Wow I loved the pictures even though they killed me! Hahah. I cant believe its already been almost a week since we talked! The time went by way too fast when we were talking but luckily this time we only have to wait 5 months before we talk again and that is gonna be here in no time! So ya the Elders who are in the outside areas just do a phone call. I would love to go to an outside area for a while. Even though it would make the emailing hard, it would be such an amazing experience. Elder Galland was in an outside area called chimoio for one transfer and he loved it. Chimoio is a cold place, the only cold area that we go to right now so I wanna go there! Hahaha. It sounds like you guys had an amazing Christmas. I missed all the traditions of Christmas but I also learned that Christmas isnt about the traditions, its about Christ. After we skyped we watched a Christmas movie and then watched a clip of Christs birth and it was really good. It was hard being away from family but it was worth the sacrifice. Christmas day itself was a tough day. Here, the people celebrate by blasting rap music and getting drunk. So it was kinda hard for me to see them doing that on Christmas day. We found people who we love, also drinking, and it was hard but I learned a lot of important lessons. Iºm learning patience big time. A lot of times people think that as missionaries, we know everything and we know how to handle every situation, but thats very wrong haha. We are still only two 18 year olds walking around in Africa! The one down side to feeling comfortable in the language, is that when you get mad at someone, you know how to express it. I found out on the day of Christmas when I found people drinking, that it doesnºt help to get mad at them, you just need to love them and help them. But the rest of the week was pretty good. It was a battle, but we got the wedding done on saturday! It went well with little problems. The only thing that went wrong was that, he called us at like 4 in the morning freaking out cause her family was saying they were refusing to come to the wedding. Let me just tell you that as an 18 year old, I never thought I would be a marriage counselor, wedding planner, addiction helper, and missionary at the same time. He is not the only one who I have gotten calls from at early early in the morning saying he needed our help. So we went that morning and talked to her family but they said they wouldnºt come because they were muslim and it was against their religion to enter another church. So it was really sad for her. She was very sad, but in the end it was worth it. They had a little party afterwards and it went well. So just let everyone know that I have now planned two weddings on the mission so far and I made invites for this last one, so you could start up a business and when I come home Iºll run the wedding planning business haha. Then sunday after the church was the baptism. It went really really well. I baptized the wife and Elder Galland baptized the husband. Her name that I had to use to baptize her was Saquina Abdul Nampalama Ibraimo Dias hahah. Thats a mouthful! But she was so happy. She was scared of the water and wouldnºt let go of me until she was out of it haha but she was just so happy. I brought her up out of the water and she just gave a sigh of relief and then clentched onto my arm so she wouldnºt fall and just was so overwhelmed with the spirit. It was really really nice. Well I love you so much mom! You can use this to go on the blog. I sent pics of the baptism and I will send more of the wedding and other things. I love you so so much and hope you have a happy new Year!!
Monday, December 23, 2013
Ok well I dont have much to say this week! I am kinda too excited to skype and all that so Ive kinda lost the will to type! Hopefully it comes back next week! Youºll have to try and remember what stories I tell you tomorrow so you can put them on the blog! Well, tomorrow is all scheduled up. I should be able to skype at 19h 40 here which is 10:40 a.m. for you guys. Youºll have to figure out better what that is for Darceeºs time. And unfortunately I think we only get like 40-45 minutes so weºll have to make it last! Make sure you are all ready before that time incase I call early or something like that and ya! Thank you so much for the pictures! I loved seeing them and seeing powell again! I sure do miss that place. With the heat here, its hard for me to believe its actually christmas. I am actually kinda glad that its not snowing and all of that cause it has helped me not get homesick. I am starting to miss home a little at this time just knowing what you are all doing but at the same time I know where I am supposed to be and all the traditions of Christmas will still be there when I get home. Well just a quick run down of the week. We got our first big big rain haha. On tuesday night we had a crazy lightning and thunder storm. I woke up part way through the night listening to it and it was pretty cool and then a lightning bolt struck right next to our house and just shook the whole house and it was probably one of the loudest sounds Ive ever heard! It was incredible! Then the next day was pretty calm until that night at like 8:00. It started raining at that time and then didnºt stop for 24 hours of just hard hard raining! So we went out with our irrigation boots and umbrellas and went to work. All of the paths to peoples houses were flooded, some of the houses had started to get water as you can see in the pictures, but it was actually pretty fun in the end! We still got work done luckily and all went well! Its been pretty dry and hot since that storm but the people said going into january and february is when weºll start to get the rain for weeks straight! Our miracle story for the week was that we need to open a marriage process. Normally you have to do it 8 days before the marriage, but there is a registry where they like us and we can do it in the same week. So, the husband that we are going to marry got stuck out in the district which is like the country kinda. Anyways he got stuck out there and ended up having to take a canoe and then hitch hike home to get here in time so we can get them married this week. It was a miracle he made it home. I will try and explain it all better tomorrow. the marriage process is hard to explain over email. But ya, I would say just be ready tuesday morning at about 10 a.m. and then around 10:40 a.m. your time, i will be calling for you! I cant wait. Weºll talk more tomorrow! I love you so much and I cant wait for tomorrow!
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
I cant believe that Ashlee has turned 5 now! She will be six when I get home! She is already turning into a little girl and Im just turning fat hahaha. I really cant believe that when I come home I will be 20. 20 seems like you should be grown up by then and I still feel like I am a little kid haha. (Mom note: That's why the kids over their like him so much!) Ok so plan for skype. I will be skyping on the 24th with you. We dont know exactly what time yet but our zone leader is making up a schedule for us so next week I will actually call you on monday really quick and just say like hey be on at this same time tomorrow. Then I will skype you the next day! I just need you to email me your skype name so I can know it. That is pretty sad but good that the funeral went well. You know its sad how much death happens here. The death rate here in mozambique is one of the highest and worst in the world. They dont live long and so there are always funerals going on here. But ya, the atonement is real and really does help in the process. That is good that the program went well! We also had our first Christmas program for the people in Beira and it went really well. We watched the presidency christmas message and then did our singing part! Next week it will be here in Manga. Also I wasnºt transferred! I cant believe how fast that transfer went and that it really was six weeks ago that we had transfers. This week we will open up the process and then the marriage and baptism should be next week for our family! We are super excited! Im glad that all is still going well with the family. That everyone is getting their health. Tell everyone happy birthday like christy and grandparents and ashlee. Its kinda hard to keep up with all of that but I am trying haha. No her family hasnºt yet (I asked him whether a family from his last area had been baptized yet), they had a few bumps along the way and so they havenºt but I still have hope that one day they will. Even if its not while I am here. I am glad all is going well at home. So not much excitement in the past week. Last monday we went to an old wrecked war ship and took pictures and then also took pictures by the light house, the same one that is on the E um milagre video from our mission on youtube. The other picture is of me and elder mason, galland, and ensaldo on our way home from buying our groceries. We have to take a taxi home when we buy groceries cause we cant hold them on public transportation haha. Iºll also send a couple more pics. I love you so much and Im so excited that we get to talk next week over skype! Let the family know how much I love them!
Justin says the people in Africa are deathly afraid of chameleons and for
some reason think they are poisonous. So they were freaking out that he
was just letting this one climb up his pants. They were telling him he was
going to die! Justin, being the tease that he is, thought it was funny.
Any one who knows my dad knows how much he loved to tell stories.
He loved people and never knew a stranger and was first to respond
when someone needed help. Justin says this man is the African version
of his grandpa. :-) He likes to walk with the elders and tell them stories
and just loves to help people. So glad Justin has someone like his grandpa
there because I believe dad is laboring with Justin from the other side of the veil.
Monday, December 9, 2013
Hello family and Friends,I am very sorry for this week and if I donºt respond to everyone individually this week but I do want all of you to know that I read every single email and that is what keeps me going when I am tired. Hey did you guys know that missionary work never stops? hahaha. So for this week I really just want to share a few stories that have really touched my heart and I am in hopes that they also touch yours. So our zone leader had a meeting with President Kretly and Pres has asked that we get every mozambican youth to serve a mission. As we pondered that big task along with continuing our other work he also shared a story that pres shared with him. There is a young man, preparing for a mission here somewhere in mozambique. And Pres was interviewing him one day and he said how many siblings do you have? and he responded and said i am the oldest of 7. And President asked oh so what do your parents do for work? And the youth said, I dont have parents anymore. I take care of the family. And president asked well who is going to take care of your family while you are gone on your mission. And he said, I donºt know, the only family we have is my grandma and she only comes about once a month but she is always drunk. So when I leave no one will be there. President asked him if he has the clothes sufficient to serve and he said no he doesnºt. After all this, president asked him, so you are still going to serve a mission with all these trials? and the young man responded and said president, its a commandment from God isnºt it? Who am I to turn down a commandment of God. I must go and do what the Lord asks of me.... Often times we wonder why we do things, or that its too hard. We have come to find that we often have it much easier than others. And there are others who sacrifice much more than we ever have. This young man is one of them. So my point of sharing this story is to say, we all need to sacrifice in this life, never lose sight of why we do it. The other story I would like to share happened yesterday to me. We have this man in our area who is more than often very very drunk and so we always help him home and get into his little place to sleep. We have really come to be friends with this old drunk man haha. And he often is so drunk to where nothing he says makes sense and so we laugh and laugh. But yesterday as we passed by he was just sitting outside his house and so we said lets just go say goodnight to him. As we sat down, we realized that he hadnºt drank yet that day. So we talked and as we talked we came to know this man. We asked him questions about his life, where he is from, how many kids he has, why he drinks and questions like that. We came to find out, this mans life isnºt easy. But also, he wants to follow christ. But people like us always pass by and see him as just the funny drunk guy. As we came to find out, he is actually one of the sweetest old men you can possibly know. He called us his grandsons and thanked us for our friendship. We realized in that moment, that there is not one single person in this world who is too lost or not important to our Heavenly Father. He wants every single child back home. It was one of the most special moments in my life. The point of this story is to help everyone understand that each and everyone of us is a child of god and we cant judge. My last thing I want to say is I get emails from just about everyone talking about how they want and pray for missionary experiences. Something I have learned here is that after praying, we can not sit back and expect god to just do the rest. We actually have to do something. We cant wait for someone to ask us about the gospel, we have to do the work. That includes talking to people who we may not think will accept the gospel. We cant expect God to do it all. Often times we pray for missionary experiences when we should be praying for the courgage to go out and do it ourselves. The Lord understands its hard, but he also expects us to act. I love you all, and I love hearing from you! I hope you all have a wonderful week! Remember the true meaning of christmas as we come closer!
Time at the beach
We sent a balloon kit in his package - for making animals and other
shapes out of the balloons. We figured he would have a good
time with it and also enjoy sharing with these children
that he loves so much.
An adorable little boy!
So totally Justin......
Christmas ornaments from his package. The white ones
his Grandma Lynn did on her sewing machine.
Wish you could see them better! The homemade ones
were from Danen and Kimberly's kids.
Enjoying a cool drink on the hot beach. Can it really be
that warm somewhere else in this world? We have
been frozen for a week now!
Monday, December 2, 2013
Dear family and friends,
Ya 5 months! How crazy! I canºt believe it has been that long! Truly incredible how the time flies! Time is running as they say here in moçambique! Just so you know, I do read everything everyone sends me even if I dont respond to everythng that happens. So keep sending me all the updates! Also my package got to me last night!!! President was up here this last week and he brought up our packages!!! Woooooo!!!! Thank you so so so much everyone who contributed to the package! It was like the best night of my life hahaha. I seriously loved it so much! I will be decorating my room with all the ornaments! Ok well for the last week, what has happened.... Well we spent the first part of our week working with some members who were in need of a little help. Lots of elders just wanna get the stats in of working with investigators. But I truly believe our goal, is to be a missionary as if Christ was an elder. And I believe Christ would help everyone! And I have never felt so good after helping them. We also starting preparing for a christmas program we will be putting on for the people in Beira and the people in Manga! It will be really special for them. As far as crazy events happened, it wasnºt anything special, but we do have some people progressing well. Here where we have to get everyone married first, its tough to find people who are motivated to do the documents on their own with out our help of literally walking them to the buildings. But we have such a gift of a family. They were taught one year ago already but now they are so ready. THey are going and doing the documents on their own and they will be married this month in december for sure. It will be two weeks after transfers though so I hope that I dont get transferred!!! I love this family! They call us Elder Grande and Elder Lindo. hahaha. We also have a couple other families who have finally said they will start working on the documents!!! Woooo!! As far as other things go. I am starting to be thankful for so many random things. ... Dry deodorant doesnºt exist here in mozambique! So if anyone decides to send a package please send american dry deodorant that will last! I will be eternally grateful. And also more memory cards for the camera!!! I am also thankful for carpet! and barefeet. We dont have any carpet here. Its been 4 months since I have seen it. And so becasue of safety and health, we also cant walk barefoot. We always have to wear sandals, in the shower and just around the house. I miss barefoot haha. Well I love you all! I will send a few more pics too! I love youu mom so so so much!!!!
Me dressed in a jacket, rain boots cause it was flooding, and my
scriptures wrapped in plastic bags during the rain storm.
Me on the beach with the senior couple the Snelsons
Me messing around on the beach
A big ol canal they have here
A beautiful African sunset
One of the members who is the best cook ever who was
making something with this fish that was steaming
One of the best meals Ive had here. The stuff on the left is called chima. It looks
like mashed potatoes but its very different. The other plate is what you dip the
chima into. it was literally the best fish I have ever ever had. It was so good!