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, 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

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