Elder Derek Miller's Mission Site

The Jungle Book

Date: August 30, 2010
Area: Beira, Mozambique
Companion: Hendrickson


Bom Dia de Beira!

So more and more my experience here feels like something out of the Jungle Book. More and More I am figuring out the Bare Necessities of Life. But first, a few updates to catch up.

Last week on ''The Jungle Book''--

I went to shoprite and NO MILK! Milk is pretty expensive here and it is a luxury to have. You don't have to refrigerate it either because they heat it up to a boil and then package it real fast so its clean. It takes a little funky but hey, no need to refrigerate it! (until after you open it that is). Also, I keep seeing marriages around here. It's hilarious. Everyone (aka a TON of people ) pack into a bunch of cars (especially pickups and  big flatbed truck ish things where they stand up in the back)  and they blast music and ride around everywhere shouting ''Maria e Joao'' or something like that. They drive around the city for the whole day honking horns and everything. It is abnoxious and hilarious.

Also, we had a little friend of ours crawl into our freezer when we weren't looking and we closed the door on him. When we opened our fridge again we found a nice lizard-sickle. He was quite literally frozen solid. Poor guy! But lizards are amazing and we put him out in the sun (the thought of a lizard-sickle wasn't incredibly appealing to anyone) and after it warmed up, he disappeared! Lizards can survive some pretty intense stuff!

Also along with lizards, we have pretty big bats here. It is pretty intense sometimes. Elder Poole had one fly right over his head! Whoa! Also last week, we made a fresh Pina Colada. It was THE BEST I have EVER had!!! By far! So sosososososososo good. I could marry it...but I'm a missionary and I can't be thinking about those kind of things right now. =) But seriously. It. Was. AWESOME! Ok and one other thing which may or may not be connected with Pina Coladas (I' ll give you a hint--it's not). So once upon a time, after I had eaten a healthy but very large serving of fruit, I experienced an incredible phenomenon of nature--the Aftershock. For those of you who may not quite understand what I mean, I will explain very briefly--Fruit goes in and then it wants to come out...NOW. Ya, a nice whole papaya and some bananas and what  not will do ya good if yer not careful. But that's not the worst part. The Worst part was that I was in the Goto. *Gasp!* That's right. This is classic Africa in the Goto. Shacks and what not packed way close together with mud streets and whatnot. So After battling within myself ( literally) I decided that a few things needed to happen at that moment--Meaning to say that it got to the point that I decided to take the infamous ''Jungle Dump.'' So after asking a member where the ''bathroom'' was (at least that's what they call it. Bathroom isn't exactly the FIRST word that comes to mind) I ran of toward that corner of the house. It is fenced off at least by some sheets of metal so I enjoyed a little bit of privacy as I struggled to find out what the heck to do. It was a pretty muddy situation for a little while until I found my light (spiritual application here? maybe I should share this story for my Homecoming talk=)). So Now I could see where I came from, why I was there, and where I was going--if you know what I mean. So they at least had some kind of a toilet and I quickly began conducting business. So I thought I was alone the whole time but it turns out that I felt something on my legs. I shined my light on my little rat friends and they all scurried away. I'm not sure why they were afraid of me. Maybe because I just about had the same reaction. Anyhow--I managed to conclude the meeting with the only thing I had--One hand sanitation wipe. Yes I did it. Mom I apologize for not wanting to take them. I always walk with a few now...Just in case. I'm not to keen on using water yet.

Well now that half of this letter is crap (haha Ya you know it's funny, go ahead and laugh--I did) Let me write more about this week and what it is like to be a missioary here.

Wake up at 6h30 (that's how they write time here). Really easy to do here because the sun comes up at 6 or so. You then force your body to do things that some people call exercises. So you get 30 minutes to do whatever you think will keep your body in shape. =)

Next at 7h00 You get some time to eat breakfast and get ready for the day. Usually I have oats and bananas or something like that. Occasionally I have oatmeal and peaches but the oats doesnt change much. You shower in a shower (it usually has hot water) and dress yourself.

8h00 Personal study time--tailor it to your investigators

9h00 Companion study time--Share what you learned in personal study and talk about specific investigators for that day and how  you can help them learn.

10h00 Language study time--sometimes happens sometimes doesn't. It should happen but sometimes we have an appointment in the morning at this time

11h00 Teach! or Language study time depending

12h00 come home for a quick lunch break. Speaking of lunch real fast, we take turns cooking. Mom, you would be proud to know that nobody has thrown up or died yet and I haven't put plastic in the oven.=) On the contrary, I have been praised for my work. I'm quite proud of myself actually--in all humility. I have received comments such as ''Dude, your wife is going to love you.'' to things like ''I hope they don't transfer you'' etc. etc. You trained me well mom! And those spices really help too I think. My latest was Carribean Jerk Chicken on top of rice with a Honey Mustard sauce, not to mention a portuguese style sauce called Peri Peri (pee dee pee dee) with a lemon and herb mixture. May I just say, it was Bomb Diggedy!

2h00 Go back out and work! Walk and walk and walk. Usually we take about an hour per person. We mostly  deal with investigators but we try to do reactivations and visit members too. But we try to leave that to the branch missionaries because we can't do it all. Branch missionaries are Young Men Young Woman age people who get a comp and try to visit people. A HUGE help. We are trying to work it in such a way that everyone gets a visit from some missionary every week. NICE! Some times appointments fall through so we make a back up plan to teach other people. As of yet, I haven't gone knocking doors or anything. That's quite ineffective anyways. You work through referrels. Best way to success. So ya. I have seen how the Lord puts people in our path. It's nice.

After walking your legs off, you return home around 9h00. Usually we make ourselves a fresh banana batida (shake) and their fantastic. Then after taking a mini break, at 9h30 you plan the next day tomorrow and who you will visit and what you will teach them. T~hen when that is over (/around 10h00) You get ready for bed and then go to bed. Night time doesn't exist. I sleep like a rock. I  pray, hit the pillow, and then my alarm goes off. It is interesting. Awesome too.

So that's a little of that. Oh, by the way, I was walking one day and I found out, it is true. You Can slip on a banana. Haha. It was quite hilarious. Remember dad on the phone slipping at the bank? ya. Same basic thing but on a dirt road in Africa.

I bought my first African statue last week. They are pretty interesting. You have to be careful though. You can't buy ivory and try to avoid the sexually explicit statues (haha ya. Nice thing a bout Africa that makes me laugh). PS  mom I bought some capulanas. Any request for a certain color or anything? Oh and it was nice to have, once again, a kid washing himself during a lesson. Haha It is a rich culture here! Very Different!

By the way about the stove--didn't mean to make anyone worried. When I say jimmy rigged, I just mean its a different set up. It is still safe and we are careful. We use gas tanks and ya just hook up the stove to it. It is safely stored away. I learned how to change it this week cause our gas tank ran out. so ya. It is safe and we are careful.

Anyhow. That should keep you busy for a week or so. Hope all is well. love you all!!!

Elder Mowgli... I mean Miller!


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