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
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.