Monday, March 14, 2016

Week 40: "Wars and Rumors of Wars"

Chris sent Ryland another questionnaire letter.  We got LOTS of information on this letter!

·        Please give us more details about the political upheaval and possibility of war if you know? Has President Koch said anything about it?
So as far as the political upheaval and possibility of war… All of this is just from “wars and rumors of wars” that we have heard from members and investigators. In all honesty, the war never really stopped and there have been attacks all around the country for the past couple of years, but mostly in the outside areas. Inside of the cities and the areas where the missionaries are stationed is completely safe. Nothing major is happening anytime soon. There is really no “War Threat” per say, but there has been shootings on major highways and things of that nature. But it is the equivalent of living in Mesa and having a shooting happen in Las Vegas. There is no immediate threat that we have to worry about.

·        Tell us more about your investigators?
Our area has been so blessed beyond belief! For example; in our first week in our area we had 0 progressing investigators, 0 investigators at church, 1 family that we were teaching, and really no direction or focus. But this past week, we had 15 investigators at church, 4 families at church, 10 families that we are teaching, and we have direction, focus, a vision, the trust of the ward, and we have members walking with us to almost all of our lessons that we have.

Eduardo and Dusha- Our golden family that we found on one of our first nights together. They are progressing very well. Even though they weren’t at church on Sunday (he worked and she was sick), they are quickly developing strong testimonies of what we are teaching them. They read the scriptures, keep commitments, and are on date to be baptized on the 2nd of April. It probably won’t happen and we’ll have to adjust that date to the 30th, but they are an amazing family. They have 3 sons, Pai(7), Leo(4) and Miguel(1).
Calisto and Tania- Calisto is a member of 8ish years but went inactive, started living with his girlfriend, and now she is 7 months pregnant. But it was really a miracle that we found them. Their house is tucked away down this tiny little alley way that is typically flooded and tough to get to, but one night we were searching for the house of one of our contacts, and we just happened to get lost and end up at their house! We started talking to them, they invited us in, we talked and got to know them, they are an adorable young couple and they both came to church this week! She has a baptismal date for the 30th of April as well, and she is quickly progressing as well. They are both very fun, a very cute couple, and they have huge potential to be a really strong family in the church.

Duarte and Eliza- Eliza is the power house of this relationship. She was sitting nearby when we had a lesson with her neighbor/best friend, Julia and Joao(John), and then she showed up to church on Sunday! She came to our English class, she is super nice, she is dedicated, and she is prepared. She lives in a tiny little room with her husband Duarte. They have two kids, Elton(2) and a brand new baby girl of 1 month. Her husband has yet to come to church because he works at the shipping yard with all of the boats and stuff and it is tough for him to have time of Sunday. But he said he would come next week.
We have a lot of other families, but these are the three that are the most progressing and the ones that have touched me the most.

·        Tell us about the members?
So we have an area of force that has about 30 members within a 5 minute walking distance of each other. There are about 250 members in our ward and this ward used to only get an attendance of 80ish people each week. But since having 2 couples of missionaries in the ward, we have more than doubled that number with hitting 174 this past week and it has been on a steady climb for the past couple of weeks. We have about 15 members that on a regular basis have been visiting and teaching our investigators with us. One of our most favorite members to walk with is a young man named Wilson. He is 20 years old, and has been a member for 1 month. He walks with us just about every single day for hours on end. He is super cool. He doesn’t know the doctrine very well, but he has a strong testimony that our investigators can feel.

·        What is church like in the Manga area? Do you have a church building?
Our “church building” is just a nice house that the church has rented and built a nice shack in the back with AC for our Sacrament meetings. Manga is still a district and not a stake, but by the end of this year it should become a stake.

·        Is it still raining? Please get rain gear. We do not want you to get sick. We will put money in your account if needed.
It hasn’t rained in a couple of days. I forgot that I had those rain ponchos! I do have them with me. But I also bought an umbrella for when I need it. But it isn’t too bad. I don’t think I need to buy too many things.

·        What do the people of Mozambique do for a living? Especially in Manga where it is a poorer area?
There are a huge number of things that people do here for a living. Like asking, What do Americans do for a living? But I guess you could say that a large majority of people work for security companies as guards. Women typically have a little “barraca” or a little stand outside of their house that they sell fruits, veggies, snacks, and little stuff like that. But there are a lot of jobs that people do…

·        The fact that it is made up of the political enemy of the government does that mean it is more dangerous for the missionaries there?
Not really… “Officially” Beira is run by Frelimo, but outside of the city, everyone is Renamo. But it isn’t dangerous at all here. In fact, I feel safer here than in the South.

·        How far do you have to go to do the internet?
Internet places are just a choppa ride away. Maybe a 15 minute choppa ride to get there. But the problem is that there are so many missionaries competing for the same internet cafes.

·        How big geographically is your area?
Geographically… I don’t quite know yet. I haven’t walked my entire area yet…

·        What are you doing to teach the other missionaries obedience?
The biggest thing that I’ve tried implementing is micromanaging, that you said Dad. At times it may seem harsh, but sometimes it is the best way to get them to be obedient.

·        What are the typical homes like in Manga?
Manga is much poorer than Matola or T-3. So the houses are cinder block houses, or reed huts. You typically find much more people living in one house than you would find in the South.

            *  I (mom) want to hear ALL ABOUT how the piano is going?!?!?!?!?! 
Hey as for the piano lessons go, it hasn't quite started yet. I was playing some prelude music my first week there at the church because everyone was being pretty rambunctious, and so they asked me if I could play during sacrament meeting. I told them I didn't know how to play the hymns that they wanted played, but that I'd practice them. Then, Bishop volunteered me to teach some of the youth of the ward how to play the piano. I remember quite a bit, and they do have a simplified hymn book as well. But we also have a keyboard in our house, so I'm able to practice at home. I just use some of my personal study time to practice these hymns.

            *  How was your first English Class on Saturday?  How many people did you have show up?
English Class was awesome!!! We had about 20 people this week and by next week I have a feeling that we'll have more than 40 people! Bishop has also asked us to start teaching 2 times a week... Idk if we can do that, but bishop has been giving us a lot of responsibilidades. People love the English class, especially Bishop.

Mickey Mouse pancakes...I really just loved seeing the keyboard in the background!  I would love to hear him practice!

Hammerhead shark for dinner!!!  Bought it for $1

He said it was delicious!!!  GROSSS!!!!

Look at that face....this is Pai, son of Dusha an investigator.

Dusha with her three boys and some neighborhood kids!

Learning how to shave coconut.

Elder Rash LOVES throwing kids!

Elder Rash's two "sons".  He is a proud papa!

Getting a ride in a chopella made for 2....wait, what?!?!

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