Monday, July 25, 2016

Baptism(s) And Family night

Valdemiro and Vanusa Joao were baptized! what a great experience it was, and for the first time ever i can actually say that this baptism happened without any serious problems.. ohh what a great blessing, it was all happiness and joy with very little stress. It was such a great baptism as well, you could truly feel that they had changed so much and were ready to make their first covenant with god. Its been a great blessing to be apart of this journey with them and to help them follow the true path. We had a huge lunch with them yesterday and also had family night, and once again they invited 2 families to join in and talked about the gospel and how much it has blessed them, it was really interesting to sit and listen to them share their newly found testimonies with their friends. Its been a great blessing helping this family, and they will be a great blessing for this branch.

Also my testimony about family night has grown more then anything else. Wow... this once a week activity has brought more families into the gospel then any thing else. Because of this one activity once a week ive seen families turn 180 degrees.With Celson and Lurdes we started doing family night a few weeks ago, the first time we did it their second oldest son (antonio) join and wanted to participate, not only that but also wanted to learn about the church. Then last week we had family night the oldest son (Eddy) joined in and once again wanted to learn more and study with the rest of the family. Then Eddys friend heard about all this and wants to learn more about the church as well, and wants to start doing family night with his family. If its with Celson and lurdes family, Valdemiro and Vanusas family, or any other family, i have seen their homes filled with the spirit, love, and peace because of this little activity they do once a week. It is truly ordained of god, the family is ordained of god and family night is i believe one of the best ways to strengthen the family. Its a miracle worker. 

Also this week we had a service project.. which is actually really weird here.. we are always looking for chances to serve but everyone here never accepts. They think its a little taboo for the elders to serve and to do manual labor. Finally Celson accepted and it was so much fun, to work and do some physical labor for a little bit.. boy how i have missed it.. digging dirt, making concrete, building stuff. I havent realized how long its been since ive done anything like that. It was so nice and hopfully more of the members will see we can actually do physical labor service for them, cause i need to do more of it badly!! 

Other then that not much happened this week, i love our investigators, members, and people here in this area. We are having a ton of fun and putting in some serious work here in Benfica. I'm started to find a lot of joy in things that i use to hate at the beginning of my mission and before my mission and im starting to have more of a fire to do the work like i had at the beginning of my mission. The branch just split a few weeks ago and already the chapel is full, the members love helping the missionaries in the work and when they do we truly see miracles happen. I love this branch

Mother i recieved your package this last week with the nutella and PB... thank you very much!! it was a little beaten up but it still tasted amazing... its already about half way gone..  

Let the Magic do the work

Elder Webber

Service with Celson and having cake after with his family

Monday, July 18, 2016

Another Day Another Dollar...

Another day another dollar.. Not much happened here in Benfica.. we are teaching the same people, and having a ton of fun with the less actives and families we are teaching. Celson and Lurdes have decided to stop selling alcohol in their canteena, so they are making huge steps with their faith and will be a great blessing to this branch here in Benfica. Valdmiro and Vanusa are getting ready for their baptism this next week, we passed by their house to watch the restoration and Valdmiro said that the whole time he was watching the movie he was thinking about his baptism and how excited he is. This family is awesome... when we first got here to now the difference is amazing! Almost everytime we come over they have a referall for us or they have a family member they want us to teach.. They are excited for their baptism and we are as well.. Its been a long fun journey and the lord has been ever present in their lives showing them the way and now its the time for them to take the next step. This saturday is the day!!

Other then that nothing much happened this week, we are teaching a ton of super cool less actives and recent converts.. One is Taric, he use to never open his door to let us in and was never home.. until about a month and a half ago when he got into a serious motorcycle accident, he nailed his head on the ground and was knocked out.. while unconscious the by standers came up and robbed him.. watch, backpack, phone, wallet, when he woke up it was all gone.. So after the horrible experience we were led by the spirit the day after the accident happened to teach him, we got in and we asked him that if he died would be ready to met with god.. he said the answer was no... so we have passed by his house twice a week to help him come back to church, change his life and repent.. and the change we have seen in him has been amazing! Hes happier, hes coming to church every week, hes treating people better.. Its been pretty cool to see, and this last week we've decided to walk with him (since he doesnt go to school or work we thought it would be better to take him to our lessons) and he has grown a lot in his desire to serve a mission, he turns 22 this next month and has already started the process in speaking with the branch president and priesthood leaders to start the process. Taric is a cool guy

We've been extremely blessed in this area to be working along side the lord, we can see him work miralces in the lifes of our investigators and in the lives of the members. We have seen many people take a 180 degree turn completely changing their live around for the better. The lord truly has many people here in this branch that were chosen to do great things and he is using us as tools to change the lives of these people so they can do what the lord has wanted them to do... Its pretty cool to see and awesome to be apart of.. Other then the fact of the pregnant dogs that almost ate my companion.. sworm of children wanting magic, the pigeon stuck in our house, the JWs knocking on our house, and the crazy crazy drivers here in Angola, along with everyone thinking that we are chinesse twins... its all apart of the fun and keeps the mission interesting.. Haha

Elder Webber

Monday, July 11, 2016

TWO Baptisms...

We had a fun little experience this week at the baptism of Yolene and Wilma. We got up in the morning, everything was planned and ready to happen, the branch presidency was going to be there and all was ready.. until Elder Smith said  "I think this baptism might go without any problems" and boy did he jynx us.. We arrive at the chapel with no problems... walk around back to the baptismal font and what do we see but 2 other missionaries standing over and empty font... They said that the other branch ward mission leader came yesterday and filled it up.. but this morning wayyyy early another member came and saw the font filled and thought to himself "why is it full?" so he undrained it... lucky angolan time was a blessing because the meeting didn't start until and hour and a half later so we at least had a enough water to baptize. Also while we were there trying to figure fill it up we get a call from Wilma saying that her uncle is sick and wont be able to make it, and out back up baptizer hadn't shown up (i've learned here we always need a back up.. and now even a back up for our back up) so with that my comp and i had to run around the chapel looking for a spare change of white clothes, we didn't bring anything thinking all was good.. we found 2 pairs of pants, mine fit well but my comps.. not so much... so we changed our pants, we didn't find a shirt so we used the one we were wearing and baptized Yolene and Wilma... It was all pretty stressful as we tried to figure out what to do.. but as always everything turned out alright and they were baptized.. what a miracle.. they are the 2 strongest girls i've ever seen.. the same day of their confirmation they were call to the laurel and mia maid presidency.. pretty cool!

other then that we are having a ton of fun teaching the Nascimento Joao family and Celsons family.. The Nascimento Joao family got interviewed and passed so they will be baptized the 23rd of this month!! what a great blessing!! and Celson is slowly getting his documents for their marriage is actually going really well, the branch has decided to come in and help them with the search and the process which has been a great blessing! We are also doing a lot of work with less actives which is going well, we had 4 less active members come to church this last week, all priesthood holding men.. so it was a great blessing for this newly split branch..

All is well and quite here in Benfica... just the usual work going on.. nothing special.. some fun things happen during the week just to keep the mission fun and its all good.

Elder Webber

Monday, July 4, 2016

A New President..

President Silva and Sister Silva are super awesome, they are a lot different then what all the missionaries thought they would be. President Silva is a really cool guy, loves to laugh, really loving, sister silva is more quite but shes still really cool. Itll still take some time for the hole that the merrills left to heal over but we are very very excited to start working with president and sister silva. We had our mission conference with them this last friday and that was very cool, following the mission conference president silva interviewed each missionary to start early on getting to know the missionaries which was very cool. Saying good bye to the merrills at the airport was a tough one.. but its a good thing they only live in Arizona.. maybe while im there playing rugby or going back to visit the ward i served in for a month i can quickly stop by and say hello.

I love this area, i love this branch, i love the members, and i mostly love the awesome investigators we are teaching now.. Yolene and Wilma had their baptismal interveiw and did amazing they will be baptized this coming friday.. it still breaks my heart that paula their mother cant get baptized with them.. but she is showing great faith in continually going to church, reading, and supporting her daughters. The Nascimento Joao family has their baptismal interview this week, and they are super excited. They said after their baptism they will have all the missionaries who have ever entered their house over to eat some of Vanusas world famous shrimp!! Celson and Lurdes are doing great.. they came to church as a family and slowly the children are getting more of an interest. Ribeiro Carlos came to church for the first time this week after being out in the provencies for three weeks and he loved it.. We also met a new younger fella called Lorenzo who is really good friends with a less active member that we are teaching, so they are going to help one another go to church and read and stay active so thats very cool. We have been incredibly blessed to have so much success here in Benfica.. we are having a lot of fun and can really see the lords hand in all of our lessons and as we walk.. Its been a great blessing. 

Yes mother i got your package with the flip flops and tie almost 2 weeks ago.. THANK YOU!!!! it was getting real old walking in broken flip flops... but i have not yet gotten the other package.. so ill wait patiently..  As for advice i would tell them to take some time to sit down and really look at whats most important for them in their lives.. not now but for all live and eternity.. once they make that list make another list of things that they are willing to do to change their lives to improve those parts of higher importance. As the missionary you have a lot of regrets and spend a lot of time thinking about things you should have and it distracts from the work.. not only that but the mission you really have to learn whats more important.. obedience or disobedience.. staying up extra 5 mins to talk to your friend.. or going to sleep at 1030 so you have energy to work the next day. It really comes in handy to step back and look at whats most important and make the changes so you improve in those spots.. that and just generally growing your testimony, not only reading but pondering about what you have read.. start replacing your thoughts with thoughts about your savior and his work.. when you do that you have the spirit and you can be a better missionary. 

Make your priorities.. Start thinking continually about the savior... these two things will help BIG time as a missionary.

The Magic Man is always watching