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Monday, June 23, 2014

Week 58 - 6/23/2014  


I'm soooo grateful to be here on the mission, there is nothing else like it and nothing better that I could possibly be doing than what I am doing right now. Some days are difficult and require a lot of patience. But every difficulty and disappointment is worth it, because this is the Lord's work that we are doing and He will … bless the people here for our diligent efforts”

Dear family,
Just as you're happy to hear that I'm happy and healthy every week, it makes me so happy to know that you guys are too. You guys had a fun week. I loved those pictures you put up! I went to go look at them before I read your letters and when I saw the pictures of the carnival (Strawberry Days) I said to myself "No!… Already?" I couldn't believe that time of the year had already come. Being on the mission is really messing with my sense of time haha. I remember last year when you wrote to me telling me about Strawberry Days while I was in the MTC. Speaking of that, one year ago today was my last day in the MTC, and on Wednesday I will complete one year in the country. It’s time to renew my visa for the next year.  
Mom, I wish I could have been there to see you on the big slide. People probably heard you screaming from a mile away! LOL!

Yes dad, I’ve been keeping up with the World Cup here. It's kind of hard not to haha. Im glad the US moved on to the next round, even with that loss to Germany.  I got emails from a couple of my friends, serving in Brazil and in Costa Rica, they tell me that it's basically impossible to work when a game is on, so they just return to their apartments and study. It's not that bad here, because most of the games don't show until late, like 9pm, 10pm or midnight, because of the time difference. Some games are on at 6pm, though. That's when it gets difficult for us, because the streets are empty; a lot of people are all in their houses or somewhere watching the game. 
We are doing internet right now, but after we're done we'll be going to downtown Maputo to the shops.
I'm glad everything is going well at church. I will probably be asked to talk in other wards and stuff when I get back, huh? Everyone's going to want to hear about how was Africa and stuff haha. For me, it's normal here, but I forget sometimes how different and foreign this place is compared to back home.
Anyway, our week was good and a little difficult too. On Monday when we got home from internet and shopping, we discovered that we didn't have our phone anymore. We figured out that it happened on the chapa coming home. It either fell out of my pocket in the process of getting off the chapa or someone pick-pocketed me. Either way, we were without a phone on Monday and Tuesday. We called the office for them to arrange a new phone for us. In the meantime, it was kind of difficult to set up lessons without a phone, but we were still able to get a few.
On Wednesday we had a crazy day! Up until that day my companion along with another missionary in our district who is from Beira, Elder Cambarame hadn't been officially set apart as missionaries and didn't have their nametag.  


So, on Wednesday we went to the mission home; there, President Kretly gave a training on leadership… The training was done from the office and there were about 25 of us missionaries there. There were also missionaries watching from Beira and Swaziland, through GoToMeeting. Since missionaries in Swaziland don't speak Portuguese and the majority of the missionaries here in Mozambique are American, the training was done in English but  some of us translated for our companions who are native Portuguese speakers. 

Anyway, back to where I was. After the training, my companion and the other missionary were set apart by the President and they received their nametags. Going forward, my companion’s name is not Elder Zeca, he now goes by his middle name, Elder Conde. Im explaining this so you don’t think I have a new companion, it’s the same person,  haha just a new name, that’s all.   After the setting apart we also got a new cell phone.  As we were getting ready to leave the office, President asked us if we wanted to go eat something. We said yes, of course. So he took us to a restaurant a few blocks away from the mission office.  The four of us, me, Elder Conde, Elder Cambarame, and his companion Elder Matezo, each had a plate of Chicken, rice and potatoes, it was really good,


It was nice to sit with President and talk with him a bit. He asked me about you guys.  It was nice of him to take some time to be able to get to know me a little better. It must be difficult to know every missionary well; he is the leader of the church for two countries and is in charge of 30+ branches and 100+ missionaries. So it was a nice treat to go out to lunch with him. He then gave us a ride to the chapa paragem (stop) and we went home.
The rest of the week went better, since we had a phone. But it's difficult these days to sit with new investigators, especially when a World Cup game is on. We've already watched parts of games a few times at people's houses before we have them turn it off so we can teach a lesson haha. But it's all good, the World cup will pass. 



The baptism on Saturday was great. The three young men passed the baptismal interview. I baptized one of them, Naftal. Elder Conde baptized the other two, Pedro and Elidio. They were really excited for their baptism. The next day in sacrament meeting, I confirmed Pedro. These young men are great. They are intelligent and really understand the scriptures.  They all desire to serve missions. Church yesterday was good, as usual. In the afternoon we walked with David, the young man who was baptized last month, on the 17th. He walked with us to our teaching appointments. He too has a strong testimony and has a desire to serve a mission. We will continue to work with all these young men so they can make plans to serve missions and start saving now.
I have this before, and I say it again: I'm soooo grateful to be here on the mission, there is nothing else like it and nothing better that I could possibly be doing than what I am doing right now. Some days are difficult and require a lot of patience. But every difficulty and disappointment are worth it, because this is the Lord's work that we are doing and He will bless me, bless you, and bless the people here for our diligent efforts. 

Thank you for your letter this week and I hope you have another good week at work and spending time with Jacob at home! I love you sooo very much!!

Josh





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