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, November 25, 2013

The Refiner's Fire

The heat never stops coming.  I assume it never will.  I don't believe life gets any easier, but it does become more fulfilling if we choose the right.   I know that today I'm laying down the foundation of tomorrow.   President has  been in South Africa all this past week which has given us more time in our area.   One of the main struggles we are having is sitting with new people.  So far this transfer we have taken the number of 150 families who have accepted to receive our message.  Half of them live in our area.  But in the past three weeks we've only been able to sit with 5 new families.    We will mark with them and they will accept a return visit the next day.  We will call in the morning, they will confirm.  We will call thirty minutes before to let them know that we are on our way.  When we get to the place where we decided to meet, we call, and their phone is turned off.   This has happened over, and over again.  The cause?  Probably because they don't understand the importance of this message, and the change it can make for their families. This week, however, was more effective and better than the others.  We taught more lessons and were able to sit with three new families.  Things started picking up on Saturday.  On Saturday we had a zone training given by the Zone Leaders.  Elder Peterson from the U.S. and Elder Vestia who is from Portugal.  The training began by all of the District leaders presenting an idea or something that their district is doing that is helping them see more success.  It was really good to learn from others. One of the ideas was using the Book of Mormon in the contact.  It works.  Even for people that aren't interested in the beginning, we just let them know that we have a book that is convincing evidence that our message is true. People are becoming more interested and willing to talk to us.  I've noticed something interesting, every time I walk in the area with a copy of the Book of Mormon in my hand I suddenly have more desire to speak with everyone.  

About our family that I mentioned last week....Sabito and Maninha have left.  They are traveling to South Africa and then they will be on their way to Beira.  We called them on Sunday, he said that the traveling is going well and safely.  As soon as they arrive in Beira we will give their number to the missionaries up there.   
Church on Sunday was really special. The person that was supposed to teach Principles of the Gospel class didn't show up so I gave it. The lesson was on the Signs of the Second coming.  The lesson went really well. After the class we all went downstairs to the sacrament meeting room.  At this time Sister Kretly called Elder Brandao and I letting us know that they were on their way and to tell the branch president to wait until they arrived.  The sacrament service was really spiritual.  Our branch had 205 people present.  In the past it has averaged about 170.  At the end President Kretly spoke about how the gospel has changed his life. His mother died last week with the age of 90 while he was in South Africa.  He explained that it was a really hard experience to pass through but that he is so grateful that his mother and father decided to follow Jesus Christ and accept his restored gospel.  He invited all of the members and investigators to recognize that the choice they made or will make to follow Jesus Christ and his restored gospel will affect more than just them. The meeting was really good.   

Now that President is back, Elder Brandao and I have a lot more to do in the Office.  There are five young men who will be leaving on their missions this next wednesday.  Four of them will serve in Angola and the other will serve in Cape Verde. Today and Tomorrow, Elder Brandao and I are going to be with them and help them prepare.  Many of these young men come from very humble circumstances and only have one white shirt and pair of pants.  They may not have a lot as far as attire, but what they do have is a beautiful understanding and testimony of the restored gospel.  We are going to outfit them with the clothes that they need for their mission.  One of our mission goals is to have as many Mozambicans serving missions out in the world as we have missionaries assigned to work here in Mozambique.  Currently we have 88 missionaries in our mission.  Right now we have 27 Mozambicans who are serving, and the number is growing.  I've been thinking about that goal recently and I noticed a small problem that I'm going to talk to president about.  Our focus has been families, and the extreme majority of these families are young families. If we want to have 88 missionaries serving outside of Mozambique we are going to have to find a solution.  

Elder Brandao and I, when we walk in our area always invite the young men who are there as well.  In fact, one of the things that we like to do is we'll stop a young man who has an earring and we'll say, "you are a really good young man, you just need to change one thing....."    This week we've taken so many earrings from young men.  We give them pamphlets in return.
-Elder Greenman

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