them! It is kind of weird when your first sunday is general conference though. I had to assure them that it isn’t normally like this. 🙂 They did have a lot of questions, but they enjoyed singing the hymns!
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Our investigators are doing well. We are fighting for their marriage documents! It has been so difficult lately to get the necessary papers! Patience I guess. They are developing strong testimonies in the meantime.
I love my mission, and can’t beleive I only have 7 more weeks here in Mozambique. Time sure does fly when you are having fun.
Sorry for the short email. Next week will be better!
Love,
Elder Poyfair
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