On Monday night I left Manga. I called a taxi to come pick me up and take me to the airport. I said a few quick goodbyes to the Elders in my district and got into the taxi. The taxi was not an old car, but it sounded like it, rode like it, and smelled like it. After arriving and checking in I took my place waiting for the plane to arrive. It did, but about an hour late. I was without a phone and knew that Elder Lake and Elder Brandão were probably already waiting at the Maputo International Airport. When I arrived in Maputo it was midnight so we went directly home to rest up for the day. Elder Lake was the assistant to the president. He would have been transfered already under normal circumstances but because Elder Brandão and I are whitewashing our area, and coming in at the same time, Elder Lake stayed until Wednesday night to give us a crash course on how to be an assistant. On Wednesday Elder Brandão and I finally had our first day in our new area. By new area it means that it is new for both of us and also missionaries weren't working in it before us for months, and months. We're starting from zero. The main thing we are doing now is just family finding. Just like preach my gospel teaches, "Nothing happens in missionary work until you find someone to teach." This past week we only had 4 lessons, but we found two new families. I'd like to share the story of how we found the first. Their names are Mario and Ámina. On wednesday night we were working in Minkadjuine. (one of the neighborhoods that is in our area) Minkadjuine consists of many small, tiny, and maze like paths that snake between all of the cement and sheet metal houses that are there. While going down one of these paths, we had the idea to knock on a certain gate. (it wasn't a strong impression, it most often isn't. But it was something simple like and idea or thought) We knocked on the gate.....no answer. We knocked again and heard some ruffling. We heard an older man's voice say that he can't answer the door, because he can't walk. We asked if we could come in, he said yes. After coming into the house we beheld an old couple with gray hair in very humble circumstances. The wife of the man didn't really speak portuguese very well, neither did he, but they felt like royalty after the visit. Its interesting what a smile, or a quick prayer can do to shine a little light in the life of those that don't have the gospel. Before we left we asked if there was any family who lived with him. (there was another small house on his property) He said that his son and daughter in law lived with them in the other house, he went on to explain that neither of them were home at the time. We asked for his son's phone number. They couldn't for the life of them remember. After trying to help them, we decided to leave a pamphlet with our number on the back. After a prayer we left, not really thinking much about it. The next day....thursday. We were back in our area but in another part called Mafalala. Again the thought came to turn down a certain road. After a while we found a man walking the other way. We stopped him and talked to him about our message, we asked him if he would accept to be baptized by someone who has authority. He said yes. We asked for his number. He said.......that he didn't have it, that he didn't really remember his number. Elder Brandão asked if he could show us to his house at least so that we could come another day. (yup, i bet you're catching on) We began following Mario on the roads of Mafalala. We came to the boundary and crossed the road into minkadjuine. (I'll admit that at this point I still hadn't made the connection that this Mario was the son of the old man we had visited yesterday) As we walked with Mario we talked about his life and his family. He told us that he lived with his wife, son, and his parents. He mentioned that his father had been with troubles of walking lately. (Bingo! thats when I made the connection. Everything fit into place. I looked around me and recognized where we were.... we were at his door.) His wife wasn't home at the time but we were able to get his number and we marked to come by again.
The other family we found is Agustino and Camila. Also a good family. Of all of our four new investigators this week however only Camila made it to church. But that's okay, she also brought her father in law. Also when we got to church we found a member referral there named Fernando we we are going to go teach here in about an hour. The referral was from David Hamblin who has been doing some humanitarian work here in Mozambique for several years. He has worked with Fernando for six years and fernando has accepted to be taught by the missionaries. We are very excited to teach him tonight.
I love serving with Elder Brandão. He is 23 years old and is from Cape Verde. He is a convert to the church with a very interesting conversion story. (story time will have to wait, it's getting late) Both he and I are learning the ropes together.
Its nice to be back in the Maputo 2 branch. I was happy to see so many of the members that I knew, and also see the two families that I baptized are still active and coming. I was also able to see Omar and Gina from maputo 1, also active. Oh the joy of seeing those I taught still holding fast to the iron rod. The sacrament meeting was good, other than the lady who gave the last talk and talked for 40 minutes and the meeting ended 27 minutes past the hour. ooops....
Well, time is up. Until next week.