Elder D. Andrew Greenman

Our son, Elder Andrew Greenman, has been called to serve in the Mozambique Maputo Mission. He has asked me to create this blog so that you, the reader, can read his letters to home. His current writing address is found below along with the most recent letter.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

Christmas this year was a different experience being away from home and family, but nevertheless is was a wonderful Christmas.  On Christmas Eve we had a special Zone Conference where President Kretly had a training that lasted two hours and the rest of the day was filled with skits that each of the districts prepared, along with musical numbers, and then all of us headed over to President's house for a big dinner.  When we arrived about 3 hours before the food was going to be ready so many elders were able to Skype their families, and President put on The Work and the Glory for the rest of us to watch.  The food was ready when the movie ended, and our bellies were bet by ham, turkey, roast beef, and a whole bunch of other stuff.  It was delicious.  After the food, the two zones that were together, Matola and Maputo, all sat down, and we just talked and talked with president and sister until about 11:00 at night, when he went us off.  The thing is many of these elders live outside of the city of Maputo, the Elders from Matola, and Magoanine.  Elder Largent and I drove the Magoanine Elders home and got back to our house at 1:36 in the morning.  We went right to bed excited for the following day.   After getting showered and ready on Christmas day, (and after eating some delicious Pancakes)  I opened my the gift you sent me.   TIES!!!!  Who knew right?   haha,  thank you so much, the ties beautiful and I've already worn each one of them, and So has Elder Paxman. haha.    On Christmas we spent most of the day going around as a district singing Christmas hymns to our investigators.  We would just sing two hymns leave a quick message and go on to the next one.  I loved it.  It was a wonderful experience.  I have a deeper understanding of Christmas now than I ever had before.

Update on the Office....
Well, before Elder Largent and I just did the finances for Maputo area, but now, we do it for the Entire mission.  Aside from that Elder Largent and I have been pretty busy getting ready for the next mission tour.  Elder Carl B. Cook will be coming tomorrow and we've been finalizing everything, making sure all their plane tickets are in order, because they'll be traveling by plane to all the different areas.

Update on the Area...
Elder Largent and I have had to drop a few families that really aren't progressing.  This week, while working in our area, a lesson had fallen through so we decided to pass by Lucas's house, a contact that we had made about two weeks before.  He happened to be home, and so did his wife,  we taught a wonderful first lesson, and placed a book of mormon.  We're excited to go back and follow up and see how they've progressed.  Armando is as solid as ever, he's great!   He came to church for the sixth time in a row.  We invited him to be baptized for the third time.....   The first time he said no because he already believed that he was baptized by someone with authority.  The second time, after understanding the importance of authority, he said that he grew up in his church, he was married in that church, and he raised his kids in that church.     We read to him about lamoni's father, King of the Lamanites, and how he was willing to give up everything to follow Christ.   The third time, I think we finally hit discovered the under water part of the iceberg.   He says that he wants unity, and doesn't want to be baptized if his wife won't be.   Speaking of his wife,  she's a tough nut to crack!   She'll sit with us about half the time, but won't keep the commitments we leave with her.   This week we're going to continue working hard to help her gain a testimony.

Yesterday at church, after Elders Quorum, on our way to Principles of the Gospel, we asked Armando which class he'd like to go to.  The previous week we kind of took him to the Gospel Doctrine class.  I know the Gospel Doctrine class isn't so much for investigators, but the thing is, the Principles of the Gospel teacher, doesn't know how to teach.......  so we decided to try the Gospel Doctrine class to see if it was any better.  It was, and yesterday at church when we asked him which one he'd prefer he told us, the Gospel Doctrine class.  When the class started, my heart sank,   It was obvious that the teacher hadn't prepared, and was just winging it.  Elder Largent had noticed the same thing.   The title of the lesson was, “By faith, all things can be accomplished”  I took great courage in that and Elder Largent and I began trying to save the class.  We would ask question and give comments to the point that eventually, or rather miraculously, the entire class began participating and we had a great discussion.  Elder Largent and I (maybe this isn’t a good thing) but we tried not to let the teacher drone on and start preaching like many do here)  we would continue asking questions.  Armando who sat by us, started participating, in fact he participated more than any of the members.  His knowledge of the gospel is immense.  At one point  Armando turned to me (Its very hard to describe) but there was a pure joy in his eyes, he was smiling and looked at me (even though he’s practically blind) and shook is arm and fist as if in total excitement.  We was completely lit up with joy.  The class was the best one I’ve ever been in.   Later that day we went to his house, his wife wasn't there.  He had told us that she had gone to “her church.”   I was surprised when he had said “her” church, in the past he had referred to it has “our church.”   The interesting thing is that Armando was even more surprised when he said “her church”   All of us laughed and he said that it must be an answer to our prayers. We talked to him about what he had felt at church that day and we read the Book of Mormon with him.  After the lesson and prayer, I asked to take a picture with him. (just so you know, all Mozambicans like to have something in their hands like a book to showcase when taking a picture)   He asked for my Book of Mormon to hold, of course I consented, and I've attached the picture along with a few others.
Happy New Year!
-THE Elder Greenman
(haha,  did you get that Skyler?)

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Christmas Rap

Mozambicans celebrate Christmas differently than I would have ever Imagined.  Let me explain....
On Saturday the combined Maputo 1 and Maputo 2 Christmas Branch party began. The Maputo 1 Branch president stood up to begin the more spiritual part of the meeting, he anounced the opening hymn which wasn't even a christmas hymn.  After that we had two short talks that were truly good, that touched on the Life of Christ.  After that.....Things got crazy.  It all seemed to me at this point more of a talent show. One girl sang My Immortal by Evanescence being accompanied on the piano.  I was surprised, she sang well in english, but i'm not going to lie things just kept getting more and more strange.  She was followed by another who sang "You raise me up" by Josh Groban   After that a man named Felix Hawk  stood up and came to the microphone.  He said he was going to sing, (more like say, because he didn't sing)  He asked someone in the audience if they could play somekind of backup music on the piano.  Nobody really volunteered so I decided I'd do it.  I went up to the piano and he told me to play something slow, and calm.  He went back to the mic and in dialect began this interesting prayer/ ritual thing.  (I was almost at the point of bursting out in laughter)   Allow me to explain what Felix Hawk looks like.  He has an average height and his forhead to about half of his head is completely shaved.  The rest is all dreads that extend to his lower back.  Felix Hawk was a contact made by the Maputo 1 Elder and They invited him to come to church.  And he did, and happened to come on a day they were plainning the christmas activity.  Thus is the reason Felilx Hawk is at the microphone speaking Xisena.  (The dialect spoken in beira.)  After he finished everyone clapped.  At this point he says he'd like to share one more thing, and of course they all agree, and I'm still stuck at the piano.  At the mention of performing another surprise from us the other elders had taken out their cameras and recorders, they didn't want to forget this.  In all honesty, this next part will be very hard to forget.  Again I began playing the piano, and He much to my surprise began rapping this time in portuguese and not dialect.  I guess you would call it a Gospel Rap,  he rapped about how through Christ he can overcome all things, and how he has been born again and all that other good stuff.  The Irony is that all things considered, it was the only "talent" that actually was centered on Christ.    I will never forget the day that Felix Hawk Rapped.   I have it on video, so when  in a year and a half you'll be able to see the proof.    

Armando made it to church again for the fourth time in a row, and  we are super happy for him.  Elder Largent and I went to his house yesterday after church.  We extended a Baptismal Invitation.  He said that he had already been baptized.  He also said that theres a reason that someone so strong in his church has come to our church four times in a row.  He said that he does feel something different but that he considers it an offense to God to be baptized again.  Elder Largent and I have decided we really need to help him gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon.  His wife and son aren't interested at all, and originally we had asked them to read the Book of Mormon to Armando, because of his eye problems he can't read.   Now we've decided that throughout the week we are going to go to his house and read to him and help gain that Testimony.  He's dedicated to come to church everyweek, and participate so much in the Principles of the Gospel classes.  This week I'll try to get a Picture of him with Elder Largent and I.

Well,   Our P day is going to be nonexistant again.  President wants a meeting with Elder Largent and I before he goes up to Quelimane for A Zone Conference tonight. (Speaking of Quelimane in the Conference edition of the Liahona,  Quelimane's branch has a picture that made it into the liahona.)

I love being in Africa, even when I'm sweating my brains out because it's so hot.  The work that's being done here and all around the world is true, and i'm grateful to be a part of it.
-Elder Greenman

Monday, December 10, 2012

Packages DO Arive in Mozambique if you plaster enough Jesus Stickers to the Outside

It just keeps getting hotter and hotter here, and the days seem to become shorter and shorter.  So much to do and so little time.  Elder Largent and I had so much to do this week in the Office.   First off, we payed the rents on the 20 of last month so that the money would enter the renters’ accounts by the first of December.  Well,  Salt Lake accidentally rejected three of the payments so we had to redo them, and we’ve had renters calling us like crazy.  We’re thinking that for this month we’ll pay them at the end of this week, that way for sure they’ll go through.  South Africa asked us to get all the payments done before the 15th because of the Christmas Holiday’s.  Speaking of Christmas…I’ll be able to skype on the 23rd .   What time does church start for you so I can know when to call?   I also got the package you sent me!!!   Thank you so much!  I also noticed a Christmas present that I’ve set aside until the 25th.  The funny thing is, is that in the excitement of opening the package I almost opened the gift without thinking.  Elder Largent coughed and asked, “Aren’t you going to keep that until Christmas”   I smiled and set it aside to continue going through the rest of the goodies.  Boy I’ve sure missed American candy. xD
Now that it’s December President has decided to put on a special Zone Conference.  The spiritual message will be short, only about an hour.  Then all the districts will prepare two musical numbers and a funny skit to present.  After that they’ll have a big special dinner.  He asked Elder Largent and I to make a special photo slideshow to present while the elders are eating.  About two weeks ago we asked the Missionaries to send us about 10 pictures each.  President wanted the movie to be an hour long, so naturally that’s a lot of pictures.  Last Thursday night we finally finished putting it altogether with music and all that jazz. (actually “and all that MoTab)  He was leaving the following morning to beira for the first  Zone Conference.  He asked me to save the movie as a shortcut on his desktop (on this computer) So I did then Elder Largent and I headed home because it was already 11 pm.  So the next day we get a call from president and he asked where the Slideshow was.  I told him where I had saved it on his desktop and he proceeded to tell me that it wasn’t working.  That the file only had 2 clips of movie on it.  Naturally , the color drained out of face.  I realized that somehow, when saving the project to his desktop I had somehow lost the rest of the project.    Needless to say, that was a difficult day for me.  I kind of messed up…… This week I’ll be at it again putting everything together so that it’s ready by the next conference next week.
Three weeks ago Elder Largent and I received a reference from the Assistants.  The man’s name was Armando.  He has a wife and a son who is 14 years old.  He has an extremely hard time seeing.  He’s practically blind.   When we met him we could see right off that he’s very strong in his beliefs and Church.  His wife is even more so.  We taught them the restoration.  It was a great lesson and we challenged them to read the book of mormon.  In this case we challenged the wife and son to help Armando read.    The next day he came to church.  His wife and son didn’t, but we were still surprised that he came.  Even more surprised because he showed up 15 minutes early.  Usually people, even member, show up 15-45 minutes late.  For the past three consecutive Sundays he has come to church without fail.  He participate a lot in the classes, especially Principles of the Gospel.   It’s amazing to me that someone so strong in another church would come three times in a row.    Our next challenge is to get his whole family to come.   Last Saturday when we taught him, his wife and son weren’t there.  We reviewed the restoration and the importance of getting an answer about the Book of Mormon.  We challenged him to pray that night and ask specifically if it was true.  On Sunday after sacrament meeting I asked him if he did pray that previous night.  I said that he did, but I still hadn’t received a response.  I asked him what he felt when he prayed.  He said he felt peace.   He was in a hurry, so I wrote down Galatians 5:22 on a paper and told him that he could ask his son to read it to him.  I told him he had received his answer he just didn’t recognize it.   He only has time on Saturdays to sit with us.  I’m looking forward to then when we can once again sit with him and his family.
Elissa,  I heard about your terrible accidente in Paris.   Get better, because we’ve got lots of mountain biking to do when I get back.  That’s not the only reason you should get better, but I think it’s a good one.
Thank you so much for your support, I love you all.
-Elder Greenman
Missão Moçambique Maputo
Correiros Central
Caixa Postal 1166
Maputo, Maputo

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Elder Carl B. Cook's Comments about Elder Greenman

Last week Elder Cook worked personally with Elder Greenman and his companion, Elder Largent and made a baptismal commitment with Armando. It was a special experience for all involved, even Elder Cook. This morning I received this email from him. Note that before his call to Africa, he has worked extensively on a project with Elder Greenman's grandfather as Mayor of Burley.

Dear Brother and Sister Greenman,

I meant to copy you in on this email I sent to my good friend Mayor Greenman, but I did not have an address for you.  Now I do.  I had such a wonderful time with your son.  He is serving a great mission and making a difference.
He is happy and a great mission leader.

Thank you for raising such a fine son who is serving so well.
All the best,
Carl Cook

Dear Mayor Greenman,

What a surprise I received on a recent tour to Mozambique.  I met the mission leaders and one introduced himself as Elder Greenman from Burley Idaho.  I was so excited. I could not wait to make a connection to him.  As we talked together, no doubt I was able to confirm that he is your grandson.  And I do mean “Grand” son.  I love Elder Greeman.  I was able to go teaching with him and his companion.  Elder Greenman is such a kind, and loving person.  He is engaging.  He is a great teacher.  He has the Spirit with him.  I was so happy to be able to get to know him.  He is a tribute to his family.    We had a wonderful time.   I must also add that President Kretly has much love and appreciation for Elder Greenman.  He is doing a fantastic job in his assignment.  He is playing a very important role during the day, in addition to teaching in the afternoons and evening.  He is balancing everything so well.

I hope you and your wife and family are doing well.  I think of you often and hope that things in Burley are continuing to rise.  No doubt they are.  Your leadership in the City has and will continue to make a difference. 

It was so nice to make this Greenman connection in Africa.  It really is a small word. 

With love and appreciation,

Monday, November 19, 2012

Mozambique on KSL

Well apparently Mozambique made it on KSL news.  This week in the cities of Maputo and Matola (mostly matola)  there was a riot.  The people here were rioting because of an increase in public transportation prices.  The USD equivalent of the increase was  5 cents.  It made me think to myself that i'm grateful that in America when prices go up we don't riot, especially if it's only 5 cents.  The riot wasn’t really all that crazy,  but that’s probably because we had to stay inside and we didn’t get to see anything.
In other news,  the chapel now has a ping pong table so in other words hello companionship study, haha, just kidding.  (kind of)  Elder Wollenzien and Sister Wollenzien one of the couples missionaries we have here, got permission from President Kretly to buy one.  (by the way, if any of you know any couples who would like to serve a mission let them know that Mozambique is in DIRE need of them.  Just don’t mention the riot above.)
Elder Largent and I are finding even more time to work in our area.  We've met with some in investigators that are pretty promising.  Aside from that two of our investigators are getting married within the next two weeks, and we have a baptismal date set for the 1 of December.  So far there have only been two things holding them back,  the law of chastity and keeping the sabath day holy.  Soon they're going to be married and that takes care of that, but lately we've realy been trying to help Nelson  keep the sabath day, his wife Cêlia comes every week, and so did he until he got a job.  We've fasted and prayed with them to help them to find a way to come to church together every week.  It's a struggle for Nelson to get work off on sundays.  He's talked to his employer various times but it seems like his employer doesn't really care about it.  Good news...all the effort is starting to pay off.  Last week he made it church but was being called literally every 10 minutes by his work.  He waited until after the sacrament, then he had to go.  This week he came again with his wife.  Aside from showing up on time the stayed until the end as well.  Nelson and Celia are doing a great job, if they continue progessing at this rate, without a doubt they'll be baptized on the first of december.

Last sunday was District Conference.  The conference was a satelite broadcast that had been recorded.  President Thomas S. Monson and Elder D. Todd Christofferson spoke.  A common theme was the responsiblility that the members have in the building up of zion, and a common phrase that was repeated variously was that if the men of the church were honrable and pure in their preisthood then the work would progress here in africa.  The broadcast was for all the countries in the southern part of africa.  After the broadcast was over the district president anounced that the Maputo 2 choir would sing.  Now in the previous weeks Elder Largent and I had been working with the choir trying to put something together.  Now I don't want to be negative, but when it first started the choir was pretty bad.  Mom and Dad, remember how the spanish branch sometimes had a hard time holding a tune?  Well this was like that but more so.  Miraculously things actually started coming together.  We were learning the hymn  Because I have been given much.   about two weeks before the Conference It suddenly hit me that the actually sound pretty darn good.  Elder Largent and I decided to get a little adventourous so we began teaching the women the alto part of the song.  Long story short they got it, and they sang it really well.  If I may say so myself we had a gospel choir on our hands.  The day for district conference came and we had planned a quick 15 minute practice at 1 o'clock to quickly go over all the details.  No one showed up.  So we left and came back for the conference at 16.  We were uninformed because apparently it started at 15:30.  We walked in and made our way to some empty seats in the back.  At the end of the wonderful conference and when our choir was invited to stand and come to the front, I was scared out of my mind.  First off no one had come to the practice earlier that day, and as far as I could see, I couldn't spot out anyone of the members of the choir.  Elder Largent and I stood up regardless and made our way to the front.  Miraculously people started standing up to join.  I couldn't believe it.  Whats even better is that all the women had matching traditional african clothing.  If I may say so myself, we gave the mormon Tabernacle choir a run for their money.

This week all in all has been a good one, and Elder Largent and I look forward to the coming one with great enthusiasm.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Contacting, Divisions, and a Crazy Drunk Lady

This week has been incredible, filled with a lot of contacting, divisions with the zone leaders and a crazy drunk lady.  Elder Largent and I are finally getting the hang of the office and we’re beginning to be able to balance the work load to find more time to work in our proselyting area.  This past week we had a goal this past week to work in our area every day.  In the past we’ve had to go a few days without because of the work in the office. But this past week we were able to accomplish that goal.  We were also able to contact a lot of new families.  Tonight we’re going to sit with three new families, and each of the fathers of the families are brothers.  Our goal this coming week is to sit with as many of the contacts we made last week as we can.
Thursday night the Zone Leaders came to start divisions with us.  Elder Adamson stayed in our area with Elder Largent and I went with Elder Berg to his area.  Elder Berg came to drop off Elder Adamson and together he and I walked to the Maputo 1 house on the other side of town (or rather metropolis)  We got there just in time to go to bed.  The next morning we woke up a little bit early.  We had planned to go to the Polana Hotel to eat an AMAZING breakfast.  Elder Ruiz and Elder Paxman had their birthdays that week so it was our way to celebrate.  The breakfast was incredible and was followed by Elder Berg and I starting the day off with some contacting in his area.  I really learned a lot from him we talked a lot about the power that language has, and how the words we use truly have an effect on the way we teach.  I’ve made a goal to improve and expand my vocabulary so that I can teach more effectively.
Last Friday was “Dia da Cidade de Maputo”   or Day of the city of Maputo.   Because of this, everyone on the streets were drunk in celebration of the 125th  year for the city.  At night time one particular lady, of about 30 years old, called after us saying, Amigo!  Amigo!   We made our way over to her, not knowing that she was drunk at the time.   In our eyes we say a thirty year old woman with two kids at her side.  We were thinking, Contact!!  And she even wants to talk to us.   When we arrived she told Elder Largent and I that we were extremely courageous for working in that particular neighborhood.  She explained how “everyone”  that lived there were “bandits” she said.  (I wonder if she was excluding herself in that classification)  She started walking, so we followed as she gave us a tour so to speak of many houses that she knew.  Pointing to one house she’d say that inside there lives 6 people and they’re all robbers.   She also showed us various homes of family members.  At this point we didn’t quite catch on that she was totally drunk,  In our eyes we saw a kind lady showing us houses and families that we could potentially visit.  This went on, when we finally began to catch on.  She began repeating a lot of things, complimenting us on our courage, saying how she was extremely faithful.  

On a side note,  I was extremely surprised by how involved other people are in the US Elections.  So many people here would ask about the Elections.  Kind of interesting.
-Elder Greenman

This is one of the paths we have to take in our area. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Raining Hippopotamuses

I had never truly seen rain untill I got here.  It’s doesn’t rain cats or dogs here, its more like hipos and lions.  One night Elder Largent and I were at the office with the assistants late at night wrapping up a few things when it started raining.  Soon it was all followed by intense flashes of lightning.  The experience reminded me of when we were backpacking in the uintahs.  By the time 9:00 came around and it was time to go home we braved the rain and started going out to our car.   The street had become a river, and the car was on the other side of the “river”   the others didn’t want to cross so I did with the intention to bring the car closer so they could hop in.   By the time I got over there, we decided that the tires of the car were already under the water and there was no way that it would make it all the way to our house on the south side of Maputo.  We decided to just stay at the mission office and hope that the roads were better in the morning.  And they were.    

We woke up early and booked it home to take a shower, eat breakfast and drive back to the Mission office.  That morning at 9:00 we were going to have a training with President Kretly.  The training was incredible.  President Kretly worked for Franklin Covey before the mission, in fact he was the biggy boss in Brazil.  (around here in Mozambique they say biggy boss)  He is very knowledgeable and is a marvelous speaker.  President Kretly gave a training on the first of the seven habits of highly effective “missionaries.”   Be Proactive.   My life since that day is changing a lot.  I always knew what it was to be proactive, but President Kretly really hit it home.  He used scriptures and modern revelation along with the training, making it so much more applicable.  Reactive people are a product of their environment, but proactive people, regardless of their environment will find a way to succeed.   I’m made a goal to be proactive for the rest of my life.  In just four days, I’ve seen an immense difference in my life because of the principles being applied in my life.    Often times in our busy day to day lives we base our actions on things and personal desires instead of gospel principles.  This can negatively affect our reactions to what happens in life.   On the flip side, when we have a solid foundation make principle based decisions then the way we react to life’s problems will be all the better.

-Elder Greenman

P.S.  Thanks to all for the letters,  and I'm REALLY sorry I havent responded and written back yet, but don't worry, i'm on it!  Those letters will be coming.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

No English Post This Week

Andrew wrote a letter to us in Spanish/Portuguese this time. I will recap a few of the things that he wrote so you can take part in his week:

1. He has a new companion, Elder Largent, who works very hard, which makes Andrew happy.

2. One of his earlier companions, Elder Gergetz, was transferred to Maputo and gave Andrew a report about Victor. Do you all remember him--the Golden Investigator? Well, Victor will be getting married this week and then he will get baptized. As you all remember, most who want to become baptized into the church have to overcome the problem of getting married...and it is a problem. Marriage is extremely expensive according to the customs of each tribe. It is similar to the familiar Johnny Lingo story where the groom must have property or money to give the bride's family in order to marry her, but the catch is that the bride's brothers and uncles set the price and it is exorbitant!

3. While driving with the Assistants to do some mission errands, they came across massive groups of people wildly waving their arms about and some of them running. There were TV cameras and some sort of a procession. Evidently the hype came because an apostle of one of the African religions had just arrived and the people were excitedly trying to gather around him. Andrew felt a little sad that these people did not have the Truth of the Gospel like he does.

4. Andrew talked about a mission-wide leadership training on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People using the internet program GoToMeeting. He and all the elders in the Maputo/Matola area gathered together to participate, but just as soon as the meeting was to begin they lost electricity to the computer. How sad!!! When the president heard about it, he set up a time to present it to them in two days time. Andrew mentioned in his letter that President Kretly worked for Franklin Covey in Brazil and people would pay thousands to hear this same training that he was giving free to the missionaries. Andrew feels blessed to have President Kretly as his mission president.

5. On Thursday Andrew and his companion, Elder Largent began to feel a cold coming on. Also Andrew discovered 14 mosquito bites on his right arm when he awoke. He tells hw he struggled with the itching and scratching and how he felt motivated to stop scratching them so they would heal on their own and go away. He compares this with sin and repentance and how as we avoid the temptation to keep sinning, we can move closer to our Heavenly Father and let Christ heal us.

6. He ends his letter with a few personal notes to his parents and sisters and then asks all of us to write him. He says that the Dear Elder letters get to him within the week, sometimes only taking a few days. [Editor's Note: I looked at the schedule on DearElder.com and it said that the pouch goes out just after midnight on Sunday night each week, so if you want to get him a letter fast just make sure you make that deadline otherwise your letter will sit in the United States until the next Sunday night.]

Monday, October 22, 2012

General Conference Was Incredible

I was finally able to see it yesterday.  All of the talks were inspired and helped me one way or another to see what I need to do better. 
Elder Jeffery R. Hollands talk had a particular impactful message for me.  It made me wonder,  sure that I've left the "nets" and have come to feed his sheep, but are there any other "nets" that are holding me back in anyway.  Is there anything I can do better?    I was very grateful to have listened to all of the wonderful words by the leaders we have today.  I really loved listening to Elder Richard G. Scott's talk, especially because he translates his own talks into Portuguese.  So instead of a monotonous voice we were actually able to hear his voice.  The funny things is that there were plenty of Spanish words in his translation.  Either way, I understood.

Well,  Elder Brogan has gone home now, so I'm companion-less until Wednesday.  I'm really excited for my new companion.  His name is Elder Largent.  I don't know him very well, but I do know that he's a hard worker.  He only has three transfers left.  He's been serving in Inhamizua, a town close to Dondo.   He also plays basketball extremely well, which will be nice come next P-Day.  Elder Largent has already served here in Maputo 2, so I hope he already knows the area a little. In other news it's been raining like crazy.  On Friday there was loads of thunder all night long.  And we basically had rivers in the streets, which makes it so you can't see any of the potholes.  Yikes. haha.

-Elder Greenman

Monday, October 15, 2012

Audits, Ñoquis and Turtles...

The audit and financial training went well this past week, and by well I mean crazy.   This past week has been filled with long days and all of them in the mission office.  Emily Sehloho, from South Africa came to do the audit and give us training.  Give one whole day of training just to learn how to pronounce her last name.  Just kidding, but her last name is really hard to pronounce, it doesn’t seem like it, but her last name is actually dialect.  I think it’s Zulu.  Anyway, her last name is not pronounce the way its spelled.
Last Monday our training started right after lunch.  We went straight into some training on budget coding and IMOS (Internet Mission Office System)  Little by little it dawned on me that the office Elders are going to be responsible for all the financial part of the mission.   It’s going to be a pretty big load, but I look forward to it.  Next week I should be getting my next companion, and I can only hope he’ll be ready.    Maybe, just maybe it will be Elder Keck.   Let me tell you a little about him.  First off he is awesome.  He and I are going to start business after the mission.  He’s from Kaysville Utah, but also a traitor because he’s not a Davis Dart, he went to Layton high.  And Mom, do you know a Holly Palmer?  Who went to davis high? 
Also dad, did you know an Elder Brogan while in Argentina.  Apparently my companion’s dad also served in Argentina and probably at the same time.   We’ve enjoyed talking to eachother about how our parents served in Argentina, in fact the other day we made noquis which were absolutely divine. 
The other day at the office when Elder Brogan and I were walking in the door, we noticed a turtle out on the grass.  We asked the guard how many there were here.  He said that there were three, two females and 1 man turtle.  We asked him how he knew if they were female or male.  He said something that we didn’t understand so we moved on to ask him if he had named them.  He said no, so we left him with the challenge to name them before the next day.  When we arrived the following day he said he had named two of them Franky and Anabella.  Elder Brogan and I named the third one Arlene.
This letter is little random this week.  It’s because we had no  time to work in our area this week, and its really hard to write a whole letter on an audit.
One plus about working in the office is that I get letters way more often, and don’t have to wait from them to be taken up north.  In fact most of the letters I’m getting are received within five days of being written.  Mail from the US comes in on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Elder Greenman
Missão Moçambique Maputo
1116 Caixa Postal
Correio Central
Maputo Moçambique Africa

Monday, October 8, 2012

Audit and No P-Day

Hello once again.  I must say, I’m pretty jealous that all of you have had to the opportunity to watch conference already.  I still have to wait two more weeks to watch it.  I did hear about the age change for all missionaries, I'm really excited, maybe some of my younger sisters will serve a mission!   Hint hint Elissa. 
This week has been really crazy!  We've been preparing to get audited.   In fact it starts in just a few hours.  Some people  from South Africa will be arriving this morning to start.  Because of that Elder Brogan and I don't get a P-Day today, which also means that my internet time is up........

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Letter to Burley 5th Ward

Greetings from Mozambique Africa.  It's hard to believe that its already been 6 months since I was in Burley.  Time seems to have slipped right through my fingers. For those of you who have never been to Africa, I'd like to let you know that it's Beautiful.  Sure theres a lot of poverty, bad roads, and a little uncleanliness, but all in all Africa is wonderful.  I've never seen a prettier sunset, I've never tasted so many exotic fruits, and to be honest I don't think I've ever come across a people more friendly than here in Mozambique.  Everyone and their dog wants to talk to us.  The hard part is getting them to church.....
Currently I'm serving in the middle of Maputo, the capital city in Mozambique. I was trasfered here from up north where I was serving in a small little jungle town called Dondo about 18 hours away by bus.  It's been quite a change from a small town to a ginormous mozambican metropolis.   One bit of good news is that I've had my first baptism!  The only thing is, that I wasn't actually there.  I was transfered before he was baptized.  My companion and I were both transfered to this new area in Maputo so we're doing all we can to get it down.  Our focus these past three weeks has been Contacting.  Our goal is to find at least 35 new people a week and mark a time to visit with them as soon as possible.  Like I mentioned earlier, the people here love talking to us. The hard part isn't getting Contacts but contacting people who are truly ready to hear the word of God.  Yesterday, before church Elder Brogan and I were on our way to an investigators house to walk with them to church.  On the way we came across an older man who was returning home from his church.  We were in a hurry, we were late and it was starting to rain, so we briefly invited him to our church that was going to start within the next 40 minutes.  After that we went our way, thinking nothing more of the contact we had made. (We had gotten used to talking to people and then being stood up)  We made our way to our investigators house.  When we arrived they weren't even close to being ready to go.  We waited a few more minutes trying to help them but then decided to make our way for the church building thinking that they probably wouldn't come at all. We arrived at the church empty handed.  Our goal had been to bring at least one investigator to church.  So we made our way up to the first class. The Maputo chapel is a little different than any i've seen before.  It's a four story building with a beutiful view of the ocean. Unless things have changed I don't think burley has one like that.  The Principles of the Gospel class is held on the third floor, so Elder Brogan and I headed up and found two seats next to the window looking out on the street below.  About five minutes into the lesson we looked out the window and saw a family of five making their way for the chapel.  It was the same family whose home we had gone to earlier that morning.  About five minutes later, the very man we had contacted that morning also came.  We were super excited.  To me it seemed like miracle.   This past week we have had the opportunity to teach Manuel, the man we contacted and invited to church.  We've taught the first lesson and given him a Book of Mormon.  This coming week we're planning on visiting him again and are excited to see where he is in the Book of Mormon.

Aside from haveing an Area to work in we are working in  the office as well.  It's been interesting trying to balance our schedule so that  we can get things done in the office and help our area up.  President Kretly has given Elder Brogan and I permission to use a mission car for the office work, which makes things a lot more interesting.  So now....I'm driving.  Hey, Dad, remember when you were teaching me how to drive stick shift?  I do.  Well now i've had to learn to drive stick shift while being on the right side of the car and on the left side of the road, and everyone here drives like crazy people. Except me,  I pride myself in my calm and defensive driving, although my companion would say otherwise.  I can't lie though,  I did get stopped by a police man the other day.   I rolled down the window and he asked if we were from The Church.  I told him we were and what church we are from.  He stood there for a minute and then told me to pray for him and then told us that we could go,  so we quickly drove on before he changed his mind and gave us a ticket. (for your information,  I didn't do anything that would deserve a ticket.  Here if the policeman see a white guy driving a car many times he'll just pull him over and dish out a ticket.)

I'd like to thank all of you for the prayers and support,  I feel them and am grateful for them.  I love being a missionary and know that there is no better place for me to be right now.  I invite any young man who is thinking about serving a mission, to serve, you'll never regret it.  Mozambique already has two missionaries from Burley serving here, and from what I understand Jake Garn recently recieved his call here too.   I know that I was called of God to serve here in Mozambique.  I know that this gospel is true and that our salvation is made possible through Jesus Christ who lives.  

-Elder Greenman

Monday, September 17, 2012

I'm In America!

Maputo is Incredible!!!  When I arrived at midnight on tuesday, I felt like I had come to america.  This place is incredibly huge.  Maputo has so much more to offer than Dondo does. 
I finally got to my appartment at 1 o'clock in the morning.  The next day, or rather the same day, I had to go with the AP's and my companion who is also an AP to go pick up an Elder arriving from Nampula.  That night we got home again, at midnight.  The following morning we had to wake up at five thirty to be out the door by six to pick up all the elders for a special training at President's house.  That took about 3 hours.  As I've been here I've begun to understand more and more what President Kretly expects of me.  He expects Elder Brogan and I to be office Elders and proseliting elders at the same time.  Office elders are something that the previous President got rid of. Instead he had a married missionary couple work in the mission office.  President Kretly's plan was to keep the Senior missionaries and Elder Brogan and I would work in the office just twice a week.  At least that was the plan.....until the Halls (the senior couple) suddenly decided that the office is to much for them, so their bouncing out to go to Beira and serve up there, so now Elder Brogan and I are going to have to be in the Office 24/7 working our tails off.  Especially because the mission is getting audited next month and my companion and I are responsible to get everything ready for it.  So all of this has happened this week.  To be honest, I embrace the challenge.  I'm super excited to have the oportunity to work in the Office and work more closely with President Kretly.  This week hasn't been all just office work though.  Elder Brogan and I found some time to work in our new area.  Both of us don't know the area very well yet, because we both came in at the same time, we call that, whitewashing an area.  I absolutely love teaching with my companion.  The spirit has been so strong in all of our lessons.  Our entire area is golden.  Most of the members from the Maputo 2 branch live in our area. 
Going to church yesterday was an incredible experience.  I've gone from Dondo, where the missionaries have to do everything, to Maputo 2, the strongest branch here in Mozambique, where the members are strong and are doing everything.  Church yesterday was truly an edifying experience.   On top of that,  I've been learning how to drive here in Mozambique.  It's a darn good thing I already know how to drive stick shift.  Now I just need to get used to moving the stick with my left hand and also driving on the right side of the car on the left side of the road.  Yesterday Elder Brogan and I went driving a little.  Surprisingly we didn't crash, especially with all the rain that we've been getting these past three days.  It's been great to have a companion like Elder Brogan.  I really feel blessed.  I'm going to make the most of it in these next 5 weeks that he and I will be together, before he heads back home to Minesota.

Thank you so very much Uncle Chris and Aunt Kim.  I'm so very grateful to you two wonderful people.  I know that cameras here in Maputo are a little cheaper, so i'll be keeping an eye out for a bargain.
One plus about working in the office is that I get my letters a lot quicker!!!!! The other day about 15 letters had come in for the whole mission, including Angola.  President Kretly picked them up and thumbed through them to see where they were all going.  As he would come across one for me he would lay it down on my desk.  I was surprised as he continued to lay down letter after letter on my desk.  After he finished going through the letters, in a thick accent, he said in english, "Elder Greenman, you must be popular!"  We both laughed together. I've really enjoyed working in the office.  After the Halls leave it will just be Elder Brogan and I along with another man by the name of Tualufo.  He's Mozambican and served a mission here too.  After he finished the church hired him.  He's one of the funniest people i've ever met.  The other day he came in at about 2 o'clock.  Elder Brogan and I hadn't had time to eat lunch that day.  Luckily Tualufo had bought some bread rolls.  (Mozambique has the best bread ever)   He said we could have as many as we wanted.  I timidly took one because I didn't want to be taking away from his food.  Later that afternon when I was wrapping things up and getting ready to leave, Tualufo took the last roll and chucked it at me saying, "Eat it."  haha, I laughed and told him he didn't have to tell me twice. 
 I'm super grateful for all my friends and family that support me.   I love you all. 

-Elder Greenman

Monday, September 10, 2012


WOW  I'm pretty darn excited.  We got transfers today and I'm leaving Dondo.  Speaking of which, apparently Dondo is probably going to close down.  Thanks for the email Dad,  what you said about the Spanish Branch in Burley is super true.  After 21 years the branch didn't really grow, in fact it diminished, but the was still loads of growth, just individual growth of all those people.  It comforted me to here those words.  Now I wish the same thing applyed here in Dondo.  Yesterday Elder Gergetz and his comp. that finally arrived visited Irmao Mendonca.  When they got there he along with three other members were drinking.  7 of our 11 adult members here in Dondo are not keeping the Word of Wisdom.  Many don't even have the desire to keep it.  It's super sad for me to say this.  I think that when I first arrived in Dondo I was blinded from the truth from the excitment of being here.  Dondo will open up again one day, and it will be more prepared to here the word of God.  President Kretly said that it would probably stay open one more transfer.  I am going to be heading all the way back down to Maputo.  I'm going to be companions with one of the AP's who will be dying next transfer, because of that we have three AP's Elders Ruiz, Elder Brogan, and the recently assigned Elder Paxman.  I'm going to be Companions with Elder Brogan.  I don't think I can tell you how happy I am for that.  Elder Brogan is one of the Coolest missionaries every.  It's too bad that I'll only be with him for 6 weeks, but I can tell you that those six weeks are going to be awesome.  So, I've been thinking, Dondo's a super small town, and Maputo is enormous.  I'm probably going to feel like i'm back in america again.  
The missionary work will be a little different I presume.  I'm accostumed to all these mudhuts, no cars, and lots of bikes.  In maputo it will be just loads of cars, big buildings and a healthy amount of smog.....  The phone just rang and now i'm back....
That was President Kretly.  He wanted to to talk to me about his expectations.  He told me that i'm going to have one of the best companions in the mission.  He said that the Two of us will be walking in our area for five days and then two days we'll be in the office.  So i guess i'm kind of a half office Elder.  President said that Elder Brogan and I, as office secrataries, have to be the example.  We have to work harder, Contact more people, and consequently baptize more people.  For the two days we lose working in our area we have to make up  in the other 5.
Okay so that about wraps it up.  I've got a lot of packing to do. haha   I'm probably leaving tomorrow for Maputo.

Elder Greenman

Monday, September 3, 2012

Is Dondo To Be or Not To Be?

 I hope veryone is doing well back home.  Wow, it's crazy to think that Elissa is in France now.  Well, Dad, Mom, looks like all your children are running out of the house.  Now you're only left with the three youngest.  I guess that's why you bought Chickens, but I hope you know and understand that those chickens won't be able to replace me.  I recieved an email from Skyler (Elder Greenman) this week saying that he's enjoying the MTC but more than that,  he's become very good friends with another Elder in his District.  Someone I know.  David Wilcox, from Alaska, who also went to Williamsburg Academy. 
Mozambique just keeps getting hotter, and more humid, but at the same time mangos are growing.  Mango trees seem to cover entirely the expanse of Dondo, I think its safe to say that  by this time next month I'll be eating nothing but Mangos.  The other day I tried to fix my camera that the monkey stole.  ....ya...that didn't work.  So I think i'm going to have to buy a new one.  Around here they run anywhere between 5,000-8,000 metacaiz.  In other words, a lot of money which kind of puts me in a bind.  I don't want to spend that much on a camera, but I also don't want to go throughout  my mission without taking any pictures.
Elder Gergetz, who is the Group President here in Dondo, asked me a question on saturday.  He asked me how long I think it would take for Dondo to become a branch.  That question sparked a more serious conversation about Dondo and it's progress, or the lack there of.  We were looking through some old books and found a journal from last year that was being used to record what happened every sunday in every meeting.  We read through it and saw that today, the same people are giving talks, the same people are the only people coming to church, the same people are the leaders.  Basically nothing has happened in a year.  It was kind of a sad realization.  We came to the conclusion that Dondo will probably need to shut down.  We haven't talked to President yet.  Yesterday at church only 54 people showed up  of which only 7 were adult members of which only one is a worthy melchezidek priesthood holder.  Then 14 youth showed up, the rest were all little kids.  We've decided to fast and pray, and work harder than ever before and see if we can turn things around within this next transfer. 
Thank you all for the love and support,
-Elder Greenman

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

It's starting to get HOT!!!

I thought that Mozambique's winter was hot enough for me, but apparently I'd better just get used to it.  Elder Gergetz's companion still hasn't gotten here yet, hopefully this Friday he'll come.  We've still been walking as three.  It's been hard to cover the whole are of Dondo with just three missionaries. We've had to drop some people that otherwise wouldn't have to be dropped just because of time constraints.  It's been really sad, but at the same time we've been teaching a lot of great families that are progressing. The church here in Dondo has started a little seminary program.  We have two classes, one at 10 and the other at 14.  Elder Lopes and I rotate weekly.  This week I'll be teaching seminary.  Dad,  I've certainly gained more understanding and respect for you as a seminary teacher. haha, it can be hard sometimes when the students come to play, and not to learn. This week has been full of ups and downs.  First I'll start with the ups.

1. Two weeks back we found Candido.  I mentioned him in a previous letter.  He is still progressing!  The second time we came to his house to teach, during the lesson he mentioned that he has a problem with alcohol. (We knew this, because we could smell it on his breath that particular day.)  We hadn't even taught the Word of Wisdom yet but he said that he knows he needs to get rid of that vice.  He says that every time he prays, he feels guilty.  We talked to him about repentance and laid out a plan to help him come off conqueror. 

2.  We had another baptism here in Dondo.  The ordnance was performed in our pool.  Two young men were baptized.  Edson and Jofrisse.  They're two brothers from Balanca.  Balanca is a small town about an hour away from Dondo.  That is, it's an hour if you walk, and they do, sometimes they'll find a ride, or use a bike, but still, It's a sacrifice for them to come. On the day of the baptism Edson asked me to confirm him on Sunday. It was a marvelous and a special experience for me.  I began worrying a lot about what I would say in the blessing, but then I realized that I don't need to worry about it.  The words will come to me in the moment as I listen to the promptings of the Holy Ghost.

3.  More Good news.....I'd like to thank all of you who have been writing letters to me.  I've received many.  Especially from Dearelder.com. Now many of you may be thinking,  Did he really get them?  And why hasn't he written back yet?
Well,  the mail system here in Mozambique is shot.  (In other words, very unreliable)  Regardless, I've decided to give it a try. Today I'll be heading off to a hole in the wall post office and I hope that within the next six months those letters may reach their destination.

4. One more bit of good news.... one of our investigators has a monkey
Bad news
1.  The monkey stole my camera
2.  The monkey then threw my camera
3.  Gravity then proceeded to pull without any ounce of mercy on said object that had been launched from the little palm of said innocent looking monkey.
4. Fourth piece of bad news, camera broke.

Well that wraps up my week.  I hope that all my family and friends are doing well.  Until next week.

-Elder Greenman

Monday, August 13, 2012

Q & A

Below are some questions that Dave asked Andrew this week. You can try your hand at deciphering Spanish--the questions are in Spanish, but lucky for you, reader, the answers are in English:

1. tu compenetro siempre era miembro de la iglesia o se convertio? como era su conversión y como llego a la decisión de servir una misión?

2.Cuales animales has visto?

3. cuales insectos te dan miedo?

4. cuantas cartas y emails recibes cada semana? quien te ha escrito desde que llegaste a Africa?

5. cual porcentaje de la gente pueden leer suficiente para entender el libro de mormón?

6. cuantas personas viven en Dondo? hay un clase rica, mediano y pobre? que hacen en cada clase para trabajo?

7. Cuantos anos van a la escuela?

8. Cuales tipos de negocios hay?

9. danos una lista de las tres cosas mas locas que has comido.

10. Cuan altas son las personas?

11. cual deporte es el mas popular?

12. porque es tan deficial para personas casarse? cuanto sale y porque? cuales leyes hay que lo hacen deficil?

13. hay personas que toquen piano? hay un piano en la iglesia?

Okay, I know I'm not the best at writing letters home.  A lot of times I leave some things out.  This week will be an attempt to explain a little bit more about my mission.  First off  the Mozambique Maputo Mission includes Angola, but at the same time it doesn't.  Angola is functioning as a separate mission but isn't yet officially a mission.  Also when I came into the mission I came in on a 3 week transfer.  The mission had to change it's transfer schedule which means that in a little less than two years my departure date will now be in the middle of a transfer.   To solve this President has given the missionaries the opportunity to choose whether or not the want to come home three weeks early or stay an extra three weeks.  (I hope that makes sense)
My companion Elder Lopes is from Cape Verde.  He is 23 years old and speaks creole, Portuguese, and is learning English.  He's a convert to the church and was baptized when he was 14 years old.  He's helping me with my Portuguese and I am helping him with his English.
A lot of people here think that there are loads of animals here.  Well.... there aren't.  During the war here the people were destitute and starving.  They killed practically everything.  Many killed just to kill.  The only animals I've seen here are Cats, Dogs, and a two domesticated monkeys.  Oh and I've also seen one more thing....do mosquitoes count as animals?
Now for a little bit about the Mozambican culture:
Everyone here is either dirt poor or  excessively rich. Generally speaking most everyone can read here.  Sometimes we'll come across someone who can't and usually it's a female.  Everyone here is super nice and kind.  Always willing to talk.  That being the case it's easy to find contacts, the hard part is finding people that will actually apply what we teach them to their lives.  No one here is married officially, they all say that they have the desire to get married but they say that they don't have enough money (about 1000 Metacais), or they still don't know if the marriage would work out if they did get married and that they want to wait a little more to make sure. (they say this even when they already have like 6 kids)
There have also been questions asking what kind of crazy food I've eaten. 
To be honest, the food here isn't really crazy. The closest I've gotten to crazy is eaten fish.  (That means eating the eyeballs, the head, and the bones.)
Well my Internet Time is just about up so, Until next week.
-Elder Greenman

Monday, August 6, 2012

I Was Transferred...

Well transfers didn't come until late on Wednesday night. The zone leaders called to let us know. It was then that I recieved the sad news that I'd be leaving my area in.  My heart dropped when I heard those words because I had really come to love the people in my area, and to be able to teach Victor, Daniel and Shika, and many others that were doing so well.  Elder Bateman, one of my Zone leaders, continued telling my that my next companion would be Elder Lopes, a native from Cabo Verde.  Suddenly I leaped with Joy and this is why:
Elder Lopes has been serving in Dondo with Elder Ostler, but just in a different area than mine.  I was told that Elder Ostler was going to Manga to train and that I would stay in Dondo to be with Elder Lopes.  Elder Gergetz was told that he would also stay to train a new Elder.  All in all, I'm very happy to still be serving in Dondo.  My new area is totally different thought, with a new set of challenges, but I'll still be able to see Victor and all of my other investigators every week at church.
Throughout these nine weeks in Dondo I've really gotten to know Elder Lopes pretty well.  He and I hit it right off since my first day in Dondo.  Now I am very glad to have the opportunity to work and serve with him.  I know that he and I will truly be able to make miracles happen.  Yesterday when we were on our way to an appointment we contacted a young family.  The father's name was Candido.  We gave him a resauration pamphlet with our names and our number.   Later that night we received a text from him saying that he was extremely grateful for the invite. He said that he had finished reading the pamphlet and percieved that God has a plan for him. And he said that he wants to learn more about Jesus Christ.  We were extremely happy to read that text.  I now without a doubt that the Lord truly does prepare his children to receive this message,  and we as members of this church have the obligation to share that message.  We learn in 1 Nephi 8  from Lehi, who tried the fruit from the tree of life, that he desired to share that fruit.  I also have a desire to share this gospel and my happiness is found in the spreading of the God's word.  My power is found in his priesthood and my reward is found in the knowledge that I am anxiously engaged in a good cause.  I  love seeing the change in these people's hearts as a greater understanding of  Jesus Christ is opened unto them.  I know without a single doubt that this church is the only true church.   I relish in the opportunity that I have to be a missionary, not only here in Mozambique but for the rest of my life.

-Elder Greenman
P.S. Write me. xD

Friday, August 3, 2012

Victor's Progress

Victor is still progressing a lot!  He's in 2 Nephi and working hard on getting married so he can be baptized on Sept. 8  
I hope I'll still be in this area when he does get baptized.  Transfers start this coming thursday.  We were supposed to get the transfer slides today, but now we won't find out until Wednesday.  My companion is the Group Leader here in Dondo which makes me think that he's going to be staying this transfer and I'll leave, or we'll be together for another transfer then he'll leave and I'll get a new companion.  It's all up in the air, especially with our new mission president.  

This past Wednesday was "Dia da Ciadade do Dondo"   Because of that there were loads of people out on the streets that night.  They were young and old and mostly all drunk.  I say plenty of teens that were probably just barely 14 years old, and they were sauced.  Elder Gergetz and I thought that we might as well try and find people to contact, preferably someone who wasn't drunk. We did end up finding a couple named Daniel and Shika.  We passed by their house yesterday and taught a wonderful lesson.  They were really open and ready to hear our message.  I can't wait to go visit them again this week.  

Last week about 8 of us elders went golfing.  Yes, they have a golf course here in Beira, and no, it's not a very nice one. Imagine a freshly cut field of alfalfa.  Now take away the color green.  Now add a few rocks here and there and everywhere.  Now take into account that there are almost no trees.  Last but not least, we rented golf clubs......haha.  So all of that made for a very interesting P-Day.  Granted it wasn't exactly top notch, at all,  we had a lot of fun.

-Elder Greenman

Monday, July 23, 2012

Golden Investigator

Greetings from Mozambique!
In the last letter I wrote about Victor, the man Elder Gergetz and I found.   I never really thought that there were golden investigators until we found him.  I know for a fact that God does truly prepare people to hear our message.  We sat with Victor twice this week and he just continues to progress and surprise us all.  On Tuesday when we met with him we gave him a book of Mormon and gave him 3 Nephi 11 to read.  On Thursday when we went back and followed up he had read 3 Nephi 11 and had read the intro, testimony of the prophet and the witnesses and read all the way till 1 Nephi 12, and on top of that we wrote down what he learned in a little journal that he bought.  I'm super excited to see him tomorrow and see how much he's progressed.
I've really enjoyed my time here in Dondo.  I love the people here and all the experiences I'm having, and all the things that I'm learning here.  We are getting transfer slides next week, and I'm really hoping that I'll get to stay here in Dondo for at least another transfer, another two would be great. 
-Elder Greenman

Monday, July 16, 2012

Progress is Found in Change

We have a new mission president!  His name is President Paulo V. Kretly.  He's Brazilian and if you type up his name in google you can find out more about him.  presidentandsisterkretly.blogspot.com Along with this new president there have been a lot of changes.  (Not so much for me, because I didn't really even get to know my first mission president.)  President Spendlove's focus while mission president was baptizing quality families while helping all the thousands of inactives here in Mozambique, and President Kretly's focus is baptizing quality families while helping all the thousands of inactives here in Mozambique, but just more so.  He wants quantity and expects the same quality.  I'm super excited.  President Kretly has great vision.  I've learned so much from him already.  He spent that last week in the Biera area and I was able to really get to know him.  He's inspired, in me, a great desire to work even harder.  He's given me vision.  Ever since our Zone Conference last Tuesday Elder Gergetz and I have found so many more contacts.  We've been averaging 6 a day.  On friday when we had divisions and the District Leader walked with me in my area we got 9 contacts 5 of which were families.  I can already see our recent training is making a positive change and effect in Dondo.  

Ever since I arrived in  Dondo I occasionaly saw a man who seemed smart, dressed well, and seemed happy all the time.  I would always wave to him or say "Boa Tarde"  He'd respond in like manner.    As the weeks past we would cross paths in the street going to our various different places.  I kept telling my self that some day I'd talk to him.  Someday I'd actually start up a conversation other than the usual Bom Dia or Boa Tarde.   Last Friday Elder Gergetz and I had come up with a fun way to contact people and we used it various times with other people until suddenly I saw ahead the particular man who seemed smart, dressed well, and seemed happy all the time.  I told my companion, "hey, lets talk to this guy up here, i've got a feeling he'll be good."    

Quickly let me explain this "fun way" elder Gergetz and I discovered for contacting people.  One day when we were walking to one of our areas we passed by our neighbor's house, and I could see through their fence that they had a small plate with a strange looking fruit on it for sale.  We walked up to the fence and with a quick "Com Licenca" someone came to the fence and we each bought one these fruits.  Fruit was called "Carambola" It's not very common here in Africa, but is in Brazil.  You may know it as Starfruit.  We gave the lady two metacais and went on our way, starfruit in hand.  Elder Gergetz said with a smile on his face that we could use this fruit to get contacts.  We would walk up to people and simply ask them if they knew how to eat it.  In their eyes we were just two white guys who didn't know anything and had a strange fruit in their hands.  They would go on to say that no, they don't know how to eat it, in fact they've never seen the fruit before.  From there we would walk way two minutes later with the person's name and phone number.  

We did the same with this man who seemed smart, dressed well, and seemed happy all the time.  It went very well.  He was very open and kind.  We invited him to church that coming sunday, which happened to be the District Conference in Beira.  We told him that the church had rented a Mashibombo (bus)  and that it would leave from the paragem  at 8:00 so he had to arrive at 7:30.   Now usually with people we contact, we invite them to church but dont expect that they'll come the first time.  We were very surprised on sunday morning when he was there, ready to go.  Later that evening after the conference and when we had arrived back in Dondo we asked him if we could pass by his house.  He said yes.  So we did. It was an amazing lesson.  The Spirit was felt there powerfully.  He told us that he wanted to join our church, that we wants to leave the Universal church, and that he wants to get married as soon as possible.  I know that God prepares people to hear his word.  I testify that that is true.  I know that he prepared Vitor to hear our message.
I know that he cares about each and every one of us.

Until next time.
-Elder Greenman

P.S.  Dearelder.com decided to continue their promotion.  It's still free!  But only for the next 24 hours from when you read this.  

Andrew's pictures on Picasaweb: https://plus.google.com/photos/109925268862178384484/albums/5755267058684627153?banner=pwa

Monday, July 2, 2012

One Month!

I've been in Mozambique for one month now.  Surprisingly, I've learned a lot of good things. Its wonderful to see the progress  investigators have made in this past month.  I was also extremely surprised when I got two letters last week! I thought that I wouldn't be getting any at all. Maybe, just maybe, I'll get more next transfer.

Okay,  this week has been pretty crazy.  The church leadership in the Dondo Group consists of Elder Bonnini, who is a senior missionary that lives in Beira, My companion Elder Gergetz,  then there are two Mozambicans who are have not been in the church for too long and don't quite understand the whole leadership thing.  One of the Mozambicans was converted in Maputo about 7 years ago and his work has transferred him a few times and now he's here in Dondo.  He's extremely prideful and has offended a couple members and he's full of excuses.  The other Mozambican has been a member for about 5 years, he's lived in Dondo all his life and therefore knows everyone here.  He's very humble and has a kind heart but many times is pressured into following Crispin (the other Mozambican)  Every week we meet together to see what we can do to make the group stronger.  He just recently started this and we had our first meeting last Wednesday.  In that meeting I learned the importance of having a strict agenda, in that particular meeting we had nothing for an agenda. We came to talk about the church and all Crispin would talk about is that we needed too baptize as many people as possible, especially teenagers whether those people are ready or not.  We told him that our mission president said that we could only teach and baptize families.  (Families take up to a year and a half to get baptized around here. First off,  no one is married here, and it takes for ever for them to go through the process and cost nearly 900 metacais which is a lot for these people.  Second off usually when we're teaching a family the husband wants in but the wife doesn't or the other way around.)  After we had explained that we couldn't just baptize anyone he began to say that we still need to.  It was extremely frustrating, but throughout the entire two hour meeting we showed love and patience.  Now we now that this next meeting will have an agenda so that we can talk about the important issues.  Organization is extremely important!

Aside from that, it's still winter here in Dondo, but it feels like the middle of summer on a hot august day.  With every passing day I learn something new here in Mozambique.  I'm coming to understand the culture here better, and my love for the people here grows daily.  My love for the Gospel grows daily as well.  I'm so glad to be a missionary now that I've grown a foot or four, I'm truly having the time of my life out here.  This work is good.  2 Nephi 28:24
-Elder Greenman

P.S.  Theres this really cool site called Dearelder.com where you can send me letters for free!!!  But it's only free if you write one within the next 24 hours!!!!!

Week "I've lost count" (Andrew's Own Title)

Hello everyone!!! 
There are so many churches in the world, each one with different philosophies.  Here in Dondo alone, there are probably 20. Which is about 19 too many.  There is however a particular church that began in Brasil and is now very popular here.  It is called the Universal Church or ''Igreja Universal"   These people are crazy!!!  I think anyone that has served in Brasil can agree with me at this point.  One night Elder Gergetz and I were walking back from and appointment that fell through.  It was almost time to head back home anyway, but we figured we'd try and get some contacts.  Just of this particular road we were walking on was a big two story cement building that was constructed by the Portuguese years ago.  The Universal Church would meet in the second story.  Elder Gergetz looked my way and asked me if I wanted to go check it out.  I said why not, thinking in my head of various reasons why not.  We started heading towards the building, it was extremely dark outside and extremely loud.  This was on Friday, which happens to be when the people go to get devils cast out of them.  We walked up the cement stairs and at this point I couldn't hear a thing other than the screaming and yelling of a man (the preacher)  We made our way into an extremely big room where we sat in the back where no one could really see us.  (The lights were off)  The whole friday night meeting consited of this so called preacher screaming into a Microphone at the top of his lungs, and the speakers blasting out the words of the preacher which consisted of "Suca!" (Pronounced Sooka, which means leave) and some other not so appropriate words including the Name of our God.  Needless to say we didn't stay too long.  We found our way out of the building and went home.  On the way back to our house we discussed the difference in our church meetings and those of the universal church.  We happen to have an investigator who went to the universal church and thats all she did for 20 years.  She's very accostomed the the traditions of that church, she likes having someone up in her face forcing her to pay tithing.  She has this mindset that the word of God hurts, but is good.  Its been hard to help her leave those traditions behind and recognize the spirit when she comes to our church.  She has progressed a lot and seems to be developing a stronger testimony in the verity of the church.
After that experience my testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has grown tremendously.  I know that this is the true church, that it always has been, that Joseph Smith restored that same Gospel of Jesus Christ that was on the earth before.  I know that this was, is, and always will be the true church and that there is no other way to exaltation. 2 Nephi 31:21
-Elder Greenman

Monday, June 18, 2012

Lost, but Then Found

.............well.....  Malaria is pretty bad.  Or so I've been told.  So I figured that if I ever DID get it, then I'd let you know.

WoW!   I'm already on my second transfer now.   I just got done looking at the transfer slides and it looks like Elder Lake is going to be in my Zone!  Dondo is going very well.  We had to drop about two investigators this week,  President Spendlove told us in Zone Conference that we can only teach families.  I'ts been hard to drop these people but currently what the Dondo group needs right now are families and strong members who can be leaders.  So that's who we've been looking for this past week.  We started teaching Tito and his family this week.  He seems very strong and has a lot of potential.  The hard thing is, that no one is married here in Mozambique, and to get married the process takes about a year or more.  
I mentioned Vitor in the last email.  His family is progressing as well.  He didn't come to church though yesterday.  What surprised me was that his wife (unmarried)  did come.  Vitor had to go to Beira on Sunday so he couldn't make it, but his wife still showed a lot of faith by coming to church without him.
This week we went on splits, and I had the wonderful opportunity to serve with Elder Gibson.  It was interesting to have the opportunity to teach with someone else.  It's amazing how accustomed I became to the way my Trainer Elder Gergetz teaches.   I've decided that my trainer is awesome, he really pushes me to grow.  Yesterday when we were going to visit a few families after church he had me lead the way. (Now to gain some perspective on this you're going to have to go to Google maps and look and the little town of Dondo Mozambique.  You'll notice that outside of the central part of the villa  there are various trees and huts.  No one had addresses, there are just random, very random, paths that lead this way and that.) So, Elder Gergetz told me that I was leading the way to a particular investigators house.  Well.... I failed.  I took a wrong turn and he didn't let me know I did until I had realized about 10 minutes later when the path started to look a little bit unfamiliar.  Finally we arrived at the house and were able to teach a great lesson.  So that's that.  
p.s. in case you're still wondering, I don't have malaria. At least I don't think I do.  

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Of Investigators and (young) Men...

I have great NEWS!!!  I'm still alive!  I think Africa is absolutely incredible.  This week has been a long week, a lot has happened.  As I mentioned in the last letter, my trainer is Elder Gergetz, he's from Manti Utah, and every day I continue to learn more and more from him.  He and I are currently teaching about 16 investigators.  We're going to have to drop two or three of them this week though, they haven't been progressing and there are so many other people to teach that we have to focus on the people who are ready to hear the word of God.  We had 12 of our investigators show up to church last Sunday.  (The church in Dondo isn't a branch, it's still a group, and the missionaries here, for the most part, have all the callings and responsibilities.  The six missionaries in Dondo all live in the same house, which happens to also be the chapel. It also happens to be the most expensive house for the missionaries in our mission.)   This past Sunday we had 85 chairs set up, which was the most we could fit in there, and we filled it up with people completely and then some.  President Spendlove has asked us to focus on teaching only families, and a few of our investigator families showed up at church.  It's been great to be able to see the progress of those who complete with the challenges we've given them.  
On Friday the Zone Leaders from Beira came to visit our district.  One of the Zone Leaders walked with Elder Gergetz and I.  We were visiting Vitor and his family (Most always, when we teach, we are seated outside our investigators house)  Suddenly an obviously drunk guy came and sat down on one of the chairs and started smoking.  Vitor proceeded to tell him to leave and to stop smoking.  The drunk guy, without a word, brought the cigarette to his mouth and continued to smoke.  Vitor got up and dragged the drunk guy away while the man in slurred speech continually said, "Eu Acredito em Deus!  EU ACREDITO em DEUS!!"  
Vitor came back and we continued to teach him about faith, when a few moments later we hear the kicking and clattering of metal pots and pans.  The drunk man, in frustration, was kicking over these metal pots that vitor and his co-workers make for a living. Throughout this whole time the man would be saying, "I Believe in God!"  
We went back to our teaching, seeing as we couldn't really do anything about this man.  Vitor and his family listened attentively,  Vitor's co-workers were still on the other side of the road (or small path) working on the pots along with trying to get rid of the drunk man.  Suddenly we heard a clap as one of the other men had slapped this drunk man.  The drunk man then took off his pants and started chasing after the man who had slapped him with a stone in each hand.    By the end of the lesson the man had returned,  his pants were back on at this point.  Elder Gergetz and I with one of the ZLs proceeded to go to our next lesson and this drunk kept on following us everywhere.  Soon we were able to walk far enough away to lose him and not be able to hear his constant droning about how he believes in God.
I love being a missionary, and constantly everyday I'm learning more and more.  I can't believe that it's already been two week here in Mozambique.  Oh and I've got to say....the food here is AMAZING!!!  I love it.  I hope all is well with everyone back home.  Feel free to write me!!!,  but to send a letter will be be expensive and it will probably take weeks to get here, if it does at all. 
-Elder Greenman

Monday, June 4, 2012

First Week in Africa

WOW!  What a week.  I've been outside of the US for exactly one week now.  About four of those days was consumed by travel.  I left SLC on monday morning of last week.  I arrived in Africa on Wednesday of the same week.  President Spendlove and his wife were their to greet us.  They are So different than what I had imagined they would be.  They are hilarious, and joke around a lot.  One of the elders who came in with us was from New Zealand.  The teased him about his accent ALL the time.    When we arrived we were assigned to our different areas.  I was then told that I'd be serving in Dondo,  a very small Jungle Town about an hour west from Beira.  To get to Beira one must take a 17 hour bus ride.  President Spendlove couldn't get any tickets for the bus that left that following day or on Friday, so we stayed at his house for a couple nights until Saturday morning at 3a.m. we made our way to the bus stop where seven of us missionaries began the long haul to Beira.    The bus ride was uneventful and the only thing I thing that I could say about it concerns the road conditions.   They were bad!  When we were about 5 hours away from Beira the roads were so terrible and so filled with potholes that the bus was going everlastingly slow.  We arrived in Beira well after dark and a Missionary Couple picked us up and drove us to our respective homes in Beira.  I stayed at the Beira 2 house because I'd be heading out to Dondo the very next morning to meet my trainer and arrive just in time for church.  The Beira 2 house is one of the better houses in the mission, other than the ant infestation which practically every house has.  I slept on the floor with a spare mattress, but didn't have a mosquito net or blanket......so when I woke up the next morning.....I had bites all over my arms.  

I then arrived in Dondo at about 15 minutes before Church started which is at 9.  So,  first off,  Dondo has the very best house in the mission, it is also the most expensive of course.  We also hold church services in this house.  I'll be sending pictures to go along with this email.  

This week, other than all the traveling, has been a great week.  I've only been in Dondo one day, and I know it's going to get better and better.  

Until Next time!