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.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Divisions and More Divisions

Well, sounds like its been really cold in Burrrrrrrrrrley lately.   I wish  I could say the same about here. Actually, to be honest, it hasn't been too hot lately.   It's been pitter-pattering on and off.  President has been traveling a lot this transfer.  He  just got back from Beira on Wednesday.   From Monday to Wednesday Elder Brandão and I spent a lot of time in the office.  We had to hunt down fichas from those who still hadn't sent them, and prepare a few statistical reports for the month of November.   (Editor's Note: Ficha is the paperwork for baptism) 

On Wednesday we officially received our new truck.  We were driving an 18 seater van everywhere, but now we have a new 2012 Ford Ranger. Yup. We've named him Captain Moroni. I had taken for granted what it was like to drive a nice car. Everything is so smooth, it has that new car smell, and it has, or rather had, 0 kilometers. On wednesday night we drove to Matola to start a division with the Matola zone leaders.  Elder Brandao worked there before coming to the office.  For the division he stayed in Matola with Elder Williams.  When I dropped off Elder Brandao I picked up Elder Santos.  (He is also from Cape Verde and Is a really good missionary. This is his first transfer as Zone Leader and he's doing a very good job). When Elder Santos and I got back to Maputo from Matola, it was late.  After our daily planning we quickly got ready for bed and hit the lights.

 Notice Elder Greenman driving on the other side of the car...

We woke up and as soon as we were ready for the day we went to our area.  We didn't have any lessons marked, but we did some family finding for about two hours.  The Lord blessed us with 10 families that accepted to receive a visit from us, and we marked with several of them to visit that evening.   After lunch we went to the office to do some work, then went back to the area. All but one of the lessons fell through.....but during this time we were able to find five more families to teach and marked them for this week.  I loved the time that I spent with Elder Santos, and the opportunity that we both had to discuss the work.

Mosquito Netting for sleeping

In my district we have three companionships, Elder Brandao and I, Sister Naehu and Sister Merkely (we four are in Maputo),  then Elder Fontes and Elder de Pina (these elders are in Maxixe). Friday we left at 9 o'clock in the morning to Maxixe. Elder Brandao and I left to Maxixe with Elder and Sister Hobson. I was the one that drove and it took close to 7 hours.  The trip was wonderful.  Mozambique is so pretty and green. We arrived in Maxixe in the evening with about an hour and a half to spend in the area with the Maxixe missionaries. I walked with Elder Fontes, who is from Brazil.

Elder and Sister Hobson

Maxixe is an incredible area, but it has a few difficulties, and the Maxixe elders had gotten somewhat discouraged last transfer and didn't know how to pick things back up again. When working with Elder Fontes I did everything I could to just be excited and to talk with everyone. Some of the problems that they have in Maxixe are that many of the people that work in the city live far away, and that hardly anyone is outside on the streets past 7:30 p.m., and that they only have two missionaries covering a pretty big area. We happened to be walking outside past that hour, but I knew that the Lord would put people in our path.  He did.  We found a family that is officially married that was just walking together as a family just trying to catch a little bit of the the ocean breeze.  We stopped and talked with them and asked if they house was close and if we could accompany them to their house and leave a short message. They said yes. For lack of time, we left a short message and a prayer and marked to come back the very next morning. They said that they did feel the spirit and we helped them recognize why they did.  The next day we taught the restoration, and they accepted baptism.  Elder Brandao and Elder de Pina were also having success.  They found a very nice and sophisticated man entering his home and asked if they could come in and share a message.  He accepted.  They discovered that he didn't currently have a church and that he still hadn't been baptized, but that he was willing to be. 

President Kretly arrived on Saturday night. Sunday morning church began at 9.  Just so you know that up until this point Maxixe was not yet a Branch, but a group.  The average attendance was 25 people.
On this particular Sunday we had a total frequency of 40 people!   Also another surprise that none of us knew..... after the announcements the time was given to President Kretly.  President stood up and with a smile announced that Maxixe would become a branch.  He announced the branch presidency, and Elder Fontes was called as 2nd counselor (he didn't know).

The Sunday meeting continued to go very well.   After sacrament meeting we had Principles of the Gospel class and I approached the newly called branch president and said that I noted that no one was there to teach the class and asked if he wouldn't mind if I did. I've come to love teaching the Principles of the Gospel class.   One of the families that was found over the weekend came to church and when the man presented himself, he said that it was the first time coming, but that he was confident that he would always come with his family from now on.  

I would love to serve in Maxixe.  The area has so much potential. Elders Fontes and de Pina are going to marry and baptize a family this coming weekend. They are planning on baptizing one more family by the end of the month.  Speaking of families being baptized, 9 families were baptized this past weekend.  So far for the month of December the mission has had 14 families baptized (that's more than one per day!  What a Miracle!)

The next day was Monday!  The Hobsons had left saturday night, but we planned to just drive home with President.  President Kretly surprised us and decided to take us to Inhambane, and to a beach called Praia de Tofo, where we ate and played soccer on the beach. It is was the most beautiful beach I'd ever been to.  After that we dropped the Maxixe elders off and headed off to Maputo. The drive was very nice.  I enjoyed the opportunity to talk with President Kretly. He also gave us the privilege to listen to a talk by Elder David A. Bednar that was given at a Mission President's Seminar.  It was like the talk he gave in 2011 general conference but even more fascinating. I'll update more on that next week. (Editor's note: Monday was P-day and we did not receive a letter from Andrew this day and were wondering why...we're glad to know he had this opportunity to spend P-day with the Elders and President Kretly. Our letter came the next day.) Elder Brandao and I will be incorporating Elder Bednar's message into the Zone Conference training that we are preparing.

Two new missionaries arrived to our mission today.  Elder Brandao and I will be taking care of them.   There's a lot of work to do for all of us, and by that I mean every member of the church.  We have a lot of work to do on this side and the other side of  the veil.

-Elder Greenman

Elders de Pina, Fontes and Brandao

The beautiful green Mozambican Countryside

Elder Brandao (I am playing Soccer in the back)

Playing Soccer with Elder Fontes

Look how beautiful!

Elder Brandao, President Kretly and Me

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