Good morning from Mozambique!
So this week was a bit hectic, and fun, but we got a lot done. Last Monday, Elder Cannon and I spent some time (read: ‘I spent some time while Elder Cannon slept’) fixing a few computers here. I enjoy working with computers, but when you don’t have the right tools necessary (software to install, internet, etc.), it is very hard and stressful. But I still enjoy it 😛
Tuesday and Thursday, we went out to Nhaconjo, one of our two areas. We talked to a few recent converts and some investigators, and tried to locate some houses. We found a few of them, but there are still so many to find. Wednesday, early in the morning, I got a call from the Inhamizua elders asking if I could do a division, so I could do some interviews for baptismal candidates. So we went out there to do that, and while I was out there, the APs showed up to give me my package! Yay. So I have my wonderful new bag, and medicine (which is amazing :P), and pens! Yay. So happy.
Friday, we had a training from the APs, and they talked about the problem we have here in Mozambique with our ‘members.’ There have been 5 major people, in at the district level, who have been excommunicated for apostasy or adultery. And most of our member don’t really do what they need to. The APs made a great relation between this and the apostles of the early church. 8 of the 12 were excommunicated, for the same reasons. So why?
They talked about how the church here is similar to how it was back then, weak and small. The new members in those days couldn’t rely on the ‘old’ members for support, there were none. And so, they said, that is what we have to do now, here. We have to make sure the investigators that we think are ready to be baptised are ready to be their own support system. In the states, or in another mission that is more established, you can get an investigator just barely ready for baptism, and the church and the members can make that person a Latter-Day Saint. But here, the new members can’t rely on the members to teach them what to do. We are still building the base of the church.
But we have the opportunity to choose who we teach. In other missions, missionaries have to accept who will hear their message, and try their hardest to teach them in the way that will help them change their lives. Here, we have more than enough people who are willing to hear our message and so we get to choose what type of person we will teach.
We have started to give more direct commitments, with a more obvious choice. There are only two paths. If you choose to do nothing, or even just not everything, you are on the path that Satan has founded. To be headed where you want to be, you need to do everything. So, if a person doesn’t follow up with a commitment, we do what Sun-Tze did. We apologize for not being clear, and tell them what we expected. If they don’t do it again, the fault already is with them. If they are ready, they will change. If not, we have at least let them know where they can find the happiness they might want. But it is their choice, and I am not going to interfere with their choice by babying them to the point that they do what I think is right because I think it is right. They need to know for themselves. With this new approach, we hope to strengthen the church over the next few years with new members who are more than ready, instead of barely ready.
I love you all, and hope you all are doing well. You are all in my prayers and thoughts. Fiquem bem!
Elder A. Spencer Leake