Elder Derek Miller's Mission Site

Letter the First from Mozambique

Date: July 28, 2010
Area: Maputo, Mozambique
Companion: TBA


 Well family, I am here!....

I am also incredibly jet lagged and super super tired. Usually I can sleep well on a plane but I suppose it is a little harder to sleep when you are trying to figure out how to place a Book of Mormon or a pass along card. So today I have been running on very little sleep. So what I write in this email may, or may not be the result of a delirious, quasi-neurotic white American missionary. Then again, the following might also actually be true about Africa. :-)

So the airport was pretty podunk. It reminded me alot of the airport in Long beach when we flew there that one time. The difference? It was a little bit bigger but more shabby. That's when it all began. I waited in line for my luggage. Only one bag came through. I expected such. Good thing I packed smart! Then we left and met President Spendlove (great guy) and Sister Spendlove (great woman) who I suppose they call "President" and "Sister." They are so fun. They took us for the ride of our life as we drove Mocambicano style to the mission home. For those of you who are not familiar with Mocambicano driving, if it fits, go. It is pretty sporadic. People and cars all over the place. Be prepared to stop abruptly, turn sharply, and run over people--almost. So we got to the mission home and had pizza mocambicano style (someone wanted to order pizza with pickles and beef on a pizza. I was thoroughly confused). We were very grateful for the pizzas and it was fun to experience the different style. Then President sat us down and told us a few things about Mozambique. Stuff we have heard. Nothing too weird. Then he showed us where we were going for our first transfer. I'm going to Beira! No Surprise!I called that one. So that was great. Everyone got called everywhere! Elder Ramierez got sent to Marromeu--the most Africa-y place in Moz. You can't receive any snail mail out there because there is no post office... and you get super dirty there and you do a lot of work. It is literally a big city in the middle of nowhere where you live in tents (houses that are practically tents) and preach the gospel. So... If I ever get sent out there, it will be email only if I can get it. That's wild man's country. Supposedly there is lots of wildlife and cool stuff there. So anyways, I am excited to go to Beira to be trained by my "father" (so they are called) Elder Hendrickson. I'm semi excited for the very long overnight chappa ride to Beira. If anything is going to kill me out here--mosquitos, snakes, heat,--it is going to be the travelling.

After that we went shopping at the Shoprite for meals for the next couple of days. Someone had to ride in the back of the covered truck (meaning that it was a truck with a bed cover thingy) and so I volunteered to do that. Please mom don't go crazy too much. It is all good. But it was almost exactly like the Indiana Jones ride at disneyland without a seat or seatbelts. That just gives you an idea of what it is like. So the Shoprite is pretty nice and has everything I could get in the states pretty much. Food is not a problem. So I bought a few things and came back to the car where I had Indiana Jones part 2 on the way back to the mission home. I came back and literally passed out on the couch until I woke up somehow to Sister and some Mocambican employees (?) arguing about how Portuguese should be pronounced and everything. President and Sister are very adamant about the Brazillian way of speaking. After all, 80% of the people who speak Portuguese are Brazillian. I laughed inside of myself. Then they set up email and here I am! Writing an email in Africa. It is very humid here and it looks fairly tropical. At times it can feel like ghetto LA. It is wonderful. The poverty is pretty severe--at least for what I have seen. But they are all very happy people despite this. The culture is wonderful. The language is crazy. The experience is priceless. So that will probably do for now until monday. Let me know if you want to know anything specific. :-) Wish me luck! I'm going to go die---meaning sleep. :-)

Com Amor,

Elder Miller


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