So... Swaziland. Where to begin?? This week was a challenging week. It's funny, everything that I was tired of in Mozambique, I now miss. I miss the loud music playing everywhere, I miss the drunk people bothering us, I miss the fact that everyone there knows us and so every person is shouting our name all day long. I can say that I was very Mozambique sick (instead of homesick) this week. It was tough for sure. I miss speaking Portuguese. Ok, that's enough of my whining. Needless to say I surely do miss Mozambique. But with all that said, I was called to serve a mission wherever the Lord sent me and right now He has called me to Swaziland. So let me give you a little run down on Swaziland. Swaziland is a very beautiful mountainous country. The things here are very very nice. Everything costs much less and so we eat very well here haha. Our house is wonderful. The temperature is awesome! Much much cooler. The streets are clean, the people are nice. I'm in the mountains again, oh how I missed the mountains. Oh, and we might have wild monkeys that play all over our house. One morning I woke up to a lot of noise on our roof and I couldn't figure out what was going on, so I went outside and there were monkeys that were jumping from the trees onto our roof, running across our roof and then jumping off the other side onto the other trees hahaha. So I took some pictures of them to send. That is a definite plus, we get to be with monkeys every day! Swaziland is a very quiet country. Not much music playing, the people are much more reserved, and so in some ways that is proving difficult for doing contacts. The english here.... well lets just say that I understood better in Mozambique and the people understood me better there. I am getting better at understanding them and speaking so that they can understand me. One big difficulty is that many don't speak english though. Many only speak the dialect which is called Saswati (sp?). It is a dialect with clicks... its pretty interesting. So anyways, at the beginning of last week, we spent trying to figure out where our areas were at. We were all new in our branch so no one knew where anything was at. And then we had a meeting with President Kretly on the new vision that he has for Swaziland and so we are slowly starting to implement it. Its not easy. I have never prayed so much on my mission as I have this past week. I have never had to be so patient as I have had to be this last week. But I know that things will get better. There is a quote by Jeffrey R. Holland and he says that some blessings come now, some come later, and some don't come in this life but for those who live the Gospel of Jesus Christ the blessings come... That is what is keeping me going. I don't have to have any blessings right now. I know that the blessings will come in the Lord's time. And how can I be sad living in a beautiful country. There is so much potential here. Church went well, we have a small branch. I just went from the biggest branch on the mission to one of the smallest. We had 70 people at sacrament meeting yesterday. The chapel is nice though. My companion plays the piano incredibly. He plays the hymns but makes them all his own versions as he plays and they are different every time. He is really incredible. So on Saturdays we will be teaching piano lessons as a service project so we are excited about that. He also speaks english perfectly. Possibly better than me. No problems with that. In my house we are 4 people. Me and my comp, and Elder Van Leuven, and Elder Hunsaker. Its an awesome house. Speaking of the creation of the stake, Elder Ellis was the presiding authority so I had already met him before. But I found out that Tualufo, the mission secretary was called as the first bishop in mozambique over the Magoanine branch... I was so happy to hear that! I was sad not to be there but it was awesome to hear. And well, that's life here in Swaziland in a nutshell. It's different. Life just changed a whole lot. And so we are doing our best to adjust to everything. We have all been going through missing mozambique but we are all finding happiness in the call of the Lord. It is His work so who are we to deny the calling. I am happy :) that much i can say. Life is different now, but I am happy. I'm slowly gaining a greater and broader vision for the work of the Lord. I am gaining greater patience. Maybe I will never see Swaziland as we want, I don't have much time, but I will do all I can to lay the foundation for a great work to be done here. Maybe I won't be the one to reap what I sow. But in the end, the Lord is the true gardener and He will reap all the works. Whether it be by me or another missionary, it doesn't matter. I love you all and hope you are having a great time. I miss you and pray for you!
Well well well... where do I start? Well I stayed in Magoanine all week long because president got the whole mission together and we all were in Maputo for the creation of the stake! So that was super super incredible. And then right after the conference, i got my new companion, he is from Brazil. His name is Elder Willian Dos Santos. I am training him. But the big news, I am not in Mozambique anymore! I am in Swaziland!!!!!!!!! How nuts is that. We got here last night. Ya... its insane. Its a lot cooler here.. what a blessing. I am in the mountains! I feel like I am just living up at the cabin right now. Its so insane. I can't believe all the changes. Its just a beautiful country. I sent you some pics of our yard, our porch. Our house is so so so nice. We have a beautiful view of swaziland. We have quite the task in front of us though. President moved everything. We are all new here to our branch so no one knows everything. So we have to try and figure things out on our own... Ya its crazy! I don't have much to say today cause I haven't done much yet... but I will have lots next week! For now I will just send pics!!! I love you all so so much!!!
PS. my new Zone Leader who works with me is Elder Abel
I got these pictures a bit out of order. This is Swaziland - Justin's new home!
So this last week was good. It was a hard to accept that he was going home, both for him and for me haha. Unfortunately I wasn't able to see Elder Galland and say good bye, he went early this morning to pick up his family from the airport. We last week went bowling and had a little party at the mission office for the missionaries who were going home and then we had a fairly normal week just visiting people and then saying goodbye to everyone. And then Sunday after church he left for the city and so i stayed with Elder Coelho and Elder Uache. Umm and then once again they have had some transfer mixups. It looks like we will only find out about transfers on Wednesday so until now I am just without a companion. Right now I just kinda go where one of the other companionships go. But tomorrow I will probably and try and get a melchezidic priesthood holder to come walk with me for a least a little bit so I can go to my area. But we'll see i'll have to make some calls today. So funny thing about that song (In Our Lovely Deseret), is yes they have it in portuguese and not only that but mozambicans love it and sing it ALL the time. They have a few hymns that they love and so we sing the same things every single week and this is one of those songs haha. So i know it very well in portuguese. Its been pretty dang hot here... but here in about a month or two it should start to cool down a bit. I can't believe that I have been in Magoanine for over 8 months now... how did that time pass by so dang fast??? 8 months! Its truly truly crazy how that happened. So looking at the plans, i'm totally fine with doing that first option and doing two days in Kruger. that is good with me. And there really isn't anything else I wanna do! I was wondering how you plan on doing transportation and that kinda stuff? But other than that I'm good with everything! Ya I don't have much to say today, not quite sure what will happen yet with transfers, if I still or will I go... its all a big surprise! But I should know shortly! I love you and hope you have a great week!!!
Wow that is all lots of great news! I'm so sorry but because its elder stubbs last p day we are trying to get a lot of stuff done and we only have like no time today. we are running all over the place. we had a really great week and i will send lots of pics and have lots of news next week. the big news i want to share before i go though is this..... february 15th guess what is happening??? The first stake in mozabique will be created.. the maputo, mozambique stake!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ok next week i promise lots but we're trying to get the most out of his last pday! LOVE YOU ALL!!