[we didn’t get any emails last week from Nate, but this week got the explanation as well as the emails :)]
LAST WEEK’S EMAIL:
So some things happened this past week that have been kind of a downer of spirits. We were working on opening the process for two families. The first is Nascir and Marta, the second is Seljio and Zunita. We are still working with Nascir and Marta and are trying to get their process opened in Maputo so that it can still be in time for the 17th but it seems like we have hit an obstacle at every point in the road. And the other family we were doing docs for were taught the word of wisdom and we found out that Seljio has a big problem with drinking, and hasn’t been able to quit. So we had to push their wedding back. But we are still working with them and trying to help them overcome these issues.
On the cool side of things we got to do a service project this past saturday and we went and cleaned up a cemetery that is up the road from our church. I have a lot of pictures of the service project but unfortunately I don’t have my camera with me today. So all of the pictures will have to wait until next week.
[I snuck a few off of Elder Reinstein’s blog!]
The Matola Branch service project at the cemetery: Elder Keck and Elder Reinstein:
We have been working with some other good families as well here. One of them are Manuel and Cynthia. Manuel is an English Professor that grew up here, left home to study in Cuba at 16, got conscripted into the Cuban Military during the Cold war, finished his studies, lived in South Africa for many years and finally returned to Mozambique. They are an extremely intelligent family that have never missed church once in the 5 weeks we’ve been working with them.
One cool thing that happened this past week was we were walking down in the baixa area (which is a jungly area full of grass huts) and we were feeling lost as to what we should do. We stopped and said a prayer and like 10 seconds this guy walked past and we started to contact him. He said he appreciated our offer to come and sit with him but he was already baptized in another church and he was wanting to return to that church. We asked him what the church was and he said “Igreja de Jesus Cristo dos Santos dos Ultimos Dias” So we are currently working on getting him reactivated and married to the girl he is living with and getting her baptized as well. That’s all for this email. Sorry I don’t have the pictures with me.
Love Elder Keck
THIS WEEK’S EMAIL:
So as some of you accurately guessed, I was in the Capital running all around doing marriage documents. We finally got a break and we were in the internet cafe doing email; I was literally right in the middle of sending my weekly message and typing it all out when all of a sudden the power went out at the place. Which means we weren’t able to email our families. I had only gotten to email one person before the power died and the internet went out so I apologize for that.
We are not the highest attended branch in the mission but we are working on getting into the contention for the south half of the mission. There are some branches up north that are currently hitting the 280 marks every week, and right now ours is doing the second best for the Maputo-Matola district. We are currently averaging right now at about 215 people a week. We want to get it up higher though.
So now our baptism has moved to the 31st of May and we are currently working on having 9 families married and baptized that day. Elder Abel and I have been blessed with a lot of great families that we are currently working with. We are currently working primarily with 7 families right now and are constantly trying to find more that we can work with. Heavenly Father blessed us a lot this past week with finding new families. We were able to sit with 6 new families this past week.
Real quick I will explain contacts here in Mozambique. We are only allowed to contact men and they have to live at home with their wives and not go to a church. So contacts are very specific for what we can count. Well we prayed very hard and asked for help and Heavenly Father blessed us with 108 qualified contacts that we can potentially go teach this past week. The reason we can only contact families is because we are trying to establish real growth down here in Mozambique and that comes through baptizing families.
I think that’s it for this week, thank you all for your prayers and love.
Love Elder Keck
Snippets from other emails:
The weather is about the same here. Hot and blue with a lot of dirt. Its going well though. We are still working with the families trying to get them squared away. It seems like every time I hear a song about missionary work I tear up. I think a mission is turning me into a big baby. And then I go out and walk 15+ miles in the hot sun and I think that maybe its not turning me into as big as a baby as I thought. And the clothes are starting to look a little to big for me but that’s ok. I think I had a lot of extra weight to lose and this is the place and lifestyle to do it.
So I have discovered this fruit down here that I think you would really enjoy and I want you to keep your eye out for it while you are at home. Its called Maracuja and I think its some kind of citrus but it is amazingly good. We had a birthday party the week before last for one of our investigators and we were forced into a situation where we had to eat. This is bad for 2 reasons. 1. We don’t know how cleanly the food was prepared, and 2. It was extremely good and now I want to eat more Mozambican food. But its probably for the best we can’t eat their food.
We are currently working on establishing 4 stakes here in Mozambique. One in Matola, one in Maputo, one in Manga, and one in Beira. This means that we all have our work cut out for us because right now their is only 2 districts, so everything needs to be divided and cut into half to get the four stakes. I hope things back home in the stake are going well.