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Friday, October 11, 2013

Week 21--Zone Conference in Maputo . President Kretly in Quelimane

Week 21—10/7/2013

"We were worried that the attendance at church would go down because of heavy rain, but it didn't, we had 107 people present. It's the third week in a row with 100 or more people, so it looks like a pattern that we hope will hold"

Hey Family! 

Wow, this week went by really fast! It was a good week though. After I had emailed you last Monday, we learned that we would be getting on a plane to Maputo that same afternoon. They wanted to fly us to Beira, but there were no flights. The same zone conference happened in Maputo and in Beira; the one in Maputo was on Tuesday. So we flew down there on Monday, and came back on Wednesday. Flying there takes an hour and a half. We stayed in one of the missionary apartments in Maputo.

I have already been in Quelimane for 3 months serving with just one other missionary, so it was weird to go to the conference and see so many missionaries. There were 50 missionaries there at the conference, including 10 sisters! It's still kind of weird to me that sisters are serving in Mozambique, but apparently they're having good success too. I saw everyone from my MTC district there, except for one.  They are all doing well
Elder Rebollo and Elder Bender

Elder Rebollo and Elder Toyn

My MTC district most all of them serving in Maputo and sorrounding areas

It was a nice little trip and the zone conference was amazing! It took place in the brand new chapel in Matola which was recently opened. That chapel is super nice! I'd say it's even nicer than a lot of chapels back home.
The conference lasted from 9 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon, with lunch in between (they ordered pizza, it was really good). President Kretly gave us great training and outlined the goals of the mission going forward. He really expects a lot out of us- and I like that.  He wants each companionship in the mission baptizing at least one family every month, not an easy task, but definitely possible if we work hard. The goal is to be able to divide most of the branches in Beira and Maputo and split the districts there (a district is a group of branches), in preparation for them to becoming stakes. Right now there are no stakes here, but we're hoping to be able to establish 4 stakes in the next 2 years. The goals of the mission are definitely focused on growing the church in the Maputo and Beira areas, but I still learned a lot of things that can apply here in Quelimane. We learned many things to help us in our contacting and teaching.

While in Maputo I bought a new camera and backpack. We went to a big nice store there in the city. It's basically like a Wal-Mart (I felt like I was in the US for a few hrs.-ha ha). We also stopped by a supermarket that was connected to the mall (once again, super nice, looked like any mall back home). Maputo is actually a really nice city, but really divided. If you have money, the quality of life is really good, but there is also a lot of poverty there, like the rest of Africa.  

Anyway, we returned on Wednesday and got back to work. We were worried because since last Saturday with the robbery, we hadn't been able to visit many of our investigators. We were worried that they might have become weak. But that wasn't the case, thankfully. Marcelino and Aida are doing really well (I know I had referred to her as Inez, but she actually goes by Aida). They had been living in separate places, but just a couple weeks ago moved into a house together and are excited to get married. We gave them the day of the 26th for getting married and they accepted, so now we will be working on getting their documents together. They are progressing really well and are really accepting the gospel into their lives. We also found another couple, Gertulio and Antonia. We taught them first a couple weeks ago and this past week they accepted to get married and be baptized as well! Both of these couples came to church yesterday too. We are hoping to get both of these weddings done within a month. There are a two other couples we are teaching that have just as much potential, but we are still early in the teaching process with them.  

It also has been raining this week. On Friday, it RAINED! It was the hardest rain I've ever seen, it was like the water couldn't come down fast enough! It didn't get too bad to where we had to use our boots, though. The worst of the rainy season will come in December and January. It rained on Saturday and Sunday also. We were worried that the attendance at church would go down, but it didn't, we had 107 people present. It's the third week in a row with 100 or more people, so it looks like a pattern that will hold.
Church yesterday was super great, President Kretly was here. It so happened that after zone conference on Tuesday, he flew to Beira to do their zone conference there, and from there he flew up to Nampula (north of here). He had left his truck there earlier last month when he got sick and had to fly down to Maputo. So from there, he drove down to here to Quelimane, and was able to be at church. It was fast and testimony meeting. All the testimonies that were shared were powerful, and President took the opportunity at the end to say a few words also. During sacrament meeting, a few were sustained to receive the Aaronic Priesthood, including Candido and his son Igor (whom we baptized at the beginning of August). Igor is now the first deacon in Quelimane!
The next hour during Sunday school, President Kretly taught all the adults, and then he taught the elder's quorum in the third hour. He showed all the adults the video "It's a miracle (E um milagre)". Have you guys already seen it yet? If not, you should, it's an amazing video. I saw it the first time at zone conference this week. All the members and investigators loved the video too. 

After church, he took the time to talk with a lot of the members and met with our investigators that were there too. Everyone felt the spirit really strongly at church yesterday, it was a good day. I'm looking forward to this next week of teaching and contacting.  

Anyway, I'm glad you all had a good week. I'm glad you all watched conference and enjoyed it. We are 80K missionaries in the world now, it's amazing! And 15 million members too! I'm sure with so many more missionaries the rate of growth will be going up even more and faster. 

I liked those parts of conference that you shared with me. We are planning to watch general conference here at church in a couple weeks. We are expecting to be able to hook up the projector here to a computer and watch the conference through LDS.org.  Also, I received the ward newsletters from August and September. The Adams' have been sending them to me, and President gave them to me yesterday. Tell them thank you for me! It was nice to read the updates from the other missionaries in the ward, it seems like they're all doing well.

As far as a package that you will be sending me, I would like you to send it by the end of this month. I will put together a list of all the things I would like and put it in my email next week. 

Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers for me! I know you miss me, and I miss you too. It would be nice to be able to talk to you face to face, but at least it's nice to talk to you through email once a week. And here in a couple months we'll be able to talk through Skype for Christmas, so we'll be able to talk face to face then.  

Until next week!! LOVE YOU ALL!!!!

Elder Rebollo


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