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Just doing the old whitewash game

So to explain that title – when you whitewash you always just come in and try and find  lot of families and that’s what we have been doing. We are just working very hard on finding and the Lord is blessing our efforts. We were able to find about 6 new families to teach this past week and now we are getting families that we can visit and so our lesson totals will be going up as well because we have investigators now.

So there is big church news I suppose. Since May the ward of Sommerscheild  has not had a bishop but that was finally resolved yesterday and now the ward has a functioning bishopric who are all extremely strong members who have been to the temple with their families. We are very excited to work with them and they trust a lot in the missionaries. Last sunday we were called into the bishopric room and they asked each missionary to come to church each week with a 5-10 minute talk prepared just in case they need us. Well me just trying to do my best wrote one. And lo and behold they came up and asked me to speak for about 10 minutes. So I spoke about patience and hope. I defined them this way. “Patience is the capacity to endure through problems that are happining right now, and hope is what gives you that capacity because you are looking towards the future.” Without hope there is no patience and without patience there is no hope because you can’t bear the problems you have and they overcome you.

I actually have found that I really enjoy giving talks since I have been on the mission and no longer fear them. Many members came up and told me they enjoyed the talk and asked for the scriptures I used. It was a good feeling. We have also been asked to organize a ward choir and so the Elder Dupla [companionship] and the Sister Dupla along with a senior couple are in charge of organizing, directing, arranging, and playing, and singing for the ward choir. Then we found out our first performance is this Sunday and its like “Dang, we’re in a tight spot.” So the past two weeks we have stayed at the church building like an extra 2 hours every Sunday getting ready for the performance. Here is hoping it goes well. You will all hear next week.

Love you all and have a good week.

Elder Keck
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Transferred :'(

Unfortunately because of this medical thing I have been transferred officially from Beira. I am now serving in Maputo again. I will probably stay here until the end of my mission. I am no longer a zone leader, I am training a new missionary named Elder Nimmo from New Hampshire. He is a great guy. He is hard working has a lot of faith and is very funny.

We are whitewashing this area so we are starting from scratch so our days are filled with door knocking and contacts. We are trying to find members so we can get referrals from them and so far it isnt working yet. If we keep trying though I know we will be blessed.

This past week I feel I got a taste of what America is like. Many missionaries say that when they come from Beira to Maputo they feel as though they are back in America. That is false. When you go from  Mozambique to Johannesburg South Africa, that is when you can say you are in America. I ate McDonalds fror the first time in 20 months. The missionaries I was with those 2 days told me I looked like I was gonna cry during the first bites. It was so good. But everything is fine it was only an infection and they gave me some cream for it. I am all better and back to work.

I don’t have a whole ton to say this week. I feel kind of bad about that. I love you all and thank you for the prayers everyone.

Ignacio and Efigenia

Ignacio and Efigenia

Elder Nate and Elder Oryang who recently transferred home

Elder Nate and Elder Oryang who recently transferred home

The last three missionaries Elder Able trained

Massala - a local fruit

Massala – a local fruit

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Update on Nathan and Johannesburg

NATE CALLED ME!!!  President Koch told him his first assignment was to call me J  Everything is fine and he is back in Maputo with Elder Mochaki for now.  Transfers are today and he said that President Koch will tell him in a few days where he will be.

What no one (Nate or President Koch) told us is that the doctors in Maputo saw a fistula on a scan and that is why they sent him to Johannesburg.  He said the he (stayed/met?) with the Johannesburg mission president and his wife last night.  Sister Dunn (the mission president’s wife) told him that in all likelihood he would probably have to go home (I’m assuming that she was basing that on the whole fistula thing).  That kind of freaked Nate out because he did NOT want to have to come home.  Anyway, Nate saw the doctor in Johannesburg this morning and there was no fistula; in fact, any infection that might have been there was completely gone as well.  I believe that all of the fasting and prayers going on the past few days have brought us a miracle.  Thank you to everyone for your part in this miracle.

Thanks again for all your prayers and fasting!

Lisa

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In Johannesburg (there’s an explanation for this – BK)

EDIT – From Nate’s Dad

The title of this post may have thrown you off a bit.  Yesterday I got a call from President Koch informing us that Nate has been having some bleeding from his belly button.  He was brought down to Maputo a couple weeks ago to see the Doctors there.  They aren’t terribly concerned but they also didn’t have a conclusive answer as to what is happening.

The Church Doctor is in Johannesburg and he told the President to send Nate over there so they can check things out and see what is happening. President Koch told me in our call that he’s not terribly worried either but did say “this is Africa, so better safe than sorry.”

Nate arrived in Johannesburg around Noon their time today (Monday 9/7).  As soon as we know anything (President said it would be a few days) I’ll update this post.

Brad

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I made it to Johannesburg just fine. I dont know how long I will be here for. I am not super worried about the belly button thing. The doctor here I am sure is more than capable enough to handle it. Odds are I will be in Mozambique before the week ends. I really dont have anything to report this week and I apologize. I am also a little crunched on time. I love you all and I will have more stories next week I promise.

Elder Keck
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Responses to Some Big Questions

The majority of this email is talking about some questions that were asked to me by my aunt this week. These I think are some questions most everyone wonders about so I will answer them to you all.

Question number 1: Are these the best and hardest 2 years of your life?.

Answer: These are for sure the best two years and there are times when its the hardest thing and times when I cant imagine doing anything else. It depends on the area and my companion a lot. When I have had a hard companion in an area that has grown old for me I struggle. But in the times when I have a companion and an area that I love, the time ends to quickly. There are many companions with whom I would love to serve with again and I talk to often. At the times when I struggle I find my self unhappy and I think that has shown in my emails.

Question 2: Would you do this all over again?

Answer: No. I love being a missionary and I love this country and these people but there is definitely a reason missions are 2 years. I think anymore you begin to lose your steam. I dread the day I leave this place but I know that I served well, worked to my capacity and that I can be happy with my mission. I will serve more missions in the future with my future companion but another 2 year mission like this would be a difficult thing for anyone.

I love you all, I hope that everyone is doing well. Until next week. We have transfers.

Elder Keck
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The Monkey Forest

So last P-day Elder Openshaw and I planned with some of our missionary buddies to take a trip out to the monkey forest. Its this big forest out past Manga where there is a tribe of monkeys and it was a ton of fun. We walked around took some pictures and just enjoyed the company of everyone. I will include some of the pictures here but you will have to study them to find the monkeys. We actually herded them around this field. It was 7 missionaries in some big field chasing like 50 monkeys or so trying to get them to climb the trees so we could get better pictures but it didn’t really work. We just had a good time doing it. As well as the drive out there. It was like an hour long trip but the car was playing good music (I’m sure he meant MoTab – BK) and we really enjoyed it.

We also gave our zone training this past transfer and it went really well. It was like a back to the basics training talking about how if it isnt in the missionary manual or in preach my gospel we probably shouldnt do it. Then the day after that we went and did a division with the missionaries in the Baixa ward. I walked with Elder Stowe and Elder Openshaw walked with Elder Garcia and it was a good fruitful day. We really just wanted to let those missionaries kjnow that they are doing good work even though their ward is struggling and I think it helped. We managed to find 5 new families this week which was a little low for us but gave us motivation to find more families this coming week. Luckily for us its a normal week and we will lose 0 time in our area so we will be able to focus all our efforts on our work. I love you all. I hope you are all doing awesome. Here are the pictures.

Lone Monkey at the Monkey Forest

Lone Monkey at the Monkey Forest

A tribe of monkeys on the move

A tribe of monkeys on the move

Elder Nate at the Monkey Forest

Elder Nate at the Monkey Forest

The district in the car

The district in the car