Elder Derek Miller's Mission Site

Beira 1 - Looking for the Glory

Date: August 09, 2010
Area: Beira, Mozambique
Companion: Hendrickson


 Well well! It is that time again!!!

Boy lots to write. Not a ton of time. ok. So! To begin...

1. My companion is Elder Hendrickson. He is so awesome! Kind and Patient! He is very different from my comp in the MTC=not that my comp in the MTC was bad but this fella knows how to work hard! We are trying to get as much work done as possible! Thar ain't no time fer rest! We made up a word for "resting" or taking a break. It is the verb bascar which means "to bask" but for me and Elder Hendrickson, we work when we bask and we bask when we work! He is from Bear River City Utah. We get along real nice.

2. The Members are wonderful. I haven't met too many but they are wonderful and strong. The Brach pres. President Bila, pronounced beela, is mightily hilarious. He used to be a pastor for another church. He made us sing the hymn in sunday school and priesthood over and over until we sung it with heart and really loud. Remind me to write you about Marianna. She is awesome. 

3. The investigators are great. The culture is hilarious sometimes. I had an investigator tell me that to try to stop smoking, sombody told her that the urine of a pig is a cure for a smoking addiction. That's right folks, it means ya gotta drink it. Personally, I think it doesn't matter what kind of urine you should drink, if I connected it to smoking, it would make me stop real quick. Quite a few are close to baptism but they don't keep their promises. It is infamous over here. The "Mozambican promise" isn't the best thing.

I don't think I will make it to Manga unless I'm transferred there. It is pretty far away.

Mosquitos fine. Language coming. I am on an english fast so It is coming. Alot of times it is frustrating but ya work until ya get it! I'm a finisher, not a quiter.

The food is unique and really good. So far I have had Cow stomach and Bird Gizzard. Not bad eh? More will come later I am sure. I love Chima by the way. It is like grits but they are stuck together. Imagine cold grits but hot. It is good.

I hesitate sending pictures because the computers over here have a billion viruses. A few missionaries have had their entire cards wiped of all their mission pics. I don't want to risk it. I might buy another card and use that occasionally and send you some pics but for safety I am just going to keep them with me for a while. Also I am cautious about picture taking. If they see a camera, they will follow you for a long long long time and then rob you. So I am pretty careful. That's why we don't walk with cell phones no more. But no worries I am being careful and the Lord is watching out for me. I feel a power that I have never felt before. I feel safe.

Couple o' fun things. It is strage seeing albinos over here. They look like they should be a black African but they are white. Quite interesting. You would be surprised how many there are. It's not necessarily common but it's not too rare. 

I taught someone in the Grand Hotel the other day. It must have been an INCREDIBLE hotel. They used to call it the Diamond of Africa. It used to be gorgeous and overlook a beautiful bright blue ocean. Now, it is a broken cement complex that a bunch of people live in. It has a tree growing out of the side. Instead of overlooking a beautiful blue ocean, it overlooks an ugly brown one --sewage. The only think grand about it now are the giant spiders it has. Luke! I'll take a pic for ya! They make webs taller than I am and they are about the size of lukes fist! Oh and I have seen gigantic bats too. It is probably like a small cat with wings. Anyway. A good lesson on keeping a clean room and house. Lol.

I love the fruit here! We made a fresh coconut papaya banana smoothie last night. oooooohhhhh...... Wonderful!!!

Oh, and you have to be careful about the girls here. What I mean is be careful about their age. I was teaching a member one day. She looked about my age and I thought, "She is really pretty." Mind you, it was nothing unseeming of a missionary--at least until I found out she was 13. That was awkward. I felt like a pedifile. The girls look older here and they develop really fast. The 13 year olds look about the age and development of an 18 year old in the states. So ya just have to be careful about age guessing over here.

I love the Mozambican phrase, "Estamos Juntos" meaning We are Together. It is really cool. They use it as a salutation occasionally when you are expressin love and "togetherness." Oh, and yesterday I made a hilarious mistake. I was trying to say para nos said par ah noh sh, instead I said par ah noosh. The difference? I said "to the nudists" instead of "to us". That was a good embarassing one. 

Ok so one story that I had in maputo and then I should finish. We were visiting members and I went to one members house. By the way, almost all houses in the cities look like they were bombed. Just cement buildings and very dirty. Doors are behind bars so that people can't break in. So we go to this house of a member in a building such as that and I met a woman whose name is Lizzie. I soon found out that she was a single mom with two children. One of them was severely handicaped--both physically and mentally. He was about 14 years old and I'm not sure about how old the other was. Looked like around 12. That was really hard for me to see in such an incredibly dirty and unhomely place. Their bed was a mattress on the floor. I was incredibly humbled to find out that to support her family, she made handbags selling for about 3-5 american dollars a piece. She does a really good job so I ordered some as gifts and whatnot. I was incredibly humbled. Then on top of that, she fed us a meal of beans and rice. She comes to church only to take the sacrament and then has to leave to take care of her son. I felt so inspired. The people have incredible faith here. I am learning so much about what it means to have faith. 

Well that's what I got for now. Stay tuned for more next week!

Com Amor,

Elder Miller


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