Hi Family Mine!
Well I'm glad you liked the pictures. Pictures usually come at the grace of our brasillian friend Elder Carvalho. So every once in a while it happens. You should have more though. I have sent at least 14 or more. So that is strange. Anyways. What can you do? It's Africa. You don't make orders, you make requests.
Haha. Nice hair cuts Josh and Caleb. That's how things happen over here. Plus they don't know how to cut white man hair so sometimes it can be pretty disastrous. lol. Just one size fits all. Except for that one muslim guy in Beira. That was a fantastic haircut.
Congrats (or should I say parabens?) to the families with new borns! That will be a little strange seeing new faces that I haven't ever seen before!
Speaking of Back to the Future, that is what the trip home is going to be. But why am I talking about coming home anyway? Love you guys but I have work to do! Haha all this news is blowing my mind. Pretty crazy. Hey my comp told me that the weather there is pretty cold. A storm hit Alaska or something? I don't know. Sounds pretty fantastic to me. Fortunately it is getting a little cooler. But definitely not enough. I can't remember if I told you but I completely agree with Elder Haueter (oh ya. I got Sis. Whiteheads package btw) when he said "I would rather be cold than sweat all the time." Haha. Hudson's Russia sounds pretty nice. But what can you do? Just love it!
Good ol Jimmer Fredette! He is fantastic. He and Tyler Haws and the rest of the squad were pretty sweet when I was there. I can only imagine now. Even though Tyler or Elder Haws is on a mission in the Phillipines. I actually met with him/contacted him in the MTC. haha. Fun huh?
For Caleb: I think I would have to go with Flying. Classic.
Still haven't got the package. Don't know why. Don't know when. Don't know what's up. We will see.
As for Q&A:
1. The education level where I work, it is higher than most of Mozambique. In Maputo it is decent but that depends on if you work in the city or the suburbs. Same thing in Beira. But the people in Inhambane are actually very very smart. They just seem more schooled and thoughtful. This is especially true about religion. Almost every single person we run into is either one--fed up with all of the churches because they just want money or power or two--they believe religion is good and that all churches are true and they just need to find the best one for them. This is great soil for the seed of the gospel. This past week, while I was focusing on making my prayers better, I prayed specifically to be an instrument in the Lord's hands and to be guided in my thoughts and deeds to people who needed me. I asked for the Lord to trust me with people who needed our help because I was going to focus on not just saying prayers but being prayerful ALL DAY LONG. So I did. And funny thing happened, we had an incredibly successful day. We found many people who were ready to receive that message and they ended up being new investigators. Then when work stagnated (as sometimes happens) the Spirit prompted us to go get ice cream at the chinese ice cream place (the Spirit likes to tell us to get ice cream when we need to do something or meet someone important). So we got ice cream and ended up finding this Italian guy who came right up to us and had an important problem for us to figure out. I knew the Lord led us (by way of ice cream) to him. Funny thing that when I went to Maputo, I had a strange urge to buy copies of the Book of Mormon in Italian. Now our Italian friend has it. The Lord works in mysterious ways--even strange urges and ice cream.
2. The boat costs 10 Meticais or about 30 cents mais ou menos. The current standing of the dollar to the Metical is about 1-33, one dollar to 33 meticais. But lest ye think that this is a good deal, we don't get any more money than anyone else. That means we have to budget in 140 meticais because of the barco. And food here (as well as everything else) is more expensive because it is just frequented more by tourists. So I ended up with 10 meticais leftover from last week. Haha. Pretty good. And that would have been used if my comp hadn't have done something crazy to his back that put him out for the past two days. Anyway- In the words of a famous country song sung by George Jones, "These days I barely get by." Haha but that's a sad song so don't listen to it because I am being more jovial when I say that. But it does get kinda funny when you want to buy something and then you ask yourself how many barco rides that is. Everything is compared to barco rides. Pretty fantastic!
3. As far as DL Responsibilities taking away from the Spirit, ABSOLUTELY NOT! haha. I don't let anything do that! Gotta have the Spirit. Sure there are times when I get disappointed or a little frustrated but the Spirit always keeps me straight. And the Spirit doesn't always make you quiet and passive I am learning. Sometimes it gives you a little power from within that wants to make the world wake up. I have felt that and have used it a few times to make some Mozambicans get some things done. Sometimes it must be done. But always know that it is out of love and never ever gets carried away. It is a sober kind of power. But it is definitely power and energy. As I study Moroni in the war chapters, it is interesting how many times I have read the statement "And Moroni was angry with ______." Moroni got angry alot and it was always because of wickedness, stubborness, iniquity, pride, or inaction. This is the same man that it was said if all men were like unto him "the very powers of hell would be shaken forever." So sometimes it happens. But it is always centered on the intolerance of wickedness--that is what I am trying to focus on. Ya learn a lot of really cool stuff on the mission eh? haha. It happens.
The other topic of study which I found very interesting and I have seen evidence of it in my life is the subject of Fear--the opposite of faith. Of course we should be God fearing or in other words God respecting, however, we must eliminate this fear thing in our lives. It is interesting to note that Adam, soon after partaking of the forbidden fruit, became afraid. It is a reaction that will damn us if we let it take over. I thought about it and sometimes we just have too much fear. Fear of change, fear of loss, fear of insecurity, fear of doing something wrong, fear from lack of knowledge, fear from things not going as planned. Even fear from the mere possibility of these things happening will stop us from progressing. We are so afraid of doing something wrong or even the RISK of doing something wrong, that in a frantic attempt to try to prevent these things from happening, we sometimes cause them to happen or they happen anyway. One of the greatest comforts in life comes from acknowledging the fact that these things are going to happen. There is going to be change. There will be loss. We are going to mess up. It's just going to happen. So we don't have to worry about that anymore! You already know! You are going to mess up sometimes! haha. So now that question is, what are ya gonna do about it? We just have to know what to do when we mess up. It's called repentance. And it starts with Faith in the most reliable, Jesus Christ. This is the opposite of fear. Fear stops when we realize these things and go forth with faith knowing that ya know what? everything is gonna work out alright. We need to be taught in the way we should go and then when we are older, we will not depart from it. Notice it said older not right now. But bad habits and sin and wickedness nonetheless cannot be tolerated. We must get angry at those things and rid them from our society. That's how you train and teach. Then repent when we make mistakes.
So as for me, I have more confidence and faith than in my entire life. Sometimes I felt very very guilty if I did something wrong. I felt like I was bad and that something terrible was going to happen. I had a fear of doing things wrong and so I tried to be perfect and then make excuses when I wasn't. But this is not faith. Why do we need to be afraid? We don't. Fear is the first principle in the gospel of the evil one. Faith is the powerful first principle of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We walk not by sight, but by faith. "For God hath not given us the Spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." 2 Tim 1:7,
So if you are afraid or worried, Quit it! haha. Buckle up and get some Faith!
I love you all! Read your scrips! Say your Prayers! EVERY DAY. Go to church. Keep the commandments! Jacob 6:12 "O be wise! What can I say more?"
lol Success and happiness to you all!
From the Africa,