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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Fom Elder Rebollo in Mozambique, Africa: MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Week 32--12/23/2013

Hey Everyone! 

I'm excited to talk to you guys on Wednesday. I hope you make it to LA, which would be fun for you to be around more family.
Jacob, I can't wait to see and hear you on Christmas! That's cool that you had a recital for piano. You're on Christmas break now, I hope you have a good couple weeks of being at home. You've been singing a lot this Christmas, haven't you? We all sang for a Christmas program yesterday too. It was pretty good.
I know everything will work out fine on Wednesday with Skype, I wouldn't worry about it. I guess you guys already know, but 19:00 here is 9:00 in California. I wouldn't want you guys to get confused with the time haha. 
It has been snowing a lot this winter! That's nice, I wish I was there to see it. Make sure you go sledding or tubing sometime, take advantage of the snow. I'm guessing it's probably been pretty cold over there too. It's super-hot here today! It really does not feel like its Christmas time. 

The Christmas zone conference is tomorrow in the Matola chapel. The missionaries from some of the outside areas, like Quelimane are also being flown in to be at the conference. It should be pretty fun. I hope to have a chance to see my old companion elder Heaton and ask about the people, and how things are going over there and all the adventures!  The conference will be all day from 8am until 8pm, and lunch and dinner will be provided.  

On actual Christmas day, there isn't any gathering planned, but on that day we will just relax at home all day until night when we'll go to the office to do Skype. So the first three days of this week is pretty much like a little break for us, it's nice. I can't believe we're at the end of the year already! And my birthday is just a little over 2 months away. I'm thinking, maybe you could hold off on the next package until May, which is my year mark and also the next time I get to talk to you guys.

On Saturday there was a church activity for the Matola and T3 branches, sort of like a big ward Christmas party. There was singing and dancing presentations given by the different branches, and there was food too. It was pretty cool. I took some videos of the dancing and I will try to send them after I send this email I hope it works!(note: Uploading video didn’t work) If not, I'll just send whatever pictures I have of it. Then the next day on Sunday we had the same Christmas program with the missionaries.  

Anyway, I hope everything goes well with your trip this week. I hope to see you guys from LA. I will see you all on Wednesday!

 Merry Christmas!!

Elder Rebollo

 Video link: Oh Holly Night
A Christmas recital in 2011 prepared by Joshua


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Very hot, lots of rain and tons of mosquitos

Week 31--Dec. 16 2013 from T3

"On Saturday we had a baptism of one of our investigators: Dercio, a 16-year old boy who lives next to a member family"

Hey everyone!

I'm glad you guys had a nice week. Wow, it has been cold over there! Yesterday was really hot and humid. Today is cool and overcast, which is nice. We are now in the rainy season. It rains about every other day, but not usually too much. Today was transfers. Nothing changed for me. I and Elder Bender will be here for another transfer. I'm glad about it, it's always a hassle when there are changes and you have to start over in a new area or a new companion.
Next week is Christmas! I still do not know the details the call to you guys, but I know it will be on the 25th, Christmas day. I will be calling from either the mission office or president's house. I will probably be calling in the morning, like 9 or 10 Utah time. We will have about 40 minutes to talk. I still need to give you more details. I will know all about it maybe later today or next Monday for sure. Just make sure you have a good setup with a computer and webcam that works.
This past week was fine. Our investigators are doing well. Alfredo and Laura will be getting married probably in about a month from now. We have another investigator family that has potential to get married and baptized next month. 

On Saturday we had a baptism of one of our investigators: Dercio, a 16-year old boy who lives next to a member family. Elder Bender baptized him and I confirmed him the next day at church. Another young man got baptized the same day. It was a nice little service. It was hot that day that I joked saying I wish I was the one who baptized so I could have gotten in the water haha. We are doing alright with contacts and we are still finding new investigators, the work is good. I'm excited for this next transfer, I really want to find more 'golden' investigator families, and this will keep our success rolling in this area.

This is our church building in T3

There was the Christmas program yesterday in the Maputo chapel. It was pretty good. The first hour we watched the first presidency devotional and the second hour the missionaries sang and President and sister Kretly did a narration. We just sang normal Christmas hymns, but in Portuguese. President Kretly told me that they tried to find a cello for me, but they didn't find one. It's fine. I've already accepted the fact that I won't touch a cello again until I go home. At least I get to play and practice piano, this keep my music skills sharp.

Jacob, that's great that you're doing so good with piano and your choir. You've been singing a lot this week! I remember when I played cello at the old folks’ home and they fell asleep too haha! I hope you get most of the things you want this year on Christmas. That will be fun if you guys end up in California, you'll play with our cousins.
I still do not have your package, unfortunately. Hopefully by the time I talk to you next week, I will have received it. I pray nothing happened to it. Ok mom, I will answer all your questions now. at the grocery store I usually buy bread, meat, milk, pasta; normal stuff really. On the road I sometimes get bananas or apples. I haven't bought any clothes here so far, they're all holding up well. I wash my sheets every other week. My shoes are holding up well still. I don't see lizards in our bathroom. There are just a ton of mosquitos in the house. We do have clean up assignments in our house that we rotate and do every Monday.

Dad, thank you for always writing me encouraging words every week, I always like your messages to me. I would like to write a message to the ward, but with the other letters and pictures I have to send, I don't think I will have time. But tell everyone in the ward who asks about me that I'm thankful for their prayers for me and all the missionaries.
I hope you guys have a great week. I'm excited to hear from you guys next week on Monday and then talk to you on Wednesday! I have  a couple more pictures for you guys this week. I hope you guys like them! 

Ate logo,

Elder Rebollo

Monday, December 9, 2013

Week 30  12/9/2013 From T3

Hey Everyone!!

Our house in T3
My sleeping quarters. I use that keyboard to practice the songs I play on Sundays in church

Thanks for your nice letters and pictures this week. I really liked seeing those pictures of all the snow back home. It hit me that it's actually Christmas time. There is only like 16 days until Christmas! Over here though, it doesn't feel too Christmas-y. I guess it's good though, I would probably miss home more, especially if it snowed here. Looking at those pictures back home and comparing it to here, it feels like I'm in a completely different world. The house looks really nice. You did a good job with the lights. I'm excited to talk to you guys in a couple weeks! We both need to think of things we want to talk about so we don't waste the time we have to talk (I think it's an hour).

I'm glad you guys didn't wait too long to put up the lights and the tree. I like how you put a picture of me on the tree haha. With that and the cello, you have plenty of me with you at home. I was laughing when I read about what Hunter did. I guess it's a Christmas tradition haha! I miss that dumb dog. That's cool what they did for the ward party. Of course you would sit at the table with my picture on it haha.  Jacob, when do you start your Christmas break? Do you like doing that choir, have you had any performances? What do you want for Christmas this year? You haven't mentioned anything about that yet. That's cool that you went sledding too. You guys should all go sledding sometime, or go tubing up at Soldier Hollow, that's a lot of fun. You guys might go to LA? It would be nice for you guys to spend Christmas with more family. It's up to you, but I think it would be fun for you guys.

I hope you guys have a snowy winter. It's true, it wasn't fun walking around in all the cold and snow to get to my classes in the morning, but I wouldn't mind it now haha. It will be a while until I see snow again, since I come back in May 2015. I only get to talk to you guys on Skype a total of 3 times on the mission: This Christmas, mother's day, and then the next Christmas. It's true, I hit 7 months this coming Sunday. It has gone by really fast for me too! Next Monday is transfers. I'm pretty sure I'll be staying here, considering this is my first transfer here. But Elder Bender has been here for 4 transfers, so he might move. We'll see next week. 
A street on our way to church. 

They had the primary program in church this day

This was during This past week was pretty good. Our best investigator family is Alfredo, his wife Laura, and their 3 children. They are a really nice family and are progressing really well. They’ve come to church 3 weeks in a row. And they live very far, so it’s a long walk for them to church. It is great to see their faith in just their effort to make it to church. Back home we have cars and on top of that church is not far at all. This week we will begin working on their documents for marriage. They will probably get married and baptized in the next transfer. Our main goal is to find more families with potential like them. It isn't easy though. We do contacts and teach new people, but most of them do not progress. It's okay though. To find those that are prepared, it's a hard process, that's the way it's supposed to be. So whenever things go wrong, like lessons falling and investigators not progressing, I don't get discouraged. If we did, it would just make the work harder.

Helping Jose, one of the church members 

This Sunday, we had the rehearsal for the Christmas program. I haven't heard anything about the cello. I'm guessing they weren't able to find one for me. Thanks for that link you sent me about it. But they already have the program planned out, and there will not be enough time to rehearse with a cello. The program will be presented next Sunday in Maputo, and then the Sunday after that in Matola. It's being done for members and anyone else who wants to come. President and Sister Kretly are doing a narration and all the missionaries are singing. We will also be watching parts of the First Presidency devotional, which you mentioned.

This week has been a bit rainy, but not too much. It rains like every other day. It hasn't been too hot, thankfully.

I also hope that the package gets here with no problem. It should get here before Christmas. But I'm patient for it-most of the time I forget that there's a package on the way for me.

Wow, how old is grandma now, 85? (Grandma just turned 84) She looks different in that picture. That's amazing that she has so many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She's probably almost a great-great-grandmother!
Anyway, that's about it for this week. I hope you guys have a good week in winter wonderland! I love you all soooo much!! Until next Monday

 Elder Rebollo

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Week 29--12/02/13 From T3 

Obrigado, Familia! 

Eu sempre fico feliz quando recebo suas mensagens. I'm glad you guys had a good Thanksgiving!  I can't believe that it is December already! November went by super-fast! This transfer is also flying by. There is only 2 weeks until the next transfer! And later this month, we'll get to talk over Skype. I don't know if it will be on Christmas day or Christmas Eve, or what time it would be. I don't know any of the details yet, but I will tell you as soon as I know. Jacob, I'm glad that you are doing well at piano and you are practicing. I know I have told you this before, but I'll say it again: Please keep up with playing piano! You will not regret it, especially if you go on your mission to a place like Mozambique, where very few people know music. I'm learning piano here on the mission, but I wish I could have started before. But it's been nice to use my musical ability on the mission, so I don't forget stuff.

There will be a Christmas program later this month where all the missionaries will sing and President and Sister Kretly will be narrating a story. It will be presented for all the members and the public that may want to attend. We will all get together next week to practice the program. I heard from the Hobsons that they are trying to find a cello so that I could play in the program too, but so far they have not found one. We'll see what happens with that.

This week was pretty good and went by incredibly fast. Monday was a good p-day. We went shopping after internet then went home and cleaned up a little. Then we just relaxed at home until we started working again (on p-days we go out proselyting at 1800h). Tuesday had divisions. So I walked with Elder Herd, one of the new missionaries. He is from Wyoming. It was nice to walk in a different area that day. He still doesn't speak Portuguese very well, so I was doing most of the talking, but it was cool. I feel like I'm continuing to improve with the language every week. Maybe when we talk over Skype, I will talk a little in Portuguese, and you can talk a little in Spanish. ha-ha, I bet we would both understand each other. Wednesday and Thursday were 'normal' days of contacting and teaching. We have an investigator couple, Alfredo and Laura, who are progressing really nicely. We taught them about the law of chastity this week and how they have to get married in order to be baptized, and they accepted. They also have been coming to church for 2 weeks in a row now. They really have the desire to be baptized. Hopefully as we start working on their documents for marriage, we won't run into too many complications. We are still working hard to find other families that have potential. Thursday passed by like a normal day, even though back home it was Thanksgiving. It rained a lot that day. It rained like nonstop all day. And it was cold too, at one point; I actually saw my breath, which was super weird! It made contacting almost impossible. But it was still a good day. As we were walking, we saw a couple guys pushing their car that had run out of gas. We stopped and helped them push the car back to their house. It was a nice workout, but it was even nicer to be able to do the service. Others were inside, hiding from the rain, we were like the only people walking around, so we stopped to help. After, as we were walking back, a lady stopped us and asked us what church we were from. We told her and invited her to church. It was a lesson to me that a huge part of missionary work is the things that you do, not what you teach. Each member can preach the gospel without even having to talk about the church. Just taking the time out to help someone, even if it's inconvenient, goes a long way. People are watching us and know that we represent our church. The rest of the week was rainy. On Saturday,
 we were in a lesson and an amazing! Lightning storm started. There was soooo much lightning and thunder! The lightning was so bright that it was almost like daytime for a split second; It was pretty close to where we were. As we were walking back, it started to rain. And we were about a 30 minute walk away from home. We got back completely soaked haha. But we were thankful that we got back safely. Church yesterday was good too. Me and Elder Bender helped out in the primary since the women called to work in the primary weren't there. So we helped sister Hobson with the children. It was kind of fun, but also a little bit of a hassle. 

Anyway, I think that's about it for this week. I'm glad you guys are doing well! I hope you guys have a nice week.  

Love you!! 

Elder Rebollo 
P.S. Sorry I don't have more pictures-computer problems. This one was from a p-day  a few weeks ago with the other missionaries in the area