Training has been such a humbling and growing experience for me. I have learned so much this week. I have learned, or at least been reminded, that Gods way is the only way that will bring happiness and success. I have enjoyed thoroughly my time with Elder Hamrick. He is 18 years old and is from San Diego California. His desire to help the people is coupled with his spirituality and desire to always follow the promptings of the spirit. Our lessons have been very powerful. I’m learning how to become a greater teacher, as I learn to discern the needs of my investigators and ask inspired questions. Elder Hamrick and I found two wonderful families this week. Carlos and Suzette, and Arnaldo and Amelia. Both of the families accepted baptism. We met carlos at the beginning of the week on a Tuesday night, in the middle of the city after walking for what seemed like miles. We expressed a sincere desire to learn his purpose and find the way that leads to Christ. We marked to com on Thursday night. He lives at the very edge of Polana Caniço and we had to take a chapa to his house. (shawpa) It was already dark and when we arrived at the terminal we were surrounded by hundreds of people. On the way out to an area that was more open so we could call carlos and tell him we were at the terminal to meet with him a drunk man grabbed Elder Hamrick by the arm. He wasn’t drunk but buzzed. He started accusing Elder Hamrick of stepping on something that he had been selling on the road. I tried to get the man to release his grip and let us go. Another man came up to help but got a stiff arm in the neck. The man pulled elder Hamrick close and started being a little rough with him and checking his pockets. I don’t know how, but after that it ended, the man left and didn’t take anything. Elder Hamrick’s heart was beating a lot after that, but we went on our way to our lesson with carlos. He met us there at the terminal and we went to his house. We taught about the plan of salvation. Although he had many questions, his wife was silent and didn’t take much part in the lesson. Arnaldo and Amelia were found on Saturday when I went on divisions with Elder Ostler the district leader in the Maputo 2 branch. We had contacted him in the morning and marked for six oclock that evening. When we arrived, his family was there. There were six of them. We taught a powerful restoration lesson and committed them all to baptism on the 13 of august. After the lesson I mentioned that we had a member that was willing to come pick them up at 9:20 the next morning to take them to church. They all said okay. After the lesson….I called and found that member who was willing to take our Family. The next day we showed up, unfortunately only Arnarldo and the 17 year old son came. Church was great. The principles of the gospel lesson was on the sacrament, and all of that was followed by a fast and testimony meeting. (this is where things got interesting) Basically only three men bore their testimonies, and they we’rent really testimonies, they were long stories. One man went up to the pulpit with his recent diploma, when he got to the pulpit, before a spoke, he put his graduation cap on. (my head is now in my hands as I think of all the new investigators who came) well it was one of the longest fast and testimony meetings I’ve ever had. The man who graduated droned on and on about his story of getting the diploma and how hard it was and how much went into it. The second man shared a 20 minute story of his first time going to the temple.
After church Elder Hamrick and I went straight to our area because we were fasting. Last night we found another family! His name is Claudio. We contacted him and went straight to his house to teach a lesson. His wife Emilia wasn’t home so we marked to come back today. Elder Hamrick and I are both super excited for the opportunity to teach this family.
Omar and Gina are still going stronger than ever. They gave us a reference of a family. We are now teaching the reference with Omar and Gina. On Sunday Omar and Gina even went to go bring the family to church. I love it when the members get involved in missionary work. Members are the key. Preach my Gospel teaches us that we will have more success in bringing souls unto Christ if the members become the source of all our investigators. I’m super excited for this transfer. I have a lot on my shoulders being the lone Zone Leader and training at the same time. I know that the Lord has a lot in store for me and I’m excited to see how he can help me become the missionary he needs me to be.
One more thing, in district meeting our district leader Elder Croft who is also the new AP talked about Paradigm. I learned something very interesting for the meeting. It is not enough to be a positive thinker with a positive paradigm. Gandi said that we must be the change we want to see in the world. How can we be the change. Certainly not by having a negative paradigm, and more than just having a positive paradigm. Sometimes optimist ignore and try to forget what is wrong in the world. It is still important to recognize what needs to be fixed or changed and then make the change. That is what I like to call a creative thinker. Having a creative Paradigm, one looks at a situation recognizing what needs to be fixed and creatively going about to fix it. During the district meeting Elder Croft showed us three different pictures. In the activity he gave us one minute to write down every possible negative thing that we could find in the picture. The pictures depicted traditional African scenes that we see every day while in our area. After going through every picture pointing out the negative we started again pointing out the positive. This part of the activity was more fun. After that part we showed us the first picture again and told us this time to think about how and what we would change in the pictures. To creatively think of solutions to the negative things we wrote down. It’s hard to explain everything that I learned from the activity, but I’ve decided to be a creative thinker, to always have a creative paradigm.