Elder Derek Miller's Mission Site

A Taste of Civilization

Date: November 22, 2010
Area: Maxixe, Mozambique
Companion: Freire


Arggg Me Hartys! How are ye all landlubbers? (in comemoration of International Talk Like a Pirate Day on Nov. 19)

So sounds like mommy and daddy had a good time in California. Haha. Quite the opposite place from what its like here! But I must say I had my own little excursion this week, starting with last Monday...

Last Monday we took a boat over to Inhambane! Woot! It was my first time in Inhambane, and boy was it fantastic. Maxixe is a great place and pretty well off compared to the rest of Mozambique but it doesn't come anywhere close to Inhambane. It was the first taste of "civilization" (as you guys call it) that I had experienced in quite some time. It was very European in feeling. It had paved roads (that weren't broken like in Beira) and paved sidewalks (that weren't broken) and trees and plants (they were green!) and nicer cars (that weren't broken) and a bunch of other stuff! So that was pretty cool. We had Ice cream and looked around at some stuff. Then we went back via boat. You travel by boat to and from Inhambane. It is pretty sweet! So that was fantastic. Supposedly a few days ago they had a HUGE party over there. Anyway, it is THE attraction here in Mozambique. Anything really cool that happens is either in Maputo or Inhambane. Anyhow. That is a little of that.

Ok so maybe we can have a few more Africanisms...

You know you are in Africa if...

1. One of your investigators says that we are damned because we didn't start with an opening prayer. Haha. That was great. We just started talking about stuff and then she said the equivalent of "Oh we are damned. We haven't prayed yet. We are condemned." We reassured her that we were just starting an introduction and that we would pray as soon as we started the lesson. Haha. I love Mozambicans!

2. The house you live in is cursed! I am telling you I have never lived in such a mansion...of doom. So first off, a little history. When they were looking for a house to use for the missionaries, they found this one but it needed a lot of work. So they told them the date that we wanted the house and that they needed to finish up the house by then. Then they made the Mozambican promise, "we will." As was almost expected, when the missionaries moved in, nothing was finished. And that is where it all started. The air conditioners broke, the bathrooms have been a complete leaky mess (there are a bunch of rocks in one of the bathrooms because they were trying to fix something in the ground, but they of course didn't finish) we have 3 showers. One of them works--cold water of course (and not quite as clean water as in the US). Ants are everywhere as well as mosquitos. Haha! I love it! I really do. This is what I asked for. So It's all good. But really sometimes it gets a little annoying. Oh ya. And our only working shower broke this week so that it is continually running. So to take a shower, you have bring your towel clad body outside, turn on the pump, scamper back inside, and do the same to turn the pump off when you are done. Haha. Doesn't quite work real well. That's why I just ask someone else to turn the pump on for me. Haha. So that was an exaggeration. But that would have made for a funny story!

3. You buy meat (or that's what you think it is) only to find out that they are Chicken Necks! So just to add on to the list of things that I have eaten during my stay here, Chicken necks are pretty nice! They are softly crunchy and quite delicious. I know Tego would love them! As for you guys... I'm not quite sure. Lol. Jk. They really are pretty decent. But really. Tego would love chicken necks. Maybe me and him can share a plate when I get back.

4. If you celebrate Thanksgiving in Maputo! Woot! That is going to be cool. We leave Wed. and stay until Fri. It will be a blast. Thanksgiving package baby! Which I know I can't open but ya know. Still! Oh and the same day is my 1/4 of the way mark. I decided that a mission is like the 3200 meter race in track. 2 miles, 8 laps, and sometimes you get really tired and want to stop but you keep going! Running is awesome. Haha. So I complete lap 2 of 8 on Thanksgiving day! That means next Thanksgiving I will finish lap 6 of 8. I only have one more Thanksgiving after this one! But who's counting? haha

5. If you celebrate the Muslim New year! We had no idea. All of the sudden people (muslims) just started inviting us over and offering us food. We were strangely confused but we ended up figuring it out. It was really cool. Muslims here are super nice people. I haven't met a single one who wasn't polite or anything. Some don't want nothing to do with the gospel but they are still really polite. Terra de boa gente está aqui! The land of the good people is here!

By the way, my picture with the shirt. Ya. So if you look closely, my shirt is caught on the door. God has blessed me with the perfect height in such a way that my sleeves perfectly line up with the sharp, piercing door handles. I am pretty sure that all but one shirt has a hole in the sleeve. In fact... let me check..... yup! there is a hole in this one too! haha.

As for the pictures. It appears as if email might not cooperate today as it has been so I don't know that I will be able to send pics this week. There is enough space to send only 7 or so a week and so I'll do my best to send 'em! but ya. You can choose some of your favorites. I'll try to send more. Just not the ones in which I look fat. haha ;)

And as for tough times, they only happen once in a while. Beira was a little rough sometimes, but I was/am always so happy on pday that nothing can ruin my day! Haha. Everything else just seems un-important. So don't worry. I really am just fine. I am learning so much patience. lol. Murphy's law really applies here. Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. And that means EVERYTHING. haha. so ya just get used to it basically. Haha. Things that used to bother me in the states are NOTHING compared to stuff I see here. It is good and bad at the same time. So ya. But all in all, Maxixe is so so good. I know the language now. I can talk, understand, and teach. Things are just going smoothly. In Beira--and for the first few months of every mission--I think it is frustrating for any missionary because you are learning how to do things, getting used to the life, etc. So If you can get past month 2 or 3 in the mission field, you are set and things just get a lot easier. And on top of that, your love for the people grows exponentially! So basically, I had a few rough spots in Beira but I learned a lot. I am finally settled down. Part of it I think was the fact that I was away from home and so I didn't trust the unfamiliar enviornment around me. That ends up putting a wall between you and the people, your companion, and sometimes the Lord. Not a good thing. But I learned how to deal with it. And it starts with showing gratitude. And gratitude starts with prayer. After that, you just gotta take some advice from the little stream and GIVE! So that is what I have done. That and I have realized that the people who really know the gospel are not the ones who study it through and through. They are the people who live it. I knew a bunch of stuff in Beira, but I wasn't living up to a full time missionary like I should have been. Giving, thanking, praying (with real intent) stuff like that. So ya. I think that is the best way to really boost your relationship with Heavenly Father. Sorry that this is dragging a little but it is something I have developed a HUGE testimony of. The whole of the gospel for me is learning how to develop Faith, Hope, and Charity by Praying, Studying, and Meeting together often. The whole gospel is focused on those basics--personally and in the family. That is why I can't stress enough those three things. Daily, always always always daily prayer, study and going to church at least weekly. Haha. There is a reason why the church is the way it is. One way I think I could have prepared better would have been to really figure out how to do those basic things instead of deeper doctrine stuff. Because when life gets a little fast--as Pres. Uchtdorf says--you need to slow down and focus on what matters most. Haha. Ironic eh? That is the biggest thing I have learned here in Africa. My new favorite scripture is the Alma 34 Small and Simple things. That's all this is. I have seen evidence of that time and time again here. And to just give EVERYTHING that you have. That is what I am learning. Anyways. Ya. Sorry about the horse. I know he is already dead but I just need to beat him one more time... PRAY, READ YOUR SCRIPTURES, AND GO TO CHURCH!!!!! :-D haha that is my best advice.

Anyways, I love you all! Be grateful! Fulfill your callings in every jot and tiddle! I am grateful fer each one 'o ya!

Com MUITO Amor and maybe a little turkey with some gravy on top,

Elder Miller


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