Monday, January 30, 2017

Broadcasts

Hey everyone!

What a crazy week! For those of you who don’t know, we had a missionary broadcast this week. Basically, it was the missionary council for the church training us. BUT, they also made some HUGEEEEE announcements. So, they completely changed the missionary schedule and also changed our key indicators (the numbers you use to measure your work). Our schedule now, for our mission, is do your personal study in the morning, daily planning, work until 12h30, lunch until 14h00, 14h00 comp study, 14h30 or 15h00 language study, then work until 21h00. I am happy because there is more time for lunch and they also gave us more time to sleep at night. YES! And we only have to do a 30-minute personal study on P-day instead of full studies.

The key indicators that we now track are baptisms and confirmations, investigators at church, investigators with a baptism date marked, and new investigators. Went from 9 key indicators down to 4!  Woot woot!

Too bad this amazing new mission plan is only being applied at the end of my mission.... but at least I have 3 months to make it count!

This week my comp and me had training for the Primary presidency from our branch... It was actually super good! They were barely following the manuals from the church, so we fixed that. I like giving the trainings here in the branch!

Remember that Rafiki dude that we found last week? Well, he came to church and once he got there he found out that he was a childhood friend with our branch president. Nice little reunion in church.

We had to go to the HCN (Nampula's general hospital) every morning this week because my comp has to do psiotheropia (I forgot that word in English....) I am pretty sure I took a couple years off my life just by entering that place... But my comp is slowly getting better, so I guess we are doing something right.

This week we will be in Beira for a Zone Conference! I am excited to fly and to also go eat some normal food with all of the other missionaries. So it should be a pretty fun week!

Thanks for all of the emails!  I love you all!  See ya!


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Milagres em Mocambique

Hey everyone! This week was pretty challenging, but so rewarding! I cannot even count how many miracles happened this week. I am not one to drop my jaw in the face of surprises but my jaw is hurting from the amount of times I was completely shocked at the miracles.

Before I start this email I want to start by saying that I am not boasting in myself but boasting in the work of the Lord. Just as Ammon says when talking about the work (which is where I am at in my Book of Mormon reading, where are you?)

I decided to list some of the miracles that have happened this week.

1. Remember the family Serjio and Elisa that I was teaching in T3? The family that we baptized all of their kids my first week on the mission. I was told that they are entering the temple in South Africa tomorrow to be sealed. I couldn’t believe it!!! It requires so much sacrifice to even get to the temple. You know you are old on the mission when a family that you were teaching as investigators are now able to go into the temple...

2. A family we are teaching, Patricio and Ireni, decided to go another couple of months without energy so that they can pay for their marriage. They are extremely poor but are so strong in the church. We talked to them about faith and sacrifice and they decided to give the money that they had saved to be able to have energy in their house.

3. Another family we are teaching that have been investigators for over a year simply because they would not get married decided to accept marriage and get married THIS MONTH! Their hearts were softened after explaining the blessings of the temple and showing pictures.

4. We found a man named Rafiki (great name to be honest) this week. He was amazingly prepared. We walked into his house and he started explaining how he already knows that this church is true and has actually been looking for the Mormon church for years! He researched everything by himself. What.

5. I received a phone call from my old comp, Elder Chikopa, explaining how 3 families that I found in Nhaconjo (that brand new area I opened) are getting ready for baptism and marriage!!!

6. I received another phone call from the AP's saying that a family I found on a division with them is also preparing for marriage!

7. We sat with a new family this week. After teaching the Restoration the man was almost in tears and explained how we "filled a hole in his sole that he didn’t know that was there"... The spirit was so strong. You only hear about experiences like that in Preach My Gospel and in stories... But they really happen!!!!!

8. It is officially pineapple season and I have permanent canker sores.

As I said, I do not say this to boast in myself. I am just filled with joy for the work and the miracles that are happening here in Mozambique. These were to just name a few.

So da para ver that the work here is accelerating at a crazy speed.

To just let you all know, today is my 4-month mark until I am home!!!

I have been put in charge of the branch choir because they don’t know how to sing... I also got called out in Elders Quorum to teach everyone a hymn that they were singing wrong so I had to do a spontaneous solo in front of about 40 men.... awkward.

So this week was pretty great. I love Nampula and I love the work! Have a great week!!!

Here is a pic of my comp and me after making 20 corn dogs...


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Transfers!

Hey everyone!                                                                                               

This week’s email will be a short one. Today we had transfers. I will be staying here in Nampula with Elder Goes, so no change here... Elder Rash did leave this morning and Elder Burchette is now here as well. 

I am super excited to stay here another with Elder Goes! We have a lot of good work going on! The district should be proposed daqui em nada if the work keeps progressing as it is!!!!

I did hit my 19 month mark this week.... just saying.


Have a great week! I hope you all remember my challenge from last week!  

Monday, January 9, 2017

Blood, Sweat and Tears

Hey everyone!                                                                                                                                   

As you all already know, this week I had my toe surgery!
I am trying to forget the experience so I am not going to talk about it too much :) At first the surgery was going a lot better than the last time I had it done! So it was all dandy since the anesthesia was going pretty strong. Right after I got comfortable, the anesthesia wore off. But at least I had a couple of minutes of anesthesia!
Shout out to my comp for pinning me against the chair though. Or else I probably wouldn’t have done it... I felt kinda bad for my comp though... He got sick from the sight of blood and seeing me in so much pain so I excused him from the room :)
But after lots of sweat, blood, and minimal palavrões the surgery was over....

Thanks to our first counselor of the branch for doing the surgery for me! He made the long trek to the chapel to do the surgery, bringing all of the supplies from the hospital. Yes, I did the surgery in the middle of our chapel. The hospital was a little too sketchy for me.

BUT, through all of this I actually learned a lot believe it or not. Some how all my mind was focused on during the excruciating 20 minutes was the Atonement. I was thinking how Christ suffered WAYYYY more than just pulling out a toenail, and to think I could barely handle the toenail! Christ didn’t even have anesthesia!!!!! So, I think God punished me with this toenail in order for me to gain a true appreciation for the Atonement... 

Also, as a mission we are all reading the Book of Mormon in 100 days. I am actually learning so much and my testimony of the book is growing. I find it surprising how many people in this world say they have a testimony of the Book of Mormon yet they rarely pick up their scriptures. Their daily scripture reading is a little quote from an apostle they saw on their Facebook feed. Sorry, but that doesn’t really count.... While I was in the MTC I challenged you all to read the Book of Mormon, so I’m going to do it again! I want to challenge all of you to read the Book of Mormon EVERY DAY!!! If you do that I know your testimony of the church and the book will be strengthened (or even start to recognize the truth to those who don’t yet have a testimony)

Love you all! I hope you think about what I said in this email.


Here is a picture of me and my stuffed animal giraffe that I found in the house sitting in the surgery chair in the chapel. He helped me get through the surgery as well. I’m surprised he still has a leg from how hard I was squeezing it.... His name is Lula.



Monday, January 2, 2017

Baptisms and BBQ's

Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot believe it is already 2017!!! I can officially say that I come home this year... What?!

This week was great! Like always!

We got back to Nampula late Monday night, so I spent all of last P-day in the office... but it was nice because the secretaries bought us lunch so I ate an entire large pizza from Pizza Hut by myself!  No regrets!

This week we did a lot of running around because we were trying to catch up in the work and also prepare our baptisms that we had this week. We had to do one baptism on Thursday because we found out that we baptized one of the girls with the wrong name a couple of weeks ago, so we redid that... but on Saturday, we had 2 more baptisms!!! Celia and Lirio. Celia is the daughter of a member and Lirio is a jovem. He lives superrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr far away, but is super converted, so go him!

This week I think I have gained about 1000 pounds because I keep eating my food from the Christmas package I got and we had two BBQ's to celebrate my comps birthday and also new years. We spent around 5000 met this week just on meat.....

I got my comp addicted to Butterfingers, he said that there better be Butterfingers in heaven, I agree!

For New Years we didn’t do a whole lot, we mostly just chilled with the youth that came to the chapel so they could stay away from the temptations of the world. We had to come in early on Saturday because people get pretty crazy on New Years...

Some of our investigators got a new dog last week and they named it Draney! I am so happy!!  That was one of my mission goals, now I just need to have someone name their child after me and I will be great!

I had a division with Elder Rash this week! It was actually pretty fun! Reminded me of the MTC, except now we can actually speak Portuguese....

Please do not be alarmed by this next part of my email.... WARNING!!!!

There was a lot of drama this week. On Tuesday, Elder Rash decided to inform Sister Koch that I have an ingrown toenail. I was trying to keep it a secret so I could just fix it at home, being that I go home in 4 and a half months, but I guess that didn’t fly. For those of you who don’t remember, I had to have surgery in Maputo a while ago to fix my ingrown toenail. But it came back :) So the Kochs were freaking out this week and worried because the recover time would be longer than the Missionary Department allows, so they almost needed to send me home. So after lots of praying that I would not need to be sent home for something as small as a toenail, we had the idea to talk to our first counselor of the branch, who is a doctor for the Mozambican military. He was willing to do the surgery for free and he would be sure I would be up and working in the time necessary to stay on the mission. So we scheduled the surgery and I will be getting my toenail yanked out once again tomorrow morning. Please pray for me! But do not worry, he is a very experienced doctor and knows what he is doing. I trust him more than the random Chinese doctor we went to see first. But that is my life at the moment.


So that was my week. I love you all! And please don’t worry about me! Tchau! 

 Here is us cooking just SOME of the meat on our grill.