This was definitely one of those (hard weeks). I like to look at those kinds of weeks as the weeks that I grow the most. I have grown a lot. I've seen the Lord's help in our area so many times. On Sunday we passed by Alexandres and Bete's house on the way to church. When we arrived it didn't look like they were really getting ready, and Alexandre was nowhere to be found. His wife Bete said that he hadn’t come home last night and she had said that she thought she knew where he was. It was a huge curveball thrown right into our face. From what we gathered Alexandre has someone else and has had for some time. We didn't pry into the situation we just invited those that were there to come to church. The moment we arrived and entered the sacrament meeting room I felt so much more peace. Alexandre and his family were still on my mind, but I was more focused on feeling the peace inside the chapel. I was so ready to take the sacrament. That morning we all woke up to a lot of clouds. It looked like it was going to rain. And we all know that people here do not like rain. That may explain why our sacrament meeting frequency dropped by almost 30. (It didn’t rain, it just looked like it was going to rain, and just because it looked like it would, less people came. We're going to have to work on that.) After church we came home for district meeting where I gave a training based off of 3 Nephi 8:1 We discussed how we need to sanctify ourselves if we want to see miracles happen. Our whole district is now more committed to be happy and be clean, and be extraordinary missionaries. This week we had one of our investigators who has no job come work at our house, to cut our grass and do some other yard work. Interesting thing is…that he found 4 black mambas in our yard, and they are still there….alive and hopefully not too hungry. For those of you who don't know what black mambas are, they are snakes. Very poisonous ones. We also have a lemon tree in our back yard and yesterday we made lemon leaf tea. It was SOOOO good.
Later on Sunday evening, on our way home, we decided to stop by Alexandre's house just to talk with him. I don't know how to describe my feelings. I was frustrated, sad, determined to get to the bottom of things, and find a solution. Elder Thomas and I thought that we would just be passing by and ask Alexandre to walk with us where we could talk to him and ask him if what we heard was true. When we arrived we felt we needed to go in and talk with the whole family. We sat down and said a prayer and we began talking about the family and how important it is. We asked a lot of good questions that helped them express their feelings. I asked Alexandre if there was anything aside from the marriage documents and money that would make it hard for them to follow the law of chastity. He said no, that everything is fine and said, I don't know if my wife has anything but as for me, no. This is when Bete spoke. I'll have you know that Bete is pretty shy and I haven't heard her say very many words at all, but at this moment you could see the love in her eyes and the pain that she was feeling in her heart and she explained that she wanted a happy unified family, where everyone was united and not off doing their own things. She did not directly accuse Alexandre but explained the desires of her heart. From there we opened the scriptures to Moroni 10:32 and we read 33 as well. We talked about the atonement and how God will forgive ALL who come unto him. We committed them to do as the scripture says to come unto Christ and deny themselves of all ungodliness. The spirit was strong and Alexandre said, "I'm ready….Iºm ready to follow this commandment." We ended with a prayer on our knees. Then we left.
It is part of Mozambican culture for the host to accompany those who visit, so Alexandre left with us and walked with us for about 5 minutes. Throughout the walk we explained that not only is God willing to forgive him but we saw the desire that his Wife has to forgive him as well. Bete is such a sweet angel. We told him that he could trust us, and that we were there to help him. He then told us everything, how he has been visiting this widow who lives in another neighborhood. He said that he had compassion on her and would help her out occasionally around the house, and sometimes with a little bit of money. That eventually just escalated and inappropriate feelings were created. Alexandre asked us how he was going to fix his situation. We explained that he needs to continue reading the Book of Mormon and Praying as a family, he needs to be completely open with his wife and ask his forgiveness and stop having relations with the other woman. Earlier that day the curve ball had been thrown, but with the Lords help we were able to get some bat on that ball and now it's soaring high and Alexandre's family is on it's way to a grand-slam. The spirit was super strong during that lesson. I'm so thankful for getting to know Alexandre's family and I know that they will grow so much from this experience.
If I've learned one thing on my mission (and trust me I've learned more), it is that if I want to be happy then I just need to choose to be so. The mind is an incredible thing.