Colin asked "What do you do for service hours?" Response: We usually don't end up having time for any service. We try and occasionally we have time to do a service project but I think I've done a total of 3 on my mission. We try to do unplanned acts of service a lot though. We cleaned a school once, painted a shop and cleaned up a street is all. We are going to try to get our ward going with service projects this week though with helping people finish their houses. Here people build their house and then add on to it as they get money available. In my current area, which is a little bit richer, there are a lot of houses were people live in one part and then have the skeleton of the rest. Hopefully we can muster a bunch of people in the ward and maybe missionaries to finish a bunch of houses kind of like a sod party type deal.
There are 5 types of houses here really:
1) straw hut - this is the poorest type and usually is a temporary rental called dependencias
2) stick/rock hut - second leg up and still is one of the poorer types. People with this type will eventually put cement smeared around the edges when they have the money to cover the holes.
3) cement brick house - this usually starts with the family building one part and then slowly completing the house, in time, it ends up painted.
4) apartments - the richest people live here and the quality is usually really low other than the occasional nice apartment such as ours.
5) Normal houses - These can actually get pretty big because they are the mansions and the giant houses of usually white people from other countries and high up government people although I have seen very few that could be as large as our house.
The average Mozambican lives in either type 2 or 3. In Praia Nova there was only type 1 and 2 with the very occasional 3
My current area is just all type 3 so it's the upper middle class because it is big type 3s. The dream of an average Mozambican is to build up to a well established type three house and then maybe one day buy a car but the car rarely happens. Our investigators and members in my current area of chota are upper 2 and about half have motorcycles but maybe one day after they finish their houses, they'll get a car. But it can take 10 or 15 years of living in a incomplete house before it's done. My goal on my mission is to baptize someone with a car.
With the ice thing, we have Ice trays that I always keep ready so that I can have ice with my coke (I now love coke because it's way better here and there isn't anything else). Plus I always have my two liter bottles of water in the freezer to be half frozen ready to drink.
This week was really nice as far as statistics go. For sure it was the best statistical week of my mission (other than baptisms). We got a ton of work done and tons of our investigators came to church. We actually found a couple of new families that are really nice that both came to church this Sunday as well. Finally Elder Wood and I were able to get a normal week and the statistics exploded. Lots of success and hopefully this week we can have a couple more baptisms. Zone conference is also this week which is always a fun time.