Goooooooooooooooood morning friends and family!
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.
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!
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!!
I’m writing on Wednesday night because we had to skip P-Day on Monday and I am just now getting time to email my family! This week, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, our mission was audited! Johanna from South Africa, someone that I had worked with and talked with all the time on the phone when I was a financial secretary came to Mozambique for a 3 day fun-fest of financial procedures and policies and finding receipts and counting money and accounting.
Good thing I got transferred out of the office, right?
Haha. President Kretly told me that he wants me at all of the Staff Meetings, and that I still need to come to the office once a week to help continue training the Kimballs (the senior couple who replaced us). In addition to that, he asked that me and Elder Reinstein stay at the office for the entire audit!
It was a long couple of days. Me and Elder Reinstein have literally NOT LEFT the office for 3 days (sleeping here, everything). It was a tedius process, but luckily, we did super well on the Audit!! Johanna, the auditor, was really impessed. She told me accounting was my calling hahaha. She told us about how one of the senior couples in Angola, the financial secretaries over there, are having to go home because of a sickness, and there is no time to train anyone else, and no one else to train, and Johanna said she was going to recommend that I got transferred over there. 🙂 Haha.
But anyways. Thats enough about the audit. And from now on, things will be much better. We will not have to come into the office as much (yay) and be able to work in the area more!
Our area is so awesome. Its called Polana Canico. We are teaching a family, named Arlindo and Anastancia, that are already legally married! They will be getting baptized on March 7th, here in just over a week. We had five complete families at church on Sunday! It was a miracle. We woke up half an hour early, at 6, and left the house at 7:15 to go pick up a new family so that we could walk with them all the way to church that starts at 9. They live far away and it was a long walk, but we were blessed for it. He and his wife came and brought their baby, and we ended up having 2 more brand new families (husband and wife) at church for the first time! 5 Families in total. So awesome.
Being able to work full time in the area is the greatest. I’m getting my watch-tan-line back on my wrist, and come home hot and sweaty everyday and get to go to bed at 10:30 and get to do all of the studies each day and yeah. 🙂 Nothing like good old fashioned missionary work.
Elder Huffaker, the missionary that I am training, is doing awesome. Poor kid. His trainer is never there with him. I feel kind of like a negligent parent…. luckily, we are in a threesome and Elder Souza is a great missionary. At one of the lessons this week, he invited one of our investigators to be bapized and the investigator said, completely seriously and a little quietly, “Baptism has always been my dream.” It was a cool moment.
Our first sunday in the Sommerschield ward was great! I translated for all the americans. There are about 20 or 25 americans in the branch, and they have headsets that they all use. I saw the branch president pulling out the headsets, and, thinking about my companion who is still learning portuguese, asked him if we could use one as well. He said, “Yeah, could you translate too?” It was really fun. I spoke into a little microphone thing and everyone heard me. I had to remember to turn it off during the hymns though, so people didn’t hear me singing. 🙂
We have a dinner appointment tomorrow. A legitimate dinner appointment. The Reed family, from America invited us over! Pretty excited for that. It will be my first one. 🙂
Today we had the Zone Training. Our Zone, the Maputo Zone, has 20 missionaries and me and Elder Lara are the two Zone Leaders. We trained on the importance of leaving commitments. We did practices and had a nice presentation made, the spirit was strong and it went really well. The APs are in our zone and loved it.
Anyways. I know there is more to write but I have to pack up all of my stuff and go home. I am having a blast. My mission is the funnest thing I’ve ever done! Seriously. So grateful to be here.
Have a good week,
This week was one of the best. First of all, transfers were on Wednesday. And finally, after 8 transfers (one full year) as Financial Secretary of the Mozambique Maputo Mission, I got transferred. TRANSFERRED!!!! I am now assigned to the Sommerschield Branch (well, technically Sommerschield Ward now, but that comes later). Sommerscheild is on the other side of the city! Still in Maputo! Its like serving in Lehi for 1 year and then getting transferred to American Fork. 🙂 Haha but its ok. Its a completely different area, it is the richest and nicest branch in Mozambique! Its where all of the embassies are located and all of the rich people live. There are five or six american families who live there as well. Plus, I’m training Elder Huffaker, one of the 2 new missionaries who came into Mozambique last week, straight from the MTC! We are white washing, which means two missionaries who are new to an area, where neither one knows anything about the area. And, I’m one of the two Zone Leaders of the Maputo Zone!
In about 2 hours my life had completely changed. I said goodbye to Elder Reinstein (who I really loved) and packed up all of my stuff, loaded it into our car, and took Elder Huffaker with me to our new house. We spent a good amount of time getting unpacked and cleaning up the house, because no one had lived in it for months. We found out that there were some changes in the transfers, and that Elder Souza, a brazillian who has been out for about 9 months would be serving with us in a tripanionship. Both of them are awesome missionaries!
Elder Huffaker is so cool. He is from Michigan, played college football, than transferred to BYU Idaho and is older than I am! He is such a good missionary. Very obedient, learns fast and likes to work hard. He is seriously the perfect train-ee. I am so excited! I have never trained a new missionary before, and I am really looking forward to helping him become the best missionary he can be. Elder Souza is great as well, really humble and nice.
There are two other Elders living in our house as well, Elder Christianson from Provo and Elder Mapenda, who is Mozambican. They are white washing too! Us five Elders, completely starting from scratch. I’m so excited for it!
I’m not going to lie, my body was pretty rusty after sitting in a chair for the majority of the day for one year. Working as a full time missionary again has been SO TIRING! I seriously hit my bed every night so so so tired and wake up so fast the next day. We have a couple of families in our area that the Sisters were teaching before. One of them is getting baptized on February 28th!
President Kretly called me, and said that I would be able to use the mission car! He told me to park it at the Sommerschield chapel and that we can use it for Mission Purposes. He wants me to go into the office once a week and make sure that everything is still going well with the Kimballs. So that is pretty sweet! Me and the APs are the only Elders who have cars.
So yeah. That happened. The real news of the week though, was that yesterday, the first stake in Mozambique was created! IN MAPUTO! The city I’ve been serving in for so long. I’ve lived here longer than any missionary here except for President and Sister Kretly. This is MY city. 🙂 And it got a stake!
Elder Stanley Ellis of the First Quorum of the Seventy presided and created it. There were SOOOO many people there, they had rented a giant outdoor tent and put hundreds of chairs underneith it in the parking lot, and they broadcasted the meeting to that tv and various others in the releif society room and stuff. President Kretly assigned me as the official photographer! He gave me his personal camera to use, and asked me to take a bagillion pictures of everything. I enjoyed that! He has a nice camera. 🙂 If you see the church news article and there are any pictures, chances are I took them.
It was such a powerful meeting! The talks were wonderful, and the spirit was strong. Plus, one of my recent converts was called as the Second Counselor in the Stake Presidency!!!
I KNOW CRAZY RIGHT?!
Seriously. Justino is the 2nd counselor in Stake Presidency of the first stake in Mozambique. Me and Elder Douglas baptized him last may. In June he was made branch president. Now, 2nd counselor. IN THE STAKE PRESIDENCY.
Elder Douglas was there at the meeting, because President Kretly had decided to bring down all of the Elders in the whole mission, ALL of them, and bring them to be able to watch the first stake. I was sitting next to Elder Douglas when they announced the Stake Presidency, and we had one of the most epic fist bumps of my life.
IT FELT SO GOOD TO WATCH HIM BEAR HIS TESTIMONY IN FRONT OF EVERYONE AND THE SPIRIT WAS STRONG AND IT WAS THE BEST MEETING EVER!
As you can imagine, bringing the entire mission down to Maputo was no easy task, and even though I was technically transferred out of the office, it took a lot of effort to make it happen. For example, this morning I was up at 2:45 AM taking Elders to the chapel where the bus was picking them up at 3:30 AM back to Beira and didn’t end up getting back home until 5:30. Slept for an hour, and than back up to clean the house. So I’m pretty tired. 🙂 Luckily, I’ll be able to take a nap before we go out.
Seriously though, this week was one of my favorites of all time. I wish I could write everything thats happening and everything I’m feeling. First off, its not possible. Second off, I don’t have unlimited internet time like when I was in the office. 😉 Just kidding. But seriously, my mission has been the greatest thing ever. This week was amazing! I don’t ever want it to end.
Mozambique is the Promised Land!
(The pictures are me and my whole MTC District, the elders who went to the MTC together and will go home together, and me and my two new companions. Elder Huffaker, the new one, is one the right, and Elder Souza on the left!)
We have a Zone Activity that is about to start here at the office, so sadly I have NO time to write this week. You’re going to have to forgive me and assume that my mission is still awesome. 🙂
Biggest news is that Mozambique will be receiving its first Stake on February 15th! It will be made in MAPUTO!! Where I have been working pretty much my whole mission. It is going to be such a huge blessing for these members to have a Stake and be able to receive patriarcal blessings and Bishops and High Preists and independance from the Mission. I am so excited. It has been the mission’s goal since I got here, and it is finally happening. How lucky I am to be here! To be able to look back, in 30 years when Mozambique has two temples and say, “I was there when they made the first stake”. So awesome.
This week, Elder Ellis came and we had a Zone Conference with him. I learned so much. He taught so effortlessly from the scriptures, and Iearned a lot from the sprit. Some highlights included his advice on working better with members, and studying the 4 steps of how Nephi received revelation in 1 Nephi 11: Desire, Beleive God can make these things known unto you, Ponder, and have faith. Study it, its great. 🙂
Our families are doing great. This week, we started teaching our Branch President’s Son and his wife.
THEY ARE THE BEST FAMILY EVER. This is not an exaggeration. His name is Idelson and hers is Suzana. They are legally married, don’t go to any church, SON of our Branch President, have a car and are SUPER rich. Our first lesson with them was so great! The spirit burned inside of me for literally the whole lesson. It was SO strong. They came to church on Sunday together as well. They have a cute daughter and I am just SO excited about them! They are so sincere. Last night we taught them again, and it was great. We taught the book of mormon and it went well, and at the end she asked, “Were you able to see the difference that this church made in your life as you grew up? We want a church that will bless our family. Did you see a difference?” SUCH a good question. We were able to answer and testify, and it was great.
We had a service project on Saturday, us and a bunch of members went and dug some ditches so houses didn’t flood, and picked up trash and cut grass with swords. Best service project ever. Too bad I didn’t bring my camera. It was a lot of fun. Service in Africa is so meaningful to me. Like, people want to go to africa and do service projects all the time in the United States, and we can do it almost every day! 🙂
Anyways. Busy busy busy. This week we have Elder Callister, and next week is transfers and then stakes! I would be fine staying again. We have some great families, and I would love to be here to watch the stakes be created.
Have a great week!
This week was busy. Busy busy busy. We are trying to get everything organized and set up for our back to back general authority visits! This week it is Elder Ellis from the 70 and then the next week, Tad R Callister the Sunday School President. Lots of things to do! Elder Ellis is coming to visit the office tomorrow so we have been cleaning and organizing everything. Its a lot of fun, let me tell you. 🙂
Flash back to two years ago when I submitted my mission papers, I honestly didn’t think I would be in the middle of africa, cleaning out a mission office on Pday. Its kind of funny how life works like that, isn’t it?
But anyways, this week was good. Monday after emailing our families, we headed out to a family night. On the way, we went to pick up some recent converts planning to walk with them to the family night. Well, we got there and the wife refused to come. The couple had been fighting and she told us, very strongly, “I’m going back to my old church! In my old church, my husband was nicer to me! I’m never coming back to this church.” And she stormed off. We took the husband and daughter with us, and had an awesome family night with another family. We talked about charity, and treating our wives well, and played games and ate this fruit they only have in africa and sang hymns and it was awesome. We were also happy and releived to see the wife who said she was going back to her old church walk in to our church on sunday with her whole family.
So we have this senior couple here, the Kimballs. And they are supposed to take our spots as office elders. So this week we worked HARD on training them, in hopes that they can hold down the fort by themselves next transfer and we can go be normal missionaries. They are doing really good, learning everything and I think they will be ready.
We had a branch activity on Wednesday, not a lot of people showed up but it was fun anyways. We played musical chairs (which is way more intense with mozambicans), and charades and then set up Elder Kimball’s laptop with the projector and watched “The Restoration” on the big screen in the dark. The spirit was strong, and everyone loved the activity.
We also had a temple prep lesson planned for Thursday night. We had been holding the class during church, but the problem was, the strong members who needed to be attending were in the classes as Presidents or Branch Presidency and such, and couldn’t attend during church! So we decided to try and do it during the week. It was announced in Sacrament Meeting, and we showed up but only found two single men there. Doh! We talked briefly about the temple and then went and made some posters and little invitations to give out at church. Hopefully the attendence is better next week. 🙂
President came back from South Africa and once again, brought us Big Macs. Literally you have no idea how much happiness can come from a cold, slightly soggy big mac. 🙂 It makes your whole day. Don’t any of you back home EVER take big macs for granted. 🙂 Haha.
Our families are doing good. We are teaching one named Goo and Ines. He was once a member, but went inactive and then moved in with a girl, now he wants to come back and she wants to be baptized. Awesome! They came to church again this sunday and while she is catholic and a little hesitant, she is reading the Book of Mormon and seems intrigued by our message, but doesn’t want to jump into anything too quickly. Her husband is funny though, correcting her pronunciation on the names of the prophets and such. They are a cool couple.
Thomas and Dulce are doing good too! This week, we broke the news that for them to get baptized, which is something they really want, they are going to have to get married to keep the Law of Chasity. African Culture is usually pretty heavy against “quick” marriages (next month.), and come to think of it, so is American Culture. Unfortunately for them, Gospel Culture is a little different, and there is no sense in delaying the keeping of a commandment. They had some questions and weren’t quite sold, but assured us they would pray to see what God thinks they should do. With the faith they have, I am really not worried about the answer they will receive. 🙂 We go back there tonight with a member family, so that should help calm some of their fears and help them see that it is possible!
Our Branch President has a son who lives in our area with his wife and kids (they are legally married!!), and he gave them to us as a reference! Unfortunately he has been really hard to get ahold of, so we made a plan with the branch president for a “coincidental” encounter. He was having them over on Saturday for a family get together at 14, so we showed up at 13:45, and when they showed up we just “happened” to be there to meet them and set up a first visit. It was awesome. They look like a really cool family and having our Branch President’s support will make things much easier.
So yeah! That was my week. My parents sent me a package for Christmas, that had a little rattle in it for Baby Karli (the baby of one of the families I baptized in April, that they named after my mom), and a letter for the family. They are in a different branch now with the divisions, but I was able to give them the gifts this sunday! Karli loved the rattle. She tried to eat it. 🙂
Also, I am attaching a picture of another Baby and his mom. His name is Jr. and his mom’s name is Graca. They come to church every week. He was born with a problem with his mouth, the kind you see in magazines where they ask you to donate the surgery. I kind of thought it was a hoax, until I saw him. He is the cutest happiest baby ever. And, thankfully, this week he will get the surgery done to fix his mouth, and the surgery is being paid for by one of those campaigns that does it for free. Seeing these things here has really made me grateful for the life I’ve had.
Hello friends and family,
I’ve got five months left until I go home and time is going SO FAST! I can’t even beleive it. The weeks feel like days and the months feel like weeks. Next week, we are having another General Authority visit! Two of them actually. Elder Ellis from the First Quorum of the Seventy will be comiing, and then the next week Elder Callister, the Sunday School President is coming! Elder Callister is one of my favorites. I’m very excited for their visit and the missionary meetings and everything that will be going on. Unfortunately, it also means a lot of planning and reservations and tickets purchased and money on our part. But it will all turn out ok. 🙂
This week, I got to spend some time with Elder Douglas! Love that guy. We were companions for almost 6 months, and then he went to Swaziland and I stayed here. He got transferred again, up to Manga, so he had to pass through here. He came in around noon and left late at night. We went out to lunch after staff meeting (staff eating) and then there was an elder that had to be picked up from the airport, so we left Elder Reinstein in the office with the Kimballs and me and Elder Douglas went out to pick him up and drop him off! It was just like old times hahaha. After that we went and visited Justino and Cacilda, one of the families me and him baptized who got called as branch president a month later. They loved seeing us again! Then we went and taught another family, before dropping him off at the airport.
Also this week, I got my package! There are rumors that there was a mail strike in south africa, and the workers burned a warehouse that had a bunch of packages going to Mozambique. I don’t know if its true or not (Its kind of hard to fact check other missionaries when no one has the internet), but I was kind of convinced my package got burned. NOPE! It got here on friday and I was so so so happy. I got some NICE ties, lucky charms, a really soft Pikachu tee-shirt (that every other missionary is jealous of) and a lot of other stuff. So that was awesome!
Thomas and Dulce, that couple we are teaching, where he has the Dredlocks?? This week was a really good week for them. There are seriously just eating everyhing up. They LOVE everything we teach, and are so willing to act on anything we say. They have a STRONG testimony that the church is true, and are so humble and funny and quirky. They thought the Plan of Salvation was the greatest thing they had ever heard, and came to church again and loved it. He is a professional musician, and he loves the hymns, so I gave him a hymn book, and when we went over to their house one night, he showed us a Jazz version of “Israel, Israel God is Calling.” Like, with drums and bass and guitar and piano and everything. It was so awesome! Such a funny guy. You would picture him, by the way he looks, to be like a druggie, into bob marley and reggae and stuff. But he actually just listens to Kenny G, and hasn’t done drugs or drank or anything in years. AWESOME!
Sunday was good, we had 4 complete families at church! Another miracle. We were standing outside, greeting people who come in, and this couple walked in and were worried that they were 4 minutes late for the 10 o clock meeting. We asked who they were, and they said he was an inactive member and he brought his wife, who isn’t and wants to be baptized. Like, they literally just fell onto our lap. We taught them last night and it went really well.
We had a cool experience this week, we were early to a lesson, so we decided to knock some doors in the area near the investigators house. So we knocked a door, and a little kid answered, he said his parents weren’t home but his sick Grandpa was and he wanted us to talk to him. So we came in, and his grandpa was there, half paralyzed and not doing to well. He started talking to us, but he wasn’t making too much sense and had a speech problem. We talked to him for a little bit, and he was talking but it was hard to understand him. It was time for us to go to the next lesson, and then out of no where, the grandpa says he needs to urinate, and unzips his pants and holds up a bucket and starts urinating, right in front of us! So we were kind of like, “Ok! Wow! We gotta go, bye!” and took off, not thinking too much about it. We went to our lesson, and were leaving, walking out of that neighborhood, when I saw a man carrying a BIG bag of mangos, and he was struggling, So I asked if he needed help, and he said no but I took the bag from him and started carrying it and he was grateful, and started leading us to his house. Well, we keep going, and get to his house, and of course of all the houses, it was the house with the sick grandpa!! He brings us in, and is all excited, and introducing us to everyone. He introduces us to the sick grandpa, who is his dad, and his dad says, slowly and sadly and with his speech problem, something like, “These jerks were already here- they come in, and leave without even saying goodbye. I was talking to them, and they just left.” And the man with the mangos was like, “Yeah, thats my dad. He’s crazy! He thinks you were already here” And we were like, “We were, he’s right..” And went over to him, and put my arm on his shoulder and apologized, and talked to him for a while. I apologized again, and he had been happier, and he said we were forgiven, and we left.I felt bad about what we had done, and felt like we messed up. It didn’t seem bad the first time, but Christ wouldn’t have just walked out when he started peeing like we did. I was really grateful that God led us back to that house for us to be able to correct that mistake we made.
Anyways, that was my week! Everything is good, thanks for your support!