Elder Derek Miller's Mission Site

Happy Belated Letter

Date: November 01, 2010
Area: Maxixe, Mozambique
Companion: Freire


08Nov10 Note: I'm Sorry about the internet problems here! I tried several times to send it and it wouldn't go through. Here is last weeks. This weeks will come shortly hereafter. DGM

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Ok. First off let´s start with a joke.
What wear´s a white shirt and tie, carries scriptures, and lives in Africa?
A Proselyting Elephant! Haha. I bet you thought it was me. But sometimes that´s pretty much how it feels. I´m pretty easy to spot out here...just look for the white guy. At least it isn´t quite as bad as Elder Wilson--our 6 foot 4 tall lanky friend. I think people just kinda wonder what on earth happened to him. Anyways. It appears that this week I have a tall order to fill so let´s get down to the nitty gritty.
First off. Let´s talk about the package. I have not seen it yet. I am anxiously awaiting it. It is sitting nice and snugg at the Mission Home waiting to be embraced by it´s ravenous owner. At the very least, I should receive it on the 17th or something like that. We are going down to Maputo for a Mission Conference thing. A seventy is coming. Woot! So here in Maxixe they decided that we were close enough to bus down here and watch it. Anyways. Ya. So basically the rundown on Maxixe is this--Every area typically has a zone. For example Maputo zone, Matola zone, the Beira zone, the Manga zone, etc. The thing with Maxixe, Tete, Nampula, Chimoio, and Marromeu is that they are too far away from civilization (meaning gospel civilization) to be put into a zone and so basically, they operate as a completely separate mission. A mini-mission if you will. So in those places, there is very little travel to and from--and thus mail and packages and such that are received by the mission home are delayed much longer than usual. So basically, that is the scoop. I am looking forward to this package!
Dad--my shoes are doing great. The big ones are sometimes a little too bulky and intense but they did well in Beira. In Beira it was almost all muddy swamp/hard mud. Here it is almost totally sand. I prefer the other shoes here rather than what I like to call my Rambo shoes. But both are holding up great. They sure do take a beating though.
My Friends the Elders: Elder Freire--My comp. We think so much alike! He is really big into symbollism and Egyptology and the Book of Abraham and all sorts of stuff that I love! He is great. He teaches like I do and has a similar thought process. I would almost say that he is the native version of Elder Miller. So he is pretty awesome. Then we have Elder McKell. I knew him in the pre-mortal life (mission lingo for the MTC). It has been good getting to know him. He is from...Utah I think. He is quiet sometimes but he is a real thoughtful and a hard worker. He has a great American way of thinking. Just real right down to the point. Then there is his comp Elder Carvalho from Brasil. If I were to describe Elder Carvalho in 5 words or less, I would have to create a whole new language. haha. He is crazy alot. He knows how to work smart usually. I think the best way to describe him is in missionary lingo. He likes to bask. Bask meaning a combination of chill out, relax, soak-up-the-sun, go with the flow kinda thing. Basking is what he is. Really the best best best way to describe him is the following; He is from Brasil. Then there is Elder Wilson. Tall Lanky and he is just the nicest guy. He loves basketball and sports. He and Elder Carvalho and Elder Smith play the piano. He likes to eat. Then there is Elder Smith. He is from the army (another one I know). And he is really fun. He likes to socialize and tell stories. We all get along.
Phew. Ok. And as far as money, I should have plenty. I haven´t used my card in a while and I have plenty of cash. Plus for food and stuff, I get plenty from the church.
Pics--still working on it. Hopefully they should come to you shortly.
Eats: Yup. This weeks specialties include goat. That was fun. One piece tasted very strange but I swallowed. I figure it´s just best not to know. Oh and I had an incredible coconut! If you pick them before they get to ripe, you get a ton of water and the "nut" part is actually really soft like jello--kindof. hard to explain. So far I haven´t eaten anything too unusual. If you want to tell the bishop/ward what I have eaten you can say the following: I eat whole fish including eyes and sometimes fish brains, chicken gizzard, goat something (I didn´t ask), was offered some family jewels of some animal (I politely declined). I also eat leaf soup, corn powder, and a ton of rice. It all tastes delicious! You should try it!
Basically I tried to make that sound as bad as possible just for the effect. I have had all those things happen to me but it really isn´t that bad.
Here in Maxixe, the Muslim/Hindu population is pretty high because this is a little bit higher class city here. The muslims and hindus run most of mozambique. They are the higher class citizens. So ya. Here, there are a lot. I can´t say a percentage. Hard to tell. 25% maybe. But they are cool. We are going to receive a Qur'an this week as a gift (they aren't for sale). We just have to take a bath everytime before we read it. We gave them a Book of Mormon and we are teaching them so I feel like it's a good deal.
Haven't been to Inhambane yet.
For Halloween, I dressed up as a Missionary. It was really fun. And I wore a tie around my head in celebration. Haha. Funny thing. The Igreja Universal (the universal church) held a big "miracles" festival yesterday. The performed a bunch of miracles supposedly. Haha. Ironic. Such apostasy! But ya. The magician's in Pharaoh's court did the same thing Moses did, but it wasn't the real deal! Anyhow. I thought it was funny.
My Ratatoille. Hm... hard not to go with the classic spaghetti. I can taste it right now... mmmm.... Classic mommy made at home spaghetti.
Few. Ok. Now for just a few things that happened to me this week. Remind me next week to share my other stories for your talk. I have a few in mind.
The houses are cool here. In Beira, the classic African house was a bunch of branches and rocks. Here it is palm branches and weaved twig things. Hard to explain. I'll take a pic and send it.
Also. I taught primary..... oh dear mercy I taught primary. The kids are so WILD! Haha Primary in the states would be a piece of cake (no offense to the primary teachers back at home). First off, I can't understand the way they talk. Second, they like to fight and beat each other up and climb the trees at our house (we have a lot of fruit trees) and they are just insane sometimes. On top of that, they do adult things! I saw a girl probably about 6 years old (or somewhere around Grace's age) carrying a baby on her back and taking care of it. The cloth diaper the baby was wearing and the girl changed the diaper with skill! It was incredible! She did it better than I could have done! Anyway. So they act like wild crazy insane adults. Add on top of that the fact that I don't speak Portuguese natively. It makes for one good mess. lol.
Oh ya. And their irons here, where they don't have electricity, they use irons with coal in them to iron their shirts. That was pretty cool.
One more experience. This one shows you just how generous and giving the people are here. So an appointment fell through and we were knocking doors. A guy answered and we told him what's up about the Gospel. We asked if we could sit and he consented. He was wearing a really cool shirt with some mambas on it (snakes) so when we sat down I said, "I like your shirt. It is really cool. I need to get a shirt like that." and so he said "Ya. It is really cool, do you want this one. I can give it too you. Hold on." So he left, took off the shirt from off his back and gave it to me. I felt guilty accepting it but he wanted me to have it. I didn't even know him! These people are so giving here. It is really incredible.
Love you all!
Elder Miller
PS The internet connection is being very very faulty so first, I hope this gets through. Second, please let everyone else know that if they don't get another personal email, it is because of this reason. I hope this goes through


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April 17th, 2014 Elder Miller has returned home.
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