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, April 8, 2014

They Said Two Years Would Pass By Quickly. Can Anyone Say, "Understatement"?

I'd like o start off this letter saying that my mission has been the best two years of my life, but.....I'd also like to make it clear that it has been the best two years for my life.  I know of no other oportunity in the world for an 18 or 19 year old young man or woman to be able to learn so much, in so little time, at a great price.  Serving a two year mission for the Lord has changed my life.  The Lord has changed me. 

35 Nevertheless they did afast and bpray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their chumility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the dpurifying and the esanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their fyielding their hearts unto God.

 The Lord can't do anything with our weaknessess unless we allow Him to do so.  One of the lessons I've learned is the importance to recognize my weaknesses.  If recognition doesn't take place then it is't fairly hard for us to have the desire to repent and change something we don't think needs to be changed.  Repentance is long lasting and real when it comes from an inner desire to change.  I've taught many investigators that took steps towards repentance just to please us or other people, but when I saw in other investigators a sincere desire to follow Christ and repent of their sins, that is when I saw true conversion.  I still have many weaknesses and know that the Lord will continue to help me with those as long as I recognize them.  Another interesting thing is that 30 years down the road I'll recognize in me a weakness that I knew I had.  I wonder what I can do to accelerate this process of repentance? 

 The second thing I learned is the importance of doing the small things like daily prayer, scripture study, and obedience.  While keeping these things as part of my daily life I know that It will be easier to recognize the things that I need to do better. 

 Another important thing that I have learned on my mission is the key to happiness.  First off....happiness is a choice, and happiness comes through our righteous choices.  It is not dependant on our circumstances, but how we choose to react to our circumstances.  Money does not bring happiness.  I have seen countless families who struggle financially but have a deep happiness that is found in their daily choices to follow Jesus Christ.  However, what does one do when they are making righteous decisions and are following Jesus Christ but still feel discouraged or depressed?  This is when I remember Mosiah 24:10-16. I know that when we pray for help after we've done everything we can, the Lord will do the rest.

 I've learned the importance of the family.  I've been blessed to serve in this country at this time when, as missionaries, we have focused on teaching and baptizing and helping families go to the temple.  Because of this focus, my entire mission  I have interacted with so many amazing families.  Amazing, because I saw the change that came into their lives as they took the steps to follow Jesus Christ.  The gospel of Jesus Christ blesses families, that is one of the first points in the Restoration.  

I have also learned more of the importance of not only doing things, but doing them well.  For example, I don't know how many times I've taught the Restoration lesson on my mission but what I do know, is that tonight when I teach the new family we have marked it will be the first time they will hear this message.  It doesn't matter how many times I've done it in the past, but this next one needs to be the best.  Throughout the rest of my life there will be many other things that I will do repeatedly everyday. For example, in my career.. Every next day needs to be better than the other.

I know the atonement is powerful, eternal, and perfect, if it weren't then one day we also wouldn't be able to become powerful, eternal, and perfect. I know that the true Church of God is once more upon the earth.  I love Mozambique and these people.  I love to serve. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
-Elder Greenman

Monday, April 7, 2014

Letter From the Mission President

(We received this form letter to all the parents of the Mozambican missionaries today)

 Dear Parents and Leaders of Missionary from Mozambique Maputo Mission,

Your missionary is doing great. All are in good health and today we are having zero problems with that and obedience. The mission is growing and the Sacrament attendance is growing each Sunday.

About 20 months a go the Sacrament attendance was 1700 in 18 branches. Today the Lord bless us with 3200 total in 24 branches. It's a miracle. What your missionary is doing here is amazing and have no words to thank you for prepare such a great missionary. I think we can have wonderful missionaries in other missions even great ones like we have here, but not better. We really enjoy work with them and my wife love them as her own sons and daughters. They are adorable!

Please, keep praying for them, and the families that they are working with. By the way, since we start to mesure that, (Dec2012) the Lord bless us and they baptize 274 complete families! Is not a miracle? More than 85% of than is active on the church!

Our next big goal is send these families to the Temple this year, will be a big challenge, but for God nothing in impossible, and our missionaries knows that.

Thanks again for all you doing to help them and lift them.

With love and appreciation,

President and Sister Kretly

ps. please, be aware that today is holiday here in Mozambique and you son or daughter will write for you only tomorrow.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Second to the Last Letter

This is Andrew's mom. We received his letter this morning, all in Spanish, and I wanted to give a little update, so I will translate a part of it for you.

My mission has been the best thing in my life and for my life up until now. I want to write you and thank you for all the support and prayers in my behalf. This week went well. We taught a new family, who came to church! We have three complete families in our Sunday Meetings: Ronaldo and Iva, Nelson and Louisa and Cremildo and Celia.

After church we had a Ward Council Meeting. A member from the district presidency was in attendance and he taught us and the auxiliaries how to have an effective ward council. He always used the Administration manual in order to respond to the questions and concerns each had. I learned much from this President Mateus. The manner in which he used love and patience in training the members will always remain in my mind. The Church is growing very rapidly here, but they need more reinforcement. We are working hard to teach the leaders and the members to do their important part.

This week we are having the Zone Conference and I am excited to learn from President Kretly.

...Next week will be my last letter. I ask you to send me questions so that I can respond with anything you want to know about.

The pictures below are of my companions and I in back of President Kretly's vehicle. We were asked to design a poster that will inspire some interest in our church. This is what we came up with. (It translates as "Do you want to have a happy family? Call this number...") The second picture is of a special family the Elder Gray and I taught. They have not been baptized yet, but someday will be.

Monday, March 24, 2014

President Said I Could Extend till May!!!!

(The most common starting line in all of my letters  :)  

          This week went by really fast.  No really....it went by way too fast.  What made it go fast?
We had lots of work to do in the office this week and at the same time lots to do in the area. 
          As far as the office goes: There are two "Prezies" that we've been working on.  One for Zone Conference, which is this and next week.  The second is a training that President Kretly will be giving to all the members about the importance of family history work and the "my family" booklet.   This past week we were able to finish them both. However, because of all of the work we had to do in the office, there were three days that we were't able to get to the area.  The other days we made up for it though.  We still got 40 qualified contacts and taught a nice new family.  This week we had a family home evening with Nelson and Louisa along with Carlos and Ana and it went very well.   Nelson and Louisa and their kids, Cynthia and Julinho, are doing very well.  They've developed the habit of family scripture study and family prayer.  It's starting to become a habit for them, even their little kids of 9 and 6 years are starting to participate in the family prayers.
    We had to move Rondaldo and Iva's baptismal date back to the first week of april because they don't have all their marriage documents yet.  They came to church this week and instead of being late they were early, which was super nice, especially because this past sunday was branch conference.  The attendance for our branch was a record high too!  There were 256 people in our sacrament meeting in the maputo 2 branch.  
-Elder Greenman

Monday, March 17, 2014

Significant Sacrament

This week went by very well, and very fast.    Last monday we drove to Matola to pick up Elder Santos, our new companion.  I respect Elder Santos so very much.  He is an example to me of what happens when someone does everything they can to reach their potencial.  Elder Santos did not speak english before the mission.  Now he speaks very well.  He has learned a lot about how to be a leader.  Elder Williams and I feel privileged to serve with him and prepare him to be the next assistant to the president.  
Quick update on the families that we are teaching:
Ronaldo and Iva came to church together, (they did come late, but we'll teach about the importance of the Sabbath day this week)  Ronaldo and Iva are reading in the book of mormon.  One of our focuses this week with him will be to help him read even more. Iva on the other hand is reading really well and is past 1 Nephi 10.  They still haven't seemed to get all their documents yet.  This week we'll teach about the importance of the plan of salvation.  It will help them understand why they need to follow God's commandments on earth and follow them now. (Alma 34)
I mentioned in last week's letter about two new families that we taught:
Julião and Amparo as well as Nelson and Nayomi.   This week we haven't been able to sit with Nelson and Nayomi, but we were able to sit with Julião and Amparo last night.  We taught them the plan of salvation.  The lesson went very well.  Julião and Amparo are people that have a greater understanding of things.  They are both very smart, He's a business consultor and she's an accountant.  Along with that they are both religious and have their understanding of things pertaining to God.  The plan o salvation however was able to clear a few thins up for them.  They have a lot of question about it that we weren't able to answer last night.  We'll be sitting with them again tomorrow to talk more about it.
We sat with Neslon and Louisa this week.  Man!, this family is special.   They live with their two children: Cynthia (9)  and Julinho (6)   They accepted the restoration very openly.  We left them with two book of mormons and committed them to read as a family every day.  Louisa doesn't know how to read very well, so she follows along as her husband reads.  They are progressing!    We sat with them three times this week.  and.....they came to church!  We went by their house early in the morning before church to walk with them.  Our area is about 30 minutes away by foot.  (That is at a missionary walking speed)  A family with their two younger children can take 40-60 minutes to get to church. These people have so much faith.    They enjoyed church a lot and we'll be teaching them tonight as well.
Carlos and Ana are doing well.  Carlos is converted, he's reading the book of mormon and is gaining a solid testimony that this is God's church.  It's seems like half of his family is splitting though.  Ana is still very strong in her church and doesn't show a lot of excitement at the thought of suddenly leaving and joining another church.  She has friends there, many of which she helped them start going there. One of her concerns this week was why we take the sacrament every week, and why it isn't wine with bread.   It's so important to understand the importance of the sacrament.  If an investigator truly understands, then he won't become inactive.  Many people go inactive because of something they did, or that was done to them that could simply have been taken care of by taking the sacrament and renewing their course.  We explained to Ana that the sacrament is simply renewing our baptismal covenants.  We explained that none of us is perfect and we need to renew and realign ourselves with God weekly.  Before my mission I didn't understand the importance of the sacrament.  (The funny thing is, is that 40 years from now I'll look back at this time in my life and say the same thing.  We are always growing and deepening our understanding and testimony of Christ and His Atonement)  Carlos has been to church 4 times in a row.  The first time he only came with one of his kids.  The second time he came with two.  The third time he came with his wife and one of his sons (Nando) and the fourth time, which was yesterday, he came with three of his kids.  It won't be long before the kids start coming every week.  Ana will eventually see a difference in her kids and her husband and will desire the same thing.  Tonight we will be doing a FHE at their house.  We're bringing the Relief Society president along with Nelson and Louisa with their two kids.    Elder Hamilton, when he came to our mission, said that FHE may be our secret weapon to unify families.  I know for a fact that FHE does help the family stay united.

This week we made it into the double digits for investigators at church, and we want to keep it that way.  The Lord is blessing our area and it's starting to build up.  If we are able to get the marriage process open with Ronaldo and Iva this week then they'll be married on the 29th of March.  We hope they can get baptized on the same day as well but we want to make sure that they are converted to the gospel not the idea of a new thing and getting married.
Well, thats all folks!  have a great week!
-Elder Greenman

Monday, March 10, 2014

Vision Precedes Our Victories

This week went very well.  Some of our time was spent with the 5 new missionaries that came in this transfer.

-Elder Greenman

P.S.   The Lord blesses us so much in our area!  To start off, Ronaldo and Iva are doing very well.  They will probably be able to get the rest of their marriage documents this week.  Their baptismal date is on the 29th of March.  Two of the Sister missionaries married and baptized a family this past weekend so we invited Ronald and Iva to come to the marriage and baptism.   They loved it and are excited for their turn.  They are also reading the Book of Mormon which is the most important  commitment for their conversion.  (They are doing well,  for some reason though, they didn't come to church yesterday.  Because of that we went by their house to see how they were doing.)   
After we left their house we saw a man sitting down just outside the gate to his house.  He was spending time with his little two year old.  We started talking with him and 5 minutes later we were inside the gate teaching his family.  Their names are Julião and Amparo.   They are such a wonderful family.  They understood very well, in fact they had contact with missionaries about a year ago but ended up moving to a different area... our area.  After that we went and taught another new family, Nelson and Nayomi.  They are already officially married, and they have a car.  The lesson started outside their house but when it started to rain we went inside.  That's when it poured.  We continued teaching, and they continued listening and asking questions.  The lesson was very powerful.  We gave them a book of mormon and invited them to read it to find out if God's church really is on earth or not.  They accepted the challenge.  After the closing prayer that Nelson gave we made our way out the door.  It had stopped raining hard, but their entire property was flooded with about 4-5 inches of water, and not only their property, but all the roads as well. He stood at the doorway and said something to us.   He said, "Élders, when I told you that I would read the Book of Mormon, I was lying.  But now, I will read it."
It was such a good lesson!  we'll be visiting these two new families again tomorrow.  Elder Williams and I are really excited for this next transfer that is starting today.  In fact we will both be getting a new companion, that is I'll be getting a new companion, and Elder Williams will be getting a companion that he'd already served with.  We'll be serving in a threesome with Elder Santos.  Elder Williams served in Matola as a Zone Leader with Elder Santos, and now Elder Santos will come serve with us.  Elder Williams and I will train him to become the next AP because Elder Williams and I will be leaving at the end of this transfer.  
I think it's safe to say that Elder Santos is the most Christlike missionary in this mission.  He's from Cape Verde, is 27 years old, has already finished college, and was a convert to the church 3 years ago.  What a sacrifice that he made to serve a mission.  I'm very glad that he'll be coming to serve with us.  He's very intelligent, before the mission he was a high school math teacher.  We'll be picking him up tonight after we work in our area.

Okay now back to my subject line: Vision Precedes our Victories.
This is something that I've learned on my mission and will continue to learn throughout the rest of my life.  What is Vision?  Vision is a perception of what one can accomplish.  A lack of vision will cause a lack of victories in the future (Victories, meaning growth and success).  Many people in the world have a lack of vision.  Some of those same people, however, do not lack because they don't care about their future, they just don't know yet what they want to do or what they want to accomplish.  What a blessing it is for me to have an understanding of my potential, my divine worth and destiny.  I've wondered about what a person can do when he or she doesn't have an idea of what their vision should be.  
"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God."   Is there a better place to turn to when we have a lack of vision?  I believe not, especially because God can help us not only obtain a vision, but a divine vision, not a worldly vision.  
God created all things spiritually before they were physically created.   Their are two creations: there is the blueprint of the house, then there is the actual built house that come later with hard work and time.  On a mission there is a lot of vision time, that is planning time.  There is a daily planning session every night, there is also weekly planning every Thursday.  All of this gives us a vision of what we will accomplish.  
I've learned on the mission the importance of not letting life just happen, but to act and create oportunities for me to enjoy this life and the next one.
The mission is great, and it's quite the once in a lifetime experience.  There is only one time for a young man or woman to learn this much in such a little bit of time, and it's the mission.  I'll never regret it!

-Elder Greenman

Monday, February 24, 2014

Sprains and Satisfactions

Well I sprained my ankle last monday....which put our area on hold until about Wednesday.  It was a pretty bad sprain, but it got better so quickly.  By Wednesday I was walking fine again. Tuesday morning we had an interesting experience.  President called us saying that TVM (The biggest TV company in Mozambique) was going to do a program on our church and wanted to interview a few people.  Tuesday morning we went over to the Matola chapel to set things up and make everything look pretty.  They interviewed two elders and two sisters.  Elder Williams was one of the missionaries to get interviewed.  It's good that the Church's name will get out to more people now.

This week the Lord blessed us with more families to teach.  We've been having a hard time trying to sit with Richard and Belinha this past week, but this week we will.  Now about the family of ten....this family is so special.  We sat with them on Saturday morning.  Actually, we basically just sat with  Carlos, the father, and a few of his kids.  We had taught the family the Book of Mormon previously, but we hadn't taught Carlos yet, so that was what we were going to teach. We had asked President Nihoa, our branch president to come with us.  I will never forget the lesson we had because it was so powerful and spiritual.  We really prepared for the lesson in our personal and companionship studies.  When we arrived we found out that he had already started reading the Book of Mormon and was in 1 Nephi, chapter 16.  We were so shocked, we hadn't even asked him to read it yet, he had done all of this on his own.   Using questions we were able to help him understand more about the purpose of the Book of Mormon.  President Nihoa's testimony and conversion story was very important and essential to the lesson.  Carlos has truly been prepared to hear this message.  This week we will continue working with the rest of the  family.   He came to church this week with one of this sons. 

Also, this week we found another very special family: Ronaldo and Iva.  We found them by accident, actually not by accident, it was a blessing.  We knocked on a door thinking it was the house of another contact we had made.  He answered the door and helped us know where the house was that we were looking for.  After that we asked him if he lived there with his wife and he said that he did.  We asked if they had a little bit of time to hear a very special message about families.  He said yes.  We sat with him and his wife, Iva.  They understood very well the restoration and accepted baptism, and accepted to come to church.  They came. 

Church was so good yesterday.  The principles of the gospel teacher didn't show up so I gave the class. The lesson was on the Holy Ghost and it was such a good class; the spirit was so strong.  I love teaching principles of the gospel class because I can tailor it for our investigators and their needs as well as the needs of all the other people present.  

Another blessing this week was that we were able to walk with Elder Marqueza.  Elder Marqueza is from  the north of Mozambique, Nampula.  He went to the brazil MTC to start his mission for Angola, but when he arrived at the airport in Brazil he was treated very poorly by the airport police.  He had all the legal documentation he needed, but they insisted that he was a fugitive and they sent him all the way back to Mozambique.  He has been teaching with us this week and it really has been a great experience.

Yesterday, the Lord blessed us with, yet, another family. Orlando and Felizmina. They Are Special and accepted baptism in the first 3 minutes of the lesson, and at the end of the lesson they accepted a date for March 22.  I love teaching, there is no greater calling!
-Elder Greenman

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Pursuit of Happiness

My testimony of God’s eternal plan has grown so much this week.  Elder Williams and I have had more effective studies this week.   One of the things that we studied was charity.  The pure love of Christ is such an essential part of missionary work.  You can have the best rhetoric, the best smile, the best understanding and ability to use the language, but until you sincerely love the people you teach, and until they feel that love, they will not progress towards a true and real conversion.  Of course, I’ve always loved the people I teach and come in contact with, but there is a difference between that and what I’m just starting to experience in these past few months.    I love Heavenly Father’s children here in Mozambique.  It’s quite a powerful feeling when I’m in a lesson with my companion teaching a beautiful family.  These families that we teach are all so different, all of them have different difficulties, different dreams, different drives; but, all of us, EVERYONE on earth has one desire in common.  We are all in the pursuit of happiness.   Clearly what brings happiness to one may bring disappointment and shame to another.   The restored gospel of Jesus Christ can help us change our paradigm and to truly see what is happiness.   I’ve begun to look at things a little differently, trying to understand more why people do certain things a certain way because they hope it will bring them happiness.    The Gospel of Jesus Christ is what brings happiness in the fullest and most eternal form.  

Yesterday Elder Williams and I sat with Richard and Belinha.  They were found about a week ago when we talked with Belinha at her home as she was doing some housework (I can’t really remember what, maybe she was washing clothes).  We asked if her husband was home.  She explained that he wasn’t—he usually leaves the house right after work to pass time with his friends (I’m grateful to my father for the example that he gives me.  I can’t imagine what it would be like if my dad arrived from work and only stayed long enough take a shower and head out).   Anyway…back to Richard and Belinha: we asked her what time he would usually arrive home from work.    She told us that he would usually come at 17:30; she also hinted that Richard wasn’t much of a church going guy.   So, knowing that, we made a surprise visit during the week and they were all there.  We sat with them, along with a few of their neighbors outside their front door.  The lesson went pretty well.  We could definitely tell that he wasn’t much of a church going guy, and we could tell that she was, but, that she was and felt good where she was at already.   We still committed them to baptism, they accepted to pray to know if it was true.  Yesterday when we went back for another surprise follow up visit, now our second lesson,  she was busy doing some household stuff, and he was busy watching soccer.   He accepted to sit with us, but she said that she was too busy to.   After starting with a prayer we explained our purpose to Richard.  We explained why we were there; we talked about our family and the happiness that we have.   I felt such a profound love for him.  The majority of the lesson was just asking him questions and listening.   We started asking, “Richard, why do you work so hard?  What drives you to work?”  He explained that it was to sustain his family.  We asked, “Why is it important to you to sustain your family?” He explained that it’s because he wants them to be happy.    There we see it….everyone is in the pursuit of happiness.   We helped him recognize that, we helped him see that we were also there to help him sustain his family, but to also sustain them spiritually.   At this point, Elder Williams declared, “Richard, you have so much potential.  Did you know that?” Richard said that he didn’t.  The Spirit was strong—he felt of our love—his wife was still listening in and had, at this point, given up on the house work and sat down to listen.  Richard and Belinha do have so much potential.  They don’t know it yet, even I can’t fully comprehend my potential.   We’re excited to help them discover the truth.  

Also this week we sat with a family of 10 people.  Yup, and they all accepted baptism.  They are all very intelligent and are very involved in their own church.  I know that they will be able to make the change.   We taught Paulo and Elsa this week.  We taught them the law of chastity.  We tried hard to get a member there with us, but it didn’t work out.   However, we still came prepared.  We came with a few object lessons and the lesson went very well.  At first they were skeptical. We taught with an object lesson, then Elsa was committed, but Paulo wasn’t quite yet.  So we did the second object lesson.  I took an 8 x 11 sheet of paper out of my bag and gave it to Paulo and asked him if it were possible to make a hole in the paper large enough for him to pass through.  He said "no."  We told him that it would be possible to fit his whole family in.   He wasn’t quite sold on that yet.   As my companion expounded on the Law of chastity, I began to take the paper and tore it this way and that until it created a very big circle.  We asked them all to stand (Paulo and Elsa, with their two little kids).  They were amazed as they saw the peace of paper go around them and their kids.  There was still room for Elder Williams and I as well.  As we were on our feet, one more time we committed them, “Paulo, Will you follow the Law of Chastity?”  He said yes, and so confirmed the spirit to him. 

The week was a good one,  Elder Williams and I will continue to work our best and trust in the Lord.  Thank you all for your support.

-Elder Greenman

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Miracles Proceed From Obedience to Counsel

This week was another miracle-filled week.  As Elder Williams and I apply the things we learned with Elder Hamilton we are seeing more and more success.  This week we got more than 20 referrals from the people we spoke with on the street.   We taught various new families as well.    We’ve managed to spend the majority of our time in our area.   Our area is starting to pick up.   One thing for sure, is that there are a lot of families here.  This week alone we got 99 qualified contacts, or in other words,  spoke with 99 men who had their own family who accepted to receive our message.  

Paulo and Elsa are doing very well.   They came to church together, along with their children.  Ernesto,  their son did not run away this time.   In fact he helped his family remember how to get to church. 
-Elder Greenman

Playing Basketball

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Quite the Week

As you all know, at the beginning of last week, Elder Williams and I flew up to Beira for the zone conference with Elder Hamilton.  We flew up one day before, so Elder Williams and I went around visiting some of the families that we had taught while in Manga and Beira.  That was an incredible experience.  In the afternoon Elder Williams and I went to visit Macha and Eulalia in Manga.   Elder Mason and I had taught them, but I was transferred before they were baptized.  It was so good to see them again and see the great change that has taken place in their lives.  We sang a hymn with them and talked about the temple, and what they need to do to get there.  

Zone conference was on Tuesday.  Elder Hamilton taught us so many things.  One thing that was brought up were referrals from members, investigators, and anyone we talk with.  It's so true, we need to ask everyone for referrals.  Elder Hamilton made a few promises to us.  He said, "If you will do this you will have more people to teach than you can handle...you will be shocked by how many people enter into your teaching pool." Elder Williams and I decided to put that to the test.  We started asking everyone for referrals and this week we got 13!

After zone conference we went on divisions with the Beira Zone Leaders.  After that we boarded a flight at midnight to Maputo.  The next day we woke up and went to pick up President and Sister Kretly, along with the Hamiltons.    On Thursday, we had the Maputo zone conference.  Elder Hamilton interviewed Elder Williams and I after the conference; it was a very special experience.  
With everything that went on this week, Elder Williams and I had little time in our area, but when we were in our area we did make the most of it.  We sat with three new families, two, of which, we taught together on Saturday night.  It was already almost 9 pm.  So we only spent 15 minutes with them.  We went into the lesson inviting them to come to church the next day and of the four, only one said that she could come.  By the end of the fifteen minutes, they all committed to come. We followed a powerful  tool in Preach my gospel chapter 11.   
1. Ask direct questions
2. Promise blessings
3. Testify
4. Follow-up

That night we taught Agusto and Rosalina along with Paulo and Elsa.  We were at Agusto's house.  Paulo, at the time, told us that he lived there as well.  However, we found out later that he said this because he was self conscious of the small house that he had, so he brought his family to Agusto's place. 

The next day we woke up and went out the door to walk with them to church.  Church starts at 10:00, so we got there by 8:15.  Elsa was there with Rosalina at Agusto's house.  Elsa was ready to go, along with her two kids.  Paulo had gone to work, but was going to leave early in order to go to church. Agusto was inside the house getting ready, and Rosalina was cleaning dishes, saying that she wasn't going to make it—saying that she wanted to go visit her father.  We told her that her Father in Heaven also wanted a visit.  We waited for an hour at their house when something changed in Rosalina and she accepted to come.  We started off walking to church, only an hour walk is all.   Elder Williams and I walked with Ernesto, Paulo and Elsas oldest son, who is 6 years old.  Elder Williams on the right and I on the left, we helped Ernesto keep a solid pace all the way to the church.  It was a very hot fast sunday.   We arrived at 10:10.  Not too late. We took the kids to primary and showed the way for Agusto, Paulo and their wives.  Church was really good.  During sacrament meeting, Paulo leaned over to Elder Williams and asked, "Where's Ernesto?" They hadn't seen him since we dropped him off at primary.

....that was definitely an awkward moment.   

Elder Williams left the sacrament room, went up the stairs, looked in all of the classes, looked outside, and we did not find him.   Church was still going on, but we left in the car to Agusto's house to see if, by some way or another, Ernesto, the 6 year old, managed the one hour walk through a big city all the way to his house.  He didn't!  Ernesto wasn't at the house.  We arrived back to the church just as the meeting ended.  We spoke with the Branch presidency and organized a team to start looking through the city.  The Elders quorum president went with Paulo and Agusto to the police station.  Elsa was crying.  We left the mothers in the chapel with the sister missionaries and went off with a million prayers in our hearts.   After about an hour, Paulo got a call from his neighbor saying that Ernesto was there.  We were all relieved and amazed that he had managed to get there.  We went back to the chapel and said a prayer of thanks with Elsa and the others that were there.  

These two families sure have faith!  Can you imagine two young men coming to your home saturday night and promising that your life will change if you come to their church?  How would you be feeling after the hour walk in the hot sun?  How would you feel when you find out your son is lost? Last night we taught them the first lesson with President Kretly.  It was a very powerful lesson.  They are super great families.  They accepted baptism, and they said that they did feel something different at church.  I know that the Spirit really helped them.  I know the church it true!

Elder Williams and I have high expectations for the next few month.

-Elder Greenman

Monday, January 27, 2014

A Brand New Transfer

A lot has definitely happened in the past few weeks.  (Editor's Note: Andrew did not write a letter last week due to the fact that he had no P-day--He had transfers that day, plus the busy-ness of an audit process) The audit that happened last week was a really good experience.  I could definitely see myself going into finances.  I'm still going to go into business, but I'm pretty sure finances are an essential part of that.

On last week's Saturday night, my companion, Elder Brandao was transferred to Maxixe.  For the next two days, until Monday I stuck with the Office Elders while I waited for Elder Williams to come from Matola.  I really like Elder Williams.  I went on a division with hime about three weeks ago, and we had a lot of success on that division.  Now is no different.  The Lord has blessed Elder Williams and I much this week.  We've had a lot of good time in our area.  We sat with about five new families this week.  This past week Elder Williams and I prepared the zone conference presentation.  This zone conference is going to be super nice!  Some of the things that will be talked about are:
Zone Conference in Beira with Elder Hamilton and his wife
President will talk about the life of two servants.   Gehazi, servant of Elisha, and Samuel, of Eli.  Gehazi was ungrateful and did not have his heart in the right place.  He saw many miracles but did not benefit from them.    Samuel was humble and learned much as he grew in the ways of the Lord.   The question is:  What kind of servant do we want to be for the Lord?

Elder Hamilton, of the Seventy arrived in Mozambique on Saturday.  He went straight to Beira for the district conference there.  It rained a lot, but we still had a turnout of over 1000 people.  Zone conference in Beira will be tomorrow, and in Maputo, it will be on Thursday.  Elder Williams and I were actually able to fly up to Beira for the zone conference.   Yes...I'm currently in Beira.  It's so nice to be here, it feels like home.  Elder Williams and I want to spend the P-day visiting the families that we've taught here.  

      Zone Conference in Maputo with Elder Hamilton and his wife
The plane ride here was quite the adventure.  Ever heard of turbulence?  ya...there was a lot.  Was my heart thumping like crazy?  Yes!   Did we make it safely?  Yes! 
Elder Williams and I are learning much

together, and are really excited to help the missionaries here in Mozambique.   All is well with me,  I'm absolutely loving my mission!

-Elder Greenman

(Editor's Note: These pictures came from Andrew's Mission President's Blog, Thanks goes to him, since Andrew has misplaced his camera...or a monkey got a hold of it again!)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Malaria, Not Me This Time

Yup.... my companion, Elder da Silva got Malaria.    He's a native from Mozambique and has had it before, so it didn't last too long.  He's fine now.

On Wednesday I went on a division out in Matola.  Last time we did a division with the Zone Leaders there, I stayed in Maputo with Elder Santos.  This time, Elder Santos came to be with Elder Bra
ndão, and I went to Matola to be with Elder Williams.   Elder Williams is one of the most solid missionaries I know.  He's a natural leader and is doing so much with Elder Santos to help Matola.  The division we had went really well.  After we went out the door, we only had to wait about 8 minutes before it started pouring rain on us.   We didn't go back.  We just continued walking. After another 20 minutes nobody seemed to be out on the streets.    Along the streets of Matola there were a few bus stops where some people gathered hiding from the rain.    We walked from bus stop to bus stop contacting the men there.   I don't think I could have been more wet if I were swimming.   Regardless of that, we kept working hard, searching for those families that the Lord was preparing for us to find that day.    We ended up finding 16 families that day that accepted our invitation to visit them.  We also had 10 new investigators that day.  We sat with two new families.   The first one was in the late afternoon.  Many  of our lessons had fallen through, and the sun was back out. (the funny thing is, is that I had become completely dry after a few hours in the sun.)

We were walking in an area called Liberdade, at the time there weren't any men on the road, but there were two little boys playing.  We asked them if their parents were home.  They said yes.   We asked again, just to make sure that both of their parents were home.  They were.  The house was close by, and we managed to sit with the entire family.  The lesson went very well.  I find it interesting that the Lord most often blesses us with these great families in the very moment that things are hardest.  We just need to choose to have a good attitude all the way.  On the division, we could have let the early morning rain affect us,  we could have let the dropped lessons get us down, but because we didn't we were able to recognize the blessings that the Lord had in store for us.
I know that in my life I have lost opportunities because I was looking down.  The opportunities were still there, but I didn't recognize them.  I believe that the Lord always gives his children opportunities, and we need to keep our head, and spirits up. 
I really enjoyed the division with Elder Williams.

This week we will be preparing for an audit this weekend, and the audit will be closely followed by a visit from Elder Hamilton of the 70 at the end of this month.

-Elder Greenman

Friday, January 10, 2014