Elder Derek Miller's Mission Site

The Work in Inhambane

Date: January 24, 2011
Area: Maxixe, Mozambique
Companion: Smith

 

Hi!
 
So where was I? Well the week was fantastic and wonderful. We got back from Maputo and things were great.
 
Well working in Inhambane is very interesting. I am sending a picture of the barco. Maybe. If it will work. Working in Inhambane is kinda terrible sometimes because the barco controls the work because it doesn't have a schedule really. It stays until it fills up with people and then it leaves. The barco ride is 20 min. long or so and so it takes a little while. We have to leave the house at least an hour early to get to an appointment and even then we are often late. It is hot and sweaty. Haha I stuck my ticket to the top of my head one time. I just keep sweating and sweating and stuff. It is terrible. I sweat even with the air conditioner on. My fingers are sweating as I type this email. haha. terrible.
 
As far as people are concerned in Inhambane, I have met a few. They seem like very good people--a lot different than those in Maxixe surprisingly. They seem a little smarter or something and very religious. Anyways. I met Fransisco. He is about 40 or so but is very strong and agile and so he doesn't look like it. The other missionaries found him in a complete mess. He was drinking and his family left him and he still doesn't know where they are. But the change has been incredible. He comes to church every week (a pretty big sacrifice for most Mozambicans) and is really dedicated to the gospel. He has seen a big change in his life. Right now he is a power house. He has a baptism date for Feb. 5 and it looks like he is going to make it and pass with flying colors. We will see. Then there is Sidonio. He is incredible too. Very very honest and brutally true to his word. He disagrees with the way Mozambique does things. You have to have money or know somebody to pass in school, be well off, or sometimes even survive. He disagrees. He is out to beat the system with pure intelligence and strict honesty. He has really accepted the gospel because of this. He and Francisco are church buddys and come to church together. It is pretty sweet. They are like a batman robin combo. The Dynamic Duo! Sidonio has a baptism date of Feb 15. He looks like he will get baptized too.
 
*pause to wipe tons of sweat from body*
 
There are a few others but I don't know them incredibly well yet so keep waiting. Other than that, some Africanisms:
 
You know you are in Africa if...
 
1. Lines don't exist. People form massive gatherings and push and shove and cut to get what they want. Haha. Even to sell you things. It is kind of a brutal business. But that's how things are. My comp and I are out to invent the line in Mozambique. It would be revolutionary. My favorite though is when people try to get off of the barco. As soon as the barco stops, the inside just erupts like spontaneous combustion as every body runs for the door. Kinda interesting.
 
2. Girls ask you if you can get married. Then you say no but invite them to church. Haha. It happened at KFC in Maputo. Then there was that one time when the one muslim girl asked me if I would marry a muslim. Then she tried to tell me why she didn't come to church because she was "menstrating." Sometimes girls are really funny. Ok. not sometimes. ALL the time.
 
3. Cutting grass means with a machete, not a lawnmower. It happens.
 
As far as being DL, Things are going well. We had a successful District meeting. We instituted a "family prayer" to help with the unity and the waking up on time. 6:30 every morning as a district. Yup. That is going well I think. It at least helps us get up on time. Line upon line, precept upon precept. Me and my comp are doing well. We are really trying to get things done. Let me just put it this way. People who were in the Military and who went on a mission--fantastic people. They get it. They usually aren't prideful and they know how to work and just get things done. That's how it was with Elder Colvin. That's how it is with Elder Smith. Let's rock it.
 
Packages. I got one while in maputo and a couple of letters. One from the Smith's (our neighbors) and one from the Forsythes. They were great. The package I got was from Gam and Happy Hodson. It was actually quite a blessing! It gave me my meals for the following days. Haha. If you go to maputo they will take you out to dinner that night but the rest is on your own. So instead of taking us to Shoprite or anything we only get one meal. So I got my "care package" with tons of cookies and candy, so that took care of a few breakfasts and some lunches. haha. Not healthy but sure was good! lol. Saved some trouble.
 
2 investigators coming to church. The barco makes things difficult.
 
Most spiritual experience. I don't know. Could be when we gave one person a blessing and he got better the next day. That was pretty cool. Other than that, I don't really feel too many powerful experiences. Elder Scott was pretty fantastic. But ya. A lot of people sometimes think that the mission is filled with a ton of incredibly powerful experiences. I am finding the opposite. In fact, I think some missionaries forget to look for the miracles we get everyday and they can become frustrated because it might not be the way they planned. Quite honestly, this has given me a wonderful chance to feel the frequent tender mercies that happen every day rather than the few and far between powerful experiences. Truly, that is what is amazing and powerful. The small and simple things. Those are the things that confound the wise and leave each one of us in awe. That's how Elder Scott was. Simple. That's how every apostle or prophet I have met has been. Simple. That's how things go around here in Africa. I know what the Spirit feels like so the more I go on in this mission thing, I can feel the Spirit when he decides to whisper and prod. It is really quite wonderful. I almost like it better this way. That is what is meant by living after the manner of happiness.
 
Anyways. Love you all. Go be awesome! And KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS!!!!!
 
Love Elder Miller
 
PS Dad. Good luck! The Lord said, If ye keep my commandments, ye shall prosper in the land!! Go get em!

 

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