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Monday, July 21, 2014

Week 62. My first week in Matola 1

July 21, 2014

Dear Family,

This week went by pretty quick. I’m sure it was because everything was new to me: new area, new companion, new house, and new responsibilities. On Monday, after I got off of internet,  Elder Conde and I went home to pack our things. I left later that afternoon and it was only a 25 minute drive to the house in Matola.
After getting there and unpacking some of my things, we went out to work  in the evening.  I found out that my new area is a lot smaller than T3.  It covers three neighborhoods in the city of Matola,  and the chapel is located in this area. My new companion is Elder Keck, he has been in this area for a few months.
This week I had the chance to visit and meet with all our investigators and some of the members. Every person I met is really nice.  it is great to know that one of the families that the missionaries here have been teaching, will be getting married and baptized this Saturday, they are Inacio and Efegenia. There are two other families that are making progress and should be baptized in the very near future. We will focus on finding more new families to teach  anywhere we can find them, but we also want to spend a little more time working in the neighborhood surrounding  the church.
Matola seems to be an area a little more well off than other areas where I have been. I see a lot of nice houses  and nice streets.  Our house is very nice and very big,  it is located on a main road, close to shopping places and some restaurants. There is even a KFC about five minutes away from the house.  When we go out in the afternoons we can smell KFC in the air. I guess I will have to go eat there some time while I'm here.  All the missionaries in my district live in this house, but that's ok because it has so much space, that it doesn't feel crowded. The district is made up of: Elders Roberts, Palu, Reinstein, Jemuce (Mozambican), Keck (my comp), Thomas, and Van Leuven. (Elder Thomas was my MTC comp, so it is really cool that we get to work in the same district again after more than a year)  We had  our first district meeting here on Friday, and it went really well. One of my responsibilities is to facilitate a small training session in district meetings every week.  This time I did my training on unity and how we need to work as one with our companions, with our district, and with the branch.
I am really enjoying being here. I still need a bit more time to feel completely familiar with the area and to feel more of a connection with the investigators.  I can see that this area has a lot of potential for growth. I haven't felt any additional pressure being a district leader (DL) thus far, as you know I was the DL when I was at the MTC, but being a DL here in the mission field is a lot different because we carry on our shoulders the responsibilities of the work that we do for the people in our assigned areas.  I thank you for your words of advice and encouragement. I know The Lord will help me as I seek His help and seek to do His will. This is an opportunity for growth and learning.

Church yesterday was  great, we had over 180 people.  It was nice going to church at the Matola chapel yesterday, it was the first Sunday that I was in a church building tha was built by the Church here since I have been in Mozambique.
I don't know most of the members here or the branch presidency yet, but I'm excited to get to know them and work with them, I am very excited about that.

Today in the morning we went to a field at a school here in Matola and we played soccer with missionaries from Matola 2 and Maputo, It was a lot of fun. 
Well, that's all for now, I love you all so much and I thank you for everything you do for me

Until next week,

Josh

Pictures from T3











Monday, July 14, 2014

Week 61 -- Transferred to Matola as District Leader


Hi family!

Ok so first things first...Transfers! I was transferred to the branch of Matola 1, which means I'm just moving to the branch next door basically haha. I have been called to serve as the district leader of Matola 1. My district has 8 missionaries, and we'll all live in the same house! After I'm done with internet, I will go home to pack my stuff and will leave later this afternoon. The Matola 1 house is about a 20-30 minute taxi ride away, so I'm not going far at all. My companion, Elder Conde, on the other hand is being transferred to Nampula, located north of the country. That means that my area in T3 will get new missionaries. They will have to get to know the area and our investigators for themselves, since neither I nor Elder Conde is staying here. I pray that they all continue with the teaching and get baptized in the near future.  I am really excited to get to work in Matola and serve my district.

I'm glad you guys had a good week and thank you for your great email this week, I really enjoyed it. I always feel the spirit when I read your emails. We had an awesome week. We had a lot of success in teaching new families and in working with the members to help us in our lessons. Remember those three young men that we baptized? Well, they are doing really well. They have already received the Aaronic priesthood and are administering the sacrament on Sundays and are walking with us to our teaching appointments during the week. All of them have the desire to serve missions too. Our investigators are doing well. We were going to have the marriage and baptism of Antonio and Anita on Saturday, but there was a small document problem at the civil register, so it will be moved to this coming weekend.  The members here will be helping them get ready and I know everything will run smoothly on the big and special day of their wedding and baptism. I will ask the missionaries here to take pics for me.
We thought that even if I couldn't be there, at least Elder Conde would be. But now we know that neither one of us will be there. It's kind of unfortunate, but we really can't be disappointed. It's the will of the Lord. He knows what is best for this area and for its people, and obviously the 2 missionaries that will come to this area will be the ones to take care of the investigators and members here. 
I was feeling certain that I would be transferred out, so during the week I kind of said goodbye to all the investigators and members and took many pictures with them. I will try to upload those as soon as possible, either this week or next.  unfortunately,  Elder Conde didn't say farewell to anyone, thinking that for sure he would stay. It was definitely a shock when we found out this morning that both of us are leaving, haha. 
Church yesterday was really good too. A returned missionary from the T3 branch arrived home this week and spoke in sacrament meeting. He served in Brazil. The branch is doing well and continues to grow. I know I will continue to hear about many great miracles that will continue to happen here in T3.  I will always have a special place in my heart for the area, I stayed here for a long time and met and taught so many wonderful people I will forever remember them as well as the extraordinary missionaries and good friends I served with here.
Well, That's all for now until next week.
love,

Josh




Monday, July 7, 2014

Week 60-- Visiting with Brother and Sister Hobson

Week 60 - 7/7/2014

Hello everyone!

Earlier today, the internet service stopped working at the place where we were. So we left and went to the city, as we were already planning to do. We went to the church distribution center and went to a place to print some pictures for my companion. Then we came to this internet place, here in Maputo. 
It has been a great Pday. Maputo is a very big city and we don’t know it too well, so we have been walking a lot today.  But it’s been a nice walk though. Right now it is a little cold, if you can believe it; it’s really cloudy and windy, I like it though haha. 

While we were walking around the city I called Brother and Sister Hobson to ask for directions to some places here in Maputo, since they live here and are familiar with this area.  When they asked where we were, it turned out that we were close to their apartment building, so they invited us to their apartment to have lunch.  That was pretty cool. Their apartment is big and very nice, just like any nice apartment you could have in America.  Sister Hobson made sloppy joes and bread pudding and fruit for dessert. It was great that they invited us over. It felt like home away from for the brief time we were with them.



Thank you for your prayers and encouragement. I’m doing really well and I am enjoying the work a lot. I know you guys will probably be anxious next week to hear where I get transferred to.   But I know I will end up going where the Lord wants me to go.

Have a good week!
Love 


Josh