Saturday, October 18, 2014

6 - 12 Oct 2014 DocSearch,Cesar,David,Martinia,BrazilCouplesComing

We began the week with a unique experience.  The Secretaries asked us to help them with a project.  They explained that the wife of a couple, who was planning on being married soon, was having trouble finding documents which verified her birth.  She had already been to the city offices and they were unable to help her.  The only other records she could think of which would have the information would be school records.  She had contacted the High School Mondlane and arranged that we could go there at 9 a.m. on Monday to ask about searching their A
archives for her information.  This sounded like quite an adventure, especially to me!  We arrived at the school.  We waited for the records secretary to arrive and the Elders proceeded to tell her our errand.  Her first response was not positive.  And she looked at me as if to say, What help is this little old woman going to be?  The archive room is not organized, she said.  It is smelly in there.  It is dirty and dusty, and you will get sick if you go in there.  If you get sick I will get in trouble.  She said I could wait outside while they went in to search.  The Elders firmly explained that Elder Tidwell and I were there to help and that we needed to stay with them.  I prayed in my heart that her heart would be softened.  We waited for another person to bring the key.  By the time the key arrived, the lady had agreed that we could all go together into the archive room. 

Yes, it was not organized and it was dirty, but it was not smelly.  It was a sunny morning, but not hot – an open door to a roof-top provided the light we needed.  The Elders searched an additional archive room, which they said was more organized.  We continued in faith as we sifted through papers for two hours.  
Papers included test scores, examination papers, class rolls, student folders with copies of birth and other registration information. One of the Elders found the school papers for another investigator which may be helpful in the future, but the miracle of finding the documents we sought was not meant to be.  There is a happy ending to this account, though.  The Elders reported that by the end of the day, the sister had gone again to the city office and was able to find the papers she needed there!  We were thankful for this experience.  Thinking of all of the many schools in this city which might also have such an archive room is mind-boggling.

The Elders took us shopping where we met up with Hobsons to get back home for the rest of P-Day. My watch stopped working, so we went shopping for another watch.  All of the women's watches are big with lots of shiny reinstones, which is not my style.  Found a reasonably priced flower shaped watch at the Chinese store and purchased it.  When we found out the second hand was the only thiing that moved and the large hand didn't advance, we exchanged it for another one.  This one also had a problem - the stem came out and wouldn't go back in!  So, it is now an object lesson.  It looks functional and is cute and stylish (even though the watch is bigger than I'm used to), but it doesn't work!  

Elder Tidwell gave the spiritual thought in Staff Meeting.  He used President Eyring’s talk from the Priesthood session.  

President Eyring spoke about the Lord’s work being filled with preparation, and that our success with the Aaronic Priesthood brothers who are our stewardship can be measured by how much we love them.  Choosing Home Teaching companions, matching Elders and High Priests with Aaronic Priesthood young men, can be compared to President Kretly’s forming new companionships at transfers. 

Elder Tidwell related an experience he had on his mission while serving in Santana. He was a new missionary and he and his companion were to teach an important lesson to a family, during which the family was to be invited to be baptized.  He thought that his companion would teach the lesson, but at the last minute his companion told him that Elder Tidwell would be teaching this important lesson and that a young Aaronic Priesthood boy would be his companion.  He related: "Though I was still struggling with the language, God helped me teach the lesson and the family accepted the challenge to be baptized.  Heavenly Father will help us convey His love."

Each of the senior missionaries were asked to share their impressions of conference, and I could feel the spirit as in my comments I revisited the messages which were dear to me.

Staff Meeting this week was filled with many many changes, questions, and clarification about the Area Review Meetings which are scheduled for October 20-22.  We were sadden to hear that the two Brazilian couples would not be coming Mozambique – they had been reassigned to Brazilian Missions.  The Mission had a miraculous 59 baptisms for the first week in October!  Although my head was just spinning with details after the meeting, I felt the Spirit and was amazed at what Heavenly Father knows we are able to do with His help.

Also in Staff Meeting, a MLS training in Beira was announced and Elder Tidwell and I get to attend!  It will be November 15!!  We are excited for this opportunity for Elder Tidwell to receive this training so he can train the leaders in the Maputo Zone, and for us to see another part of Mozambique!

On Friday we received miraculous news – the visas for the two Brazilian couples had been approved and they may arrive as early as next week!   The will live in the 6th floor apartment!  How soon can the sisters move to Level 2?  When will the Secretaries and APs help move furniture?  If they arrive on Tuesday, will be apartment be clean and ready?  Uncertainties were still voiced about the couple’s arrival date …

On Friday morning we had the privilege of working with Cesar, a member, entering his family information on FamilySearch.  He was worried that, since his personal information was stolen, he would not be able to recover the information he had already provided to the Church when he went to the temple for the first time in 2008.  Using the "Helper" function on FamilySearch and information on the pink, blue, and yellow ordinance cards he brought, we were able to bring up his Family Tree on FamilySearch.  Needless to say, he was so thankful!!!!   He is blessed to have a mother who is also a member of the Church and she helps him to gather information about his family.  He watched as his FamilyTree blossomed with the new information he brought with him!  Before we finished, he wanted to know if there was a way to access Family Search on his own.  Since he couldn’t remember his original account information, and we couldn’t get the account recovery process to work, I called Family Search Support for help. The remedy was to make a new account for him, which we did.  He left one joyful brother.  He wants to come another time to reserve ordinance work for his deceased ancestors and I assured him that I would walk him through the process and teach him how to do it!

On Saturday late afternoon we made an unannounced visit to Brother Jambane to wish him an early Happy Birthday (his birthday is next Wednesday, Election Day).  He was very surprised and pleased that we came to see him.  We sang the Portuguese “Parabens” song to him and gave him some  banana apple muffins warm out of the oven!   He now has 30 rabbits!

He is well-loved in his neighborhood.  As he walked us down the path little children gathered around him and one came up and hugged his legs!  I thought, oh, how I wished a little child would hug me in that way!  I so miss those vibrant enthusiastic hugs from my grandchildren!

On Sunday morning I got to lead the opening song, which is always sung acapella, in R.S. again!  I like doing this – I like to sing and I can pronounce and fit in most of the words to the hymns.  As the lesson, “The Power of Prayer”, was taught a sister came and sat in the chair next to me.  It was Esperança, the sister visiting from Johannesburg, South Africa, who I had met the month before when she, her mother, and her daughter attended R.S.  They had come to Mozambique because of the death of her father.  On that Sunday in September she had explained that she could only attend the first hour, but when she came back in a month she would attend all of the meetings and look for me!  She also attended the Temple Preparation Class during Sunday School.  She was attending that class in Johannesburg and was happy that she would not miss it!  She bore strong testimonies of the importance of family and the commandment of tithing.  Here is a picture of us after the meetings.  The brother, Philimão, in the picture is not a member of the Church yet.  When Esperança was trying to the find the chapel, it was Philimão who knew where the Church was and led her to the chapel.  He has been attending English class at the chapel.

Before we went home we went back into the chapel.  Some children were at the piano and I recognized a couple of them from the crocheting activity we had the week before.  I walked over to them, and one little girl, Martinia, recognized me, she reached out her arms and gave me the biggest hug!  I thought back to the day before when I had wished to be hugged by a child.  My wish had come true!

By Sunday evening, the arrival of the 2 Brazilian couples was a sure thing!  They would fly in on Tuesday morning.  Get the apartment ready ASAP!

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