Elder Derek Miller's Mission Site

Mission Life Challenges

Date: December 12, 2011
Area: Quelimane, Mozambique
Companion: Ostler


Dear Family,

Well this week while writing you I'm slightly frustrated with the computer problems we have had and the day has just been very slow and difficult to work with. My patience in all is being challenged.

We got transfers and as predicted I am staying yet another transfer here in Quelimane. Assuming I don't get emergency transferred, Quelimane will be the area I have served in longest--and boy does it feel long! Elder Derrickson and I started this area with nothing. It has been interesting to see the area grow and develop but it just feels so long. Investigators progress to a certain point and then stop or drastically reduce their progression. Sitting with the same people for almost 5 months without seeing much difference in 4 months time is a little difficult. The biggest problem is marriage of course. Progression is just very very very slow sometimes and that can be really hard on me and keeping an energetic attitude. Time is just a much different thing here. I often here of stories in the states of how people were found, taught and baptized all within a month or two month period of time. That is absolutely unheard of here. The time it takes to get baptized is much much longer due to culture and marriage issues. It's incredibly exhausting. We are currently looking for reasons to keep sitting with some of our really good investigators who still come to church and are still progressing but are still awaiting marriage. It's hard to teach them something when we have taught everything.

That's the current state of our area and we are looking for more people to teach. We want to reduce the number of visits we make with our "old" investigators and sort of start anew. We will see what comes of it. It doesn't help that Christmas is around the corner and activity rates will almost certainly decrease. We will see. Ha! A third-world mission is really quite difficult! especially when you are in the middle of nowhere (in regards to the church).

As far as the phone call goes in a couple of weeks, I'm not quite sure what will go down. The Osborns have offered their computer for a possible Skype session--with or without video. I'm not quite sure what is going down and this Friday's district meeting will resolve a lot of concerns. I imagine that if it is a Skype session I will not likely call to set up the appointment. What do you think about Skype? Yes or no? McCall is welcome and invited to come over if she wants.

I appreciate your support and every word written to me in email. Really in all of my emails and what not, the greatest thing I appreciate is you talking about yourselves and your growth and experiences and the things you are learning. I have enjoyed most your experiences, thrills, disappointments, challenges, and everything else that shows that life really is the same everywhere. Sometimes I get lonely in thinking that the only thing that exists anymore is Mozambique. Your words and thoughts about your life help me jump perspectives occasionally and sometimes I can even relate that to my missionary worked. The best is when you share a story and what you learned from it. I don't only like learning from my own experiences but I appreciate hearing from you experiences that you have had and what you learned. Thank you so much for that. Packages and advice are nice but your experiences and learning are the best figurative packages and advice I could ever receive.

I appreciate Elder Ostler's diligent example of prayer. He is almost always on his knees and when he is not, he is doing something else worth his time. He prays much more consistently than I do and is not afraid to do so wherever he can find space and time. It is an excellent example to me who sometimes doesn't always pray as consistently or diligently as I should. He is also a consistent journal writer (which I believe the two are connected) which also happens to be a weakness. His diligent example to me is unfailing and very touching.

I appreciate the opportunity to serve a mission to learn from Father things that I never could have discovered anywhere else. It's hard to leave home and venture out into the jungle but I knew since the beginning and before that I would come here to learn and grow closer to who I am capable of becoming. There is still much I have yet to learn but the knowledge and wisdom and strength I have gained from the mission can't be summed nor bought with a price. If only every young man could have the experience I have!

Keep up the good work! I love you all.

Com Amor,



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