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Monday, February 9, 2015

Week 91 – Back in Quelimane after Zone Conference in Beira



Dear family,

This past week went pretty well, nothing too crazy happened, but it was a good week. On Tuesday we had a meeting in the morning with Elder Tad Callister, the Sunday School general president, and Elder Larry Gibson, 1st counselor in the Young Men's general presidency. It was an amazing meeting! Elder Gibson talked about helping the young men preparing to serve missions here in Mozambique and talked about our priesthood duty to share the gospel with others.
Elder Callister spoke about the Atonement and repentance. I was amazed at his knowledge of the scriptures, he really knows them inside and out. The way he explains things is so clear and thorough. I've never had an explanation of the atonement like the one he gave. It made me realize that there is so much about the Atonement and about Jesus Christ that I have not yet learned or that I don't yet understand. We had a chance to shake their hands and talk to them a little afterwards, but I didn't get any pictures with them, sorry. 

A few hours after that meeting we made our way to the Beira airport to go back to Quelimane. The plane ride was nice, smooth and no delays. We found everything back at the house just as we had left it. On the Sunday we were gone we had Abrao, our branch mission leader, conduct sacrament meeting, and he said everything went well and many of our investigators showed up. The rest of the week went well. We visited all our investigators and worked to find new ones. 

What we really did well this week was visiting the members who we felt would benefit from our visit. Many of these are members who I visited regularly the first time I was here, when they were newly baptized converts. And now some of them, not all, are not as active and participating as they could be. We visited a family that used to live pretty close to the church the first time I was here. Now they live really far. But they have a car, so this week they took us to their house and we had a nice lesson with them. We also visited another family, who've been members more than 2 years. We also continue to visit Walter and Darmin. We are working with these families because they have been members for well over a year and have not yet made preparations to go to the temple. We also visit many of the youth in the branch; they amazing! I really love them all.

On Friday it was the opening day of Carnaval here in Quelimane. Some cities in Mozambique put on a carnival festival, like the tradition in Brazil. In Mozambique, the Quelimane carnaval is the biggest one. The opening day had a big parade in the streets. We weren't expecting it, and it made it a little hard to get to some of our lessons. It was cool to see the huge crowds though. People dress up, paint their faces, wear crazy clothes, and dance a lot. Carnaval here will continue through this week and end this coming Sunday. The bad thing is that in this festival there are a lot of people drinking, women with revealing clothing, and a lot of other temptations, that we encouraged the members specially the youth to not attend this festival. Instead, we organized some activities at the church this weekend for them to come and be together so they didn't stay at home and get bored and go to that festival.

On Saturday I taught the English class and afterwards there was institute /seminary- a member teaches these classes. On Sunday afternoon there was another youth get-together, with food this time. Since the chapel is our house, we have to stay there with them while they have their activities. It's fun to be with them and converse and have fun with them. The Sunday meetings went well.
President Mabunda has still not returned, so I led Sacrament meeting once again. He'll be back before this coming Sunday, though. 

A few more missionaries went home today, including my former companion Elder Bender. It's really weird that he is going home today. I was companions with him over a year ago in T3, back then he still had a long time left, as did I. But now that he's gone, I realize that my time is quickly coming as well. 
I'm so grateful that I'm here in Quelimane at this time. I can't think of a better place in the mission to be.

I love you sooo much. Have a great week!!


Josh

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