Monday, March 30, 2015

March 30

I really do miss my old area and I had definitely grown to love the people there. I also had a lot of good missionary friends in the old house but this new transfer is just another part of missionary work that you have to move on and make new friends and love new families and keep moving forward. It will be awesome working with all these new people in a new area. Plus, I'm still close enough that I can visit all of the old families as well. 

This week was nice, we got to see a lot of the new stake reorganization with bishops being called and all sorts of other miracles. The people in this area are awesome and I'm loving the member and investigator families alike. The kids are really fun to play with as well. If you just give them a little time then they will remember your name forever and love you and run up to you and chant your name and worship you basically, it's really funny. It's been a good transfer so far. We should be able to have a lot of success and I have already made a lot of good friends. 

In my new house there are only 4 elders in the exact identical house as upstairs so that makes for an interesting dynamic. We have a spare room. One of the Elders was actually in Magoanine with me which is kinda cool.

The new companion and area are going really well. It's super busy and we're preparing a lot of new people for baptism. We have to do splits with members and work with two companionships in the area because we don't have enough time to fit it all in. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

March 23 letter

So, firstly, this week I got transferred. I'm actually changing areas which is really weird. My companion, Elder Dustin, will be staying in the area for his 6th straight transfer. It actually makes me really sad that I'm leaving. All of the awesome families and great friends that I have made and love so much. I will just be moving across the city to an area called Maraza. That is the ward. I will be with an Elder named Elder Wood and my house will just be the apartment directly below my current one. It is identical just not quite as well taken care of. It should be fine. Elder Wood is from Davis High. 

Beira just became a stake which is awesome. Also Manga became a district so now Mozambique has 2 stakes and 1 district. Lots of miracles are happening here in Mozambique. 
We also had a really awesome marriage and baptism. The marriage was really well set up and awesome. Right before we started, the power went out though so we did the marriage by phone light which was kinda funny. It all turned out great though and the family was super happy. That happened on Friday night. Saturday morning we baptized them and also a girl named Shakira. It was a really awesome experience. Shakira was baptized by Castelo, another kid that we baptized in December. It was cool but he messed up like 15 times before he got it right. It was fun though. Now I have to say bye to all of those people and it makes me really sad. It will be fine though. I'll get by. 

Then, on Sunday we had the giant meeting for the creation of the stake which was also super spiritual and awesome. We have a couple of really cool new families but I won't talk about them because I'll be leaving them so it will just be depressing. Anyways, the miracles are continuing and things are going great here in Mozambique. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

March 16 letter

The power is starting to be a little bit more reliable this past week though so things should be better in that regard. It's pretty much still just really hot and humid all of the time but it hasn't rained in a while which is nice because raining really slows the work down. People don't come to church, get sick and such. 

There's another family that I would like to tell the story of that I think you guys will like. We visited them for the first time about a month ago and on the first visit the wife was bawling and hysterical because she was under the impression that her husband was cheating on her which may have actually been true. They were pretty much deciding to split up even though they had a child together. (this was on a Saturday) We sat them down and had a talk about love and the commandments and gave them the first steps to repairing their relationship and following Christ and stuff. They stopped fighting and the very next day went to church. They have never stopped making progress and it has been a miracle how the gospel of Jesus Christ has really touched and changed their lives so drastically. Truly a miracle from the lord. 

This week we will be having a family baptism of one of my favorite families ever. They will be married on Friday and then on Saturday baptized. It will be one of the happiest moments ever seeing them follow Christ through the waters of baptism, especially because I love them so much. Then on Sunday, the stake will be created here in Beira and on Monday I'll most definitely get a new companion. Should be a really crazy week and I'll tell you how it goes. With the family that we are baptizing a lot of awesome miracles happened with the marriage documents to make this week possible but we are finally here and the wonderful day will actually happen. 

This past week was a really good one. Church went a lot better and our branch really functioned well to be more like a ward. I'm super excited and happy to see the branch grow and be as good as it is now. Things are definitely going great here in the Baixa Branch of Beira and the miracles are so awesome to observe.

Here are some pictures of our house:

Monday, March 9, 2015

March 9 letters

Well this week was a slightly discouraging week. We had to drop some of our investigators and other disappointed us with not coming to church. We'll push through though and everything will turn out great. We were able to do a lot of trainings and things as well with the branch so that it can be ready to be a ward here in a couple of weeks. I'm very excited to receive the stake here in a couple of weeks, it should be an awesome and spiritual experience. 

Belmiro and Isabel are doing well, they are making progress with documents and we are getting them continually more integrated in the branch as well which should keep them stronger and stronger. 

The power has been out this week a lot which is a real trial just because studies and other things become more difficult and uncomfortable, but it continually reminds me of all of the blessings that I have to live in a good house now and especially of the quality of America. Going home will be an insane culture shock that will probably leave me speechless for like three days straight haha. Also, this week we found another really awesome family who went to church super early and we only sat with them for like 10 minutes the first time. They have a real desire and I'm really excited to see how they turn out. Their names are Fernando and Claudinha. 

This week our dryer broke (we are the only house that has a dryer) and we tried finding a new one but not even the biggest and richest shops even know what a dryer is. We do have a phone though and most of our investigators have phones too. We can call them and its no cost to them. Its a little frustrating to try to get contacts when there are a lot of people without phones but most people have them. 

We actually have a really nice house, hot water, electricity and all of that. Some of the missionary houses don't have hot water but we do. All of them have washers. The power does go out all the time for long periods of time though. And when the power goes out here, the water also goes out. It's insanely hot and everyone/everything is dirty. 

March 2 letters

I work in the poorest areas in Africa where people certainly starve and other things like that happen. Is it sad at times? yes. Do you need to feel sad about it? no. The best thing you can do is just pray for them; that the lord will put the gospel in their paths and help them have better success. Many times they have money they are just terrible at using it. They spend it all on beer or just right away on random stuff. 

This week we had some good progress with our families and we are almost completely ready with one of the families that we have to be baptized and married, also a couple others are really close too. Belmiro and Isabel are just waiting on some documents from another city. Rosita and Goncolvez are ready and we have another one that is waiting. The power went out a bunch this week like usual but it's just part of living in Africa I guess. 

We continue to prepare more and more for the stake. We helped the young womens presidency in our branch along with the teachers have a meeting and get things organized we also taught a seminar on how to give a lesson so that was pretty good. 

 Colin asked Daniel about hygiene and if it felt like he'd already been out for 8 months.  Here are his responses:

It really depends how you look at it with the fast or slow thing. I feel like I've been here forever but at the same time 8 months is a long time and I've already been through a substantial chunk. Plus the days go by really fast because I'm constantly working super hard. The times without as much success or work to do are the ones that drag on. Right now things are going great though and time is flying by.

We can't eat with members because of sanitary stuff, unless they are rich and have filtered water. There is a filter in every house and we have to only drink that and use it for ice, cooking etc. We have to wear shower sandals always which kinda sucks and I'm excited for home so I can shower bare foot. We have a foot scrubber for the shower every day, a special hand sanitizer and it is a rule to take 2 showers every day. We have to take our malaria pills every day. Yeah, that's it that I can think of. 

I have never gotten sick enough to be throwing up. I stayed in once while I was in Magoanine because I was feeling bad but that's it. It's been all good so far with that for me.