Monthly Archives: August 2013

I’m doing fine here now. Thank you. How are you?

Today marks 2 months on my mission, pretty crazy because it literally seems like I’ve been out for forever and at the same time like I got here yesterday! Fun stuff.
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This week was LOADS better then last week, thanks for the prayers and such. 🙂 I feel like I’ve finally made the adjustment and I’m all good to press forward without worrying about anything. It feels good to get into the groove!

My companion and I had a really good day on tuesday, taught some great lessons and found some cool families and so to celebrate I made French Toast for all 6 elders in our house, the way that dad makes it. Everyone really liked it! And it tasted SO good. I’m turning into quite the chef, I deep fried some egg rolls, made some good chicken, and am getting good at getting creative with what I’ve got! I also found a GIANT swiss cake roll at the paderia (bakery), and if any of you guys know me, you’ll know how happy that made me!

DSC00621This weeks been fun because our water and power will turn off every day or so for a couple of hours. Which isn’t that big a deal, unless it happens at meal times! Which it did twice. So that was fun making food with out water or power! PBandJ for life!

We had a service project this week, where we helped one of the other elder’s investigator build a house! Way cool to be a part of that.

Language is coming along pretty well, I’m starting to get a little bit of an accent and my companion has me talking on the phone now! Which is kind of a joke, because I do fine until the person on the other side starts talking. And then I usually just start laughing and hand the phone to my comp. But I’m getting better!

I also did my first contact by myself, my companion was talking to someone and this guy walked by and I felt like I should go talk to him! So I did, he was way nice, MARRIED!! (which is like gold here) and had 7 kids. So that went pretty well, I got his phone number and I think we’re calling him tomorrow. Crazy to think that two months ago I didn’t know ANY portuguese! And even though I still feel like I don’t sometimes, I’m definitely getting there!

DSC00646All the elders in our house had a movie night on Thursday, it was way fun! We put the beds in one room together, turned out the lights, made popcorn, and watched a half hour episode of the district. It doesn’t seem like that cool but it really was!

DSC00671We went to a “training” in the city, which ended up being the big world wide missionary broadcast that I watched with my family the sunday of my farewell! It was funny because I got to see all of my MTC buddies, and its always fun to do that because we realize we are all going through the same things and still dont know portuguese and stuff. It helps us feel like we’re all doing good. 🙂 It was funny since the entire two hour broadcast was in portuguese, and so most of us didn’t get too much out of it. But since we had already seen it, we got the gist. 🙂

DSC00643Me and my comp got to help out in primary this week, which was way fun! I felt so so so so dumb that I didn’t bring my camera because even though there were just 3 kids there, they were so fetchin cute. And I had to play the piano while we sang primary songs because no one else could! That was fun.

A quick update on our investigators this week, We’re working with this 16 year old kid named Inacio who is SO cool.  He’s been coming to church for a couple of years, super strong in the gospel but his parents never let him meet with the missionaries or be baptized, but they let him, so we’re going through the lessons and stuff! His baptism date is set for September 7th, so hopefully everything goes well with that! He’s got a lot of friends, and he brings them to lessons and stuff! He even brought 4 friends to church yesterday, this kid is way cool. We’re also working with a sweet family, their names are regillio and amelia and they have two young kids who are IN LOVE with me because I always bring candy for them. Theyre great, but the marriage issue is difficult. Marriage here is SO complicated, its hard for me to understand, but basically it seems to be what keeps most people from being baptized. But theyre working on it! Regillio also has some problems with drinking, so we are working with him on that.We’ve got some other investigators who are still pretty early in the teaching process. We had to drop a couple who weren’t coming to church, but we found some way cool people this week so that will hopefully help us get some more!

DSC00668The work here is awesome. I’m sorry if my last letter seemed a little whiny. I didn’t mean for it to, because every day out here is a blast. I still can’t get over how beautiful it is out here and how cool the people are.
Thanks for everything, I miss you guys a ton!! Hope everythings going well. I love the updates, thanks a bunch!
Love you!
-Elder Poyfair
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Week 2 in Africa: Culture Shock?

Jisheelee from T3! (Good morning in Changana, the dialect here). 🙂

I feel bad about last week, it was pretty crazy! Didn´t have a lot of time at all and had some picture trouble, but hopefully this week will be better 🙂
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I’m not going to lie, this week was one of the hardest ones of my life! Especially towards the beginning of the week. I did a lot of struggling 🙂 I think it’s just my body’s natural reaction to all the change that happened, ya know? Like, new country, new food, I can’t understand anyone, I got really close to some friends in the MTC and then theyre gone and its all new people. It just…. was alot for me to handle. Its pretty hard getting used to the realities of mission life. Which I freaking hated because I generally thought I was good at adjusting to things! But I would wake up with THE WORST feelings. Just, super anxious, depressed, blech. 🙂 Hated it. Because I didn’t want to feel like that!

DSC00601But slowly, as we were teaching lessons and stuff, and just spending more time in the area, I started to figure it out. That for everyone here, this is their life! I’m in some of these “houses” (used very loosely) that we teach in, and I just realize that most of these people here have it WAY worse than me. And that won’t change for them in two years. And here I am, having a pity party for myself because I don’t have a mommy to cook for me! And all these people here, who have nothing, are so happy. And I realized if they can be happy, I can be happy. And the night I realized this, there was THE MOST AMAZING SUNSET I HAVE EVER SEEN. It lit up the sky like crazy, all these cool colors and stuff, it was so so so awesome. And I’ve always kinda had this thing for sunsets, and I just felt the spirit kinda let me know that this was for me, and that God still loved me and hadn’t forgot about me. I know it sounds dumb but it was legit to me 🙂

So yeah. Since then, It’s got a lot better. Thanks for your prayers, I’ve definitely been feeling them! I’m starting to get in to the groove of things, I promise I’m doing good 🙂 Don’t worry about me. I’m learning loads, and I know I’m supposed to be here!

Here are some more random tidbits/facts of life here!

I forgot to mention last time that we don’t have a working shower, so we have the privelege of taking ICE COLD bucket showers! I’m pretty much a champ at them now 🙂

One of the biggest challanges has been cooking for myself! I don’t know why that really came as a surprise to me, that I’d have to do that! I don’t know if its because I’ve been super blessed with a great mom my whole life who always cooked, or because we had all you can eat food at the MTC or what. But yeah. Earlier this week, my menu was cereal for breakfast, peanut butter sandwhich for lunch, ramen for dinner. Every day. But The last couple of days I ventured out a bit, making some curry, chicken, and last night I made some pretty legit spaghetti. So if you have any SUPER SIMPLE recipes that can be made from ingredients you could find in Mozambique (aka almost nothing), send them to me please 🙂

We had a service project Saturday, With all the missionaries around Maputo! So I got to see elder olsen and all my other buddies! Somehow, we all ended up near maputo. kind of a blessing, we all talked and figured this week has been pretty rough for everyone! So it was nice to find out it wasn’t just me.

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Portuguese is still a struggle, but there are 6 elders in our house and 3 of them are native and don’t speak any english, so my abilities are growing like crazy!

Sidenote, the people here love Obama, and his name is spray painted on alot of walls and stuff. Whenever you say youre from the states, people get all excited and ask if you know him. We even met a little kid named Obama! Funny stuff.

We taught some awesome lessons this week! We’ve got one family that is working on the marriage process, theyve got a date set for sometime in september, and 4 other families who have accepted baptism. Its pretty hard here tough with the whole marriage thing. Its confusing, breaks tradition, and no one really wants to do it! So thats been kind of a challange, lost some investigators through it.

It’s a lot of walking around and doing street contacts. I love it, and Its so beautiful here.

We had church yesterday, and I loved it! It was so cool. It was also really comforting because really, its not much different then it is in the states. Way cool.

Anyways, thats about it. I missed you guys ALOT this week. Thinking about you hard core. 🙂 Some logistical things, being close to The office, I can get the “pouch mail” or whaatever youre sending. I just got one handed to me from an office elder from mom, So I’ll open it after.

Love you all. Fica Firme. 🙂
Elder Poyfair
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Straight Up in Africa! Week 1 in the field!

Dearest Family and Friends,

I’m here! Here in Mozambique and doing well. It’s been a pretty busy week so I guess I’ll just start with the plane ride and such!
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On Sunday August 4th, we woke up at like 3 in the morning, got all ready and got on a shuttle for the Salt Lake City airport. It was a little lonely without my good friends from my MTC district, who got stuck waiting for Visas. I knew the other people, but not really. So we drove in the dark, it was so weird driving by Lehi and stuff! And just knowing I wouldn’t be back for two more years! But yeah. We got on the plane to Atlanta, which went really fast. We waited for 5 hours in Atlanta, and got on a 16 hour plane ride to Johannesburg! It was sooooo long, and time was pretty messed up because of the whole time change and none of us got to sleep for a while and yeah, but eventually we ended up in Johannesburg, which was way cool! We walked around, talking to people (which was easy because everyone spoke English) and looking at all the shops. Then we got on a little plane and flew for an hour to MAPUTO!

We got there at like 9 o clock at night. Mozambique time. I had been getting closer to everybody too, so at this point it wasn’t awkward anymore. We were picked up by the Assistants to the President, and they told us that president was in Beira (2 hour plane ride away) at a conference. They then told us we would be splitting into three groups, one group would hang out at the mission office for a while, one at a group of Elders serving in Maputo’s apartment, and one group would get to stay in the Presidents house (mansion). I must have been doing something right, because I was part of the lucky group who got to stay at the presidents palace! We got in a truck and drove through the city for 15 minutes or so to his place. It was so so so so so so so so so so cool driving through the city! I can’t even describe how freaking sweet it was. Everyone was out and about, walking around and just… yeah. It was sweet. So we got to presidents house, which had huge gates around it, and a guard outside. We carried all our stuff up some stairs, and met Elder and Sister Tidwell, a senior couple who had also just arrived. They showed us our room, and we were pretty tired so we all went to bed!
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Woke up in the morning (they said we should sleep in until 9!) and they had cereal and milk and toast set out for us. Not exactly what I had in mind when I pictured first breakfast in Africa! But it was good. The assistants picked us up and we went to the mission office. We did some training, just explaining some of the rules and vision of the mission and stuff, and then went to Mundos, which is like a burger pizza place! The food there was way good, but still pretty American. Which was nice! We went back to the office and studied and hung out and took naps. I guess we weren’t supposed to get there for two more days, but we got earlier tickets or whatever. Before you can leave the city, I guess you have to go the immigration and sign some papers and stuff, and also go through the american embassy. But our appointment at the embassy wasn’t scheduled until the next day. So wednesday was pretty much a free day! We got to the office after lunch, and they let us go out kind of around the block and talk to people and buy fruit and stuff. It was soooo fun! Me and some other guys went to a fish market, and people were literally coming up to us and asking if they could come to our church and stuff! We all barely spoke portuguese, but managed to tell them all where the church was and at which time and such.
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The next two days were pretty similar. Wake up, eat an american breakfast, study, go to mission office, walk around and explore and stuff! We helped the Tidwells move into their new apartment, and I went out with an older elder, doing contacts and knocking doors! We taught two lessons! But I didn’t really say too much, he pretty much did the whole thing! Still way fun. The people here are sooo nice. Like, everyone says hi to you and you say hi to everyone else. We met this 16 year old kid named frank at the fish market, and he really liked us and spoke good english, so he helped us learn some portuguese and stuff. He was way cool. Most of Maputo is pretty much on the beach, and its so so beautiful. It looks like the beaches in LA or something like that. B-e-a-utiful.
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The soda here is AMAZING. I don’t really know why, someone said they use real sugar or something like that. Either way, its so good! The fanta pineapple is really good, and so is Guarana. Spar letta too, jeez there are so many good sodas! We ate out alot those first couple of days and drank a ton of soda. I guess we don’t really eat at members homes too often, they told us a couple of reasons and stuff and i guess its a mission wide thing! So I don’t really have to worry about eating crazy stuff! Just whatever you can find at grocery stores. President got home, we had dinner at his house and stuff, talked alot with him. I love him! He is such a cool man. He reminds me of a mix of my own Dad, and Gru from dispicable me. He kinda sounds like Gru too, because he does speak english but it sounds pretty funny. He’s way cool. He is a really inspired man, and really knows what he wants to accomplish here. Its sweet! Just to give you an idea of what he’s like, he was given a “mission president car”, like a little jetta or something like that. But he didn’t like it so he went and bought a sweet Ford Raptor. He’s just funny and awesome like that.

So yeah, then on Friday, we found out where we would be going! They showed us the transfer map, and I saw that I’d be going to………..

T3!
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Yeah, the city is literally called T3. But they say it like “Tehtresh”. Its about an hour outside of maputo, and its freaking sweet. It’s called a city, but nothing is taller then one story. It kinda has a reputation of being the “party capital” of Mozambique! There are 6 elders there, and its one of the fun areas. Lots of trees and concrete houses and stuff. I love it! I mostly killed time again friday with everyone else, and friday night I hopped in a truck with the assistants and we drove there! Alot of the new guys were staying in Maputo, like Elder Kitchen and Olsen and stuff, and a lot were going to Beira. Most were in the city, but not me! I got there that night, At the place thats going to be my home for 3 months!  I met my companion, his name is Elder Proksch.

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He’s from las vegas, just like elder olsen was! He has been out a year, and he is wayyyyyyy cool. He reminds me so so much of Uncle Devin! Just, personality, mannerisms, everything. He’s also the district leader. I like him a lot! I unpacked, we talked, and went to bed. I didn’t sleep too good the first night! But yeah. The schedule for the next two days was pretty messed up because there was a leadership training by a 70, and the yesterday, sunday, was stake conference! Well, district conference, because they don’t have stakes here. Yet! but yeah! It was way cool seeing so many members at the district conference. There were so so many! The church is so strong here! Today is first P day, we have them on mondays. its also about 10:00 here, it took forever to get here because apparently the internet cafes in T3 suck, so we came to Maputo.
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Transportation here is nuts, they don’t use busses or anything like that and since we don’t have cars, we have the privelege of riding a Chappa. A chappa is pretty much a 15 passenger van, that they cram on average 25-30 people into. Its insane! I can’t even explain it. so nuts!
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I’m also learning Changana, which is the dialect they speak here in the whole maputo area. I can almost have a better conversation in changana then portuguese! haha. Its kind of frustrating not being able to speak the language too well. But Elder Proksch is excited, because he says I’m doing way good and will pick it up fast. After the conference yesterday, we went out and did 11 contacts, and taught a lesson! It was so much fun. Here we are supposed to do “Qualified” contacts, which means a man who has a wife and family and beleives in god. Any way, time is short so i’ll wrap things up.
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I’m having a ton of fun. The people are so awesome. Its alot to get used to, because It’s sooo different, but I’ve got two years to adjust so I’ll be fine. I can’t wait to get to work, and make things happen here in T-3. I miss you all so much.

-Elder Poyfair

PS just spent forever trying to send pictures. Doesnt work here. I’ll try to find a way but I’m sorry!!

 

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Made it! Part Two!

3Made it! Part Two!

We got these photos this morning from Dallin’s Mission President. He’s still smiling. I’m also loving the pen and paper in his shirt pocket.

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Made it! (A post from Dad)

After four and a half months of heavy anticipation, Dallin finally made it to Mozambique.

He woke up at 3:30 a.m. on Sunday August 4th and was shuttled from the MTC at 4:30 a.m. to the Salt Lake City airport. While there, he was able to eat his last Cafe Rio burrito for two years (which was paid for by a nice LDS man) and caught a plane to Atlanta at 8:30 a.m. He arrived in Atlanta at 2 p.m. – where he spent a nice 5 hour layover in eating at Pei Wei and calling us.

We had a nice visit with him. He has already changed so much. It’s amazing what the MTC can do to a young man who is prepared for the onslaught of the spirit. We’re so proud of him.

He boarded his plane to Johannesburg, South Africa at 7 p.m. He managed to sit right in front of a kind LDS woman who snapped his picture and sent it to us before the plane took off.

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We then plugged in his flight number to a flight tracking sight and periodically watched as he slowly made his way to Johannesburg. From there, he caught another flight into Maputo – 45 minutes long.

This morning, we received this picture from his A.P.’s

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Like always, he’s still smiling. 🙂

We can’t wait to get his first email, but we are reassured that he is just fine and HAPPY that he finally in the place that he loves and is excited to go to work in the service of the Lord in.

Love that kid.

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Last Week at the MTC!

Oi Macacos, tudo bem?
It’s kinda weird to think that this is my last email from the states! I’m just mega pumped to eat fast food at the airport. Nothing against the food here, but it’ll be nice for a dietary change before going straight to beans, rice and fish for two years. 🙂 I’ve had THE BEST time here. The MTC is literally the happiest place on earth. (Sorry, Disneyland is pretty close but just not good enough!). I’m a big fan and for sure want to try and teach here while I go to BYU after the Mission!
Today is our last P-day, we woke up at 5:00 AM to get all our laundry done so we could spend most of the day sleeping and packing. So I’m a little tired right now! But since I hurt my arm, the doctor said no sports for 4 weeks so since I havn’t been able to go to gym, I’ve been taking naps. That’s been nice! 🙂
I got to host again this week, it was awesome. I saw some people I knew, including Gage Black from Timberline, Seth Warnick from like 5th grade, Folo (Bubba) with the long last name, and Haley Hunt! They were all smiling and doing great.
On wednesday, our district leader had to fly to New York to meet with the consulate of Angola, and our branch president made me temporary district leader. So that was pretty fun, at the MTC the district leader pretty much does nothing except get the mail, and ours choose to wait until the end of the night to give it to us, which we all hate, so everyone in our district was pretty happy with my reign of power when I chose to give mail as soon as we picked it up at meals. I ruled with an iron fist though, I made everyone tell me one nice thing about myself before I’d give them the mail. Then he got back from New York, so now I’m back to peasent status. 😉 Just kidding.
A quick update on my arm, its totally fine! Like, doesn’t bother me at all. I got cleared by the doctor and everything and I’m good to go! I’m shippin’ off to Africa Sunday, just as planned. Thanks for your prayers and such, I’m allllll good. Yesterday was “In Field Orientation”, which is pretty much just a fancy way to say a 9 hour meeting. It was good though, I felt like it prepared all of us pretty well to leave and go to the field! Here at the MTC we watch alot of those “The District” videos, and one of the people in it (Elder Christiansen, if that means anything) was here yesterday for the meeting. He’s pretty much the closest thing to a movie star we have here in the MTC, since there are no movies, and me and my companion and one other companionship ran into him alone. Some background on this, we watch this one lesson they teach to pretty much know NOT what to do here. It’s when they teach the law of Chastity, and they don’t do a good job of explaining anything and it’s really awkward and stuff, it’s super funny and everyone here knows about it. So we see him, and one of the guys in our district says, “Hey, I really enjoyed your law of chastity lesson!” and this guy whips his head around and says, “yeah? Next time I’ll film all of your mistakes and then the whole world can laugh at them too!” And turned back around and walked away. He was pretty testy, it was kinda wierd but pretty funny.
Thanks Hubners for the packages, the foreign candy is AWESOME. Its pretty funny how often I see Alayna, especially since we are at different campuses. I see here more than most of my friends at my campus! Also, a couple of the guys in my district want her to write them, but I said she probably wasn’t interested. 🙂
Our devotional this week was awesome. It always is, but I enjoyed this one especially. When we saw who was going to be speaking, we were all a little let down because we had been here 6 weeks and had yet to see a general authority or anyone like that. Plus, there had been a rumor floating around that day that it was going to be President Monson speaking. Not sure why we all beleived it but we did. 🙂 Anyways, he started speaking and it was the greatest! Everything he said meant something to me. His name was Elder Richards. He shared this Winston Churchill quote that I loved, it goes something like, “To every man there comes in his lifetime that special moment when he is figuritively tapped on his shoulder and asked to do something special and unique that only he can do. What a shame if he finds himself unprepared, or unqualified for the work that would be his finest hour.” And I just loved that! Because I totally want my mission to be my finest hour. And I know I was called to this mission specifically because of my own talents and abilities, and I just don’t want this opportunity to do so much good to pass me up because I wasn’t spiritually mature enough or something like that. Ah. It was awesome.
Portuguese is coming well! My knack for remembering things is coming in handy. I’m memorizing alot of verbs and tenses pretty well but I know I’m gonna get there and go back to square one. Oh well though, as long as you’re prepared to be humble and know you’re not going to be fluent on the first day, I think you’ll do fine. 🙂
Theres a new teacher here at the MTC named  Brother Belshior. And he’s totally from Mozambique! He’s lived there his whole life, came here to go to BYU and got a job teaching here. Guys. He was SO SO SO SO SO cool. It was easily the best part of my week! We asked him a bunch of questions and stuff, it was pretty sad because we asked him advice on staying safe, and he told us this story about how you need to stay away from rivers. He didn’t flinch as he talked about his friend swimming in a river and getting ripped to peaces by a crocodile while Brother Belshior watched from the sides, yet when we asked him about the food in the country, he got really emotional and started to cry, because of how little food many people had. It was so humbling, and made all of us so excited to go there and give our lives to these people for two years. We’re also pretty excited because we found out that we will be driving in a 15 passenger van from Johannesburg to Mozambique, its a solid 12 hours so that will be fun to drive though Africa for that long! Pretty much a safari, yeah?
Anyways, my times about up. Thanks so much for your support. I love you all. I hope everyone knows that yeah I usually write about the major events or funny parts of the week, but I am having the greatest spiritual experiences as well, and just because I don’t write about them as much doesnt mean they aren’t happening. 🙂 I’ve never been closer to my Heavenly Father then I have been here, and I love the missionary I’m becoming!

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Until next week, with Love,
Elder Poyfair

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