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