Partick C. J. Tedjamulia and Dr. E. Dale LeBaron, Church History & Doctrine
The people of Mozambique did not wait for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to determine the appropriate time to enter their country, the early Mozambican pioneers paved the way and called in the troops. When the first full-time missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints entered Maputo, Mozambique they found an official branch already organized with a full presidency, relief society, and auxiliary leaders. As the missionaries entered the Maputo Branch sacrament meeting for the first time, the members had been fasting for their arrival.
I was one of those first full-time missionaries that entered Maputo, Mozambique on the 15th of June 1999. The night before, I feel asleep on the kitchen table of our mission president’s home in Johannesburg, South Africa. While attempting to record in my journal my expectations of what awaited me the next morning, I had a dream. My journal entry for the 14th of June 1999 reads as follows:
I was seeking for a greater vision of what Mozambique would become and I pondered the future of the missionary efforts…I envisioned…a building without a roof. It had two stories, like the building the Maputo Branch uses. I saw it was literally overflowing with people. They were falling over the walls because there wasn’t any more room inside…Then I also saw an innumerable amount of people: black people, Mozambicans. They kept gathering together until they became a tightly knit sea of people. The church is going to grow. The gospel will be spread throughout Mozambique. There will not be enough room to sustain the explosion.
The dream I had that night has come true. Therefore, I feel it is my obligation to record the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Mozambique.
I have assisted E. Dale LeBaron with research and documentation for a chapter on the history of the Church in Mozambique for an upcoming book on African pioneers. I have also assisted Marci Brown who is directing a KBYU documentary on African pioneers. Currently, I am helping Matthew Heiss, archivist for the Church Archives, in editing, formatting, and printing the interviews he made with the Mozambican pioneers.
My research has consisted in finding, analyzing, gathering, and extracting: journals, pictures, emails, letters, reports, faxes, testimonials, prayers, over 15 personal audio interviews, over 40 church archive oral histories, and several video interviews. The result has been the development of a thorough and accurate historical manuscript of the beginnings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Mozambique. My next goal is to create a Mozambique informative website where this information can be shared with everyone.
An unexpected result of my experience has been the publicity of humanitarian aid opportunities in Mozambique. I have helped individuals and organizations become aware of a cooperative that the members of the Beira, Mozambique Branch have setup. The cooperative is called “Cooperativa Abundancia.” The goal of the cooperative is to enable its members and the community to have a lifestyle conducive to supporting a family and teaching principles of planning ahead and selfreliance. They are involved in several projects including honey production, agriculture, animal raising, housing, disadvantaged support, education, and fishing. One of the partners is a return missionary from Portugal, an Angolan who lives in Beira with his family. His name is Ruffino; his family is pictured below on the right. Below on the left is a picture of Jose Chapo’s family who was helped in building their own home, after his previous home was flooded.
To find out more about the cooperative please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.