Monday, October 26, 2015

October 26 letters

Our toilets are normal to answer you first question. At least in our houses. However, almost nobody has real toilets. They usually have little outhouse type things but they don't have seats.  It's just a hole in the ground and they have a bucket of water on the side to wipe your butt with your hand. Most houses have electricity but that one I sent you a picture of last week does not. Neither does it have water. What people do for water here is they have a little tap in their front yard and they fill up buckets and stuff with it. They take bucket showers 100% of the time and wash their dishes on the ground in buckets and hand wash clothes on a rock and whatnot.
This week was really good though and we got a lot of good work done. Nothing really crazy happened this week though. Elder Keck got transferred to an outside area and he is my district leader even though he lives like 1000 miles away. 
I've been doing a ton of work in the branch. This week I organized the home teaching and next week we are going to organize the visiting teaching. Also, I have really been training the secretary how to do all of the financial and mls work. I think I have the church administration manual 2 memorized by now. All the programs and meetings that I organize along with the visits and work of cleaning up the church records. Helping families go to the temple and work on the patron fund. I'll probably have to start communicating with South Africa here in a bit if things continue with the temple family work which would be way awesome. 

Email to Dad from last week that Daniel accidentally sent to someone else:

First things first I think I'll explain a little bit more funny stuff about the planes. We went into the room to go through security in Beira and there was no one there to work the metal detector or anything we called a guy over to check our stuff as we put it through and they weren't even looking. Then, we walked through the metal detector with all of our bags. We literally could have brought a machine gun on the plane had we wanted to the security was that bad. Also, in the Maputo airport things were a little better as far as security goes and they stopped me twice because I had a wooden elephant in my bag and they made me take it out and show them what it was. They thought it was something dangerous even though it was so clear that it was just an elephant. I would take it out and then they would say, "OH elephant ok" it was super annoying. We got transfers today and it turns out that I will be staying here with Elder Brown for this transfer so I'm super pumped. We should be getting a lot of baptisms and marriages.
His language is going well. We only speak English to him because we are always with members going to visits and there are some kids (that one kid that I was eating the cake with) that are always at our house so he chats with them and gets a lot of immersion through that. I dream in a mixture of Portuguese and English. When I pray alone I pray in English but all out loud prayers are always in Portuguese. 
I made these pancakes for him because it was his birthday. We put matches in the top for candles and sang. It was good. The kid I was eating cake with and said was my best friend is this one's brother

Monday, October 19, 2015

October 19 letter

We came home after church and took a little nap and then went out to work like normal last week which was good. It's always good to get back into the normal routine after a trip like that. Its something pretty unusual that I don't think a lot of missions have but these vacation zone conferences are pretty sick.
Elder Brown and I are staying together for another transfer. Basically nothing changed for me with these transfers. The next one is on November 30 so I expect to leave then but you never know I guess. I'm super excited though because I just love Chimoio.
Here in Mozambique there are not real movie theaters. That's actually something I'm really looking forward to seeing again. They have this little stick huts with a tv in them that you can pay a little money (I don't know how much because I've never gone in one) and watch a movie. All movies are dubbed over English movies. They love crazy bloody action movies here though. People can buy cable here and it's just all the south African channels most of which are in English, but a lot of people have it anyways. There is one Mozambiquan TV company that does news and shows some Brazilian and Mexican novelas that people watch. That's the normal that everyone watches. There are 2 channels I think.
Most people don't know how to use the internet and the majority don't have computers but if they do you can buy internet. It isn't a monthly bill though you buy a little credit to use. The vast majority of people have just crappy phones. Some have smart phones but Iphones are insanely rare. I've never seen one just on the road but at the airport it is possible to see them. Plus the senior couples and President have Iphones. 
We helped one of our families move to this absolutely tiny house. The room in the second picture is like 3 feet wide and i don't think I could lie down in it. We can't stand straight in the house. They are super poor and this is their first house that they own. Next year they will start to build a real house on the land that they own. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

October 12 letter

Zone conference was really good. I was also able to get into my extra suitcase in the office as we passed through Maputo. That was nice because there was some pants and shirts that I was able to grab and replenish my supply. Also, a couple of nice ties. 

So we got on a plane Thursday morning to Maputo. We then had a layover for a few hours at which point I got into my suitcase and we ate at KFC with Elder Keck and his comp because I haven't seen him for a few transfers and he is working in Maputo. Then we hopped on the plane and went to Beira. I was able to visit all of the families that I baptized in Maraza on Friday and Saturday which was super nice. I really enjoyed spending time with them and I was delighted to hear that they are all still strong in the church. It was definitely a rejuvenating experience.

Zone conference was on Friday and was really good as well. We heard some trainings from the zone leaders, APs and obviously President and Sister Koch. I probably enjoyed the part when we split up into the three zones that were there and had our trainings from our zone leaders the best. I also had an interview with president Koch which was really good as well. We talked about the branch and whatnot.

On Saturday night we got on a plane going to Maputo and then slept there. We had to wake up super early to catch our flight to Chimoio. That was all really good but we were definitely really tired on Sunday. We arrived at church just in time for me to stand up and give a talk which also went really well. I talked about how we can have a better and more real conversion.

Everything is going really great over here and I'm really enjoying my time. Although I will say that I feel like going home is definitely creeping up on me faster than I think is possible.
seeing my best little girlfriends from Maraza

the line at the water payment place (at least 4 hours of waiting)

The plane ticket

Monday, October 5, 2015

Some pictures from other sources

The picture above is from the mission newsletter for September
From Elder Keck's blog - Daneil got a jumpsuit that was too small

From Elder Keck's blog - ingredients for 7 wedding cakes

October 5 emails

To Mom:
President Koch actually calls us fairly frequently and asks about our area. He talks to me about a bunch of the stuff that goes on over here so that's pretty nice. I don't think the outside areas are his focus but he does put more interest in us than president Kretly did. 

Every companionship has a cell phone that the mission pays for the minutes and such. Our zone leaders live in Nampula and our district is made up of the Elders from Tete and Maxixe which is kind of bizarre but good. The nearest missionaries are in Beira, though. The calls are all easily paid for with the giant plan that the mission has and pays for. 

So this week we had another wedding/baptism which was super nice. We had a few youth and one couple get baptized. I'll send you some pictures with this email if I can. 

This week we are flying to Beira for zone conference so I'll give you some updates on that next week.

This week we also climbed a pretty sweet mountain which is quite rare for Mozambique that is almost all super flat. It was a beautiful view of our whole area. We saw some way sick giant lizards and it was pretty good.

This week we are out of water again unfortunately so the whole crappy reality of that is back again. 

(From Mom): A weird thing about this week was this super weird dream I had about you the other night.  I don’t remember very many of the details, but one thing I remember is that you were home form your mission and you wore fake eyelashes.  And they were really obviously fake because they weren’t wide enough for your eyes and they were about 2 inches long, so they were like these shooting spider legs out the middle of your eyelids only.  You said they were all the rage and that you loved them and they were super cool.  I didn’t get it.  You were doing some other bizarre things, but I can’t remember what. Have you started wearing fake eyelashes?

Daniel's response: No I have real eyelashes 

To Dad:
Occasionally it gets a little chilly and it rains a lot but it's usually just a really warm rain. The heat just kills me though. I am so excited to experience cold again. It won't happen for a long time yet though but in the meantime I'll just endure the incredible heat. Fortunately I'm in Chimoio which is the second coldest city in Mozambique. But even with that it's still super hot.

I really like Elder Renlund. The branch president and I looked up the new apostles together and we were way pumped and high fiving and stuff when we say that Renlund was the new apostle. We were super excited. 

The suit jacket was something that my comp and I had made by a member. They're pretty sweet, I like them a lot. 

They don't seem to have jumpsuits that are Daniel's size!

me and one of my best buddies here in Mozambique, his name is Daniel