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Monday, November 4, 2013

Leaving Quelimane and transfering to the Matola/Maputo area

Week 25-- November 3 2013

Hello again, familia!!

Wow, thanks for those pictures!! I'm glad you guys had a good week and a good Halloween. Jacob, your costume was way cool! You are going to be eating candy all month! haha, since I'm not there, there's no one to steal your candy when you're not around!

Mom, I'm glad you had fun with Jacob on Halloween. I like your costume. Dad, you will have to remember to find a good costume next year haha. You should have taken Hunter out in his Yoda costume haha. I hope he is doing well too. It's nice that the weather was nice to go out. Elder Heaton and I were both surprised to open our emails and see pictures of our parents together. Ha ha. I'm glad you were able to meet them.
About the package you will be sending, If you still have time to put other things in there, I do have a request. I would like a calendar for 2014, a small calendars though, one that I can keep on my desk. It can be church themed, like pictures of Jesus or temples or something like that.

Last week I didn't mention the bike robbery thing because I had to re type my email. After I sent it I realized I didn't mention it. But it didn't mess up our day like the last robbery; it was just annoying, especially since we just got the bikes and moved to a new safer house. We left the bikes outside chained together, but behind the church, within the walls. We thought since there is a guard it wouldn't be a problem. But the thieves came in by climbing over the wall in the back. The guard was in the front of the house, and probably sleeping. They also stole a couple lights on the outside of the house. But the house itself, the inside is still super secure. I don't feel unsafe or paranoid. This week we did use the car for the most part, until Friday.

Earlier in the week, some elders in Beira called us and asked us if we could get a birth certificate for them. It was for an investigator of theirs that is getting married. In order to get married you need a few documents, including a birth certificate, which you can only get in the place you were registered. This investigator of theirs was registered in Nicoadala, 30km outside of Quelimane. We decided that since we had the car we would go there to get the document. Walter went with us, since he knows the area better. On the way there we got stopped by transit police. They looked at our documents, which all checked out, except one. They said Elder Heaton's driver's license, which is his Utah one, isn't valid, and he needs to get a Mozambique one. The weird thing is that in Maputo, where other missionaries drive, they use their American driver’s licenses and it's no problem, it's valid. Not here, apparently. The cop let us continue on, but gave us a fine of 3,000MT ($100).  President advised us not to use the car anymore. The reason for that is that we will no longer be able to make the trip to Marromeu. The reason for us receiving the car in the first place was for us to go to Marromeu once a month. Now that we will not be going, there is no reason for using the car, not to mention the fact that Elder Heaton doesn't have a valid license in this region. The reason that we cannot make the trip is because of conflict in the central part of the country between the government forces and the opposition party.
So since Friday, we are without a car as well, which means we are back to one mode of transport: foot. It's funny how within one week we went from having 3 ways of getting around, to one.  Oh well, it was nice while we had it.

It has been super-hot here this week! Three days this week, the temp was over 40C (105F)!! The heat here is also humid. I am so thankful that we have air conditioners in our house. Don't worry; I've been drinking plenty of water.

The wedding and baptism didn't happen on Saturday as planned. It had to be moved to this coming Saturday. There were a couple things that they wanted to buy for the wedding, and there were a couple other random reasons as well. But it will still happen. The sad thing is that I will not be there. This morning I found out that I will be transferred.

I will be getting on a plane to Maputo tomorrow and will go to my new area, T-3. It is a city in the Maputo/Matola area; it is like a suburb of Maputo. My new companion will be Elder Bender, from Las Vegas, NV.  He has been on the mission only 3 months longer than me, and started out in Quelimane as well. I'm excited to get there and start working in my new area.

It will be sad though to say goodbye to Quelimane. I've been here for 4 months, and have met so many wonderful people! Today and tomorrow before I leave, I will try to take pictures with the members and investigators. Elder Heaton will be staying here and getting a new comp. he has been a very good companion and trainer and was great working with him for a while here in this city.  I will ask him to sends me pictures of the wedding and baptism. Even though I won't be there, it was really great to play a role in their conversion. There are other couples here that aren't married yet that I hope to hear about their marriages in the coming months. I really learned a lot in my time here.  Quelimane is not an easy place for missionary work; it's a really big area for only two elders. But there is a way to make it work here, and the members and everyone here make it easier.
I hope the members in T-3 are as awesome as the ones here. I will always have a special connection with Quelimane, it being my first area on the mission. I hope to come back here one day and see how the branch has grown. 
Sunday was a pretty good day; it was fast and testimony meeting. I took the opportunity to bear a small testimony. I told them how a year ago it was when I read the Book of Mormon for the first time cover to cover and how I know with certainty that the book is true, that this church is true, that Jesus Christ is my savior, and how following him is the only way to have happiness in our lives and with families. I mentioned how you guys are converts and how grateful I am for missionary work and the chance I have to share the gospel. I am so grateful that I grew up with the light of the gospel in our home. I hope and pray always that you guys will be blessed and have the spirit at home.

I have a suggestion for you all (my family, my friends and everyone who read these pages): Read the Book of Mormon as a family every day. You should pick a time at night, before bed to read a few verses, and then do your nightly prayer as a family.
I also encourage you, to read it individually too. Take this Book to work, read a few verses when you have a moment with nothing to do. These are things we suggest for our investigators so that they develop a habit of reading the Book of Mormon. We always promise blessings if they do so. And I promise you, that you will receive many blessings if you will read from the Book of Mormon every day. It will help you at work, at school; in every aspect of your lives you will be able to feel the spirit of the Lord more fully.

I always knew the church was true, but it was not until I read the book and prayed to know if it was true that I received a testimony of my own, where I can say without a doubt that this is the true church and true gospel of Jesus Christ. 

I love all of you so, so much! Thank you for your words of encouragement and advice. 

Have a great week, everyone, until next Monday!

Elder Rebollo

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