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, July 22, 2013

I Like Being the Minority Here in Africa

Yup,  this week was another week of miracles.  At the begining of the week we went back to follow up with Claudio and Emilia if they were willing to follow the law of chastitiy.  They said not yet.......(then there was an awkward silence in the lesson)   we asked why and he expressed the fact that they still don't have their own house and that they didn't think that their family would accept or even support them.  (in mozambique as tradition, before the man can marry another man's daughter he must show that he can support and sustain a family.  Part of this is to have your own house and not be renting from someone else.)   They brought up various doubts like that.  That lesson was pretty depressing, i'm not going to lie.   We both felt pretty down after the lesson.  But....district meeting to the rescue.  In district meeting on Friday we talked about a lot of things that would help us teach better.  Elder Croft also explained and showed us how to ask better questions in lessons, especially during the Law of chastity lesson.  He taught us how to do motivational interviewing which is basically asking good, inspired questions that help them realize for themself that they Can do it, and to motivate them to do it.   Some of those questions are, "what is the worst thing that could happen if......   or What is the best thing that could happen if."   By asking these questions we are able to discover what their greatest doubts or difficulties are and they are able to discover that they can overcome them.  That friday night we went and taught them with OMar and Gina.  Right after the prayer we asked Claudio and Emilia if they had any questions for Omar or Gina.  Right off the bat Claudio asked them how they were able to follow the law of chastity.   The lesson started right off, Gina explained very well how things happened and testified that they had to do the right thing at the right time without delay.  Even with zero support from their family.  Gina LOVES to talk though and probably used too many words to explain all of this.  As the lesson went on, and as we asked claudio and emilia questions we discovered that the excuses they had given the last time weren't really their doubts.  by the end of the lesson he said that the biggest thing holding them back was on the financial side.  He asked Omar and Gina how much it costed them to get married.  They explained that they only needed to pay for their documents and opening the process.   They explained how the ceremony was done at the church and the members threw them a party.  After omar explained,  he asked, " but I want something even simpler."  (that was music to my ears)  Omar then explained that they could just sign the papers, that they didn't have to even get into marriage clothes and that the branch president could just come to his house and they could sign the papers.  After that was said Claudio and Emilia jsut looked at eachother and said, "that's what we want."    To me it's amazing how much changed when we were able to understand what was truly holding them back.  After explaining that money would not be an issue, they were willing to get it done as soon as possible.    Questions are powerful. Good questions help the person being taught almost teach himself, and discover eternal truths.  When Amon and Aaron taught they used many questions and by so doing they were able to convert many.  Christ also used powerful inspired questions.   Okay.  that is not all.  On Wednesday we contacted a man named Joao.  (John)  he  was super excited in the contact and he is also from Beira.  We marked to teach him on Saturday.  When we arrived we got to know their family better.  Joao and his wife Gina have four kids.  Gina has two from a previous relationship and together they have two more.  We taught the restoration,  their eyes were on us the entire time.  They absolutely loved it.  Before we even started the lesson Joao said that he had gone many different churches in his life time, but he still hadn't found the one that was true.    The day after we contacted Joao, we were walking home late one night and were hurrying to get home, when suddenly a man with a big smile stopped us and asked, "remember me?"  I said yes. l didn't remember his name but I did remember his face.  He went on to say that in october of last year he had been walking with his wife when the missionaries contacted them.    In October of last year I was with Elder Brogan and working on the other side of town. Long story short he said that the missionaries never came to his house and he saw us that night and wanted us to come.  We marked with him, Leonardo, to come Saturday night.  When we came his family was all there.  We got to know them as well, and we hit it right off.  Leonardo is also from Beira, and his wife is from down here in maputo.  They have two little girls, Gina and Shantel.  At the beginning he made it clear that they already go to a church, and one that had helped him through a lot of personal and family problems.  We taught the restoration and the spirit was incredibly strong.  They both felt the spirit and accepted to pray to ask God if it was true and accepted to be baptized on the 18 of August.    Those two families are two of the three incredible families that the Lord gave to us this week.   The other one we found on Tuesday.  We were walking away from an appointment that had fallen throught when we contacted a Man who looked happy and was on his way home.  His name was Abdala. (in my head I was like.....blast, this guy is probably muslim.)   He was.  Regardless we asked if he was close to home and if we could breifly sit down with his family.  He accepted and on they way we made some other questions like, Do you believe in Jesus Christ as the saviour and redeemer of the world?   He said yes with a big grin.  (some muslims here, aren't really muslims.  they just say they are because they were born into that religion but don't really go to church.)  We arrived at his house and sat down with his family.  He and his wife Angelina have 6 Kids ranging in ages 8-26   they all live at home except one daughter who is 15 who lives in South Africa.  We didn't spend much time but sang a hymn, got to know them and marked to come back the next day.  When we did we taught the Plan of Salvation.  Again, the spirit was there very strongly and they had many questions.  
okay so now it's Saturday night and Elder Hamrick and I are thinking of how we are going to get all of these families to church.  We decided to head out two hours before church and go out into our area.  We passed by all of the houses of the families we are teaching.  (we are teaching a lot more than those that i've mentioned in this and previous emails, but I just don't have enough time to write about all of them)    So we calculated that if every family that we were teaching would come to church we would have 7 families at church.  We went by all of the houses and started them on their way to church.  When we got to Leonardo's House he had already left with his family.  Claudio and Emilia too.    Joao and Gina didn't have enough money for transportation so we decided to walk with them to church, but looking at the time I knew that we wouldn't make it before church started, so I called a member who came and picked them up and took them to church.  Long story short we had 4 wonderful families at church.  The assistants who are the other companionship working in our branch also had four!  church was the best it had ever been.  The speakers did a great job and the classes were very instructive and good.  At the end of sacrament meeting Leonardo and Emilia said that they would be there every week, that they would always come back.  They absolutely LOVED church.   Joao and Gina as well, they said that they recieved and answer and know that Joseph Smith really was a profet of God.   That night we went back to leonardo's family and taught again.  We left a book of mormon. and  i'm just rambling a lot right now.  I'm kind of out of things to say,  basically this week was incredible, our area is exploding, and the Lord is doing it all for us.  okay, i'll send picture next week.  Luvs.
-Elder greenman.


  1. WOw! is it just Elder Greenman's Optimistic attitude, or this the work really just amazing in Mozambique? Thank You so much for sharing all this inperation with the world. Greenman Family.

  2. Hi Dani! I think the attitude is everything. Just a year ago when the new mission president came he changed the vision and helped the missionaries see a higher vision; actually visualize the success they would have. As a Franklin Covey associate before being called as mission president, he knows the power of vision and attitude and has instilled that in every one of the missionaries. Many months ago Andrew spoke about the great change from before and after they "got the vision" and the bottom line is that the beautiful African people responded positively, thus the explosion of success and much happiness. You'll have to let us know when you get your call! Thanks for the comments. Sincerely, Julie Greenman (Andrew's mom)