Yesterday was the last district conference in the history of Maputo. We were organized into a stake yesterday, and the branches all became wards. President and Sister Kretly brought all the missionaries in. From Beira, the outside areas and from Swaziland. It was an amazing experience. I was having to translate for one of the senior couples the whole meeting so it helped me to pay attention and really listen.
The meeting was presided over by Elder Stanley G. Ellis and also Elder Combulane from south africa was there. Elder Combulane told us that the key to rescuing and saving our lost family members is doing a weekly family council. Not a meeting where the parents just decide everything and the kids opinion doesn’t matter but a meeting where everyone has a say and their opinion counts. Elder Ellis said that the key to saving a country from poverty is through paying tithing. He said that right now Mozambique is the 3rd poorest country in the world but he promised that if the members all start faithfully paying tithing the economy will grow. President [Kretly] expressed his desire for the role of the mission to shrink and the stake presidents role to grow as we continue on in the coming years. It was an amazing conference.
Elder Rebollo and me! I served with him and hadn’t seen him in 6 months
Elder Sip, my first comp in Quelimane. This photo is accurate. He does something wierd and I just cracked up
Inacio (left), Efigenia, with Vivi, and their new baby Sandro. I baptized them in July of last year
Aberto (blue shirt), Beatriz (left flowered skirt), and Izabelle (right). I baptized them last july with thier mother who isnt in the picture
The district of T-3 before Elder Herd left
Me and my MTC comp Elder Badger
The good ol’ MTC district sadly minus Elder Reinstein
Me and Elder Reinstein (Note – this came to us via Elder Reinsteins Dad – Thank You Ken!!)
Elder Thomas (left) and my trainer Elder Abel (center) and me
This past Wednesday we were able to receive a special missionary training from the President of the General Sunday School Presidency Elder Tad R. Callister and also the first counselor of the Young mens general presidency Brother Larry Gibson. It was a really cool meeting and just a little ego boost of my life, I got voted as Captain Moroni which was sweet. But really the lessons they gave us were amazing.
Elder Callister went in depth about the plan of Salvation explaining it all to us about each step in the plan and what we need to do in order to earn the highest reward. We also got to have a Q&A session about missionary work in the spirit world and progression after death and things like that. It was an awesome learning opportunity.
Elder Gibson talked to us about encouraging young men to do duty to god because it is focused on preparing people to serve missions. Then after that training we worked like normal and this sunday we were blessed because of it. We had in total 6 families that attended church yesterday and they are all doing amazingly. It was an amazing blessing for us.
This Wednesday we are having transfers. I have this sinking feeling that my next area will be somewhere in Swaziland. We will find out. Last time I had a feeling I was gonna get transferred to Quelimane and then it happened. We will have to see.
Love you all,
We as the Mozambique Maputo Mission have had the goal for 2 and a half years of having stakes in Mozambique. Everyone who has worked in this mission has worked for this goal and hoped that one day we will have stakes here in Mozambique. Every prayer we say we pray that we can recieve stakes here one day. This past week Elder Stanley G. Ellis of the Seventy was here and gave us a Zone conference. He told us that we were extremely close to getting stakes here. That they were in the process of getting approved by the Church Headquarters in Salt Lake. Two days after that when he was in Beira giving a zone conference he announed that on the 14th and 15th of February the Maputo district would become the Maputo stake. One year of working to get stakes here in Mozambique and 9 of the 12 months of my mission spent in this district and we are finally getting a stake. When I was told the news from a former companion in Beira we all said a prayer of gratitude. As we prayed every single missionary started crying because of the joy we all felt. I want to thank all of you who prayed for this mission as well. Because of the faith and hard work of the members and missionaries here in Mozambique our goal is finally being realized. For those of you who don’t know a stake means that they will get a patriarch, the priesthood keys will leave the mission president and go to the stake president, and us as a mission can begin to focus one hundred percent on the things of the mission not of the church. Thank you all for everything you have done.
Love Elder Keck
This was a brief note from Nathan to his older brother Ryan –
So this past week one of the families we are teaching had a baby boy. The mom wanted to give him an american name so she was asking me, the only american she knows, for good names for a boy. They would just not accept Nate so I was like “What about Ryan?” And she really liked it. So you are welcome. You know have a young Mozambican boy named after you. I figure you’d enjoy that news.
(My Note – For those of you into the meanings of names “Ryan” means Little King)
Note – This is mostly pictures with brief descriptions of what they eat.
Family. I am the house chef. And before you think thats not good. Let me show you what we eat on the weekly.
1. French Toast with Sugared bananas, peanut butter sauce and chocolate sauce.
2. Home made sphagetti and meatballs with garlic bread.
3. Home made fried chicken with rice and beans
4. These are pictures of a fruit called coracao do boio. Translated is heart of bull. It’s the best!
Mother a good place to stay when you come. Look up the Matola Maritina lodge on google.
Love you all.
This is Claudio. Elder Cummings and I found him back in November. He has progressed really well and was baptized this past Saturday. In the coming months a lot of the references he has given us will also be baptized. We are very excited to be able to teach with him. He asked us if he could walk with us before this Saturday. Its been awesome to work with him and help him know this gospel. I really don’t have a whole ton to write this week. We are super tired we just came back from playing soccer for 3 hours and just wanna sleep. I will send more pictures though.
Me, Elder Mochaki and Claudio
Claudio with his sister on his left side, his girlfriend on his right and two other of his references that will be baptized in the weeks to come. Also his girlfriend will be getting baptized.
Everyone in T-3 that came to support us
This past week was an awesome week for finding. On Tuesday we went an worked in a field of one of the families thats investigating the church. While we were there, Irma started talking to one of the neighbors. Afterwards she came up to us six missionaries and asked whose area it was. Elder Mochaki and I replied that it was ours. She told us that before we left we needed to talk with that neighbor. So we did. We went over and introduced ourselves as missioanaries. We found out that she lived there with her 4 childen and her sister and her children. We asked what happened to her husband and she told us that he died a few years back. We taught a little bit right there about how families can be together forvever and marked a return visit for that night. We came back that night and taught her and her children about the plan of salvation, focusing on gods love for us and because of that love he made it possible to live with our families forever. She liked what we taught and accepted to come to church that Sunday. Then 3 days later we taught her the Restoration and she accepted to be baptized on March 14th. So everyone please pray that everything will work out, and that Mercia will be baptized on the 14th so that she can get sealed in the temple a year from now with her husband. Also she came to church yesterday and loved it.
Another cool story is that on Saturday night after all our lessons had fallen through we were kind of wandering aimlessly looking for something to do. We stopped and said a prayer asking for guidance. Then we waited in silence and after about a minute Elder Mochaki told me that we should go visit a family called Constantino and Elonia. A couple of weeks ago while I was really sick, Elder Mochaki taught them with a couple of other missionaries. The other missionaries didn’t really do a good job, and we felt they had kind of ruined any chances we had of going back. Anyways Elder Mochaki said we should visit them so away we went. This was a Saturday night and so the majority of people were out drinking. Anyways when we got there both the husband and the wife were just sitting on their front step as if they were waiting for us. We got to teach them the restoration and they agreed to come to church this next sunday. It was pretty amazing.
Those are the cool stories of this week. Other than that it was a fairly normal week. I cant wait to hear from everyone next week.
Love you all,