Elder Derek Miller's Mission Site

Hopefully this Week!

Date: November 08, 2010
Area: Maxixe, Mozambique
Companion: Freire


Ah.... Ok That feels better. I'm super sorry about that. We do internet at the only place in this town that has internet--namely a Catholic University. No one was able to send emails [last week], so we just wrote them and saved them on a flash drive. I heard it once said that here in Mozambique, you don't make demands or ask for things. You can only make requests because it is very likely that what you want won't come to you. So anyways. Sorry about last week's failure. Hopefully it won't happen again.
So... Let's get on with the letter shall we!
First off, I would like to describe the situation I am in at the house. I think you will find this quite interesting. The temperature is 100% HOT all of the time. I have never EVER sweat so much in my life. I don't stop sweating. Imagine walking, cooking, eating, sleeping, showering, reading scriptures, going to the bathroom, doing everything in a great big sauna. That is life in Maxixe. Haha. We don't even have air conditioners! They are working on them but basically we are just trying to create some draft at night by opening the doors (don't worry, we are still safe since our house is surrounded by a cage). So ya. Some interesting things I have noticed about the human body: when you are very dehydrated, you get big headaches. When you drink water while being dehydrated, you immediately begin to sweat. It only takes a few seconds. Also, no matter how cold the shower, it still ain't cold enough! And you only need to dry off once because if you tried to stay dry, you wouldn't leave the bathroom. Anything that takes energy makes you sweat. Standing up. Sitting down. Eating. Sleeping. Anything in which your body is doing something makes you sweat. So pretty much, I am living in a sauna, which I guess is pretty awesome! But as terrible as things seem here, something very exciting happened this week...
YES! Ok. So, to make a short story long... You should have seen my excitement when I opened that thing. It was more exciting than Christmas! My inner maniac child was let loose. When the couple (who were going back to Beira from Maputo) gave me the package, I kept my cool... From an outward appearance, I looked calm, collected, and suavé, but if you were to look closely enough, you could see evidences of something much different--more savage--within. I took the box calmly inside, much as Norman Bates did to his customers at the Bates Motel in the movie "Psycho," to do what I knew needed to be done, that was disembowel the box. Once I was within the walls of the house, I snapped. Like a ravenous beast I leaped to my bedroom and grabbed my tiny keychain pocketknife, and with the yells of a Tomahawk warrior dashed back to the room in which my box lay, awaiting its final doom. I pounced upon my box, quickly and skillfully gutting the box of its contents. Only heaven knew what awaited me inside. To my great surprise, I saw a black spider web bag filled with little candy treats like you might receive on Halloween. Pleased, I glanced over its contents with great contemplation and satisfaction. After I had filled my time admiring such a wonderful American site, I looked inside to see what else remained. I saw puzzle books, which were wonderful gifts, but they were over-gloried by the great prize that was within. As I bent over, looking further, deeper into the box, I saw a pilar of light exactly beneath my head above the brightness and the glory of the light within the room, opening gradually until it filled the room with its splendor. When the light rested upon me, I saw two bottles, whose splendor and glory defy all description residing within the frame of that small, but ever meaningful box. They spake unto me, calling me by name, and said as if to beg an embrace, "Elder Miller, This is American Ketchup and Barbeque Sauce. Eat us." It was then that I knew that there was yet life on this wicked planet! Such joy filled my bosom as to fill the immensity of space! I had forgotten what these things meant. Within moments, I had gone to the freezer and grabbed the merely "acceptable" hot dogs that I had been saving for a moment like this, and I had myself a most beautiful and wonderful BBQ with me and my companion--sharing the goodness of home. His words were, "Yup. I can see why everything else (every other type of sauce like this) is apostacy." He loves it. And I do too!!! Quite frankly I love the whole package and everything within, pics, candy etc. But above all, I must say the greatest surprise--the ultimate inspiration that made me giddy-- was those two bottles of American pleasure! I'm pretty sure it's so good, it's a sin! Life shouldn't be this good. So that is the story of the First Mission... box. And I loved it. It's good to know that America still exists!
So after that long story, let's look at some other things that have happened to me. Oh By the way, the deoderant was also a lovely surprise. It helps me kinda sort of not stink or sweat. Haha. Better than nothing. Works a ton better than the stuff here. But General Conference was the next best thing to the Ketchup and BBQ sauce. I found the little MP3 deal and stuck in the headphones and pushed "play." I gave a shout of joy when I heard it was conference, as if you knew exactly what you were doing. I listened to all of it when I could. It was so good. I have been learning to be grateful for everything. It is really quite wonderful. I loved it all. President Uchtdorf and the slowing down talk, President Monsons on Gratitude, and Elder Christoffersons talk on Purity, Work, Respect for the Body, Integrity, and... I'm missing one. Those were some of my favorites. I am learning so much about myself here on the mission and what I can do to be less prideful and just give myself away. Truly, "He that loseth his life for my sake shall find it." It is wonderful.
Another wonderful thing an investigator told me--"Jesus didn't just sit around and wait for people to come to him. He went out and walked everyday to bring people to him." Sometimes, I feel like just sitting down at our house and waiting for people to come to me who are ready to receive the gospel. but that is not the way it works. You have to go out and find the sheep. So that was a little booster for me. Get up and go to work. Jesus walked everyday and everywhere, and so will I. I learn so many wonderful things from these people.
So let's see. Mom. As far as stories go or whatever for this talk-ish thing, I have pretty much told them all. Most of the exciting ones. I hope there is enough to fill 5 minutes. Just give em a little one-two punch and give em the what's up here in Africa as far as you understand it. But just to give you a little summary of how I feel here in Africa, I feel great. Sometimes I don't want to go out and sweat my brains out and speak a foreign language until the tricky tricks try to tie my tongue into thick things of thoughts... I mean knots. Sometimes its hard. But I love it. I love the hard because it makes me strong. Each challenge is a chance for me to show my faith. How far am I willing to go to serve Jesus? All the way, right to the end. I am grateful for my challenges; my faith gets me out the door. In reality, I am seeing that we really are all the same. We are children of God. People here have problems, and even similar problems to those we might have back home. We are all together in this little world. Our goal as missionaries, is to see that we finish that way--all together. As they say here, Estamos Juntos--We are Together.
That is basically my summary here. Things keep chugging along. They always will. Anyhow, best be on my way. Love you all!!
Com Amor,
Elder Miller
PS In the package, I think you can just send lots of pictures. Those are the best. I'm trying to get yours to you! I promise! Thanks for the Ketchup and BBQ! I love you!


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April 24th, 2014 Elder Miller has returned home.
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