Saturday, April 12, 2014

31 Mar - 6 Apr 2014 YaraJewelry,OceanView,ZoneConf

On Monday Yara showed us some of the jewelry she likes to make.

On Tuesday morning we went with Office Elders, Elder Douglas and Elder Poyfair, on an early errand to the bank, and on the way from there to the office they took a side trip to show us a beautiful ocean view they had found recently.

Last week and still on Tuesday morning, when we arrived, there was no water at the mission office.  For most of the morning there was also no power, and thus, no air conditioning.  On a hot day, that makes things very uncomfortable!  We needed to have the water so we could make our sandwich preparations in the afternoon.  The workers accomplished their task and by 11:45 we had water!  We were so glad!  Without water, we would have had to move our sandwich-making project to the Mission President’s home.

The elders took us to Premier to purchase the rolls we had ordered last week.  When we got back to the office, we put the assembly line for sandwich making together and showed Isabel and Matilde what to do.  We made 120 sandwiches for the Zone Conference lunch the next day. Other purchases of food and drink were made and transported to the Zone Conference at the Matola Chapel.

April 2 was our 45th wedding anniversary, and we like to do something special on that day each year. This year our schedule was already set - attend Zone Conference as well as serve the snack and lunch for the day. We arrived early enough to prepare the table for lunch and the snack table. Sisters Thornton, Merkley, Naehu, and Woodman helped out.

The Zone Conference was full of the spirit and great messages.  The President, along with the current goal of baptizing one complete family per month per companionship, added the goal of preparing one family per month to go to the Temple for the first time.  He reminded the missionaries that baptism is only the beginning of a person’s road to the Celestial Kingdom.  We should continue teaching them so they will be prepared for the Temple ordinances. He reviewed the mission vision and purpose and the progress of the mission.
President Kretly also challenged missionaries to use the new Minha Familia (My Family) booklet in their preparing member families to go to the Temple and approaching contacts and teaching investigators. They were challenged to fill out their own personalized booklets, to show others what a completed booklet looks like, and to teach members how to complete the booklet so that temple ordinances can be completed for their deceased ancestors. The missionaries were also taught how members could receive funds from the Church’s Temple Patron Fund to pay for passports and travel to go to the Temple for the first time.
Sister Kretly reviewed missionary health, cleanliness, and kindness rules in an interesting way.   All of the missionaries lined up at the back of the chapel.  Then she asked different things such as “If you did something nice for your companion today, move up to the next row,”   “If you washed your bed-clothes (sheets, pillowcases, pajamas) this week, move up to the next row,”  “If you didn’t spit on the road this week, move up to the next row,”  “If you made your bed this morning, move up a row.”  At the end, she had gave the missionary who “won” (they had moved all the way up to the front row of the chapel by the end of the questions) a bag of candy. 
The snack began at about 11:30am. In less than 10 minutes all the food was gone and the meeting resumed!

Other topics President Kretly talked about was using funds wisely.  He told of a missionary who, when it was time to go home from his mission, gave the mission back a large sum of money.  He hadn’t needed all of the money that he was given every month.  President said he didn’t want the missionaries to go without, but he didn’t want missionaries to think that they had to spend every Metical they received every month either. If missionaries want to spend money on souvenirs, they need to do that with their own money, not the monthly allowance. He also talked to us about the Pride cycle:  Righteousness & Prosperity – Pride & Sin – Chastening & Punishment – Humility & Repentance.  We are not competing with other missions or other companionships.  We need to recognize the hand of the Lord and not boast in our own strength.  If we boast, we will be left to own strength and the Lord will not help us.
To have “true conversion” we need to use the Book of Mormon in our teaching and to let the Spirit of Elijah, which is a manifestation of the Holy Ghost, witness to the people the truth of the eternal covenants they should make to be able to return to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  Missionary Work and Family History and Temple Work is the same redemptive work.  New members who participate in Family History and Temple Work have stronger testimonies of the gospel and are more than twice as likely to remain active in the Church.

Elder Milne, from the Southeast Africa Area Office, talked to the missionaries about security.  He emphasized 3 points:  (1) Live Righteously.  The breastplate of righteousness will protect you.  (2) Listen to the Spirit and follow its promptings.  You will be warned of danger.  (3)  Listen to your leaders and follow the rules. Most crimes are opportunistic, he explained.  So, if we minimize the times opportunities are presented then we can prevent crimes from happening. Learn to comply.  If someone approaches you and tries to take your money, cell phone, or camera from you, don't resist as this may cause you further problems.  
Elders enjoyed eating together and sharing time talking about their experiences and renewing friendships.

Sandy started a new tradition of celebrating missionary birthdays since the last Zone Conference.  There were 15 in our zone; Elder Jarvis's birthday was that very day. They all were invited to come up so we could sing Happy Birthday in Portuguese and English. Everyone seemed to enjoy it. The cake Sandy made is also shown below.

Until the power went out the Elders and Sisters visited after Zone Conference meetings had concluded.  [Elder Francisco is second from the left; Elders Jarvis and Greenman; Secretaries & APs: Elders Greenman, Z. Williams, Douglas, Santos, and Poyfair; Sister missionaries; Elders Christianson, P. Williams, Ipsen.]

We purchased more items for the Sisters new apartment and had beds and desks delivered.

We also prepared a number of boxes at the Distribution Center for sending to the independent branches (those not a part of a District) of the mission. The delivery of such important church supplies in Mozambique in the past have often been accomplished through delivery by missionaries being transferred, members traveling to those areas, or Mission President trips. The mission is asking that such materials be sent on a more timely basis by consistently using delivery services of DHL or other delivery services instead. Supplies coming from USA take at least 6 weeks to arrive, and then waiting only until someone is traveling to independent branches is problematic.
A couple of trucks in the mission have this sticker on the back window.  This one is on the Mission President’s truck. They will evaluate if it results in calls from interested investigators.

It is 75º F today, and after 90º plus about every day it seems cool. We see some people wearing coats. This young boy was enjoying a game of “leap frog” over the car barriers on the side walk.

Saturday at 6pm we were able to listen to the 10 a.m. opening session of General Conference. The 2 p.m. session will be starting here at 10 p.m. Priesthood will be at 2 a.m. Dad will listen to Priesthood when available on-line. Sunday sessions were at 5:30 p.m and 10 p.m. Thankfully we receive conference on the internet through BYURadio live.  It was also on BYU-TV live but continual buffering made it impossible to view that way.

Sandy especially enjoyed the music of the choirs.  She wanted to find the words to the song "Take Time to Be Holy" so she did a Google search.  She found this youtube video with pictures and scriptures that go with the words.  It is very calming and has a beautiful message:
Sunday we had our regular Fast and Testimony meeting (instead of Conference) since most homes do not have access to the internet to watch Conference and the time difference makes it a challenge to listen to it live.  The church sends DVD’s of conference to the mission; we will be watching the sessions, in Portuguese, on Saturday and Sunday, April 26 and 27, instead of having our regular meetings.

With this sunset in the West we say good night from Maputo!

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