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, January 7, 2013

Best Week of my Life!

It started on Tuesday, when Elder Carl B. Cook of the Area Presidency came with his wife and daughter to tour the mission.  They were scheduled to leave immediately for Quelimane for the first Zone Conference but their flight got delayed until 10:30 at night, so now they had an entire day with nothing scheduled.   Elder Cook decided to call a meeting with all the Zone leaders, the Assistants and Elder Largent and I as well. 

That meeting alone, was absolutely incredible.  It was just 8 missionaries with President and Sister Kretly and The Cooks.    We started by introducing ourselves and where we are from.  After that, he said that since the last minute meeting had cut off our Companionship study that we were going to have one right then.   So he had us open to Preach my Gospel page 10 where it talks about establishing the church.  This was our topic.  We talked in depth about establishing the church and how it doesn’t only include baptizing people, but also helping new converts prepare for the temple, and receive callings, as well as fellowshipping inactive members.   After the meeting he asked if any missionaries had lessons marked that afternoon so that he could go with them.  Basically everyone but Elder Largent and I raised our hands.  My heart tanked like the economy. We had lessons marked at night, because we had a big day planned at the Mission Office.  After he had coordinated who he was going to go with, he paused….silence….then said, “I’d also like to spend some time with the Office Elders.”  I thought he was referring to spending some time in the office with us.  Inside my head I saw us showing him how we did finances and the such, I couldn’t imagine why he would want to do that.

Then it dawned on me, he actually wanted to walk with us.    I looked over at Elder Largent, he was pretty excited.  We didn’t have anyone marked but I knew for sure of someone who would be completely open to meet last minute.  I called Armando.  He answered, and I asked if we could come over to his house, he asked when, and I said, right now.  He mentioned that his wife would be there but he would.  We let Elder Cook know that we had one and that we would love to teach a lesson with him.  We headed out,  Elder Largent drove and I sat in the back seat.   Elder Cook asked what we had planned to teach Armando.  We let him know that our plan was to teach the plan of salvation and extend for the fourth time a baptismal invite for the 19 of January.  I mentioned that because his wife wouldn’t be there, that it would be better to teach the plan of salvation when the two were together.

With that in mind the three of us came to the conclusion that Armando needed to understand better the importance of Authority, and why he needed to be baptized again.  While we were in the  car, on our way to Armandos, we planned all of this out, including scriptures, and who would say what.  We decided that I would start out with 3 Nephi 11 and also 3 Nephy 27 talking about authority, and it’s importance.  Elder Cook would then come in bearing testimony of that and talk about Armando’s responsibility as a father to be a leader.  (we were hoping this would help him realize that he needed to be baptized to show the example for his family.)  After that Elder Largent would come in and extend the baptismal invite for the 19 of January.    Armando, is fluent in English and Portuguese, and German, he’s very intelligent.  We were greatful for his English and so was Elder Cook.  Because of this, Elder Cook was able to speak directly to Armando.  The spirit was so strong during the lesson.  Elder Cook asked him if he had a testimony that Joseph Smith was the Prophet of the Restoration.  Armando, said that he did without a shadow of a doubt.    Armando was definitely touched by the spirit, and accepted the baptismal invitation 100%   We came out of that lesson all edified.

When we got back into the car we had a debrief and after that we were able to ask him some questions.  Apparently Elder Cook has been to Burley, in fact he’s been to Grandpa Terry’s house.  Grandpa, he spoke very highly of you,  at first I was wondering if we were thinking about the same person.  (just kidding,  Everything he said was spot on, and very true.  What he said of you left an impression on me.  The things he said are things that I want people to say of me. )     So all of this was on Tuesday.  That same  night Elder Cook went up to Quelimane, and came back the following night for a conference with many of the members in Maputo.  The district asked the Maputo 2 choir to sing, and I had asked Armando if he wanted to take part.  He said that he did want to.  We arrived that night and at the end of the meeting the District President said that there would be no time for the choir to sing, but tomorrow they would at the couples meeting.  ( funny thing is, is that at the end of the couples meeting the District President  announced the closing prayer, and didn’t say anything about the choir.  My heart tanked again, but luckily he got back up and announced it.
Well, anyway, it was an awesome week with Elder Cook and I’m super grateful I had the opportunity to teach a lesson with him.   Armando came to church again for the 7th time, he even bore his testimony.  It was short, simple, and powerful.  He testified that this church is true.    His wife never was really open with us, but now it seems like she isnt’ only closed, but locked shut.  We’ve been praying that her heart will be softened.
This past year has been incredible, challenging, and life changing.  This next year is going to be even better.  I love being a missionary.  Happy New Year to all.
-The Elder Greenman

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