0

Same Old (That was the subject line we got… I don’t think he realizes it’s all new to us!)

This week truly nothing crazy happened. We worked hard and for that we were blessed. Yesterday we had 4 families that came to church and of the 4 it was the first time for 2 of them. We have a lot of hope in some of the new people we are teaching and everyday we are working to find more.

This week we are doing our zone training and its really nice being companions with the other zone leader in that we can plan our training well. We are going to be talking about returning to the basics of missionary work, just following what it says in Preach my Gospel and the missionary handbook. We also will be doing a division with the missionaries of the Baixa ward. Elder Openshaw and I will each walk with one of them in their area and go visit all the leadership and recent converts that are falling out of activity to try and help them out and get them excited about the church. It’s a ward that is struggling and it has great missionaries who are doing good work, the members just need help.

That is everything for this week. Love you all.

Elder Keck
0

No Big News (another of Nate’s descriptive titles…)

Really nothing interesting or out of the ordinary happened this week. I did a division with one of the district leaders companions while Elder Openshaw walked with the district leader. I will be going back to that area at the end of the transfer to walk with that DL. It was a good day but it made me realize how much I like my area. The area I went to was very shut in and there were walls and fences everywhere. My area is extremely open and you can just go from house to house and breathe fresh air. A few weeks ago we had a council with the Mission President and the other Zone leaders of the mission and there we were told that there was no longer a mission goal of 35 contacts, that is 35 potential investigators every week, that now the Zone Leaders would decide what it should be. So we sat down with all the District Leaders in our zone and we established that instead of 35 potential investigators every week we should make it a goal to sit with a new family every day, and try and get one new family at church a week. So Elder Openshaw and I worked our butts off, and this past week we sat with 9 new familes, of the which 2 new ones came to church and loved it. Actually there was a cool thing we got to do this week. We were waiting on 2 missionaries who were stuck in the MTC waiting on visas. Normally when missionaries come up to beira the senior couple picks them up, but this time there was no senior couple so Elder Openshaw and I were asked to do it and it was pretty legit to like welcome them to Beira. They both seem like they will be great missionaries and I am excited to watch their progress. Love you all, and have a great week.

Elder Keck
0

New transfer, New companion

So this week ends my first week of my 13th transfer, with my 11th companion. I don’t really know if its common for missionaries to have that many companions but something makes me think no, because I am officially out of room in Preach My Gospel for more companions, so unless I stay with Elder Openshaw till the end of my mission I am going to have to start writing in lines.

This week was really interesting though. Wednesday we had a mission leadership council. Its where the Zone leaders in all the mission meet and talk about there zones and the things they are trying to implement, and it was really good. A lot of missionaries are trying new things to find and it seems like they are having success. We have also been walking in a tripla this past week becasue Elder Rispress who is our District Leader is supposed to be training but his companion doesnt have his Visa yet and he is waiting in the MTC. Elder Rispress has been with us all week and it has been a lot of fun but a little different. I really don’t enjoy walking in triplas and I am excited for the day it ends but for now I am getting by.

We were able to do a lot of good work this past week with finding and it payed off with 2 new part families at church yesterday. Unfortunately the husbands had to work but the wives came and brought there children so it was way nice. Other than that there is no news to report. Love you all have an awesome week.

Elder Keck
0

Weddings, baptisms, and transfers (From an email dated July 26th 2015)

This week has been one of the busiest weeks of my mission. We had a wedding this past weekend including a baptism, and I had to do all sorts of interviews and final preparations, but luckily Elder Stowe is an extremely capable missionary and we were able to have everything go smoothly. The wedding was one of the best I’ve seen here in Maraza and everyone loved it. We had one couple get married, as well as Munhava and Palmeiras (I think these are districts in the zone) each had one. It was awesome.Then afterwards, we were able to baptize the couple, with their 3 kids, as well as the sister of a missionary and a young man who has been coming to church for 3 years with his sister and Brother in law. It was an amazing experience.

And now onto transfer news. I will be staying in Maraza but Elder Stowe will be leaving. He is going to an area called Baixa. Its the downtown area of Beira. I will still be living with him though which will be awesome. I will be companions with the other zone leader, who is named Elder Openshaw. He is a really good guy and a really hard worker. I am pretty excited for this transfer.

Wedding day!

Wedding day!

The Happy Couple

The Happy Couple

Another Shot of the Couple (Sorry, Nate didn't provide names)

Another Shot of the Couple (Sorry, Nate didn’t provide names)

The Elders with all of Their Investigators

The Elders with all of Their Investigators

Everyone who got Baptized

Everyone who got Baptized

0

We met President and Sister Koch (from email dated July 20th 2015) Lots of pics….

I will just start this email off with a Testimony. I know that President and Sister Koch were called of God to lead this mission.

Any doubts I had were destroyed as I got to know him this weekend. It all started off with an interview on Friday before the Zone Conference. I was the last one to go and everyone else kept telling me how great he was so I was pretty excited, and it truly was a great experience. When I walked in there was just a spirit in the room and he was so easy to talk to. I wasnt nervous or worried about messing up. It was just a conversation to get to know the other. It was really nice. We also talked about the meeting that would be coming up because I was conducting it so I wanted to make sure I had all the information. Then in the conference it was all very relaxed. They explained about themselves and their vision for this mission. Sister Koch is an extremely caring woman. It was awesome.

So then we all go our way with an awesome feeling, and that night I found out that Sunday President Koch would be walking with Elder Openshaw and I, so I was really excited. Unfortunately there was a missionary going home early and there was a confusion and Elder Stowe and I ended up going with Elder Shumway, the assistant to the president, out to Dondo to pick up this missionary and drop him off at Presidents house to eat dinner with him before we left. Our plan was to leave and I would wait till after with Elder Openshaw to walk with President Koch, but we got there a little late and so he told me it wasnt gonna work out, but on the bright side they invited Elder Shumway, Elder Stowe and I to all eat dinner with them as well, so that was really cool.

And then we come to today. President Koch had been telling the assistants to spread the word that this monday he would be playing sports with all of us, and he did, and afterwords they fed us all a lunch at the church, it was awesome. I am really excited to spend these next six months with the Kochs and learn more from them. Love you all.

Elder Keck
The area we live and work in

The area we live and work in

Another view of the area

Another view of the area

Elder Stowe and the area

Elder Stowe and the area

Last shot of the area

Last shot of the area

Nate referred to these 3 little girls as the gang of punks "completely adorable but very rambunctious at church"

Nate referred to these 3 little girls as the gang of punks “completely adorable but very rambunctious at church”

Punk #2

Punk #2

Punk #3  (I think this one looks like the leader of the gang - BK)

Punk #3 (I think this one looks like the leader of the gang – BK)

Our uno group. A family we are working with to go to the temple. Every time we come over they make us play uno

Our uno group. A family we are working with to go to the temple. Every time we come over they make us play uno

0

Back to Normal

We were able to have a normal work week this week. No serious wedding preparations, no meetings and just old fashioned hard work. We were very blessed this week. We were able to find a few new families that have some potential. We will have to see how that works out. We are focusing right now on preparing the ones that are getting baptized at the end of the transfer so many of our lessons are going to them. We have a man and wife with their 3 children as well as 2 more single mothers who will be getting baptized. One of the single mothers is named Fatima, and her brother is actually serving a mission right now. He is serving in the Swaziland part of our mission. And the other woman is named Ulga. She has investigated the church for forever and just kind of fell away, but we were able to baptize her two daughters last week and now she is very interested in getting baptized as well. Please pray for these people that everything works out and that they get baptized.

It has been made clear to me that I have not explained much about my companion. His name is Elder Stowe. He is from Tawila (Brad -I think he’s trying to say Tooele) Utah. He is 21 and he is really cool. We get along really well. We are able to work hard but have fun together. He has a lot of desire to learn Portuguese and is learning really quickly. He also has a lot of leadership qualities, and I am positive will be a leader on this mission one day. In other cool news, last monday at around 17 in the afternoon I got a call from President Koch. He was calling all the Zone Leaders and introducing himself and explaining his schedule for our meeting. It was nice to talk to him and get rid of that new mission president apprehension. We will be having personal interviews and a meeting with him this friday morning. Love you all.

Elder Keck
0

Wedding and Baptism! (From email dated July 5th, 2015)

We were blessed once again this past week with a wedding and baptism. We were able to marry the family of Esmael and Regina and baptize them along with 2 young women who have been coming to church for quite some time named Sonia and Sofia. The wedding went smoothly and now we are going to focus on the next family which will be married on the 25th of July. We were able to go and open their wedding process this past Friday. The name of their family is Joao and Maria and they will be baptized with their 3 oldest kids.We will also be preparing another single mother for that day as well. She is the last member in a family that is all members.
We are staying very busy and will be really focusing on finding this week. We will aslo be preparing to host a zone conference this upcoming week where we will all meet President and Sister Koch and be interviewed by them.Its been a strange feeling not having President Kretly as my mission president. I am sure I will love President and Sister Koch just as much but it honestly felt like losing a father and mother figure when President and Sister Kretly left. They were there when I started my mission and so in a way I felt like I grew up with them, and now I’m like a 17 year old kid who’s parents like died and I went into a foster home for like that last year before I turn 18. I like the example and I think it works. Anyways I love all of you have a great week.
Elder Keck
Esmael and Regina

Esmael and Regina

Esmael and Regina again

Esmael and Regina again

The Happy Couple - Esmael and Regina

The Happy Couple – Esmael and Regina

Esmael and Regina with their Padrinho and Madrina who were baptized 2 months ago

Esmael and Regina with their Padrinho and Madrina who were baptized 2 months ago

the baptism of everyone (I think he means everyone he described in the email)

the baptism of everyone (I think he means everyone he described in the email)