|All Mission Picture-December 2013|
I heared it was your birthday yesterday Happy Birthday!!! I love you alot
Also I just wanted to write you a few Miracle Experiences that we had this week! We traveled on a Bus this past week from Huambo to Luanda, which is about a 10hour bus ride. We went up there because a member of the seventy was coming to Luanda. So we went and had a great experience, but we had to get back quickly because on Friday we had two marriages at the chapel and then on Saturday was their baptisms and Sunday Confirmations. We have really worked hard with these couples to get married and baptized on of the couples, Guilherme and Florença, the missionaries have been working with for about a year now. One missionary who found them is named Elder Chandler and he got transferred out of Huambo for several months but then came back for his last transfer before he went home, he left to go back home today. So when we found out he would be here for his last transfer we worked really hard so that he could see this couple get married and baptized the weekend before he left! We worked really hard and several miracles happened that allowed us to have the marriage happen this past weekend right before Elder Chandler left. So we left Thursday Morning from Luanda going to Huambo to participate in the marriage on Friday and Baptism on Saturday. On the Bus ride back there was a road that got washed out by a river and we were not able to get across. The road was completely destroyed! We asked the bus driver if we were going to go back to Luanda about a 4-5hour trip back, and he said that we were just going to wait! So at this point we are in the middle of nowhere there were other cars and buses as well that could not get across and we were all just waiting. Also when Angolas said we are going to wait they really mean they are just going to wait for some miraculous thing to happen. No one was really trying to call anyone or stop other people on the road to search for help. We were literally waiting for pretty much nothing. Also the area we were in did not have cell phone signal so we could not call our President and let him know we are stranded. We waiting for a while in despair realizing that there was probably no way possible to get to Huambo before the marriage. At this point us four missionaries Elder Chandler, Elder Whitaker, Elder McCune and myself decided to go to the back of the bus and have a prayer. So we went and specifically prayed that we would be able to get signal to call our Mission President and that the Lord would provide the means so that we could get to theses marriages and baptisms that we had worked so hard for. After the prayer we sat in the bus not knowing really anything we could do. After about 5-10 minutes Elder Chandler and I decided to try to climb up a hill near by to see if we could get signal. As we were walking we talked to someone that was also on our bus and he mentioned that there was some satellite phones at a little store. So we went there and bought some minutes and then called our mission President and informed him what was going on which was comforting. He told us to wait for a couple more hours and then call him again to see if there was any progress. Then we hung up the phone and as soon as we got back to the bus the bus driver dedicated to go a different way and try and find a way to cross this river. So we go a different way and find this little dirt road and start to go down it also tons of other semi-trucks and busses and cars had found the same small dirt road. We start to go down it a ways and then we stopped because there was a huge line of cars on this dirt road and all pulled to a halt many trying to go both ways down this small dirt road. Elder Chandler and Elder McCune went to see why everyone was stopped. They were gone for about an hour and then came back and said there were several semi-trucks stuck in the mud and were blocking everyone from moving. By this point we have about 30 busses and semis and cars in front of us and another 20 or so behind us and everyone is basically just stuck. This time we are really in the middle of absolutely nowhere. Once again without cell phone signal and it is starting to get dark. Once the other Elders got back elder Chandler and I decided to go see everything. Once we were seeing the damage the idea came to us to see if anyone of the cars who were passed the semis that were stuck were planning on going to Huambo. So we start walking see if anyone has room for 4 missionaries and some suitcases! We walk down the big line of cars and we get to the LAST truck, which was a 6 wheeler semi truck. We asked him where he was going and he said Huambo we asked if he had room for 4 people and if he could take us. He only had one seat, but we told him we could fit! We ran back to our bus and at this point it is dark the bus is turned off and everyone is preparing to sleep in the middle of nowhere for the night. We get all of our stuff with everyone asking where the heck we were going, and we walked back to the semi truck and packed all of us in there and started our Journey to Huambo. It took us another 6 hours to get to Huambo and we got there at 2 Friday morning All very tired, but we were able to make it to the marriages on Friday and the baptisms on Saturday!
We would like to share another experience with you as well that has to do with this. It is very expensive to get married here and when Guilherme started to do the paperwork to get married he lost his job! With much prayer and fasting he was able to still get married even without a salary, which was a miracle, but he was applying to work for other companies but no one was hiring him. Also since the missionaries have been teaching him we have promised him that he will receive many blessings if he will choose to get married and be baptized. Friday Morning he took a test for a company so that he could work there. Friday afternoon he was married and Friday night during the party he got a call from this company telling him that his score on the test was the best out of anyone else and that instead of just being a supervisor he would be a manager of the supervisors with a good salary and a car and things like that! He told me that that experience was incredible and that only the hand of God could have done that. He also told me that since the missionaries have been passing by they have promised blessings and now that he was made the decision to be married and baptized he has started to see those blessings!
… I know that God exists that he hears and answers prayers. If He didn’t then us missionaries would have been stuck in a marsh for who knows how long with tons of mosquitos and a probability of getting malaria, also it was very dangerous because if it would have rained during the night the river could have risen and several cars could have been washed away! If He didn’t answer prayers then Guilherme would probably not be married and baptized with his family with a great job now to support his family! I just want you to know that! That God lives and loves us and watches over us and will help us IF we ask Him and have Faith! The Prayer that we had in the Back of the Bus was answered! We asked to get signal, which was answered about 10 minutes later and soon after the Lord provided the means for us to get to Huambo for the wedding and baptisms! I know that God exists and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is True! I know it!
I love you Grandpa! I Pray for you, and I Fast for you often because I want to live with you forever!!
I love you Gramps!
Love your Grandson
I am not sure if you had any experiences like that on your mission, but I bet if you thought about it and looked back in your Journal entries you will find and remember that God heard and answered your prayers as well!!
Love you once again!!
We will be going to Lubango for Christmas so we will talk with them this week and let you know next week
* just got the cash, but I heard that I have another package and President should be bringing it to me this weekend! They are coming to spend the weekend and Preparation day with us! Elder Chandler left to Luanda today and with leave to the states on Wednesday! I am really sad!
Elder Tingey will be replacing Elder Chandler so we will have a lot of Arizona Pride in Humabo now! Elder Whitaker and Elder McCune are already sick though of hearing about Arizona when Elder Clifford was in the house :)
I sent this to Becca but could you follow up to make sure I get them this coming Monday? Thanks!
Hey so we are having a Christmas party and I want to play the Guitar and sing with the missionaries but I don’t have the music. Could you send me some of the Christmas songs some time! Maybe just the easy ones :) Like Silent Night and We wish you a Merry Christmas and maybe Little drummer boy! Thanks
Elder McCune and Elder Whitaker have there versions of the story I sent to Grandpa if you want to see other details.