Elder Derek Miller's Mission Site


Date: September 13, 2010
Area: Beira, Mozambique
Companion: Hendrickson


E aconteceu que Elder Miller escreveu para sua familia dizendo:

Bom Dia!!!

And it came to pass that Elder Miller wrote unto his family saying:

Good Morning! or good day rather

Anyhow I hope you are all doing great. Hopefully I get a fuller email here in a little bit so I can get questions and all that good stuff (especially the BYU games. Those are important). Oh and by the way, the riots are all over so things are good. Nothing is strange anymore. no worries!

So while I wait, I will write a few things that you might find interesting. There are some things that our beloved brothers and sisters do that only they could get away with. When they happen, we call them AFRICANISMS! Basically, they are answers to the question "You might be in Africa if..." so lets take a peek into African culture...

((Please dont try these at home. They are done by professional Africans who have real experience with African living))

 You Might Be in Africa if...

#1--Women breast feed their children publicly. Trust me, there are divers ways and means--so many that they cannot be numbered. Breast feed while during a lesson. Breast feed while at church. Breast feed at home, at school, at play. Breast feed while in the car or riding on the back of a motorcycle. Breast feed while sitting, standing or walking.  Breast feed while you check out at the grocery store. Breast feed inside a chapa.  You can do it in a box, you can do it with a fox, you can do it in socks on a box with a fox or any way you like Knocks (refer to  Dr. Suess for that one) but seriously. Yes all of those are true by the way. Ya just do it. It's pretty normal here so it doesn't even bother me or anything. It's just an AFRICANISM!

#2-- You see something that resembles a big metal box on wheels with 25 plus people crammed on every side-- their faces plastered against the windows--ZOOM past you at incredible speeds. Introducing the Chapa! The genius public transportation system of Moçambique! A crazy, mini-van sized human stuff sack. How can you describe the feeling of being shoved into a chapa until you have people sitting on your lap? Or the other time when you look down and see the road through a hole in the floor? Or yet again when the door falls off of the chapa en route, only to then be repaired and held together by a piece of twine? Yes. This is the beauty of the chapa. Insanity. And yes, all of those things happened to me too.

#3--The bathroom is right where you are standing. You would be surprised how many times you think you are safe. But you are never safe. It may have the appearance of just a normal puddle, but in reality... Well, I'll let you use your imaginations. But people like to conduct business anywhere, but a favorite spot is the side of the road. "But what about women?" you might ask. Well...what about them? Sure the technique might be a little different but the principle is the same. Just roll up your capulana a little and squat. What was truly inspiring to see was the woman who was breast feeding her baby AND conducting business on the side of the road. Truly, whoever said

#4--Become a Street Vendor. Everybody is doing it! That is how you live pretty much. Unless you live in the city and do something "important."

#5--God gave you a right AND a left hand to finish conducting business. Nice huh?

So... I'll write about 5 of those a week for fun. And while I was writing, guess what came through? Yup yer letter! So to answer some questions...

Riot stuff. I haven't felt anything more than a little uncomfortable. I have heard alot but Beira is SO calm compared to Maputo. Maputo is so agitated. Beira has a really native polonesian feel that I think mom and dad experienced a little in Hawaii. It is just really chillax for the most part. The people here are super friendly. Maputo is just super political. Ironically,  Maputo and Beira have practically separate governments. When something happens in Maputo, it takes a long time to change up here in Beira--unless the government needs more money in their pockets so they raise prices everywhere all at once. So if you fail your corruption inspection, just tax people more. Makes sense right? Not really.

So a package. Hm... I think a good spaghetti mix would be super super good. Anything Garlic and Onion too. Here we have pretty much anything we technically need like flour, chima (grits or crushed corn stuff pronounced shee-ma), yeast, chicken, meat (of very unique and exotic kinds), fruit, veggies, sauce mixes, cereals, granola, a lot of really bigger  basic stuff. But when you get into the extras like pre-prepared spices and condiments, flavorful things, those are harder to find. For example lemon juice. Hard to find. Barbeque sauce--extinct. Milk--endangered species. Yogurt--endangered. Cheese--endangered. Anything really American is extinct. So ya. Spices would  be nice. whatever you think is good food wise. Next time I will make a list of food and non food items that might be nice. I'll send it your way!

Names, Elder Hendrickson, Elder Richardson (we think alot alike), Elder McCollugh (we dont think alike but we dont fight), and me. very nice. Elder Richardson lives in PG  actually I think. Well Mozambique right now but he is from PG

Yes I have gained weight but it does look like I am gaining muscle from the workouts I do. Thats what I hope at least.

 And yes in all technicality Moçambicanos can make bread. Is it worth it--not really. It is expensive and difficult. They don't have big ovens. They cook stuff on a fascinating metal object that is about the size of a large  backpacking stove. they use coals to cook stuff on top of that. So ya. They just don't really have the means. So they buy the bread that the Gov. provides. If they don't want bread, they eat chima after they pilar corn (will explain next letter.) but ya. that's it.

Anyway, one more quick story before I leave. It's incredible when your investigators start teaching YOU the gospel. One investigator, Roce, we just gave a baptismal date. This guy is super cool Bob Marley status with dreadlocks and everything! He is super super cool! Anyways, we asked him what a covenant was. He said it was a ligamento and explained a little. A ligamento is a connection. I thought that was profound. A covenant is not just a promise that you make with Heavenly Father to choose the right and he will bless you. In reality, that might be what you do but that's not what it is for. A covenant is an opportunity for you to connect yourself and your heart to Father in Heaven. If you think about it, we only make promises to people we love and care about alot. So when we make covenants, we are literally taking distance away and drawing into a closer, more intimate relationship with our Heavenly Father. Every Ordinance and every covenant is for this purpose. He just wants us to come back to Him. So a covenant is a connection of one heart to another through a promise. Who better to make covenants with than an eternal Father in Heaven?

Thank you so much! Love you! Deus nos abençoa e Deus nos ama!

Com Amor,

Elder Miller


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