Elder Derek Miller's Mission Site

Do I Have Some Stories for You!

Date: November 15, 2010
Area: Maxixe, Mozambique
Companion: Freire

 

Haha. Well Boy oh Boy do I have some stories for you!
 
But wait. Let me clear up some business from the last letter.
 
Inhambane--Pronounced in-yam-BAHN-nee but the yam is not like hard core American style. Pronounced more like yum.... Like the sound I make when I eat ketchup and Barbeque sauce. Inyumbahnee. haha.
 
Roce. Ross. Russ. Any of those would work basically. As Americans you can use a good ol hard core r but fer us Portuguese speakin folk, we roll the r. Rrrrrrroce!
 
And the box! That was fast! haha I'm excited of course!
 
And a little more 'bout my comp Elder Freire. In Capo Verde, he first started out as a Catholic (classic Portuguese. Portugal is like #2 to Italy with Catholicism) and so he was raised in that tradition. But he became unsure and started searching for "the truth." He went to several different churches, one being Jehovah's Witness (good story. We had a run in with some of their missionaries). So to make a long story short, in this search for truth, who showed up? None other than the Mormon Missionaries! He took the lessons and was baptized. His family did not join with him. I'm sure his example must be felt back at home. They did not want him to go on a mission--and it kinda makes sense that way. It is two years of life and shortly after a conversion, that is a big sacrifice. So ya. His family is supportive, as far as I understand but ya. Being a native convert is a sacrifice. Wow. I admire the guy.
 
Oh ya, and the church is doing pretty well in Capo Verde. I guess they even have Sister Missionaries over there so it has to be pretty established and safe!
 
Ok so now for the events of this week. But, back by popular demand, let's have some Africanisms!
 
You might be in Africa if...
 
1. People believe in WITCH DOCTORS. Haha. Yes. This is definitely a favorite of mine. I had a wonderful story this week. So we are teaching this man named Ernesto. He is awesome and accepts the gospel with whole heart. But we had a lesson the other day about evil spirits. He had a concern about that. Anyway to make a long story short, we ended up talking about Corendeiros or more commonly known as witch doctors. I guess he knows some woman who did this one thing to become a witch doctor. Supposedly to become the greatest witch doctor of all time you have to do a few things. Basically, she sold her soul (to what, I'm not sure. I think its the devil) and then she went out on the beach, waded out into the water, and then a wave crashed over her and just disappeared. She stayed under the water (doing deals with the devil) for 4 years. Ya. Not 4 hours, 4 days, but 4 years! Then she  emerged out of the water with barnacles and seaweed all over her--totally Pirates of the Caribbean 2 status--and had to wash all that off. Anyways. Ya. haha. I don't know what to think of that. Haha. But seriously, I have already seen here, the devil and his power are just as real as God and His power. But of course, the power of God always wins.
 
2.You teach a young man named Batman. Great Scott! I love this kid! He is like 12 years old or so. He kinda looks like/reminds me of a younger, African version of Jordan Christiansen. Haha. He is awesome and loves the gospel. Quick Robin! To the next Africanism!~
 
3. You see a store entitled "The Store with the Good Price" and then a few stores down you see "The Store with the Better Price." Now, I am asking you, which store do you want to go to? Haha. Somebody has a good Marketing Strategist!
 
4. There are lots and lots of handcart thingy things. Yes they use cars but also they use these big handcart things to carry stuff around. It is pretty coolio!
 
5. You question the toliet paper. Well, seriously, I write for hours and hours about really odd strange experiences while good ol Johnny was on the pot. But really, this toilet paper is terrible. haha. First off, you know this toilet paper is gonna be hard to trust cuz its got a picture of an insane looking bunny offering you a roll of toilet paper on its wrapper. Well, it was the only option but one lesson is certain, if a bunny ever offers you a roll of toilet paper, say NO! Well I was in the oval office, doing business as usual, and I wanted to clean up the whole negotiation. I took the TP and to my great surprise, it was only 1 ply. This automatically creates a problem. You know that 1 ply ain't gonna be enough to overcome Montezuma's Revenge and the incredible amount of sweat earned through the negotiating. So I folded once, twice, thrice, four times, five times, at least a good six times. And then I noticed that there were some things in the TP. I didn't ask. Well the toilet paper fortunately didn't fail me on the first wipe. But we can just say that I make sure and wash my hands afterward.
 
Phew. Ok. So that's nice. Let's talk about the Jehovah's Witnesses we ran into. They wanted to set up an appointment with us and so we accepted--or rather my comp accepted and marked. So when we met, first off we asked if we could start with a prayer to bring the spirit. They said no. I thought "Oh great. Not this again." as I knew that what was about to commence was going to be a battle. Anyhow, they asked us what we believed. We told them very briefly the message of the Restoration, but when we got to Joseph Smith they asked, " Wait wait, but is this Joseph Smith in the Bible? Does it say his name in the Bible?" Well No it doesn't but can we continue? So we kept going and they argued about something pointless and how that didn't happen and something about Jesus being the First Jehovah Witness etc. etc. and somehow we got on to the Plan of Salvation (you can tell I was very interested in their arguments). So we briefly explained what happens after this life and they asked us all sorts of questions to trick us and stuff--especially dealing with names, as if the bible had to say the exact name of something for it to be legit (oh ya, and right up front they told us we couldn't use the Book of Mormon). So then they told us about what "really" happens after this life and how Jesus isn't Jehovah and all sorts of stuff. Basically the whole time they were leopards ready to pounce on our every flaw. Haha. Ya. I could see their every move. I took debate. I know how debate works. I know the type of mind you have to have. And they were there to debate and prove that they had the truth. Well, one thing is, you can't debate religion, and you don't have to prove that God is right. haha. So we ended up going nowhere, and it was pathetic. But hey, I remember why I'm here. We ain't here to prove that we are right. I figure God will tell people if they really want to know. We are just here to share what we know. Anyhow. Yup. I'm sure all Jehovah Witnesses are not like that but... ya. An unfortunate experience.
 
On the other hand, we are teaching a Muslim named Jafar (cool name eh?) and he is the best! He is so sincere with finding the truth and he is very open to our message and to hearing about God and stuff. He is such a kind guy. We met him when we were thirsty and went to drink a Coca-Cola. So he was vending and we bought. We gave him the rundown while we were drinking our beverages (because they use glass bottles that they recycle) and he wanted to hear more. Just goes to show, we need to share the gospel with everyone in every circumstance. Anyways. He is doing really well. He hasn't come to church yet (because of the Muslim community) but he says that he wants to and that he will one day. He is such a happy smiley person. He reminds me of Coach Aared Samson--looks wise. Anyways, It is so wonderful to find happy accepting people who are sincerely looking for truth.
 
Anyways, Love you all from Africa! I hope the pictures are good!
 
Com Amor,
 
Elder Miller

 

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