Elder Derek Miller's Mission Site

Country Day

Date: September 27, 2010
Area: Beira, Mozambique
Companion: Hendrickson


Well Howdy! *in celebration of Country Day this week--a holiday I made up*
So abou'tcher qweestions:
1. Ok so here is the rundown of President Bila. I want you to imagine in your heads Elder Jeffrey R. Holland from the Quorum of the Twelve (good practice for this coming week...tell me how it is! I wont see it). So with this image of Jeffrey R. Holland--shrink him down a bit and make him really stocky but keep the same power and intensity. Then make him black. Then add glasses. Put him in Africa and you have President Bila. He is so *repeat* SO funny! He is awesome. He loves the gospel. He used to be a preacher at some other church but he left shortly after we found him. He teaches really well too but he has a tendency of pilaring the members. Pilar--a portuguese word meaning to crush or to pound, thus as used in context here, it means chastising or repremanding or something like that. But the way he pilars is usually what the members need. I tell ya, Africa is so different. Obviously but really. I'm pretty sure if Pres. Bila went to the US, people would get offended but its what they need here. They like big talk and big show for religion over here. Anyways, president Bila (or sometimes we call him President Pila hehe) is a very animated person for a church leader but still very conservative to other religions here. Anyhow. He has some funny mannerisms I will have to show you when I get home. I love the guy!
2. I might download pics on a CD if I can. I'm trying to figure out all this stuff. In truth, I was actually going to risk it and I brought my card with me today however the computer doesn;t have anywhere to plug it in! So sorry. I'll figur out something. You should see pictures here eventually.
3. If you wouldn't mind adding some riddles and jokes and quotes by famous people to your letters that would be fantastic! or just family quotes of the week, little small funny sayings or something of that manner. Thanks!
4. Ya I should be able to print so you can send me whatever. Sounds like missionary work is pretty similar everywhere. I have some pretty crazy stories here in a bit...
5. PS you can minus the rubiks cube. I found one. But ya. Tons of candy. Add to the musik list phil collins. Just some good classic stuff like his disney stuff. CD or other is great. Actually, if you find my ipod, you could just use that or something. I don't know. Dad knows. Just know that I have the general capability to play in most formats over here. Send DEODERANT (see below) and other than that... can't think of anything more really. Oh and Hercules is great. And if you find anything in portuguese that is even better. And then also the classic Come Thou Long Expected Jesus sheet music somehow didn't make it into that folder. That would be wonderful. Oh and they don't sell these here but a small mini soccer ball would be super sweet. they sell them at wal mart. Just the super mini size.
Speaking of Luke and creatures.... CREATURE ALERT!!! Animals spotted this week: A lynx--a type of small African feline that looks like the cross between a house cat and a leopard/lion thing. It is just larger than a house cat. Pretty cool! Next! I have been seeing a ton of rats! They are HUGE! Big ol nasty things. Some I have seen are about the size of a small cat. Like about tegos size when we first got him. Nice huh? and finally... the moment you have all been waiting for... I saw a Milipede!! They are so so so cool! It is like a little snake-wormish thingy. Look it up. I studdied it thouroughly and then went for my camera to take a picture and lo and behold I didn't bring my camera!!! But i'm sure I'll find another one sometime.
Epa! (portuguese exclamatory statement) I hope Gina is fine! Will there be a scar? And who is the juggler that was with you guys and why was he there? (tee hee jk mom. just a tease. It's jugular. thanks be to anatomy (hey it rhymed!)) ;') But ya. Just be careful around them guns. I am too. The AK-47's around here are in the hands of all the guards. Yes they are trustable....... we think.
Ok so now let's get to the Africanisms...you might be in africa if...
1. You get called fat. Or you might get called out for something else. That is one wonderful thing I love about the place here. They just tell you how it is! It isn't rude. It just is the way it is. Call it how you see it. So don't worry if you are called fat. It ain't a bad thing. People will get worried about you if you start losing or gaining weight or changing like that thinking that you are getting too much food or not enough. So the idea is, if you are one way, you should stay that way. So another example. My comp said that he knows when to get a hair cut because people will tell him. Sure enough this week we heard Elder, your hair is really big. That's how you know. I am not quite there yet. I have about another two weeks or so. And the haircuts here are #2 size. I love it!!!!
2. If the lights go out during a lesson. Happens fairly frequently but not for too long. Flashlight. Smart choice!
3. People give kids alcohol. Can't remember if I already said this one or not but we celebrated a birthday party and everyone gets alcohol (for those who don't follow the word of wisdom) so kids, drink up!
4. People don't believe in using deoderant. They don't use it. They don't buy it. They don't even sell it. So ya. Please send deoderant in what ever form. I think I miss the smell of clean people. I didn't realize how nice clean smell is. Especially on a girl. On occasion, we pass a clean nice smelling girl and pretty much, it is heaven.
5. You ask what the speed limit is here and they respond, "what is a speed limit?" ZOOOOOM!!!!! 60 on a 25 road. Woohoo! Danger!
So ya. Ok now for the Noticias (news)
I learned about education here. Terrible. Many times, you need to be on the teachers good side and then pay a little something so you can pass. It is pretty corrupt. But they learn that bribery works. That's education! It's also very sad.
Also this week, we had the experience of watching a goat killing and skinning. That was interesting. I took some pics. Haha. Ya. that's just life over here. Killing things to eat. So that was strangely new for me. Gotta love it!
Also, you might hear about this before I send this but some missionaries gotted robbed. It was in the middle of the night and all of the sudden they woke up to one of the missionaries screaming "we are being robbed!!" but they got away with a ton of stuff already and there was nothing the missionaries could do. Then ended up catching one guy and they got one backpack back but other than that, they had pretty much everything robbed. They robbed very quietly and very stealthy like, so you have to give them some credit because they didn't wake up until the guys were moving stuff under their beds. But ya. But don't worry. I learned that the missionaries were being a little lazy locking things up and so it was SUPER easy for the guys to get in. Both front and back doors. We make sure we lock up every night really well. so no worries. We lock down well. And now we know the consequences for being lazy with locking down. Spiritual analogy anyone? Don't ever ever EVER get lazy with locking out the devil in your life cuz he wants to rob you of everything you got. So lock down by being in the right places at the right times and always reading scriptures and saying prayers. Stuff like that. Trust me, you don't want to get robbed.
This week we also dug a "cova" which is a hole in the ground generally for garbage. This is usually not a problem but my only concern was we were digging right up against the community bathroom. Hm... ya. I guess you could say it was a little uncomfortable but at least we didn't hit anything fresh. But ya. It was about 6 feet by 6 feet by 6 feet of pure mud and hard clay. It is hard work. And I have to say, I have never seen my sweat run like a water facet off my face. I was SOAKED. Humidity. Gotta love it. Then some kids took some of the clay and built really cool stuff with it. like a fuseball table thing. African creativity!
By the way. Coming home is going to be hard. It is so much easier to talk to black people in portuguese than to white people in english. Americans and white people in general have bubbles that you shouldn't come into. Don't be nosy and just stick to your own life and way. But Africans don't have a bubble. Everyone may as well be family. I love that! Why do we have such strong bubbles? I don't know. Anyways. ya. I was talking to some white people at church yesterday and I just couldn't talk right. It was awkward. Anyways. Ya. I have developed some vergonia (a portuguese word--vergonha) against white people. It is so weird.
This week I was getting super stressed out. It got to the point where little things were just ticking me off! That wasn't good. So guess what I found out works? I took my watch off! I am finding out that I get super stressed out by time and being on time to appointments and stuff like that and I can't focus on our investigators and then I get cranky because we get behind and AH!!!!!. So I took my watch off. I am on Spirit time. It made a HUGE difference. It is incredible how enslaved we are to time. So ya just a little experience there that makes a huge difference.
We are also teaching a guy named Hussein. Yes Hussein. He is a preacher at some other church and he is very very animated and likes to talk and when he prays, he uses the gift of tongues. So when we first prayed, he started in English, then threw in some portuguese, then he kinda just threw in some really strange giberish stuff. (by the way, we were all holding hands) anyway. Really strange. Exciting little fellow. We tried to teach him about the restoration but when we got to James 1:5 he stopped us and started teaching/preaching to us about what James was getting at and what wisdom is and yada yada yada. Anyways. It was really funny. So we nicknamed him Insane. haha. But we are teaching him today. Wish us luck!
Well that seems about it for now. Love you all! Keep doing good!
Com Amor,
Elder Miller


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