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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Week 39 - Monday, Feb 10 2014 –T3

"... if weºve done our work diligently, they (new members) will be able to help themselves stay on the path, and in turn help others who are struggling stay on the right path. That is the vision we need to have as missionaries. It is something that I try to remind myself every day."

Dear family!

I’m glad to hear once again that you’re all doing well.  I’m surprised that it has been raining over there, I thought it was still winter, haha. It’s been pretty hot here lately, but hasnºt rained too much. It’s always super-hot in the morning and early afternoon, but by the late afternoon itºs more tolerable. Mom, I’m sure you donºt mind that it hasn’t snowed too much haha. What movies have you seen lately? You better be making a list of good movies you watch while I'm here.  Since I will have missed two whole years of life in the US, it will be a culture shock all over again!
You probably remember that Thursday marks 1 year anniversary since I received my mission call; and on Friday, a year ago, I opened and read it in front of our family and friends at home


 Joshua opens his mission call. Feb 14 2013

I can’t believe it! What I find amazing is that sometimes I think about home and wish I could be there with you guys, those times, I feel that time stands still; However, since I am always working and being so busy, time seems to be flying. I always keep that in mind and try to make the most of every day. I don’t want to look back on my two years and have regrets of things I should have done; I wonºt be satisfied with less than 110% of service Iºve given, and more importantly, I want the Lord to be satisfied with the service Iºve given to Him.

Mom, thank you sooo much for those words you shared about your conversion. I think as missionaries we run the risk of having too narrow of a vision of where we want to lead our investigators. We may sometimes think that leading them to baptism is the ultimate goal. But it is much, much more than that. Baptism is only the door to the straight and narrow path which leads to eternal life. We are leading them to that door. But if they donºt experience a true conversion, they will not stay on the path to exaltation. Thatºs why we have to help them read the scriptures, pray daily and come to church every week, things that will keep them on the path after their baptism. We canºt continue to visit them forever after theyºve become members. But if weºve done our work diligently, they will be able to help themselves stay on the path, and in turn help others who are struggling stay on the right path. That is the vision we need to have as missionaries. It is something that I try to remind myself every day.

I enjoy hearing about your conversion story, it really inspires me. I think it would be cool if you sat down and actually wrote out the story of how you came into the church and decided to get baptized and the conversion that you have experienced. It might take some time to go back in time in your mind to sort it all out and express all your feelings, but I think it would be a worthwhile experience. I think it would help me see how coming into the church is from the point of view of someone who wasnºt born into the church- Anyway, just a thought.

Mom, I agree, Dad is a really dedicated father and priesthood holder. If all priesthood holders here in Mozambique were like him, the church would be growing even faster here. Unfortunately, we found out that many priesthood holders are not faithful to the law of tithing- we know it may be difficult for many for them who don't have jobs- there are only a few full tithe payers. We are going to really start focusing on teaching our members and investigators the importance of tithing and all the blessings they are missing out on by not obeying this commandment. I know that obedience to tithing has blessed us a lot as a family.


Dad, thanks for your letter this week, I really enjoyed it. I always enjoy all your letters, they are really personal and I can tell you put a lot of thought into what you share with me. First Iºll tell you about my week.
This past week was really good it went by quickly, with P day being on Tuesday- It was a good P day. We went and did internet to this new place (little weird symbols show up instead of apostrophe for some reason),  then went shopping, as always. There is a pizza place by the store we shop at, and we bought pizza and took it back home with us to eat for lunch. It was good, almost as good as pizza back home haha. The rest of the week was pretty normal. Weºve been teaching a lot of new families lately, so that is really good!  Weºre also continuing to help our other investigator families move closer to baptism. Alfredo and Lauraºs wedding and baptism will be in less than 2 weeks. Elder Reed has a set of gold rings (inexpensive metal painted gold) to give to couples getting married who cannot afford buying real ones for their wedding. Unfortunately, none of the rings he has fits Alfredoºs finger. So today we went to the place where the rings came from to buy a bigger size for him. It feels good to help them out in any way we can with the preparations for their wedding. They are also helping us out a lot, they have been talking about the church to their friends and family and neighbors; weºve already sat with some of them, and they seem to have good potential to progress as well. They are definitely getting into missionary work, itºs pretty cool.
Gerson who is LDS, and his girlfriend, Candida, a non-member, are also getting closer to their wedding on March 1, she will be baptized right after. We are thinking of letting him baptize her- we are looking into that possibility-that would be nice. The only problem with them is that they live far away. It takes a 30 minute chapa ride and then a 45 minute walk to get to their house; but it would be worth it- oh almost forgot to mention, that on the way to where they live we can see the huge national stadium and market, ill send you pictures next time. 

Church was very good yesterday. We had some of our new investigators that we started teaching this week show up, so that was very encouraging. We visited Alfredo and Laura afterwards for a get together with some of their family, to get to know them. On the day of that wedding, the 22nd, there will also be another couple getting married, it should be really cool. Overall, the work in our area is going really well. I think it will just keep getting better from here. We just need to continue to work hard.

Having callings in church help us stay actively involved in serving others, they also help enrich our lives. I believe that, every calling we receive prepares us for the next. My mission is preparing me for future church callings, as well as my future calling as a husband and father.  

Thatºs funny that stake conference is this weekend over there; because this weekend we will have district conference for the Maputo District as well- Iºll let you know how it goes here, and youºll tell me how stake conference was there and who was called as the new stake president.

I’m glad to hear youºre doing well and that youºre always helping Jacob in school work and spending a lot of time with him.  I’m sure heºll always remember you for that.  From my part, I appreciate all that you and mom did for me when I was growing up, taking me to cello lessons when I couldn't drive and going to every one of my concerts regardless where they were. And I appreciate all that you continue to do for me now, providing for me temporally and spiritually.  
I hope that everyone there will have a good week. Thank you for your constant prayers and thoughts for me. They are definitely making a difference for me out here.

say hi to all my family and friends if they can not send paper letters they can send me emails any time, I will read them on my P-day, I will try to answer  back even if just a few lines.
I love you!!




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