Monday, September 28, 2015

September 28 letters

To Mom:

(In answer to my questions about Beira) It's about 4 hours to Beira by this really crappy bus thing that we have to take.

This past week was really good. We had a lot of really nice lessons and this next week we should be able to make a ton of document progress with a bunch of families to set up some marriages for next month which will be nice. We also have a marriage this Saturday so that is going to be way amazing. I'll send you a picture of the whole thing too so that should be good. 

To Dad:

I'll tell you a story of this week instead of mom just because I don't know how she'll react to this one haha. So last week when we were doing email and shopping and whatnot, someone broke into our house and robbed us. It was really funny though because we came in to the yard and my first thought was dang we forgot to lock the door. Then, I saw the lock all cut on the ground and my heart dropped. Then I went to our room to see what they had robbed and my first thought went to some American dollars that I had. They had looked through my suitcase but not found this money. Then, I thought of my electric shaver and they had also missed that. Elder Brown pointed out that he had one thousand met on his desk that they hadn't taken. I began to subconsciously doubt that we got robbed and then I remembered the cut lock. I guess they were disrupted during the robbery and weren't able to get everything.  All they got was our dvd player, an empty gas tank, both of my sidebags and both of us had old crappy broken cameras that they stole. They'd even broken into the closet that has our safe and not taken the safe haha. It was pretty funny. The one problem is that now I can't wear a sidebag because they were both stolen haha. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Happy Birthday!

To Mom:

My Wallet had fallen out when we got a ride from a random guy and it was really a miracle how it came back to be in my possession. He found my wallet in the back of his car and then gave his number to some worker guys that work by where he dropped us off. We walked past there again and they gave us the guy's number. Then we called the guy and I got my wallet but he had used all the money. He has slowly paid back the money and he said he'll finish the rest today. So really a good story of integrity. It was quite a surprise but an awesome story.
This week was really interesting. We went to Beira to do some migration documents for me. I feel pretty old on the mission because I'm having to do this stuff. Before I know it I think I'll be home. Time is certainly accelerating as things go along. These most recent transfers and months have just flown by. It helps that I just love Chimoio. 
Today, before we came to do internet, we went to the register and opened a marriage process so it's a guarantee for the 3rd of October. We should have a really awesome baptism that day involving 5 people. Plus this marriage should be pretty big too because they really want a real marriage. They even made us push the wedding back again so that he could have his salary and have a bigger party. They are pretty poor but combine all the different sources of money and it should be a pretty dope day.

Things are really going great with Elder Brown and I. We are getting along nice. He is a good missionary with a desire to learn and I don' t think that I could ask for a better trainee. It's kind of crazy training in an outside area because I have such a large influence on him. He has no other example or missionary to see. No divisions, nothing. 
To Dad:
We did a few mentionable things for my birthday. Firstly, when we were in Beira on wednesday I took some money out and we went to one of the nicest restaurants there with some of the other elders that I like. It was really good, I got ribs (some of the best meat I've had in a while). Then yesterday, after church a bunch of my favorite kids came over to our house and hung out in the yard while I made a ton of pancakes for all of them as a birthday celebration. There wasn't enough milk for us to have any though so I just made it for the kids and then fortunately, my recent converts (micheque and Minda) invited us over for lunch or we wouldn't have had any food, haha. The majority of people do not celebrate birthdays and the poorest don't even know what their birthdays are. It was a good birthday I guess though. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

September 14 letters

To Mom:
This week has been pretty good. My new companion is super cool and I really enjoy training out here. All of the programs exist but I've never heard any person (leader or youth) talk about or do anything with faith in god, duty to god, personal progress etc. They struggle with going to church let alone doing these extra programs. I'm going to start trying to implement some new things though. This week we organized the young women's class presidencies which is the first time I've ever seen that in Mozambique and next week we'll get the deacons teachers and priests. Also this week the branch president took some initiative to try and get mutual going in some form with the young men and women presidents so we'll see how that goes. We are really working hard to make as many changes and put as many things in order as possible. They never do mutual or have anything like scouts or activity days. Many of the kids come to church by themselves. One day the church will grow and have good programs and such but right now the leadership just has no chance of handling any of that.

This week we got a ton of work done. We should be opening a process of marriage tomorrow which will be pretty good. We are planning a big marriage baptism on the 3rd of October. Everything is basically set. Also, my wallet got stolen on Friday so could you please go and cancel my card. Anyway, the preparations are going well. Elder Brown and I are getting along great and things are pretty chill between us. I am definitely enjoying my time with him. 

To Dad:
Being a trainer is fun but hard to be sure.  The language is the hardest part because he doesn't speak or understand much so that puts a lot of the load on my shoulders. It's all good though because he is learning surprisingly quickly and I'm sure that in no time he'll be up to full productivity. I'm not in the branch presidency yet because one of the mission presidency has to do that and none of them have come here or probably will any time soon. I doubt that I'll be officially in the branch presidency at least for a little while. In the meantime, I am really trying to help the current branch presidency magnify their callings and get the branch up and running properly. This week we organized the young womens class presidencies and next week we hope to organize the young men's as well. They don't really have too many meetings seeming that many of the leaders battle with just going to church regularly but the ones that we have my companion is welcome to sit in on. My companion is Elder Brown from Riverton Utah. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

September 8 letters

The baptism this week was super awesome and I really loved the wedding. Probably the most relaxed wedding that I've had here and I just loved it. I would consider those two days among the best of my entire mission. Those young men were all baptized as well. The next baptism and marriage is close to ready as well. We want to try and get a few young people and two couples for this one so things are still falling into place and some more documents need to be done. It should probably happen at the end of September.
I did get my birthday package and I'm sorry but I already opened it. I really wanted to use the contacts for the wedding. Great package though! Thank you so much.
So yesterday was transfers and things are super crazy. Elder McAllister got transferred to Maputo which bummed both of us out. I just received a brand new missionary so I'm training. Also, The transfers say that I am going to be serving in the branch presidency which I hope goes through because I think I would really be able to take action and help the branch really grow. This is kind of a rare calling but a great opportunity. No missionary has been trained in an outside area for over 2 years and the last one in Chimoio was in 2011 so that is also super rare.

A missionary from Davis High came in this week that I knew and liked. It was super weird talking to him because we are from the same grade but at this point I am a veteran missionary and he is just a brand new greenie. 
When the water goes out we have a few days of the water in the tank and then that's it. We have some buckets and stuff that we usually have filled up and we can take bucket showers. If worse comes to worst we can always go to one of the neighbors' houses and use their well to get some water but that water is kind of sketchy because you never know if there is a leaking septic tank near by or something. That's how it goes here in Chimoio.
This past week was awesome. At the zone conference I was able to have an interview with Elder Hamilton of the Seventy and that was interesting plus the training he gave was super cool. There was a question and answer session that was pretty nice as well. 
Mouzinho - 1st counselor in branch presidency; Micheque and Minda - our couple; Pres Machava - the branch president; Meivas - president's wife and RS president