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.]