Monday, October 31, 2016

Loving the Rain

Hahah dont you worry it was all good, honestly it wasn't anything out of the ordinary happens quick often here in angola because there are many many many drunk people.. whether it be at 3 in the after noon, 11 in the morning, or 7 at night you will always have to fend of a crazy drunk man. So its all good, just another day at the office. This week we had a lot of fun working with our new son Elder Mashalaba, its pretty funny to see him speak for the first time.. but then i quickly remembered that i was once there and that i took sooooo long to actually speak Portuguese. I really do love training, i wish i can train more on my mission. Theres nothing like helping some good fresh meat turn from rookies to men of great potential. Its been fun.. This week we had a ton of work to do.. we spent 2 whole days in the car driving around picking up bunkbeds, dropping off bunk beds, picking up missionaries dropping off missionaries because this week we received a whole lot of missionaries... thats right the angola luanda mission received 5 missionaries this week!! holy moly its crazy!! We are now sitting pretty at a nice 33, president wants to get to 40 before the end of the year so we will see how that goes.. the problem is that the visas are a pain.. but its slowly getting better. 

This week we walked all the way up to manuels house about 4 times.. and i cannot describe to you how far away this man lives.. but its all good because hes a prepared man that is doing really well in his progression, so its worth the hours of walking and the nasty tan line on my neck and sweating enough to fill a pool. We also had some nice rain come in saturday night, and the people here really don't like rain.. in fact they hate it.. they will stay indoors about 3 hours after the rain stops just to make sure that its all good, also the roads are terrible and as soon as it rains it turns into a nasty mud field.. so what i'm trying to say is that sunday at church there was almost nobody at church.. members included. So that was a bad thing, but it was fun to see the aftermath of that crazy rain storm. 

Money is not a problem here, we receive enough money from the mission to pay for everything.. plus my budgeting skills are top notch... i have never even gotten close to going over my limit on my mission. The only reason i've spent personal money here is for some nick knacks and some cool african stuff that i've bought. As it says in the white hand book.. zach is correct though there are missionaries that cant stay within their budget here and it boggles my mind on where all their money goes.. This amount is inspired and if you cant stay within your means then you need to change some habits.. As to my christmas gift, some more pairs of socks, some more deodorant.. just deodorant not antiperspirant ( i need to sweat here)  some beef jerky, nuts, and some candy would be cool. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Share Your Bread!

This week was a ton of fun, and we had a lot of cool experiences so ill get right into it. The first one mom might want to just skip down to the next paragraph..... It all started when elder mitchell and i got done early with one of our lessons, so we tried to pass by our next but of course he wasn't there. Thinking that buying bread would be the most efficient use of our time before our next lesson we skidded on down to the bakery and bought ourselves roughly $6 of bread.. we then made our way back up to our home to drop it off and go out to our next lesson. After stepping into the elevator and pushing the button up to our floor we finally get to the fourth floor and the doors open revealing 5-6 large hammered drunk african men that look very mean having piercings, tattoos, grills and the sent of alcohol to match who are making a mess of the halls. We silently make our to our apartment trying not to draw any attention to ourselves when next thing we know one of the tallest men i have seen here came up to us asking for some of our bread... we of course being good missionaries said.... "no this is our bread, we bought it with the church's money" that turned out was not a good enough answer for this man and he grabbed the bag in my hand being very forceful. We kindly asked him to step away reminding him that he was hammered drunk, after handing me a 2000 kwanza bill i kindly gave it to one of his other buddies who were all standing nicely to the side watching what was happening. After some more gentle pushing and forceful encouragement to leave Elder Mitchell finally got the door open. "I broke the wrist and walked away" into our home, and the drunkard then turned to elder mitchell who very foolishly started playing with his glasses, after a firm push off i grabbed elder mitchell and pulled him into our apartment and locked the door. It all happened so fast that we stood there for a while trying to think of what just happened and to both of us as honey dew from heaven we remembered the words of our sweet president who said to never resist and give up anything... but let me tell you there was more than just bread on the line.. our pride was on the line!! I ain't given no-one my bread.... it was MY bread!!! 

Other then that we also taught some really cool lessons, we found a new investigator who is a brother of a member and he was pretty well prepared by the lord. He pretty much told us that after going to church for a long time he knows that its all true and that hes just waiting on us to finish up our lessons so he can be baptized.. but with that being said he will still take some time to teach this man as there have been way to many "number hungry" missionaries here who have baptized people without teaching half of the lessons.. this results in many many inactive members that turn to be a burden more than a blessings. So as president has recently stressed a lot recently and as president Merrill stressed many times is that we are to convert and baptize prepared, and spiritual and financially self sufficient people so that they can help the church grow and stay strong. Only after the church has a strong foundation will be invite all the others to come. A house with a weak foundation cant stand. Manuel though fits the category of all those things but it doesnt hurt to make sure... our job is to save people and help them stay strong, not give them enough knowledge to be condemned.

The lord is blessing us amazingly as we work hard and diligently. We have many prepared and financially and spiritually self sufficient people in our teaching pool that we are very very excited to see how they will progress. Speaking of blessings we got the transfer news last night and you got it... Im staying one more transfer with elder mitchell.... my last one here in benfica... sad... but im very excited!! Also we will be training a new missionary Elder Mashalaba from South Africa... HES GOING TO HAVE 2 GAY DADS!!!!   I hope hes as excited as we are to train him.. this transfer is going to be a blast! 

Elder Webber

Monday, October 17, 2016

Baptisms! ...and "Muffin Faith"

The baptism this week went perfectly!!!  The first baptism im sure in the history of missionary work that has gone without any problems, the font was clean, cloths were clean, they showed up about 30 minutes before it started, branch presidency member was there, president and sister silva were there, and a ton of the members from the branch showed up for it. This is one of the many many reasons why i love this branch so much, they love to help us out in the missionary work. We took some sweet photos, we even had a ton of investigators there who loved to see the baptism. Even Celsons and lurdes son who is wishy washy showed up and really enjoyed it.. he even showed up the church the next day. It has been such a great experience to teach this family and to see them grow in their testimonies. They have learned for themselves the truthfulness of the gospel and have a strong desire to follow the savior and to help build his kingdom here in angola. We also had a super cool experience in teaching Tarics mom, sister and brother. I have really enjoyed getting to know Taric and to be able to help the rest of his family get to know the gospel has been a great experience. There truly is nothing like helping families come together and all enjoy the blessings that come from the gospel. Now my only wish is to see them all sealed in the temple, and the only thing i want is to be able to be there with them. 

Heres a cool story about faith. Elder Mitchell and i were walking to one of our lessons when we decided to stop by celsons and lurdes home to say hello. When we came around we say a box with only a couple muffins in it outside of their door. We gave a little knock and very quickly their 15 year old son antonio was there to say hello. We asked about the muffins and he said that he had cooked them and was selling them. We thought very cool, just like any kid in the US who would set up a lemonade stand to get some extra cash to buy a toy or whatever. It wasn't until we got in and started speaking with Celson and lurdes when we figured out what he was doing. Lurdes explained that Antonio last sunday was talking with Joaquim Puto (the second Councilor in the presidency) about seminary. Antonio loved what he heard and wanted to go, sadly the building were seminary was suppose to be was 2 taxis away and 2 taxis back. So to get enough money to go and come back every time, Antonio learned how to make muffins from his mom and started selling them to get money to go to seminary.. it was so great to hear.. the desire of this youngman to learn more. This is the type of faith this whole family has. 

Things are doing very well here in Benfica.. my time is short and i can see the end of my time here in this branch and it brings tears to my eyes.. but i still have some time so im very excited. I dont have any photos of the food we usually eat but the next time we eat some ill be sure to take a photo and ill send it your way. I hope you enjoy the photos from the baptism we had a ton of fun. Honestly our apartment isnt very cool to see... just imagine a 4 room cement brick with 5 plastic chairs, 5 plactic tables, a fridge thats broken and a sink that floods the house every time you turn it on. But thats about it.. nothing else is really happening. Just getting blessings on blessings and having a ton of fun with Elder Mitchell. 

Elder Webber

Monday, October 10, 2016

Some "life"...

So i got the package and it was perfect! Everything fits great and the ties are awesome thank you very much... sadly this week we had a division and i decided to wear the new shoes to "break them in"... worst mistake ever because we walked forever! I get home and counted about 4 blisters on each of my feet.. it was fun and all, but they are broken in now so they are perfect. 

Also i saw your request for me to email more about the daily life here so i will try my best. Our apartment's pretty cool, the little down time that we have we make the best of it. We don't have a lot of time to relax but we do our best. The food here isn't too bad actually, just a lot of funge which has the appearance of mashed potatoes but is actually just a super thick flour paste sort of substance, we eat a ton of that with chicken and some crushed up leaves thrown on top. We also have a ton of fish, sweet potatoes, and banana pão.. which is just plantains cooked or fried.. it's sooooo goood. There's little ladies called Mai grandes (big mothers) on the side of the street that sell a fried root, banana pão and peanuts which makes for a perfect afternoon snack. When we don't have any lunch appointments we eat at home.. which we have done for the last 2 weeks.. so guess what we had everyday for two weeks... spaghetti!! It got real old real fast.. The energy and water go out here all the time, but lucky our house is the best in the mission. There's a house in the mission that can go without water or energy for a week.. #bucketshowers.  We here in Benfica really count our blessings. The hardest part about being here though i would say would be the heat and the sand, we walk all day long in the blistering sun just to go sit in a cinder block house with a tin roof, by the end of the lesson I'm begging to go back outside to feel the "cool" "fresh" "air". I sweat from every pour and the added 15 pounds isn't helping me walk through the sand. Its a rough life here, but i'm grateful to be here. I don't know what else to say or to explain.. but if you have questions I'll be happy to answer.

Carlos and Eduarda and Alicia were interviewed and they all did great! the whole family will be baptized this week, they went to general conference and loved it! It super cool to see investigators start talking like they are members. Its my favorite part to see people truly converted to the gospel before they are even baptized. We are also teaching a lot of single people who are all doing really well, nothing new just the usual progressing and teaching. Taric is doing super awesome, we walk with him a lot and he has grown to love the gospel and it's been super cool to see the 180 turn-around in his life. We also had GC this week which is painful, because all 5 branches met at the same meeting house which was over flowing. Angola is at an awkward stage right now where it's too big for the small meeting houses but they don't have any church buildings yet.. so its a pain but it's all good. 

This is pretty much our week, nothing else really happened.  

Elder Webber

Monday, October 3, 2016

Doing "Super Great"

This week was super cool. Carlos and Eduarda are doing awesome.. but at the beginning of the week the daughter wasn't. We sat with them last sunday and the daughter said she didn't want to be baptized yet.. distraught we calming spoke with her, listening to her needs and following the spirit to try and help her realize that this was the right path to follow. We finally decided the best thing to do was to let her go, pray about it for a couple of days and read the scriptures. We came back that friday to teach them a lesson and one of the first things that they said was that as a family they took turns praying and asking heavenly father if this was the time for her baptism. Alicia gladly exclaimed that during the week she felt that yes this was the time for her to be baptised and to follow the savior. Elder Mitchell and I could not stop but smile the whole night!! what a great answer to a honest desire and question!! That Saturday they went with us to a baptism to watch how it is and they loved it. They said it was so simple and powerful, and share with us many times how excited they are for the 15th of October to be baptized. We are very excited for these next two weeks, especially for tonight because we are going to have family night with them and Valdemiro and Vanusa. We are also teaching a lot of single people who are also doing really well. Valerio the young man that Elder Palmer and i visited is doing really well, we have worked out a little system with him to get him to read the BOM more and he is doing really well, he is even inviting a lot of of friends to come to church, and helping his sister who is about to go on a mission with her preparations and his inactive brothers. I love this branch. 

General conference is played a week after here because of the lack of technology.. but us being the awesome small mission that we are and having an awesome mission president and wife we got to all go to the mission home to watch the sunday morning session. They gave us dindin and gave us cake while we watched some GC... looks like its universal to have food while watching GC. I thought it was super cool, we all thought though that it was a bit odd to have president monson speak first and be followed by the future prophet President Nelson, but he looked great and i really enjoyed his talk so i guess all is well. Also yesterday we changed things up a little at church and we went to young men's and the youth sunday school because they were talking about missionary work. It was super cool to mix things up a little and go help out the younger generation. 

Thats pretty much it.. Benfica is awesome... its almost Mango season so we are about to have mangos coming out our ears because a lot of members have huge mango trees by their homes. The weather is heating up and im starting to sweat more and more. Life is going great and we are still doing great work even while laughing all the day long. So i guess you can say my life is going really great right now. 


Elder Webber