Elder Derek Miller's Mission Site


Date: March 21, 2011
Area: Maxixe, Mozambique
Companion: McCullough


...transfer that is. haha.

So here's the scoop. Last week was wonderful. Elder McCullough and I were doing well, teaching and walking in the hot sun. We accomplished many wonderful tasks. We taught people how to say "Joseph Smith" instead of "Josef Spank" and other wonderful gospel insights. We were excited for the coming week where we would teach more of our investigators the gospel in our wonderful Maxixe home near the clear blue sea and palm trees on white sandy beaches.

Then it happened.

I had just finished taking a shower in our bathroom when I heard a knock at the door *thud thud thud*. "Sim?" I responded as one should in Portuguese. Elder McCullough opened the door and handing me the phone, whispered, "It's President." A little started at the interruption in the bathroom because of a call from President, I knew it had to be important. I took the phone and with all the courage I could muster, sounded "Hello?" Presidents voice came over the phone, "Elder Miller! How are you?" I responded, "I'm good thanks." "Why do you sound like you are in a cave?" I glanced over at the shower which was still dripping water. The sound echoed off of the white tiles that covered the entire bathroom. I then gave my humble answer, "Uh....Well President, I'm in the bathroom." Still awed at the experience, President said, "Wow. That's interesting. It REALLY sounds like you are in a cave. Anyways, transfers are coming early for you." My face lit up with surprise. "Oh really?" "Yes. You will be transferred up to Manga 1 and you will be companions with Elder Delgado and you both will be the zone leaders there. I need you to get a bus ticket to be there tomorrow. Can you do that?" "I can do that President" I said, trying to hide the immense surprise at the fact that I would be in a whole new world in 24 hours. "Oh and by the way," President started, "Do you have your driver's licence with you?" Scrambling to find words at the ominous statement I said, "Well, It's not on me right now but I can get it right now if you need it." "No no. I just want to make sure you have it. Thank you. Bye." "Bye." I said passively. The realization of the phone conversation I had just experienced, towel-clad in a bathroom that sounded like a cave, hit me like a machibambo (mozambican bus). I? I am the one who is going to be driving a stick shift (don't know how) on the left side of the road (very strange) in a third world country (to say the least, terrifying) and trying to get directions and explanations on how to use a stick shift from a native companion who only speaks Portuguese all at the same time. Whoa........

*3 days later*

Well! Here I am safe and sound! I learned how to drive a stick and things are going pretty well. No wrecks. No damage. Most importantly, no dead people. haha. It is quite the experience I will tell you that but what is really awesome is that I know that the Lord is with me on this. Whom the Lord calls, he qualifies. I have never seen such evidence of this than here and now. Haha. Within 24 hours (that includes sleep time) I already knew how to drive a stick in a foreign third world country with the names of the different car parts in portuguese. It only could have happened with the help of the Lord. I feel pretty comfortable, though not unaware. I am always alert because, well, there are a lot of people in the streets. I feel your prayers. Just keep praying for me and all will be well. I always have some pretty fervent prayers in the mornings to keep me safe. The Lord is with us.

As for the area and being Zone leader, it is pretty intense. I heard that one of the Elders in Munhava was threatened (someone said they were going to kill him) so president made some emergency switch-a-roos. Thus, here I am! Unfortunately I didn't get to say good bye to anyone in Maxixe but when the Lord calls, I am there. Anyway. Pretty intense stuff.

I didn't know Libya was hit by missiles. That's pretty intense!

As for mom, some advice as far as teenagers. Make some general rules (Mine so far, which are constantly under revision: 1. Have fun (goes back to our purpose in life to find happiness. "Men are that they might have joy.") 2. Keep the Commandments 100% (they are our guidelines to living a happy life) 3. Be Honorable at all times in all things and all places. (Do things worthy of honor and only associate with that which is honorable). The first one should come naturally. So if you break it, fix it! The second one should have some form of consequence justly chosen by goodly parents and depending on the commandment. The third one is up to the discretion of the follower. They may counsel with the parents but ultimately it is up to them to decide after good instruction has been given. One of the greatest things I have learned on this mission is that yer gonna do things wrong, but you have to figure out your way of doing things right. A lot of missionaries have told me what to do. But especially with Elder McCullough, there are those who show me what to do, and learning from their example, I have grown alot. For teenagers who are trying to find their "Jeito" or way of living or style, all they need is fertile soil. It's like a tree. All you can do is cultivate the enviornment. The tree will grow on its own. I don't know how much that helps but ya. Overall, the big idea is "Don't worry about it!" haha.

Oh ya. And as far as the oregano stuff is concerned, I guess that might be a concern. Actually there are a lot of people who smoke mary jane over here. White people from south africa that is. they have the monies.

Africanism #1 You are at the internet place early and are tying and all of the sudden you hear an alien sound and a big bright light. you turn around only to hear a bang and then you realize that it is the fuse breaker thing. Then they put it out with a fire extinguisher and we leave. Haha. Happened today.

Africanism #2 The car is coming down the road and you honk so people get out of the way and they don't even look at you. Or people get mad at you when you don't drive while there are still people in front of you. Don't worry. They will move. haha. Honestly, you can only imagine. Just don't worry though. Just pray and know I'm in the Lord's Hands.

As far as you guys coming to Moz. I think it would be way way way awesome. I got thinking about it and... I'm only a missionary once. And you could only see me in action once. So it's up to you guys. For me I'm all for it. And Josh and Caleb are especially welcome as well. Especially Josh since he is going to be doing exactly this in no time at all.

Well I love you all and hope the best. Keep the Vision! Keep the Commandments! Keep Moving Forward!!!!

With love,

Elder Miller


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April 24th, 2014 Elder Miller has returned home.
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