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
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.
Monday, October 15, 2012
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.
Missão Moçambique Maputo
1116 Caixa Postal
Maputo Moçambique Africa
Monday, October 8, 2012
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
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.