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Craziest Week

So this past week has probably been my craziest and busiest week on the mission. Yesterday we had a wedding and baptism at the church. So in order for the wedding to happen we had to do 3 things. 1st is get the couple rings that they can wear once the wedding is completed. 2nd is to make a cake for the wedding, and 3rd is to help the woman try on dresses that the church here owns.

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Baptism!!!

So this past Saturday we were able to baptize a single Mom and her 2 kids. Pictures will be included at the bottom. This week was a week of miracles. We found 2 new families that in mission talk are gold. They both came to church this past Sunday and they all loved it. One of them also gave us a reference for a former investigator of a zone leader that we will be seeing this week as well. It’s been an awesome week.

Now transfers also happened this week. I am still in Matola 1 so I will get to see Inacio and Efigenia married and baptized which is amazing to me. I am extremely happy about that. Also Serjio and Zerita are still being taught but we had to finally drop Nascir and Marta. They would not continue doing Documents and they quit coming to church. We couldn’t do much about it.

Elder Keck with Efigenia and Inacio

Elder Keck with Efigenia and Inacio

Zelia and her children

Zelia and her children

Elder Williams, Elder Keck, Zelia and her two children

Elder Williams, Elder Keck, Zelia and her two children

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Zone Conference

Elder Reinstein and I with our favorite Cabo Verdiano, Elder Gomes

Elder Reinstein and I with our favorite Cabo Verdiano, Elder Gomes

Elder Keck and Elder Williams

Elder Keck and Elder Williams, his current companion

Elder Hales, the first person I walked Maputo with

Elder Hales, the first person I walked Maputo with

Reunion with District C

Reunion with District C

Elder Schachterle and Elder Keck building a cake for a wedding

Elder Schachterle and Elder Keck building a cake for a wedding

Elder Thomas performing surgery on Elder Keck's thumb

Elder Thomas performing surgery on Elder Keck’s thumb

This past week we had our zone conference given by President Kretly. It was amazing. It really made me think about the types of things that I can start doing better. I won’t say what they are but everyone I talked to after the conference said the same thing. We all felt that we had things we needed to work on and it’s been amazing how things have changed in everyone’s attitudes back in the house. I think that as long as I work on these things throughout my mission I can become more christlike throughout the process.

A couple of experiences that happened in the field this week that I will share now. First Inacio and Efigenia have opened the process for marriage and will be married and baptized in the church on the 26th of July. This has been a giant struggle for me these past few weeks because our transfer ends before that date and their is a really good chance that I won’t be their to see this family be baptized. Just to clarify my history with this family I found this family with elder Abel a little over a month ago and in that time I have witnessed so many miracles with them. I have not met a family more prepared than this one and it makes me so happy every time we visit them and they tell us how excited they are to be married and baptized. Anyways I keep going through bouts of bummed outedness because I may not get to see them baptized. In the past few weeks I have had a couple of missionaries I really look up to (Elder Schachterle and Elder Thomas) tell me about how all that really matters is the people that we have met and made friends with and how we’ve helped them in their eternal progression not whether we are their for the baptism or get to count it as our baptism or not. They have taught me that we don’t do this work for the stats at the end of the week. It’s done for the people we’ve promised to bring the gospel to in our pre-earth life.

Next is a miracle that happened saturday. We were walking on a more populated road between Matola j and Mussumbuluco and Elder Williams was calling someone on the phone. We walked past this kind of dirtier looking man with these big dreadlocks. In english he says goodnight and I just kind of brush it off as nothing and keep going. Then I hear him yell excuse me in English. I look back and see a beer bottle in his hand and look at Elder Williams and tell him not to worry this is just a drunk guy and we should keep going. This man ran after us and begins to apologize and tell us that he knows what he is doing is wrong and that he wants to have Jesus in his life again. He proceeds to explain his situation and that he’s down in Matola for 2 years doing a construction project and that he and his wife are new here and don’t have any friends. He walks us to his house where we ask him if he is serious about wanting to change his life. He starts tearing up and says yes and then throws his beer down on the ground. We explain that through our teachings and repentance he can become a new person and leave all of his errors in the past. He tells us he wants this and that his wife will be home tuesday night and we should come back then to teach him and her. As all of you know I am a really judgemental person and this experience has taught me to change my ways. I almost judged a man with a beer as a waste of time when he might just be someone prepared to hear the gospel. I felt a spiritual punch in the stomach during this whole stomach and before we left his home I explained to him (in portuguese) that I had said something wrong and that I shouldnt judge people so swiftly. He just smiles and hugs me and says that everything is ok because we are all brothers and that he forgives me. I just about cried after that. I had to stop Elder Williams and say a prayer for multiple reasons.

Miracles to happen and I know that our Father in Heaven is always looking for ways to better his children, I love all of you. Until next week.

 

Elder Keck

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Things are really cooling off

So it’s been about 75 degrees here throughout the past couple of weeks and it’s really sucked. I have been coming home shivering every night and have taken to sleeping in a sweatshirt with my hood on and also socks. I never tought I would become like my mother but unfortunately I have. I have no doubt that when I come home I will be wearing a sweatshirt all around the house and complain about how cold it is in the middle of summer. Sorry Mom. So things are going great-ish here. We have a lot of good progressing families and are super pumped about them, but our Mission has a goal to find one new family a day to teach. Unfortunately we were only able to find one in the whole week. We would have our hours double or triple marked with new lessons and one by one they would all drop on us. After this happened for about 4 days in a row we went home pretty discouraged. Then our district leader gave a district meeting about how in theend stats don’t matter. What matters is the friends that you have made on the mission and what you’ve done to help those friends in their salvation. It really helped me to realize what it is I need to do to be the best missionary I can be.

We didn’t really have any crazy stories this week. We did get to go to a wedding for one of Elder Williams old investigators. Unfortunately I didn’t think to bring my camera because it wasnt my wedding. But it was a ton of fun. Love you all! Good luck in your endeavors