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, June 17, 2013

Omar and Gina

This week was another great week.   THEY DID IT!  Omar and Gina opened up the legal marriage process on Wednesday!  Exactly two weeks after we found Omar.  They were truly prepared by the Lord to receive us.  Prepared in the sense of having all their documents and the money they needed to open the process? no.   But they were prepared with the faith to overcome all sorts of obstacles in their path to get married so they can get baptized.  Oh! ya.... and they kind of got kicked out of their house this week. Gina's mom knew of another house near hers that was up for rent so now they are living close to Gina's parents.  So good news is.....they have a house now and are moved in.  bad news is....they live super far away now.   Now it would take 2 hours walked for them to get to church.  (thank goodness for public transportation)  

Last week I think I mentioned that Gina invited her parents to church and they came.  Well Gina's mom came again with two of her sons.  Gina's dad was working otherwise i'm pretty sure that they would come.   After sacrament meeting we had a meeting with the branch presidency, the Elder's Quorum President, and the relief society president, and Omar and Gina.  The wedding is marked for this friday at 4 in the afternoon.  We announced four so that everyone would show up by 5.   The meeting went well we talked about and planned the ceremony.  We also asked if the members would be willing to help out a little bit and bring drinks and a little something to eat.  The elders quorum is going to bring the drinks, the young men and women will take care of the decorations, and the relief society will make a few traditional foods/refreshments. It will be simple but beautiful. 
-Elder Greenman

Monday, June 10, 2013

When In-Laws are the Problem, Invite them to Church!

This week was another week full of fun and hard work.  It passed by super quickly.   Just a quick update on Omar and Gina....they are incredible!!!!   We are going to go open up the marriage process with them today.  In one week Omar and Gina were able to get all of their marriage documents.    The hardest one was up in Beira.  He was born their so we had to get his birthcertificate from there.  Elder Gray and I called the Zone Leaders up there and they took care of it and sent it down to maputo through the plane mail.   On saturday we went and picked it up, but the place was closed.....luckily someone was still in there and and after talking to them we finaly convinced them to help us out and get the document for us.  Omar and Gina are reading the book of mormon a lot!!!   Yesterday Gina was already in 2Nephi.  Omar was in 1 Nephi 17 and said that after church he was going to read a lot to catch up to Gina.   Their parents still aren't 100% for them getting married, but the cool thing is that Gina invited her parents to come to church.   And they did!  and her mother loved it, as for her Dad  he liked it but still is just really confused.   Gina said that her parents probably came to church just to talk them out of getting married, so elder Gray and I had the branch councilor announce the marriage in sacrament as a branch activity.  Now it's official, especially because we are going to open the marriage process with them today.

In other news....
our DLC went really well.  The other missionaries in our zone are already thinking of new ways to do things and finding what works best for our area.   Elder Gray and I are working more with the members now.  We have marked to sit with the Branch President at his house this week.   yesterday we went to a members house for lunch.  Their names are Isaac and Louisa.   It was so nice to sit with them, get to know their story and how they became converted.  Their children were baptized in 2009, but they didn't want in.  One of their daughters left on a mission to brazil at the end of 2011 and they still didn't want in, but supported their daughter serving a mission.   In november  it finally happened they were both baptized and since then are doing so well.  Isaac is a worthy melchezidek preisthood holder and Louisa teaches in the relief society.    After dinner we talked about missionary work and how important the members are.  We explained that we need their help in finding people to teach.  The members here in Maputo aren't very involved in missionary work.  Elder Gray and I believe that that is the only thing that is holding us back from having the same growth here as their is in Beira.  Since December  50 families have been baptized up in Beira.  The members are super involved and are constantly helping.    Every member is a missionary.   What we are trying to organize is that the members invite a friend over to their house then we come as well to teach them.  
well...times up!    more on getting help from the members next time.

-Elder Greenman

Monday, June 3, 2013

Ya Voy

This week was super great and super spiritual.  Elder Gray and I are getting a really good feel for our area.  What works and what doesn’t.    We’ve started putting together our training that we are going to give in DLC.  (district leader council)     The main thing that we are going to talk about is working with the members.  We want to help our zone get the ball rolling here in Maputo like it is in Beira. Our zone had two families baptized this week, and we know that we have so much more potential to help even more people.    This week we had divisions with the Assistants.  I walked with Elder Cyrier in my area and Elder Gray went with Elder Bateman in his area.    I learned a lot with Elder Cyrier and in the division we found a man named Omar.   We found him when we contacted another man and marked a time to sit with him that afternoon.    The other man’s name was Mauricio.  After lunch we came back to teach Mauricio and Omar was there.  The lesson with Mauricio and his wife Bea, was super powerful.  The next day we planned to come back and teach Mauricio and his wife.  We also marked with Omar to pass by his house the next day as well.  We gave both Mauricio and Omar a Book of Mormon.   The next day, (back with elder Gray again)   I told him about Mauricio and how it was such an awesome family.  Well we went back the next day and they tanked like the economy.  They weren’t interested, hadn’t read and just weren’t prepared.  That same day we taught Omar and Gina.  It was such a great lesson.  Omar had read the chapter that we left and had great questions about it.  Gina is also a very intelligent and proactive lady, which to be honest is a little harder to find in the area where Elder Gray and I work.  We left another Book of Mormon with Gina so they both had one to read and we marked with them to come back on Friday (the next day.)   We came, they had read again,  they had also prayed and had received their answer.   We taught the Plan of Salvation, but we taught it in a way that I had never before taught.  Elder Gray and I made it a lot more simple.    We had a purpose in the way we taught it, that purpose was to help them understand what they as a family need to do now to return with God.    The Plan of salvation is basically teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ  but on an eternal scale. (helping them understand why they need to repent and be baptized.  We didn’t talk about Adam and Eve, the spirit world, or all of the kingdoms of glory.  We just explained that God has a plan of happiness which is his gospel and following it is the only way to have Salvation.   (of course when we teach the plan of salvation for the second time we’ll go into more detail, but after the lesson we asked if they had any questions and they said they didn’t, they understood everything perfectly and that it was super easy to understand what they needed to do. )   By this point we had already taught the Law of Chastity and explained that they need to legalize their marriage.    We left that day inviting them to read starting from the beginning of the Book of Mormon and also invited them to the baptism on Saturday morning.  The next day, they showed up at the baptism and loved it.  The testimonies of the two families that were baptized were simple and SO powerful.  The Spirit was there with such strength.    Also on Sunday they came to church.  After church we taught them there with a member.   Things started to unfold, and Elder Gray and I realized more and more how prepared this family is.  They had read up to 1 Nephi 5.  Gina told us that she had come to church with a question in her soul.   That question was how she was going to do all of this, get married, and baptized.    She told us that in relief society the lesson was on doing the right things, in the right way and in the right time without delay.  She’s super smart and applied it directly to her life saying that they just need to get married and repent to be baptized.   She also began saying that when Omar came back Wednesday night after sitting with us he had told her about us.  He showed her the Book of Mormon.  She said that she took it and scowled saying that it couldn’t be true and that she only needed the bible.   She said that she didn’t want anything to do with us.   Omar told her that we were going to arrive that next day at 10 oclock in the morning.  When 10 came around she left the house to escape us.  The best part is, is that we had marked for 2 o’clock in the afternoon and Omar had told her 10.   When she came back she asked how it went, he just told her that we hadn’t come yet and that we were on our way.  (and we were, in fact we were already  at the bus stop and called him to let him know we were here.  We didn’t know where he lived so he said he would be right there to show us to his house)   When he got off the phone with us he told her to at least clean things up and have their house ready for us and then she could leave.  Well  we got  to their house before she was able to escape, and then we taught the restoration lesson.  All of this we didn’t know until Sunday when they told us about it.  Omar and Gina are the best.  In four days they changed so much.  On Sunday they went' and talked to their family saying they were going to get married.  Just so you know, Gina ran away from home to live with Omar, so you can imagine that her parents dont' want them to get married.   Well when they told their family Gina's parents said that it was impossible, and that it wasn't happening.  Gina said," We'll see, God is on our side"   haha  
Also this week Elder Gray and I have been thinking of better ways to do missionary work.   We’ve changed the way we contact people to simply asking them if they like to read the bible.   Then we ask if we could read it with their family.  If it’s a house contact or if they are close to their house we ask if they have 10 minutes.  They almost always say yes.  At that point we enter their house and leave exactly 10 minutes later.  In those 10 minutes we teach the restoration and invite them to be baptized.  To start we read Amos 8:11-12 that talks about the apostasy.   Then we jump right into the restoration.  We came up with the idea on Saturday and so far it has been super successful.  Missionary work is awesome.  I’m loving it.   I know the Lord is preparing  Omars and Ginas out there for each of us to find and teach.
-Elder Greenman