Please read Elder Reinstein’s Reports from both Week 31 and Week 32.
Also, check out the many photos posted below.
Week 31 (Aug. 25)
Well guess who is staying in Matola for a 5th transfer?! This missionary! Elder Keck is leaving me, at last. It will be a sad departure.
But this week we attended a funeral of the brother of a member in our area. He passed away last Saturday due to health complications. He was only 22 and in the military. But it really was a beautiful service. It is of course recognizable as a funeral, but there are some different traditions here. He was given a seven-gun salute. The casket was open, up until the burial itself. After the burial (which is significantly more shallow than 6 feet), the mound of dirt is completely rid of weeds by the family, and they plant flowers directly in the dirt, to blossom and cover the grave. The grave was dedicated by some Church leaders.
But it was a great end of the transfer. We sat with a lot of new people this week. Unfortunately, many of these people are not ready to accept the message right now. What is most difficult is when we can see these people feel the Spirit so strong and they choose to deny it. This first happened when we knocked a door and found ourselves sitting with an Atheist (which is practically unheard of here). Needless to say, it was quite difficult to present the message of the Restoration with the incessant objections. (He actually was very knowledgeable of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young.) I resorted to sharing Alma 30, the story of Korihor. (He loved the part where Korihor demands for a sign) Truly all things on the face of the Earth and in the Universe prove the existence of the Supreme Creator. After reading I looked up, and his complexion had completely changed, his eyes glistening, vehemently responds, “All of those words are false.” Well we left, but he demanded to read this Book of Mormon, I show it to him online.
Another similar occurrence happened yesterday with a family of strong Evangelicals. As we present Joseph Smith’s first vision, they also are completely touched and the Spirit was sure present. Yet the response, “I believe Joseph Smith had this experience, but anyone could have that experience;” thus, rejecting that there exist only one True, Living Church of Christ.
Yet, we can see those who truly follow the feelings of the Spirit are truly blessed for their faith and humility to the Lord’s will. Tavelo and Regina (and their son Nelson) both received this response, and happily accepted the Book of Mormon. Marta Chivite and her family have seen grand changes within their family just four months after baptism. The Gospel is truly one of change and joy. It is such a privilege to work as the Lord’s servant and witness such manifestations of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
Week 32 (Sept. 1)
Last Monday night we turned the corner as we were walking home and we were blinded as a new restaurant sign greeted us. Scooter’s Pizza. We questioned ourselves, had we been magically transported to America? But this wasn’t a dream, it was real, American pizza in Matola. In fact, it is the only location in Mozambique. Pizza was eaten this week, and our stomachs groaned in protest at this unexpected change in diet.
But on a more serious note, we were truly blessed this week. We especially found these blessing in finding new people to teach. We contacted people on the road in different spot than usual on Tuesday (in front of Mercardo Santos) and I literally had a line of people waiting to talk to me. We also went down into different neighborhoods to talk to people house to house, and found several families. One family, Masvaldo and Lousia we found on Saturday, and brought them to church the next day. Truly a blessing. I guess after six months in the same area, you really do have to get creative– get out of the same habits.
Otherwise, this has been the first week of the new transfer. The two new native Elders in the house are a joy. We also taught Temple Preparation this week, and oh it reminded how much I miss the Temple. Yet, I was reminded of the individual and infinite love the Lord has for us as we taught and saw the joyous expectation of the couples preparing to enter.