Sunday, June 8, 2014

2 - 8 Jun 2014 IronHouse,CatholicChurch,JointTalksInChurch

Transfers were announced this morning, and 2 sister missionaries, Sister Smith and Sister Thornton, and 4 elders are going to serve in Swaziland! Four elders from Mozambique, called to different missions, will also be starting their missions here this transfer. Transfers means updating previous Transfer Cards and making new ones for the Swaziland missionaries and the new Mozambican missionaries.  Sister Hobson had a going away dessert party for the two departing sisters on Tuesday evening. They are pictured here with Vanessa Tembe.

Elder Tidwell gave the Spiritual Thought in Staff Meeting this week:

In the current June Liahona President Monson talks about “Hastening the Work”. He notes that it was 98 years before the Church had 100 stakes (1928), 30 years later (1958) it had 200 stakes, 8 years later (1966) it had 300 stakes. Today there are more than 3000 stakes. D&C 88:72-73 “Behold and lo I will take care of your flocks and will raise up elders and send unto them. Behold I will hasten my work in its time.”

President Monson said, “We are here on the earth at this time that we might participate in hastening this great work”

It is exciting to be a missionary at this time in the Church when we see the work hastening in this mission with marriages, baptisms, new branches, a new country…

Those who are ready to receive the Gospel are placed in our path. A few weeks ago I was looking for a tool in Premier, a seemingly temporal task, when an employee, a young Mozambican man helping me, said to me out of nowhere, “What do you think about pre-marital sexual relations? “ He said he and his noiva (fiancĂ©) were planning to wait until after they were married and their friends thought they were crazy to wait. He said, “what do you think?” I explained our beliefs about chastity that expressed his same feelings. I have kept in contact with him and referred him to the missionaries in his area as he said he was interested in learning more about the Church. He had seen the missionaries in his area but had not spoken to them. We are being watched as we spread the Gospel.

Elder Biddulph was walking to the Church with Sister Tidwell and I when we were greeted by a Mozambican lady who stopped to ask us who we were and Elder Biddulph quickly was able to make a contact. She was very receptive to receiving missionaries in her home with her husband and family. The Lord is preparing people in this mission to receive the Gospel.

In an alley near the Church sits an old 1930 Ford Model A car. It looks like junk but it was special to me because I knew of its history, its antique value, and of its potential to be restored to its former greatness. May we also see the potential in the people, knowing their heritage as children of God, and knowing of their potential to be exalted in the Celestial Kingdom. Help us to look past their imperfections and remember their spiritual heritage and potential.

May we each play our role in hastening the work that it may go forth.
In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen

President Kretly has asked that missionaries use the My Family booklet as a tool for proselyting.  The Family History Center became a place to prepare boxes of booklets to be sent to Beira and independent branches. 

Tuesday was President Kretly’s birthday so he wanted to go out to lunch.  We went to Rodizio’s which is like Tucanos.  Everything was very delicious!  A surprise birthday cake was delivered at the end of the meal and the waiters sang “Happy Birthday” (in Portuguese of course).

It was decided that Elder Biddulph should go home and get better.  We hope that he will get the additional medical diagnoses and treatment he needs so he can recover and come back to finish his mission.

Elder Tidwell and I process the referrals sent to our mission through  We send the referrals to the zone leaders and they send the referral on a missionary companionship that works the area closest to them.  The office elders received a referral from a man in Pemba!  That’s way up north and we don’t have anyone serving there.  Instead of deleting the message, I asked him to send it on to us like the others so we could email him and explain the situation.  Even though the closest missionaries are in Nampula, about 200 miles away, at least he now knows the closest branch.  Perhaps he travels to Nampula?

On Saturday morning, Richard went shopping for a modem for the Family History Center computer.  It turned out to be a very long walk, but he finally found what he needed in one of the smallest electronics store – a store he was inspired to go into, even though he had asked at many larger electronics stores and been disappointed.  While he was out and about, I went to the chapel to help clean it with the Relief Society.  When we both got home, we got ready for an outing with the Hobsons.

As we were pulling out of the garage onto the street, there was a man there the Hobsons recognized.  He is a member of the Beira District Presidency.  Here are his cute twin daughters Katy and Kelly and their cousins Laticia and Kayla!

The goal of our adventure was to find the Casa de Ferro (Iron House) and the Louis Trichardt Memorial Garden.  To get to the correct street we had to thread our way through the busy sidewalks – people selling everything.  You could feel the energy and enthusiasm of the venders and I wished we had our flip camera so we could record the busy sounds all around us.  Remember, this was Saturday.  Every sidewalk in that area of town had vender after vender on the store-side and the street-side of the sidewalk.  There were hats, shoes, capulanas, trousers, shirts, watches, CD’s, DVD’s, socks, fruits and vegetables, etc.  There were even people with their sewing machines hemming capulanas and making curtains.  Next to one sewing machine a young man was painting women’s fingernails. 

We arrived at the Iron House and we were about to go around the corner to the gate, when all of a sudden Richard fell face-down on the sidewalk!  It was so sudden and scary!!  He had tripped on an uneven sidewalk, of which there are SO many all over this town.  He scraped his forehead and cheek and knees, but otherwise no broken bones, thank goodness!  One of the lenses of his glasses popped out and got pretty scraped up, too.  He will see what can be done about the glasses on Monday.  The guard at the Iron House motioned to us and showed us where Richard could sit down for a minute.  Thinking back, what if he had taken such a fall earlier in the day on his long walk when he was alone? What is he had fallen while we were threading our way through the sidewalks – he could have been trampled!

We enjoyed looking at the Casa de Ferro (Iron House).  According the guide book, it is “constructed of prefabricated metal parts designed by the French engineer Eiffel" who designed the Eiffel Tower! Massala Fruit grows on the trees next to the Iron House, as does a pretty red flowering vine.

Remember the Jardim Tunduru (the bat park)?  Well the Casa de Ferro is kitty corner from the (now closed) gate to the park and the smaller statue of Samora Machel, Mozambique’s first president. Just up the street is the huge Catholic Cathedral.  The taxi driver we had a couple of weeks ago, told us the cathedral was always open, so we decided to walk up and take a look inside.  A wedding was in progress!  Although not as ornate as many Catholic churches we’ve seen in Germany and Brazil, the cathedral is very majestic.

Only a block and a half away we found the Louis Tregardt Memorial Garden.  We had been there before, but the Hobsons hadn't.  It was nice to read again the inscriptions.  This Memorial honors the Voortrekker Leader, Louis Tregardt, who tried to find a route to the sea through Mozambique; “… eventually [trek] came to grief when most of the trekkers died of malaria in the then Delagoa Bay (Maputo) in 1838." (see 4 Nov – 10 Nov 2013 post)  We enjoyed lunch at Cafe Sol before going home.

That afternoon I finished lengthening the flared skirt of a dress for one of the sister missionaries.  It was a challenge to figure out how to do it.  However, with Lyn’s advice (from afar) I did it.

Sunday morning was a busy one.  This Sunday was the day I told Yara that I would give a lesson to the Young Women’s about Family Home Evening.  Preparation had been throughout the week – I gathered sticks for the object lesson while I was cleaning at the chapel on Saturday!  I treated the entire classtime as a Family Home Evening complete with Welcome, Opening Song and Prayer, Announcements, Poem or Scripture Reading, Lesson, Activity, Closing Song and Prayer, and Snack.  It all went very well!

Earlier in the week I had asked the new Branch President if I could give a short announcement about Family History and Temple Work in the next Sacrament Meeting.  He said he would let me know after he had met with the rest of the presidency on Saturday.  I planned a short invitation for the members to continue to fill out their Minha Familia booklets and come to our new Family History Center upstairs.  Well, on Saturday evening, the sisters gave me a message from the Branch President telling me that it was okay for me to speak about preparing to go to the Temple in Sacrament Meeting.  So, the announcement had turned into a speech!  I lengthened my announcement to 2 1/2 minutes.  [Before 1980, when the consolidated schedule began, Sunday School was held on Sunday mornings.  During Saunday School opening exercises, “2 ½ minute” talks were given. Over time, everyone got a chance to participate!]  

Sunday morning came, and yes, he did want me to give a “discursco,” so Elder Tidwell and I made some fast preparations.  Deep down, I had wanted to have the opportunity to speak about this important topic and wanted to include some quotes from President Monson’s message in the June 2014 Liahona entitled “Hastening the Work.”  We decided to give the 5-minute discurso juntos (together)!  We were the first speakers.   It went well, and after the meeting we had a few people come up and see the Family History Center and ask us some questions.


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