Manga is the best. I left Maputo knowing I’d have a lot to do. To be Zone leader and trainer, but little did I know that I would also be district leader on top of all of that. Ya…..I don’t think I’ve ever been more busy in my entire life. The plane flight was quick and as soon as I stepped off the plane, “hello humidiy” ya…it’s a lot hotter up here in Beira. Elder Snelson the Senior missionary was there to pick us up and take all of us to our area. I love Elder Snelson, he is such a great missionary. As we rode in the car we talked a lot about Manga and it’s needs. Another great thing is that when I got to the house it was clean and super organized. My companion Elder Thomas is such a hard worker and he and I are having a great time together. I told him the first day that the Lord expects a lot from us this transfer and that it is going to be a 50 50 companionship that both of us would work together. We’ve been working super hard and he is one of my favorite companions. As soon as I got to Manga I set up a meeting with President Abdala to talk to him about what the missionaries can do to help the branch. We were also able to get a few other numbers from him. There are 434 members that live within our branch but with an average of only 160 people that come to church. This week I’ll find out how many active families live in our branch and get to know those families to be able to use them in missionary work. As for our area there are 4 families that have been taught for a long time but the only thing holding them back is getting married. They are all working on getting their documents. One family though is dirt poor and literally had no way as of now to get that money. My district is awesome. There are six of us total and all of us are training in fact the entire Manga Zone except the two elders in Dondo are training. Okay, so much has happened this week, I’m having a brain overload and I really don’t know what to talk about now. I’ll just say that I love the Manga 1 branch. Church was incredible. For us it starts at 8:30 so we left at 7 to go get investigators. We had a goal of four families at church. We have sacrament meeting first. And the chapel just kept filling up. We had 201 people at church. Elder Thomas and I had 17 investigators and 3 families. The members are so awesome, our ward missionary leader is the best one I’ve seen in the world. And elder Thomas and I talked to him about a few Ideas we have that we believe will help the branch. also good news, Saturday night we sat with a new family. (Alexandre and Bete) they have………..7 kids. Ya…. A family of nine. Not all of the kids were there but those that were all accepted baptism for sept.. 14 and they came to church as well. Also we had a baptism of a man named Paulo. We asked the branch president if we could do the baptism right after church so that all the members would already be there along with our investigators. So basically it all went super well.
Okay so the Idea that Elder Thomas and I had has to do with the collective marriages. The collective marriages takes so much money out of the District and branch’s budget. Solution? Do It on a much much smaller scale. Here in beira the marriages are done by zones or districts and the district will pay for the party. Instead of doing that we want to do the marriages on the branch level. And instead of the church paying for the party we almost won’t have a party. It will be similar to Omar and Gina’s wedding. The Elders quorum can bring drinks and the relief society brings a little bit of food. Everyone in the branch just donates a little bit. This solves the problem of the church having to spend so much money on the weddings. Another problem that we as missionaries have is that sometimes we teach families that don’t have a job, and have been searching for one for months and months or even years. Currently there is one family like that in my area. Julio and Delfina. Of course the families we teach still need to do sacrifice and do everything they can but there are a few occasions where a family that we are teaching is doing everything they can but still can’t get enough money to get the marriage documents. Solution: the branch uses a very small percentage of what they would have spent for a party to help that family get the documents. But the family has to work towards it, the branch president will have an interview with the head of household and give him a worthy job to do within the ward. He will have to work hard for it but then the branch will pay for him. It will only be in rare cases that the branch will provide this help for families because the majority are able to scrape enough for marriage docs. So the idea is cut the costs that the branch spends on parties. That’s the main idea, then on the side, in rare occasions the branch will use a much smaller amount of money to help certain families get married. (the party never should have been the focus anyway.) okay so the idea is still rough but we’ll be talking to the branch president on Tuesday. Okay so the internet ran out here and I don’t have anyway to send this so I’ll probably have to send it next week.