Sunday, July 28, 2013

21 - 28 Jul 2013 Call,MTC,ArrivalMOZ,MatolaDedication

We are so thankful for everyone’s interest in our mission.

The Road to Our Mission
Met with Bishop Bennett and he gave us access to the online Missionary recommendation, which we prepared.
8 July 2012 - Met with President John A. Bunting, Edgemont Stake President, who sent in our recommendation.

16 August 2012 - Received our Mission Call (dated 14 August 2012) - "Before we opened the envelope, Richard said a prayer.  Such excitement! Richard used a pair of scissors to open the envelope.  He took out the packet of papers, then turned it over to the front where the mission call letter was.  Our eyes went right to the line which said Curitiba Brazil Temple, then to Temple Missionaries, and then to December 10, 2012 for 18 months.  The MTC is for 2 weeks, so we'll be leaving right before Christmas!" 

22 August 2012 - Began Portuguese Language tutoring at the Missionary Training Center with Talita Bejarano
31 August 2012 - More Immunizations
Before 21 Oct 2012 - Peter asked if he and his family can live in our home while we are on our mission - we said Yes!
5 November 2012 - First heard about Brazil visa problems.  "Brazil is not giving anyone visas - not even tourists - until further notice.  It could be up to 6 months, we don't know.
7 November 2012 - MTC date changed to 7 January 2013 
26 November 2012 - More immunizations
9 December 2012 - Talked in Sacrament Meeting
15 December 2012 - Peter and family arrive and move in!
2 January 2013 - MTC date changed to 4 February 2013
4 January 2013 - MTC Immersion training; Then we continued training together at home
5 Janurary 2013 - Samuel Joseph SCHNEBLY born, Mesa, Arizona, to Zoe and Joseph
17 January 2013 - MTC date changed to 4 March 2013
17-23 January 2013 - Trip to Mesa, Arizona, for Samuel's baby blessing
19 Feburary 2013 - MTC date changed to 27 May 2013 or we could be reassigned.  Rich put a list of pro/cons together and we've been thinking all afternoon about it.  They've given us time to think and pray about it and we'll call Elder Hirst back tomorrow."
20 February 2013 - "Richard called Elder Hirst this morning and told him our decision to wait for visas so we can serve in Curitiba.  He was very pleased as they really need temple missionaries there."
8 March 2013 - MTC date changed to 8 June 2013.  We looked into participating in the 1 week temple training in SLC so when our visas came we could go right away.
18 March 2013 - " from the Travel Dept. All couple visa applications to Brazil were sent back to SLC.  They requested 3 more documents for each couple:  (1) Statement of legality of the Church in Brazil; (2) Updated police clearance; (3) Indian letter that we won't do unauthorized activity in Indian lands."
20 March 2013 - "Will we need to be reassigned?  The possibility seems greater every day!"
4 April 2013 - Heard about a  São Paulo couple who wanted to take our spot in Curitiba and we would trade with their spot in Porto Alegre.  This seemed to have been finalized by 12 April 2013.
15 April 2013 - President Merrill Warthen, President of the Porto Alegre Temple, was excited to  hear that we might be serving with him!
19-23 May 2013 - We traveled and explored southeast Utah together.
23 May 2013 -  "Today Rich talked to the Travel Dept.  They told him that the Church's Legal Dept. is trying to figure out another category for our visas to fit under since we won't be proselyting.  There are 8 couples (through the LA Embassy) trying to get to Brazil."
28 May 2013 - Informed that the change to Porto Alegre needed to be approved by the Quorum of the Twelve
29 May 2013 - MTC date changed to 12 August 2013 - "Rich and I discussed being reassigned and we prayed about it.  I haven't received confirmation.  We fasted this morning."
1 June 2013 - Brian Snelson emailed to President Kretly about the possibility of our being reassigned to Mozambique Maputo Mission, Portuguese-speaking mission in southeast Africa, the same mission to which they have been called.
2 June 2013 - Email from President Kretly saying another couple, who had been called to the Recife Brazil Temple, was reassigned to the Mozambique Maputo Mission and they were loving their experience.  We later found out this couple was Elder Daryl and Sister Ann Hobson.
3 June 2013 - "We've been approved for temple training June 10-13. Tomorrow Rich will call to see if the Legal Dept. has made a decision on visa categories."
4 June 2013
**Decided to be reassigned - I don't have a journal entry for that date :( I rarely miss a day writing in my journal, so I don't know why I forgot!
We contacted Records Preservation about mission openings. 
**Email from President Kretly inviting us to look at their mission blog.
5 June 2013 
**Richard emailed President Kretly explaining that our visas to Brazil would very possibily not be approved in any reasonable time frame.  He also asked (1) If they had a need for a senior missionary couple; (2) what senior couple assignments are available; (3) what is the procedure to obtain a visa to Mozambique and how long does it take?
**Records Preservation called and said they needed missionaries right away in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We could be trained quickly and be in the mission field within 2 weeks!
6 June 2013
**We were informed that the Temple Dept. had to approve of us being changed from temple missionaries before we could be approved for another missionary assignment.  
**Received a call from Glade and Diana Powell, who had also waiting been for visas to serve in Curitiba Temple with us but were reassigned to Romania Mission, that there was an opening in their mission for a Humanitarian Couple.
**Temple Dept. okayed our taking another missionary assignment.
**Missionary Dept. gave us "medical clearance" to serve in Mozambique
**Received an email from Tualufo, Visa Coordinator of the Mozambique Maputo Mission, answering Richard's question #3. Visas usually take only a month to process.
**Our call to the Mozambique Maputo Mission would come before the Quorum of the Twelve next Wednesday, 12 June 2013
13 June 2013 - "At 8:20 Rich looked at his email and there was one from the Stake Executive Secretary.  He had received our mission assignment change from an email send that morning from the Missionary Dept. to President Bunting. Rich opened the attachment.  We are going to the Mozambique Maputo Mission as Member Leadership Support!!!  We enter the MTC for training for 5 days, leaving probably 27 July and arriving in Africa 28 July!!  I can't get my mind around it quite - we're actually going to go?!  After all this time?!  It will be a wonderful new adventure for both of us!!!"

17 June 2013 - Email from President Kretly saying how happy they were for our reassignment.  Received the Welcome Letter via email.  "Welcome to the best mission in the world! ... We are certain that you will have a marvelous time here; an experience that will never be forgotten.  This mission and this country will soon become your country and your people, just as we consider them our own. May God grant you his richest blessings.  Sincerely, President Paulo V. Kretly and Sister Adriana Kretly.
12 July 2013 - Skyped with President and Sister Kretly.  We discussed possible assignments:  Richard working with the assistants to manage cars, apartments, finances; Sandy training and teaching Family History.

in the Mozambique Maputo Mission

Mozambique FlagPresident & Sister Kretly's Blog

We were set apart by Stake President John Bunting on Sunday afternoon, 21 July 2013.  It was an emotional time as children shared their thoughts and President Bunting pronounced blessings which he said extended to our children, grandchildren, other loved ones and friends.

We entered the MTC on Monday, July 22, and met the people in our group of 84 missionaries.

There were couples, and single sisters, representing missions to New Zealand, Ukraine, Montreal, Mexico, Congo, Australia, South Africa, Costa Rica, Honduras, India, Philippines, Zambia, China, Ghana, Iceland, Dominican Republic, Chile, Malaysia and United States (South Carolina, Oregon, Nebraska, Arizona, Missouri). 
We had amazing trainers who taught us how to effectively teach the true doctrines of the gospel of Jesus Christ so that the Spirit would prompt us and others to act and apply gospel principles in their lives.  We were promised :

“And everyone that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundred fold, and shall inherit eternal life.” (Matthew 19:29)

“And Christ hath said: ‘If ye will have faith in me, ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me.” (Moroni 7:33)

We learned that our overarching purpose was to:  
Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.

The Spirit in the MTC was amazing – we felt it just walking in the hallways!  We also attended the Tuesday evening devotional where we joined approximately 4,000 missionaries and listened to Elder John K. Carmack, Emeritus Seventy.  One of the most challenging of our MTC experiences was the Teaching Resource Center where, on Wednesday and Thursday, we, as a couple, taught people who were role-playing investigators.  We prepared better for the second experience, and it was 100% better!  

On Wednesday we watched as hundreds of missionaries arrived at the MTC.  It was quite a sight to see the cars roll in, bumper to bumper.  About ten cars at a time drove past the entrance; at the curb was a group of “host” elders and sisters waving to welcome the passengers.  The cars stopped at the curb, the missionaries got out, unloaded their suitcases and, then, each missionary was personally escorted up the sidewalk into the main building. 

Our MTC experience was cut short by a day.  We received our visas after classes were over on Thursday afternoon about 4:30 p.m. and, after dinner that evening, looked at our travel plans.  Interesting!  Instead of departing on Friday 26 July at 2:30 p.m. for Dallas, TX, we were to depart at 11:06 a.m. for Atlanta, GA!   These travel plans would be much easier on us, too.  Our original plan had two long flights: Dallas to London, England (9 hours) and London to Johannesburg, South Africa (11 hours), with a 7-hour lay-over in London.  The new travel plans had shorter times between every flight and an almost 16 hour flight from Atlanta to Johannesburg. We wouldn’t be reporting to the MTC at all on Friday!  Tad offered to take us to the airport and we left the house Friday morning, July 26, about 7:45 a.m.

From                     To                           DEPART                           ARRIVE

Salt Lake City      Atlanta, GA         11:06 a.m. (scheduled)  4:50 p.m. (scheduled)    3:44 duration

                                                           11:38 a.m. (actual)           5:20 p.m. (actual)           3:03 w/ tailwind

                                                                                                                                                   3:40 (actual)

Atlanta                 Johannesburg   7:10 p.m. (scheduled)    5:00 p.m. (scheduled)    15:50 duration

                                                          8:07 p.m. (actual)           5:30 p.m. (actual)             15:23 (actual)

Johannesburg   Maputo               7:10 p.m. (scheduled)    8:10 p.m. (scheduled)       1:00 duration

                                                         7:08 p.m. (actual)            7:50 p.m. (actual)             :42 (actual)

We were seated on the last row of the airplane to Atlanta and the next to the last right side row on the long flight to Johannesburg, where there were only 2 seats.  Although we didn’t fall asleep for long periods of time, we did get some sleep and the flight didn’t seem as long as our flight to Brazil in 2010.

President and Sister Kretly met us at Customs and Baggage Claim and President Kretly helped Richard fill out paper work for our one lost suitcase, which we found out was the one with most of Sandy’s clothes. President Kretly assured us that every missionary suitcase which was initially lost had by a few days been located and delivered to the missionary.

We are staying in part of the Kretly’s apartment, used for new couple missionaries and visiting general authorities, here in Maputo until our apartment is ready next Saturday. Here is the view we saw from our room this morning.

Our apartment will be on the 5th floor of the same building where Elder & Sister Hobson and the mission’s four sister missionaries live on the 2nd floor.
Today we attended our first Moçambique Church meetings in Matola about 7 miles away from Maputo, where President Kretly was giving the dedicatory prayer for the new chapel there. This chapel was the first chapel in the Maputo district and two branches meet there. [There are 2 chapels in Beira and 1 chapel in a small-remote city.] The dedication meeting was from 9:30 – 10:45; R.S., Priesthood & Primary from 11:00 – 11:45 and Sacrament Meeting from 12 noon to 1:15 p.m. I only understood a few words here and there, but Richard did much better. I talked with an Elder Toyn from Roy, Utah, and he had been there a month, and was pretty much experiencing what I was. His companion was from Hurricane, Utah, and had been out a year and gave us hope; after only a couple of transfers he said that he started understanding a lot. We are both anxious to be able to communicate better.

We greeted and met many missionaries and many families today.  Everyone is very friendly.  Here is the Mussa Family:  Joanna & Carlos Mussa and their children (oldest to youngest):  Mussa, Amelia, Alberto, Filomena, Pascoa, and  the baby Noe. 

President Kretly plans to have us work in the Mission Office, work with the branches in Matola.  We were to prepare a six-month plan outlining how we would begin to teach family history.



  1. So excited for you guys! I love your photos and look forward to seeing lots more african faces over the next year and a half.

  2. We are excited to follow your wonderful adventure!!! So happy for you both and all who will have the privilege of working with you!

  3. I am so happy for you both! Love you both so much! The people there are blessed to have you!