“…They were super happy to be finally done with all the documentation and now they are set to get married and baptized in about three weeks.”
Our Pday was moved to Tuesday this week because of Heroes' Day, a national holiday here in Mozambique. I'm glad Sister Hobson offered to email you guys so you wouldn't worry about me. The Hobson's attend church at T3, so I was talking to her and mentioned how P-day was moved to Tuesday because of the holiday. Then she offered to email you so you wouldn't get worried. She emailed the other parents of the elders here in T3. She obviously knows what it's like to be in your guys' shoes. Yeah, I guess this holiday is kind of a big one here; but I didn't see any celebrations, at least not in this part of town, maybe because it rained the night before. But it wasn't raining during the day, so that was good for us; so yesterday we had a normal day of work. It didn't feel like any day out of the ordinary, except it was weird to go from Sunday to another normal day instead of P-day
This past week was pretty good. The zone conference was really great. I'm sure you saw the pictures on President Kretly's blog with all the missionaries in Beira and Maputo. I think my face is partly covered in the picture haha. It was actually a relatively short zone conference. It was over by 3pm, usually they go until the evening. So afterwards, we were still able to go teach lessons and do contacting. Elder Hamilton gave a really good training. He is in the Africa area presidency, and lives in Johannesburg, so he visits the missions of Africa very often.
He says that Africa right now is by far the fastest growing area in the church and is ground zero for the spreading of the gospel right now. He said that in comparison with the rest of the world, there really aren't many missionaries serving in Africa, and we're really lucky to have the opportunity and privilege to be serving here at this time. I really do feel lucky to be serving in Mozambique.
The mission has the goal to create 8 new branches by the middle of the year, and divide the 2 districts by the end of the year, in preparation for the creation of 4 stakes. I honestly don't know if I'll be here to see the creation of the first stake, but either way it is really cool to be here at this time when we are making a strong push to grow and strengthen the branches here.
Elder Hamilton asked us to list all the challenges and issues we face as missionaries in Mozambique. Then he went through the list and gave his thoughts on how we can deal with these issues. It was really an effective training because he tailored it to our needs as missionaries instead of bringing something pre-prepared. It's similar with us teaching lessons. We have to tailor it to the needs of our investigators instead of sharing something rehearsed. I learned a lot from what he shared with us.
On Friday, we went to the Civil Register in Matola to submit the documents for marriage for Alfredo and Laura. They were the ones that went in to the register and did the paperwork, but we accompanied them, in case they had any questions or needed any help. They were super happy to be finally done with all the documentation and now they are set to get married and baptized in about three weeks. I'm really excited for them too! We'll continue to work with them to make sure everything will go well on their wedding and baptism day. They will be a really strong addition to our branch.
There is also another family, Gerson and Candida that will be getting married and baptized the following week, on the 1st of March. So it will be nice to see two families married and baptized in the next few weeks. We have other families we are working with to get them to that point. We're trying hard to set baptismal dates and get them started with the document work. We're also trying harder to work with members to accompany us to lessons. I'm excited for this upcoming week, it should be pretty good.
That is true what you said about the experience I'm having here in Africa compared to other missions. I think being away from a bunch of stuff for these two years will make me appreciate everything back home a lot more and I won't take it for granted.
Dad, thank you for bearing your testimony on Sunday, I'm sure it was a beautiful testimony, like Mom said. It's great that you guys all feel very close while I am away and that the Lord is keeping you safe at all times. Before you know it, we'll all be together as a family again. But these two short years are a great opportunity for spiritual growth for all of us.
I hope you all have a good week. I love you so much and hope you all continue to stay safe and healthy.