From the Republic of Moçambique!
First off I don´t have a question mark so I can´t ask you any questions.
Next how comes it is that I didn´t get an email this week? (hey! I found the question mark!)
Thirdly I hope all is well in that world very strange that calls itself America. (he he, Portuguese grammar)
Fourthy about my subject, number one 1 that is kinda the attitude around here. The whole world is super nice over here. And the whole world uses super weird (or in other words super cool) handshakes. I do all sorts of different stuff. They shake hands super funny and there are many different styles and ways of doing said handshake. The next is the word pa. Pa means shovel but everyone uses it kinda like the word dude (which in reality, 'shovel' makes at least a little more sense than 'dude') So if you want to impress your friends, walk up to them and make really loud noises like 'eeeeee' or 'aaahhhh' and say como vai pa? and give them a funky handshake you made up (dad this could help you pass the test or win over some friends at work or something). You technically COULD say 'Hey! Wassup shovel?' but I have a feeling it probably won't have the same effect.
So fifthly and finally, let's get down to the nitty gritty shall we? What actually happened to Elder Miller this week? Well, lets start with the basics--
1) I had my first rainstorm experience. I did not have my jacket or poncho or anything. The rainstorm literally came so fast that even if I had had both of those things, I would not have had time to put them on. Within probably 30 seconds, it went from pitter patter to GAZOOSH! So my companion and I ran until we found a spot to take shelter for about 5 minutes. Then it was over and practically just dead stopped. I was soaked for our next lesson but meh, whatevs. No biggie.
2) I bought my first African lembranças (souveniers). I bought a little wallet thingy thing and some capulanas for ya'll back home--meaning the women folk. Sorry guys, if you want an African dress, you have to special order one. So that is pretty exciting. They are quite beautiful. I bought them myself. =)
3) I learned how Moçambicanos clean their floors! They polish them by hand about twice a week or so depending on the house. They use these things from a palm tree I think, and use it to scrub and buffer the floor before they polish it. So we did that this week for one of our investigators who we are visiting everyday cause she is trying to stop smoking.
4) Speaking of smoking and habits, guess what? I can't speak English for an entire month now! I made a little dealio with said investigator that if she stopped smoking, I would stop speaking English for at least a month. I might just have to do it for the rest of my mission. It just depends on what she needs. Anyhow. This is my catharsis of sorts to get out all of my English because I can't speak any of it!
5) Also about this investigator, She was pretty sick one night with what they thought was Malaria. She was going to go to the hospital in the morning. So for our lesson that night, we asked her where we go when we feel sick. She said Hospital. Then I asked where we go when our spirits are sick. She thought about it and said, to Church. We explained how Church is the hospital for our souls and that's where we are spiritually healed. Then we offered to give her a priesthood blessing. She accepted. So I annointed and my comp sealed and blessed. I felt super good about it and a happiness filled my heart. The next day we visited her and guess what? She felt completely better. She didn't even go to the hospital. Wow. I felt very blessed to have that opportunity. Little miracles. And its always good to have another testimony builder that the priesthood actually works! =)
6) Funny thing, when we were teaching an investigator this week, he asked US if WE could come back and teach him more. We said, 'Well if you insist' and scheduled another visit. I never thought an investigator would ask me the questions I am supposed to ask. So that's fun.
7) One lady we are teaching--Ana--loves gospel discussion and what not. We just talked to her one night and she let us in when our appointment fell through with their neighbor. We ended up spending two hours there. I remember walking home and I thought, 'She is going to be baptized in November.' So that is interesting. She showed up to church this week so we will see. One might ask, why wait until November? but who knows. Regardless of when, I have a good feeling that she will be baptized.
8)ORANGE JUICE!!!!!! Not that the oranges in the US ain't the best but here... AH!!!! they are a tart sweet delicious savoury beautiful thing! We made fresh hand squeezed OJ in our apt and I just about died it was so good. I wish I could box up a bunch of oranges in a little bundle of joy and send them your way fer Christmas. Only one problem. They just might not be the same since it takes 2 months to mail something. It wouldn't really be Merry Christmas. Just Moldy Christmas. Or Scary Christmas. Either way that doesn't quite convey the message I want to send so...sorry!
9) Speaking of Fruit! The BANANAS! Why do we grow terrible bananas in the US? These may be smaller but the flavor! AH! Truly wonderful. So far, my favorite was when we made a fresh papaya banana coconut milk smoothie. Ya. Life is hard over here sometimes. =)
10) I had some firsts this week. First drunk people. Yay! They are pretty happy fellas but not my favorite to be around. My first fish eyeballs--not too bad I might add. My first breast feeding in a lesson experience--definitely no shame! Haha. First little kid taking a bucket bath in the background of our lesson. Hey, it's a pretty free place over here. Mom, I will sure try to remember my manners, but as it is over here, they are not the same manners as back home. For example, the toilet doesn't really work all that well. You know how some cars can go 0 to 60 in like 4 seconds and some that go 0 to 60 in 4 HOURS? ya. In the US we have race cars for toilets. Pull the lever and WHOOOSSHH!! And you can flush about 30 seconds later. Here we have Model T Fords. You kinda have to jimmy the lever and when it goes--sshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhSHHHHHHHHWHAZOOOOM! And then you have to wait for about no joke 15 minutes before you can flush again. So most of the time, you just don't flush the toilet until everyone and their dog has used the toilet. Missionaries are very generous toward each other. People leave a lot of presents for the next user. Other unusual culture jazz-- I eat with my hands, spit food out of my mouth (like bones and seeds), and do all manner of 'iniquitous' and unmannerly things. It's just the culture. I am going to have HUGE culture shock when I get home! I'm sorry mom. I'm Trying!!!
11) May I stress the fundamental importance of Home Teaching and what not. The Missionaries can't visit all the members. That is technically not their main job. Home Teaching is literally missionary work within the church. So NEVER miss an opportunity to home teach. Good mission prep stuff that is. So Dad, Josh, and soon to be Caleb-- remember the words of the Elder in Africa! Do your Home Teaching!
12) Also, the Church keeps maticulous record of all investigators. Once you are an investigator, the church keeps a record of what you have been taught and a general thing of who you are and your background until you join the church or die, which I imagine that after that it goes to the temple. So I have gained a testimony of record keeping. It is important.
I'm working like a beast out here so that's how it goes. I love you all! I miss you! Keep up all the great stuff!
With love, Com Amor