Monday, October 6, 2014

22 - 28 Sep 2014 Bananas,ZoneConf,Inspect,Algarve

We knew our prayers were answered upon entering the Shop Rite store on Monday morning.  The bananas were just being delivered and were in beautiful condition – hardly any bruises and a little on the green side.  They’d be perfect for Tuesday’s Zone Conference!  That afternoon we purchased some vividly colored fabric for 2 large table cloths we needed for the conference.  That evening, upon returning home, we put together the breakfast casserole which we’d bake Tuesday morning.

Tuesday began early so we could bake the breakfast casseroles before we loaded up at 7:15 a.m.  Our good planning paid off as the breakfast was enjoyed by the Swaziland missionaries.  We prepared the tables for the breaks and the lunch. Before the meeting, we gathered for a group picture!

Zone Conference is always well planned and presented. Sister Kretly gave the background of Joseph Smith’s statement “I teach them correct principles, and they govern themselves.”

John Taylor, the third President of the Church, reported: “Some years ago, in Nauvoo, a gentleman in my hearing, a member of the legislature, asked Joseph Smith how it was that he was enabled to govern so many people, and to preserve such perfect order; remarking at the same time that it was impossible for them to do it anywhere else. Mr. Smith remarked that it was very easy to do that. ‘How?’ responded the gentleman; ‘to us it is very difficult.’ Mr. Smith replied, ‘I teach them correct principles, and they govern themselves.’ (John Taylor, “The Organization of the Church,” Millennial Star, Nov. 15, 1851, p. 339.)

President Kretly’s training centered on being Highly Effective Missionaries.  He related the story of the goose which laid golden eggs.  We are the goose, he said.  Don’t be impatient with yourself and think you need to run faster than you have strength and thus endanger the life of the Goose.  Take care of yourself so you can continue to enjoy the golden egg of revelation.  (1) Be Proactive – D&C 58:26-28. (2) Begin with the End in Mind – Know that Heavenly Father will help you as you are faithful – see Nephi for example of both of these principles - 1 Nephi 3:7; (3) Plan every day and every week to Put First things First – If you don’t control your life, someone else will. 

Dedicate your life to most important/not urgent things.  This is the quadrant of Efficiency.  You are investing in things which give you a return for all you have put into it:  prayer, commandments, scripture study, attending Church, etc.).  Try to eliminate being in the other quadrants:  most important/most urgent (the quadrant of Necessity, which include emergencies and deadlines.  If you operate too much in this quadrant you will burn out!  Eliminate not important/urgent (the quadrant of Distractions which leave you unfulfilled) and not important/not urgent things (the quadrant of Waste which makes you lethargic). 

Missionaries were encouraged to take notes so in the future weeks they could reflect on their personal mission goals.  The principles are to help missionaries become successful in all aspects of their life not only as a missionary, but after their mission.  You are building a legacy which your descendants can find a source of strength to do the same.  One of the highlights is to hear testimonies of those who will be returning home before the next Zone Conference.  Testimonies included the following:  I learned to trust in God with all my heart; the Lord will show you, from time to time just like he did Nephi (1 Nephi 18:1-4) how to do hard things and the end result will be something “exceedingly fine”; difficulties became opportunities to see miracle in the moment; Mozambique is sacred to me, because I learned so much; I’ll leave part of my heart here when I depart; make the best of every day and don’t go half-way; you will be blessed with the protection of angels.

Before the next transfer comes, Elder Tidwell and I need to visit each of the 8 missionary apartments in Maputo/Matola area to assess their needs and to check for cleanliness.  We did 2 apartment checks on Thursday morning and on Friday evening I did 2 more.  4 more left to accomplish next week!
On Saturday we attended a wedding and baptism. 

It was Sophia'a, one of the investigators', birthday Saturday, so we and the Hobsons went to Chinese Restaurant, where she works, to have dinner and to sing her "Happy Birthday." She was so thrilled that we remembered her special day and smiled as we sang “Parabens pra você Nesta data querida; Muitas felicidades Muito anos de vida!”

On the way to the restaurant we stopped by to see the unique, though, dilapidated architecture of the colonial building called Vila Algarve, which was built during the 1930’s. 

"During the colonial period it was used by the Portuguese Secret Police (Policia Internacional da Defesa do Estado, or PIDE) as a prison where they tortured people that struggled against colonial control….The list of well-known detainees includes the internationally recognized artist Malangatana Valente and the poet José Craveirinha, both now deceased, as well as many fighters for Mozambique’s independence from Portugal, mostly from the liberation movement FRELIMO… Vila Algarve´s tiles are from the famous Azulejo factories in northern Portugal."

We brought a hymnbook with us when we visited Manuel on Sunday.  We helped him learn the words to the hymn "Israel, Jesus Te Chama" ("Israel, Israel, God is Calling"), obtained more information for his Minha Familia booklet, and read part of another chapter in the Our Heritage book.  He showed us pictures of him with his students when he was a professor of mathematics, physics, and chemistry.   It is very interesting to hear about his life in Tete before he moved to Maputo.  Later in the evening we went with the missionaries to visit Crislerio and Joanna and their family who are investigating the Church. It was their little boy David's first birthday!

And my 2013 Mother's Day violet is blooming again! 

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