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, 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