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, 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!