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, October 14, 2013

The Atonement is Infinite

Hello hello!  This week was another difficult one for us.  We’ve had a lot of lessons drop.  We took the time to look at some of our numbers for the past six weeks.  Of the 116 families that we’ve found so far in these past 3 weeks, only 16 of them have actually gone through.   This transfer we’ve marked 136 lessons and all of them dropped except 70.  Solution…..we need to start at the beginning of the problem.  Preach my Gospel teaches that nothing happens in missionary work until you find someone to teach.    Of all the phases of missionary work, we need to work on finding.  Elder Mason and I do fine on getting our goals to find families, but we’ve decided that we need to up the quality of the families that we teach.  We are called to gather the Lord’s elect for they harden not their hearts.  D and C 29:7.  In the three weeks that we have left this transfer we are going to pray and ask for the Lord to put these elect families in our path.  At the end we will compare the lessons marked and taught stats with what is shown above.  We believe that there will be great improvement.   President Kretly came to Manga this week to interview all of the missionaries.  We was going to have us meet at the Chapel, but I suggested that he meet with the Elders in their actual houses so that we can also get a feel of the homes and how the missionaries are living when they are not in the area.    I was so excited and glad to have an interview with President Kretly.  It was my third so far on my mission.  It was also very long.  He and I talked a lot about my district and my zone. 
I’ve noticed how incredibly much the Lord is blessing Mozambique right now.  One year ago what is happening was not happening.  What changed?    I like to think of 4th Nefi  and about the pride cycle.   It is interesting that after the 1st and 2nd generations died that is when the people began to be prideful.  Why?  They began to forget.   Nobody who had seen Jesus Christ  and had witnessed his visit was among them, other than the three nefites of course.    I like to apply this to our mission.  I was here before, when things were so different, but many Elders who were, along with me won’t be here after six months.   Who will remember what things were like before?  Why is it important to remember the past?   So we don’t repeat it.  In Alma 5,  Alma  while preaching reminds the people of their ancestors and their parents and how in their time of bondage they were freed.  They needed to be reminded.
Something I’ve been thinking about lately is that missionaries like me who have witnessed the change may become satisfied with the change that has already happened.  I know that the Lord has so much more in store for Mozambique, and the entire world, so who am I to be satisfied with the growth that has already happened.  Of course I am amazed and so grateful for it, but the moment we become comfortable with where we are at our rate of progression slows down.   When I first started my mission, when President Kretly came and gave the first Zone conference all of us truly felt and saw the need for change and growth.  We knew what we had to do.  We recognized where we were, where we needed to be and began applying Christ’s help and atonement to get there.    Because of our desire to change and sanctify ourselves the Lord has blessed these people immensely.  I wonder what will happen to the future generations of missionaries, if they come thinking that we are already where we need to be.  I believe that the same urgency for change that I felt at the beginning of my mission needs to be felt now.  We can avoid the pride cycle as we constantly look at where we are, acknowledge where we need to be, and use Christ’s atonement to get there.  Last Zone conference we talked a lot about where we are, and where we need to be.  I know that the miracles will continue to happen if we continue to sanctify ourselves and continue to desire repentance. 
Elder Mason and I have commited to have much more effective planning sessions.  We are making more specific plans to get our goals, and we are doing everything we can to get those goals.  Last night in our Daily planning while planning today we not only made a goal to get our 5 qualified contacts, but more specifically planned during the day when we would get them, for example, we planned to get at least two contacts on our way to the city this morning.  After we finished a great study this morning we headed out the door and by the time we made it to the city we had 4 qualified contacts.  And they were quality contacts.  One works at the city water department in an administrative position.  One had a very good job (biochemical something or other) and a very good car.   It takes about 30 minutes to get from Manga to the city.  There is public transportation, called chapas that can take you there, but we prefer to hitchhike. (it’s not really hitchhiking but it works out nicely because this way we get the opportunity to talk to more educated people that have good jobs and don’t work on Sundays. )  on one of the rides we got this morning two men were in the front and having their own conversation so we silently sat in the back and enjoyed the free ride.  When we almost arrived I decided to but in a  little on their conversation and ask them if they had already heard about our church.  The drive happened to be muslim but the man on the passenger side said that he had heard about it before.   But didn’t seem to show that he knew much about it.  The conversation evolved and he let us know that he “used to be one of” us.  That he almost served a mission, that he had the melchizidek and Aaronic priesthood.  (I enjoy speaking with inactive members who have an open heart like this man did)  I felt impressed to aske him, “Do you remember your baptism? How did you feel that day?  Why do you think you felt that way?”  I didn’t ask them all together like that, but gave him time to answer them.   I really feel that helping an inactive remember what he felt before, and why he felt that way, then testifying about the atonement  helps them know they can feel that way again.   Danilo, the man, spoke about the book of mormon and how it had helped him change his life.  I testified that it can change his life again, that all of us are continually in the process of changing and becoming more like Christ.  We took his number and are going to give his number to Elder Galland and Kanaga who work where he lives.
-Elder Greenman

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