Well, I’m 1/5 of a century old.
P.S. This week went incredibly….crazy! First it started off with loads of rain. (See Pictures) The water reached a height of over three feet. Elder Largent and I had to drive through it too! Needless to say, it wrecked our car, which is fixed now…. The rain came so quickly on Tuesday morning, we got trapped at the mission office, with no electricity, and nothing to do. We waited the storm out and when 4 o’clock came around we decided we’d go outside and try to fix the car. Water had gotten into the fuel filter, so after draining it we were able to get it fixed then we decided to make a run for it. We hopped into the car and headed out. To be honest it was more like boat. The area where the mission office is is the only area that it flooded super badly. It’s one of the lower points in the city and all the water goes there when it rains, so as soon as we got on to some other roads we were fine.
Armando was baptized on Saturday!
On Sunday night Elder Largent and I taught for the second time Alcidio and Luisa. They haven’t made it to church yet, but they have received an answer to their prayers. We taught the plan of salvation and it was an incredible lesson. The two of them were participating so much. They were asking really good questions. They are both doing the reading, we had left 3 nephi 11. When we spoke about the resurrection on how our bodies would be perfected Alcidio brought up a really good question. He said that when reading 3 Nephi 11 Jesus let the others see and touch the scars and marks in his hands side and feet. He asked, “if Jesus was resurrected then why did he still have those marks.”
It was a really good question, one that I had never really thought about deeply before. For the first time I asked myself, why Jesus Christ would choose to stay with those marks. First Nephi 20 helped me find my answer, because he loves us.
14 But, behold, Zion hath said: The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me—but he will show that he hath not.
15 For can a awoman forget her sucking child, that she should not have bcompassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may cforget, yet will I not forget thee, O house of Israel.
16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the apalms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.
So on Friday I celebrated my 20th birthday. To be honest I wasn’t planning on having a party, in fact I hadn’t even told anyone that it was my birthday. I just made a cake and we all ate it, like it was just any other day. When Elder Largent and I got to the office later in the afternoon I opened up President Kretly’s calendar on Outlook. (In the past president has asked us to put the elders’ birthdays on his calendar so that he can call them and wish them a happy birthday. Well I hadn’t put my birthday on his calendar but when Elder Largent and I got to the Office I put it on and invited President Kretly to “attend the event” Elder Largent and I laughed at our little joke and continued on thinking nothing more of it. We went to our area and Taught on last lesson to Armando. During the lesson Sister Kretly had called, so after we came out of the lesson I called her back. She asked if we were heading off to another lesson, we told her no. She said that President Kretly wanted to talk to Elder Largent and I and wondered if we could drive over real quick. Neither of us had made the connection yet, in fact we were worried that we had done something wrong and that’s why he wanted to talk to us. The whole way over there Elder Largent and I were thinking about what it could have been. We just drew blanks. We had no clue. Well, when we arrived, Sister Kretly said that he was in his office waiting for us. We went in, he smiled. Things seemed normal, and apparently all he needed was help with his printer. We solved the problem and then just continued talking to him about how our area was doing. President Kretly left the office with Elder Largent. Shortly thereafter, the assistants came in, followed by my companion elder Largent President Kretly, and Sister Kretly. They were singing happy birthday to me. Sister Kretly put a birthday hat on my head and Elder Rios (one of the Assistants) had a cake. Well, I was surprised. I was not expecting a surprise birthday party, especially from my Mission President. Anyway, we made our way into the kitchen, and president pulled out some meat from the fridge (a delicious cut called Picania) and we had a huge barbeque, lots of good food and we stayed up probably to late. At about 11:40 President Kretly told us that we should go home and get some rest. Haha. It was definitely one of the best birthdays I’ve had.
The Mozambique Maputo Mission is now opening up for sister missionaries. President Kretly had asked for them about 2 months ago, specifying that only native sisters should serve here. About four weeks ago we received 2 applications for sister missionaries from the US. We asked president if he knew about it. He was really surprised that first off we were actually going to get sisters, and second of that they weren’t natives or Africans.
The church is true no matter where you are, but the church is cooler here in Africa! Haha, just kidding. Kind of. I am super grateful to be a part of this work here in Africa and look forward to the day when we’ll have a stake here.
-The Elder Greenman