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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Week 50- I'm so grateful for the opportunity to continue to work in this area few more weeks


Week 50 – April 28 2014—T3 (Near Matola)

This week was great, and If everything turns out as planned and with Heavenly Father's help, there should more people that will join the church in the coming weeks”

Hi guys,

I am happy to write you again today. That's cool that you went to Elder Heaton's welcome home and you got to talk with him too. I guess he won’t go by Elder Heaton anymore, now he is Kaden Heaton. It might be sooooo weird not to be called Elder when I get home. At the end of my emails I sign them by my first name, but it's weird to think of myself by my first name haha. Being home will definitely be a BIG adjustment. But I still have one year until then. Speaking of one year, it was one year ago today that I gave my farewell talk in sacrament meeting, can you believe that!? I remember that day clearly it feels like it was 6 months ago, not one year. One of my friends who came to see me that day, Marianne, she sent me an email today telling me she was called to serve in Indianapolis, Indiana, starting in July. It's crazy, I think every single one of those friends that came that day are either on their missions, or about to be. 

I had a great week this week! We had a lot of success in teaching lessons and working with the members. Our investigators are doing well. We now have a pretty big teaching pool of people. This week will be a challenge making time to visit all of our existing investigators, plus recent converts, while still making time to find and teach new families. Antonio and Anita are doing well. They were having some document problems, but it's looking like things will get moving again this week. They should be getting married within the next month. Sergio and Cecilia are progressing well; they came to church together for the first time yesterday. We found a new family named Jose and Luisa. He came up to us one day while we were waiting to meet someone. He told us how he has a family member who is a member of the church and always invites him to visit, but he never had the time. We went to visit him and his wife a couple times this week, and they are really interested and willing to follow the gospel. We'll see how it goes with them this week. We are also teaching Marta, who is the oldest daughter of Jose, a member (the one we've helped a couple times work on his house). She doesn't live with the rest of the family; she lives alone with her two kids. She knew about the church already, but was never really interested until a couple weeks ago when we did a family night at Jose's house, and she happened to visit and participate. She is really willing and excited to follow the gospel, and she should be getting baptized in a couple weeks. We are also teaching Jose's nephew, David, who lives with them. He is 17 years old and he too wants to be baptized. This week was great and If everything turns out as planned and with Heavenly Father's help, there should more people that will join the church in the coming weeks. I'm so grateful I was given the chance to stay in my area for at least another six weeks. There is a lot of work to do and I'm really enjoying it.  Also, my companion and I get along well, he is a great missionary. I continue to help him learn English and he is doing well with that also.

My health is fine, I'm not sick anymore. And when I was feeling a little sick, I didn't stay home, it wasn't bad enough where I felt like I couldn't go out. The weather here has been nice. We're still in the transition period between the hot and cold season, so some days are hot, other days are cooler. But it hasn't rained in a while, which is nice. 
Well, I'm so happy to have heard from you and hope you have another great week! And Mom, don't worry I will let you know when I find out when I will be calling you for Mother's day.
I love you all so much!!
Josh

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Celebrating Easter Sunday, watching General Conference


Week 49 - 4/14/2014
The gospel is a way of life, not just something we do on Sundays
Dear family
Thank you for your letter and Happy Easter to you too!!! That's cool that you had a "Mozambican" dinner. But if you really want a Mozambican dinner, you need chima. Look it up on google. They always eat chicken with either rice or chima. You’re right, I will have to remember to bring piri piri sauce when I come home. If I leave most of my old and worn out clothes behind, I'll have room to bring whole suitcase full! -just kidding. It's pretty much like tabasco sauce, I like it. Speaking of it, when I go to the grocery store today, I'm going to buy some cooked piri piri chicken to take home and eat.
I downloaded all the general conference talks on my flash drive, and haven't finished listening to them, so I'll listen to them today at home. I really liked the General Conference this year. It's good every year, of course, but there were a lot of talks that spoke to me.
Easter at church was celebrated this year by watching the conference on the chapel projector and it was pretty cool. I understood almost all of it in Portuguese, except when the translator talks really fast or uses uncommon words. Some of the general authorities talk in more complicated language, so it was also hard to understand in Portuguese. But I enjoyed it. 
Thank you for your concern for me and also for your thoughts about patience and following the spirit. Following the spirit is something that I'm still learning to do. But I know that as I trust in the promptings and read the scriptures, I'll learn to recognize it better. 
Just wanted to mention that, I kind of got a little sick this week, I had a cold, it was mostly cough and stuffy nose. Thankfully all the medicine I brought with me from home has helped. It was the first time I've had to use any of those medicines since I got here. But today I'm feeling a lot better. It wasn't a bad cold; it was just something that passed around in our house. I think it has to do with the change in the weather that's been happening too. But it's all good. I hope you guys are staying healthy as well; I know the Lord is always watching over you guys, like He is watching over me.

Today was transfers! And guess what? I get to stay here for 6 more weeks! And I'll be staying with Elder Alfredo, who is still waiting for his visa to Angola. I'm so excited and relieved that I get to stay here! I already had a feeling that I would, and I'm glad I wasn't wrong. In the rest of the mission there were a lot of changes and moving around, but in my district, only one elder got moved. That means I will still be here when I talk to you guys next month. That's cool you're going to Elder Heaton's homecoming talk. It's so weird, he's going home today. Another elder, Elder Williams is also going home this week, to Pleasant Grove. He's in the Mount Mahogany stake, I think. But yeah, it’s crazy how the time flies by on the mission, there's always missionaries coming and going. 
This past week was pretty good. We had good success in our lessons and doing contacts. The weather has been nice and cool lately, probably in the upper 70's. They think it’s cold here, but it's really nice. Yesterday was pretty hot though. I had two divisions this week. On Tuesday I walked with Elder Dustin in my area. On Friday I was with Elder Barroso in his area. The divisions were pretty good. It's nice to get to know other missionary's areas and have others come to my area also. The investigators are doing well. Not much changed with any of them this week. We found a couple new families this week and we'll probably be teaching more new ones this next week. 

It sounds like you guys had a good Easter. I think that many people don't understand that remembering Christ is not just going to church on Easter. It's something we have to do, every day. It doesn't work just to be 'religious' only on Easter and Christmas and do whatever you want the rest of the year. The gospel is a way of life, not just something we do on Sundays. I'm really grateful for how the gospel teaches us to always remember Christ's atonement and follow his commandments and repent so that we can use the power of the atonement to bring joy to our lives.
Well, that's about it. Sorry I didn't write that much today. The computers here are having problems today, and I don't have that much time to do the other things I need to do. But I hope you have a good week and I look forward to hearing from you next week!!
Love,

Josh

Friday, April 18, 2014

Another week in wonderful Mozambique

 Week 47 - 4/14/2014

“We had a total of 10 investigators at church, including 4 families (husband and wife)! We also had success working with members to help us teach. It really helps having a member present in a lesson to testify of the things we teach

Hey family!

I’m glad you had a good time in Moab. That is my favorite place, seems that you went to the most exciting parts of the park.  We have to go there again next year!

Anyway, this past week flew by, even faster than last week. It feels like I was writing to you just a couple days ago. It was a good week. It was weird having P-day on Tuesday, but I think that just made the week go by faster too. We didn't have any trips to the city or anything crazy, so we had good time to work in our area. Our investigators are doing well. This week we learned that Zaida's family doesn't want her to get married until December, because her father won't be able to be there until then. It's kind of a difficult situation, of course, because the bride's father should be there at the wedding. But if they wait to get married, they will be delaying the blessings that come from living the commandments and being baptized. We invited them to think about it and pray to know what they should do. They really want to be baptized and I hope they will end up choosing not to delay the wedding. But of course, it will be their decision and we have to respect their agency. But they are still progressing really well.  Now, Antonio and Anita are also making great progress too. Their documents are taking a little longer than we expected, but it's all good. They'll still be getting married and baptized next month. We found a new family this week that is really good: Sergio and Cecilia. We contacted them for the first time back at the beginning of February and taught them a couple of times, and then Sergio had to traveled to work for a couple months. This week he returned and we started teaching them again, and they came to church yesterday too. We had a total of 10 investigators at church, including 4 families (husband and wife)! We also had success working with members to help us teach. It really helps having a member present in a lesson to testify of the things we teach.
But yeah, it was a good week.  Next Monday I'll find out if I'm staying here or not. I do hope to stay, but of course I'll go where the Lord wants me to go. I’ve been on the mission 11 months can you believe that? I know you must be super excited to talk with me next month. I'm looking forward to it too.

I hope you have a good week getting back into the normal routine with work and school. I hope you have a good FHE tonight.  Stay healthy too.
I love you so much! Thank you for all your prayers and thoughts for me, they are really helping me!


Josh




Thursday, April 10, 2014

My packages finally arrived, It's like Christmas for me haha!


Week 46- Tuesday April 8, 2014.  Still in T3- near Maputo

“I'm so grateful when I think about our family is sealed together for eternity and that back home we have easy access to the temple to be able to go there to perform ordinances for those who need them on the other side of the veil.”

Dear family, 

Thank you guys for being patient this week- I know it must have killed you to wait another day to get my emails. Monday was a holiday here in Mozambique, and I guess the message you got from President Kretly mentioned it too, so you had to wait all day Monday and now I’m writing almost at the end of Tuesday- I’ll explain why in a moment.

Thank you for those conference notes. It seems like it was a really good conference, as always. I have a flash drive and speaker that I use to listen to music. I will be getting on LDS.org to download the audio for some of these talks. I'm glad you guys had a good time attending conference, even though it was raining. I don't think I will ever be bothered by rain back home again. Back home if it's raining you just have to put up an umbrella for a few minutes until you walk into the next building. Here we have to walk on muddy roads and it rains so hard it doesn't make a big difference having an umbrella haha. But it hasn't rained for a little while. We are coming out of the wet hot season. This week the temperature has been really nice. It's even a little cool in the mornings.

Going to Maputo
This week flew by faster than any other week I can remember. As I told you guys before, my companion is here while he waits to go to his mission in Angola. He got a call last week on Monday and found out he had to redo some of his documentation to get his visa. (By the way to answer your question, he speaks Portuguese and Cena, the native dialect of the Beira region. And very little English-I'm helping him learn though) So we also had to go to the city on Thursday and Friday as well, each of those days we also had to get up at 5. It was kind of annoying having to get up so early, but going to the city was so cool. On Friday, while we were waiting for some test results, we ate lunch at KFC. Again, it was really good, like last time. We passed some pretty cool things in the city as we walked around--government buildings, the big cathedral, and a huge statue of some Mozambican war hero. I didn't carry my camera with me that day, or else I would have taken pictures. It's because of mission rules and safety reasons that I don't walk around with my camera most of the time.
Anyway, we finished up taking care of those things today, and that's why I'm doing email until now, a little later than normal.


With Sister Kretly, our mission president's wife

Zone Conference
On Wednesday, we had Zone Conference. President Kretly taught us a lot of good things. He talked about the progress of the mission, which is going really well; and about being humble and obedient and not prideful, so that miracles can continue happening here. Later, he talked about two powerful tools of conversion-the book of Mormon, and family history/temple work. We talked mostly about the second one. I had never thought about family history as a big part of the work in Mozambique, but I now understand how we can help investigators and members here organize information about their ancestors, with the goal of doing their temple work.  Missionary work as well as  family history and temple work are part of the plan of salvation, and we need to do what we can, so that people not only reach the waters of baptism, but the temple as well. Our goal is to work each month with one member family to prepare them to go to the temple. We will teach them about things that will be required, including getting passport, travel expenses, temple clothes, etc. and what's most important, the spiritual preparation and getting a temple recommend. It won't be easy, to get members ready, but with hard work and sacrifice on their parts, it will be possible. I'm so grateful when I think about our family is sealed together for eternity and that back home we have easy access to the temple to be able to go there to perform ordinances for those who need them on the other side of the veil. I would encourage you guys to continue to do family history work and identify those in our family who are waiting for their ordinances to be done. 


Our families still progressing
Our investigator families are doing well. Our 2 families that are furthest along- Daniel/Zaida and Antonio/Anita have a baptismal date for May 10th. I know they can both reach that date, and if they do, it will be cool to have the double wedding/ baptism. We'll keep working and praying so it happens. I already have 5 months in this area--crazy, isn't it? There are 2 weeks left in this transfer, so I don't know how much time I have left here. So I'm enjoying every day I have to work in this area with these wonderful people. 


A nice surprise
As you know I have been waiting to get the stuff you sent me since November. Well guess what? On Tuesday I was in the mission office and I looked in the packages that had been received recently and could hardly believe my eyes when I saw one that said "From: Nelson Rebollo" I was so excited! My first package from home in almost a year!  And then… I looked around a little longer and guess what? I found another one!  2 packages in one day!!! One of them was in a lot worse shape than the other.  Fortunately, everything inside them was intact. It really felt like Christmas when I got home and I was able to open them. I loved everything that is in those packages!! I love the 3 ties you sent-I wore one the next day to zone conference. I really appreciate the deodorant- Much needed! The snacks and candy of course are great. I just finished one of the bags of pretzels yesterday. I really like the Liahonas, especially the conference report.  I could really feel the love and thought you put into these care packages as I opened them up. Thank you so much! I love you guys!!

Well, I think that's about it for this week. I really hope you guys have another great week and are staying happy and healthy and are spending time together as a family always. I thank you for your love and thoughts for me. Thank you for your pictures you put in the photobucket. 

I love you very much!!!!

Josh