Sunday, October 26, 2014

Week 15: Beira

Dear Everyone,

Sorry this email is a day late. We kind of last minute switched pday to today because we had a special visit from Elder Clayton (Presidency of the 70) and Elder Ellis (70) yesterday. That was sweet, but I will tell you more about it later. This week was another solid one. Elder Ipsen and I did work and I just had a good time for most of the week.

I went on a division this week with one of the Zone Leaders, Elder Shumway. I walked with him in his area all of Tuesday. It was nice. He has a beautiful area and he is a good guy. It poured rain that day for the first time since Ive been here. It was crazy how fast everything starts to flood. Luckily it stopped after only 2 hours, but makes me a
little nervous for when the real rainy season starts in Nov/Dec. Thursday was another insane storm. You have never seen lightning like this with rain coming down this hard. It was osum. It was night so when the lightning struck it lit up the whole world.

Wednesday was presidential elections here so we had to be back in our houses by 5 pm because some extremists get a little rowdy during elections so we just avoid the situation. It was a nice little break. We all just chilled around the house and played an intense game of Monopoly. I was the first one out, though:( But like I said it was a nice little break.

So when I was in Maputo we had 24 investigators with baptismal dates. Last week Elder Ipsen and I started with 4. And those 4 were kind of iffy. We have been working really hard to find new families and get the ones we have to be more committed. As of right now we now have 8
investigators with baptismal dates. And all 8 of them have legit commitment right now. We decided we were getting weak investigators because we were letting them be weak. When they wouldn't keep commitments we wouldn't really say much about it. But we have changed our attitudes to being more bold, and trusting in the power and
authority of our calling as missionaries and representatives of Christ. Since we started doing that, our lessons have been infinitely better and more powerful. We can already see the change in our investigators and in the stronger desire to follow the Lord. The thing we have been really emphasizing with them is that these commitments
they make are not for our benefit as missionaries, they are for them. They are promising these things to God and when they don't do them that's something that they have to take up with Him. It seems to be registering with them and I love it!

So all my life one of my biggest faults has always been patience. I just don't have it haha. And the Lord knows this and is so kindly always giving me opportunities to work on that. First it was waiting for my visa. Then it was waiting to get to Beira. This week I got fed up a bit at church because it just isn't the same as back home. There is a lack of reverence and the children are always just running
around. Its difficult not to want to tell them to sit and show them how I think it should be. Elder Clayton touched on this yesterday in his meeting with us. We are not here to change their culture and make them into Americans. We are here to love them and share to Gospel. This includes the culture of the Gospel. We are here to discourage the
negative cultural traditions while implementing the culture Christ established, not our own culture. I also read the talk by Elder Uchdorft this week called "Continue in Patience." I loved a part in it where he says something along the lines of patience is the ability to wait, and put our desires on hold for a time. But he also says patience isn't just sitting back passively and waiting for things to happen for us. Patience includes, accepting the situation, waiting or realizing it will take time to change, and all the while working for
the change you desire. I really liked that talk. I don't really like having to learn patience all the time, but someday I think if I patiently keep trying I will get the hang of it.

Not much else from this week. It was a good one. Sorry if I worried you by not writing yesterday! Also thanks for the recipe Momma! I could use some biscuits and gravy if you got that! Also Elder Ipsen said that for mail all you have to do is mail it to the Mission office in Maputo and they will send it up with someone when they travel up here! I could use some tie clips:) Ok I love you all and love hearing
from you! Until next week.

Much Love,
Elder Hruby

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Week 14: Beira

With love from BEIRA!!!! I finally made it up to my area! I cant even begin to tell you how happy I am. This week had been insanely busy, but honestly just osum!
Monday we received the transfers and everybody moved areas. Its kinda crazy, you just get your new assignment and have to get yourself there. If you have to fly to your new area they send you a plane ticket, but thats its. You still get yourself to the airport and to the new house! Pretty wild haha. For me I had to stay the night with the APs because I did my documents on Tuesday morning. Tuesday evening I flew up to Beira. It was only about an hour flight, but I passed out the whole time of course. Any chance I get to sleep here I take haha. I got to the house around 11pm and just said hi to the elders and unpacked my pillow and passed out.
My new comp, Elder Ipsen, is great. He is from Sandy and went to Brighton. He is super outdoorsy and loves biking. He is pretty calm and a relaxed guy. It is really nice to have an English speaking comp! The house has 6 Elder, including myself. Elders Hatfield, Katao, Shumway, and Hillman. It is a pretty stacked house, they are all sick. We have a good time. We laugh a lot and actually have fun at the house. For example, today they actually wanted to do stuff on P-day so we went fishing with a member. We were fishing for crocs but we didnt get any, only saw where they where. After this we are going to eat at Muslim Mondays. Its a local restaurant that is run by Muslims haha. So ya, my experiences up here are a little different than last transfer.

The new area is solid. We had a wedding and baptism this saturday. I felt justified counting them as my investigators since a couple I had taught all last transfer was getting married this saturday as well and I wasnt there to see it. This couple, Manuel and Laquisimine (Yes I am positive thats how you spell her name), are super osum. They are
really nice, and they have money too so they had a nice wedding. We got like zero work done Saturday becasue of the wedding. We had to set up the chapel, and had to fill the baptismal font. It sucked cause the
power was out so we had no AC and no faucet for the font. The power had already gone out 3 times since I have been here. I have had to take showers using a 2 litre of coke filled with well water:) I love Africa. After the wedding we were invited to the reception, which Pres. Kretly says we have to go to if invited (I am not one to argue). It was bomb food. So , like I said we didnt get much work in on Saturday. But the rest of the week we have been going hard. The area
is in dire need of new families. We only have 2 legit families right now so we are working really hard to find those families that are ready to hear our message. It is going to be a lot of work this transfer, but really fun with Elder Ipsen and we will get to see all of the progress of the area as we work hard.

We had a really sweet lesson last night with Nido. His wife is a little bit reserved about sitting with us so she didnt sit in on the lesson last night. We taught the Restoration. When we started talking about the Great Aostasy you could see his mind start turning and he said it made sense that the true church was taken from the Earth, but he wanted to know when it was coming back and how. Elder Ipsen and I just looked at each other and smiled. We explained the First Vision and the full Restoration and his eyes just lit up. It was so sweet! He cant wait to meet with us again, and says he wants us to help his wife care about religion a bit more. Should be a good new family.

I already have a strong testimony of prayer, but there is always room to grow. This week my testimnony was definitely stregthened. A lot of our investigators we have to teach how to really pray. And for me, the most important thing is for them to honestly recognize that they are literally talking to Heavenly Father. When we say a prayer, a real prayer with real intent, God literally listens to every word we say and actually cares. The most supreme, all-knowing, all-powerful, perfect being in the existence of ever, hears each one of us individually and sincerely responds in His own ways and in His wise timing. Pretty powerfull blessing prayer is.

Other stuff from the week... Oh my shoes are holding up. No need to send new ones. I can get them patched up here or buy new ones for under $20. Mom I could use some quick recipies, but I only have about 30 minutes to cook them so ya. Last night Katao and I did face masks together. Like the beauty spa ones. Twas nice honestly. It is super hot here in my area. The humidity is outrageous and they say its only
gonna get worse:( I am getting quite the stupid missionary tan lines haha. Well other than that I cant think of anything more right now. I love you all and thank you for everything! Until next week.

Much Love,
Elder Hruby
The best picture from Elder Hruby thus far!

The wedding Elder Hruby talked about attending this week

At a baptism

Facemasks with the roomies
Adventures in the jungle on P-Day

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Week 13: Maputo (but not for long)

Sorry for the delay this week! Elder Hruby is doing great!

Dear Everyone,

What a week! I would like to just say sorry for the lack of pictures.
I lost my usb plug and the Wi-Fi at this internet cafe can only be
bought in like bulk quantities. If I don’t get a new usb plug I will be
some Wi-Fi for this next transfer. Speaking of transfers I will be
heading up to Beria!!!! Actually I will be in the Manga Zone serving
in the Chingassura Branch. I am so stoked. My new companion will be
Elder Ipsen. He is American. So all good news here! Thanks for all the
work Mom!!

All of you sound like you really enjoyed General Conference! Sorry to
disappoint I cannot relate yet... we watch it in November when we get
the DVD from Salt Lake. But, I am super excited now haha.

This week was insanely busy. Normally we have 20-22 lessons a week.
This week we had 33! We went HAM (Hard As Moroni) this week haha. The
best part was that we had 16 of those lessons with members present. It
makes quite a bit of difference when they walk with us and teach
lessons with us, so this week they were very helpful.

Missionaries work really hard, but we always find ways to be lazy.
This week it was with boleas. Boleas are getting a free ride AKA
hitch-hiking. Our area is a good 30 minute walk from our house so we
always try to get a bolea there and back at night. We were very
successful with that this week. Boleas are my favorite:)

We kind of have an inside joke here. Everyone gets so confused when we
introduce ourselves and we all are called Elder. They always ask
"Porque todos voces sao elderes?" And every time Elder Khumalo and I
bust up laughing and then explain it to them. Sometimes we actually
mess with them and tell them we are all twins or something stupid like
that. Found out this week that Khumalo actually knows the whole Lion
King song in whatever language it is and he translated it for me!
Pretty sick. We were at a lesson this week with Arlindo and Anastancia
and they have a little 4 year old boy; while we were teaching he went
and took a bath and came back in his towel and fell asleep on his
mom´s lap. It reminded me of Ben just lounging around in his towel for
hours after showering haha! Good news Mom, I am getting halfway decent
at cooking meals. I made some bomb pasta this week and am getting a
little creative. haha be proud. Last pday was solid. sorry if the
email seemed rushed. We pay for internet here. So I only bought 1 hour
last week and was trying to get everything done in time before Gator
Ball. Gator Ball was a blast too. It was good to play with the other
elders. Barroso didn’t even play, he just sat there the whole time so I
didn’t have to teach him haha.

The weather has been really spastic this week. It was stupid hot for
like 2 days, then like a bit chilly the rest of the week. I am nervous
for Beria because I hear it gets super humid and hot up there. I
enjoyed the cool weather this week, though, because we walked so much.
I already destroyed my black shoes. the soles are ripping and falling
off already:) I´m a real missionary!

The investigators are doing great. Celso and Teresa are super excited
for their wedding and baptism this Saturday. She was mad at me that I
won’t be here for it though. Domingos and Christina are doing great in
their first week as members. They both walked with us this week to
lessons. The lesson Christina came to was osum. We have been having a
difficult time with Atenazio and Amelia making any progress on their
marriage documents so we straight up asked them if they even wanted to
be married and baptized any more. He immediately said yes, but she
wouldn’t talk, like always. And Christina tore into her! It was osum.
she said she was acting like a child and needed to talk and be an
adult. It was great because she can say all that stuff that we want to
but cant. By the end of the lesson Amelia was definitely remotivated.
Arlindo and Anastancia are doing solid as well. They are just working
on documents right now. I will miss that wedding/baptism too. Ernesto
and Aida are doing really good. We had 2 nice lessons with them this
week. they too are preparing documents. He wasn’t happy with me for
leaving before his wedding either, but not much I can do. Friday,
Elder Barroso had to go do a baptismal interview so Khumalo and I went
out by ourselves for the night. We taught a lesson with a new
investigator and it was a blast because I got to take the lead! I
realized how much I can say in Portuguese. The language has definitely
been coming along.

This week I read King Benjamin´s speech. I really liked Mosiah
2:20-24. He talks about how in reality everything we have is from God.
The very breath we have is given to us each second. He says how we are
always indebted to Him for what He has done/does and that we could
never repay Him. But the good news is He doesn’t ask us to repay Him,
He only asks that we keep His commandments. And when we do that He
blesses us even more, so we are still always indebted to Him. It seems
kind of hopeless at first. Like we will never be able to do enough,
but I really liked the part where we aren’t expected to do enough. We
are just expected to do what He asks. And everything He asks of us is
for our benefit and He blesses us because of it.

Elder Barroso and I had an interesting conversation yesterday. We had
been teaching a new investigator and on his table he had a book called
"How to make your church a MegaChurch" Basically how to get rich
through church. Our conversation was that back in the day Satan used
to tactic that every church thought it was the only true church, like
in Joseph Smith´s time. But today, he is using the idea that if you
actually even believe in God it doesn’t matter what church you go to.
They are all the same as long as you are worshipping God. But we were
talking about how wrong that is and how grateful we are that we know
the one, true church on the earth. The only church that allows us to
return to live with our Heavenly Father. This Gospel brings true, full
joy in living because this Gospel allows us to know our full
potential. I think that because we know Gods plan for us and we know
our true potential, that we find joy in always working towards that
goal or towards fulfilling our potential.

Well that’s all for this week. Next week I will write from Chingassura!
I love you all very much and love hearing from you each week.

Much Love,
Elder Hruby