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.
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.
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…
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. 🙂
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.