Monthly Archives: September 2013

Week Eight: Marriage licenses and ‘Hey Jude’

Chikani! (Boa Tarde in Xichangana)

This week was radical. Starting off the transfer with a BANG, because 2 hours ago Elder Proksch and I became the first missionaries in over a year to open up a marriage process from T3!

DSC00976But first.

The week started out pretty crazy, with us running all around our area trying to get more marriage documents. We ended up successfully getting them all, and even managed to somehow avoid the Imposto tax. Which is super nice because this family is pretty poor, so it was a huge blessing for them.

On wednesday we had a little training by the zone leaders, for district leaders and their companions, and afterwards we came back home, right in time for a branch activity! This activity was one of the funniest things I’ve seen in the country. For the past two weeks, the branch has been divided into 4 groups. Me and my comp were in group two. And for this activity, each group had to prepare a song, flag, dance, war cry, and plate of food. So on wednesday it all came together, to watch all of the groups compete against each other. AND THEY GOT INTO IT!! I’ve never seen members get so crazy man. It was freaking funny. They pulled all the other missionaries out to be judges but I got to stay in my group and I have to admit I got a little bit rowdy! Someone even brought in a guitar, and I got to play it for a little bit! One of the older high priests in my group asked if I knew any Beatles songs, and so I played “hey jude” and sang it, and a ton of the members knew the song too and were singing it, it was funny because they didnt know the real words since it is in english but they just make the sounds they hear so it doesnt sound quite right. The end was freaking awesome, everyone in the church singing “nahhhhhhh nah nah nananana, nananana, hey judeeee”. One of the highlights of the week right there. 🙂

DSC00938We had a lot of awesome lessons, we have been trying to raise our “lessons with a member present” numbers, so we have been working a lot more closely with the members lately. We also had a cool experience, where we were walking and my companion was on the phone with the Zone Leaders, and a guy walked by and so I went up and started talking to him. I found out that he didnt have a wife, and so I was inviting him to church, about to leave him, when he said that he was a member! I had never seen him before, but figured out that he lived close and asked if he had time right then to sit down and talk with us. He did, and so my companion came back from the call and I said, “Come on, this guy is a member and we are meeting with him right now.” It was pretty funny because a lesson had just fell through, but we found out this guy was baptized in 2004 but hasnt been to church in like 5 years. He said he has been feeling really really sad in life lately, and we just talked about how the solution is to come back to church! He said hed come next week with us so that was cool.

I went on a division with Elder Bender, one of the other elders in our district on friday. He has been out about 7 months, and he is SUPER funny. He and I get along way well. We were in his area, which is called Zona Verde and his area is BEAUTIFUL. It literally translates to green zone. He even took me to this little jungle place in between lessons, and we walked through it. I dont think Ive ever felt so african! Fun stuff.

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antonio and ineis, who we opened the process for today!

Saturday night, it started to rain. HARD. And Sunday morning we woke up, and it was super cold and rainy outside! October is the rainiest month of the year here I guess, right before the hot season. Which is really really not good on a sundaybecause Mozambicans dont go ANYWHERE when its rainy. Its a pretty generally accepted fact that rainy sundays KILL branch attendence across the whole mission. However, we had all three of our main families there, with a couple others, and even this one guy that we taught ONCE, and were not expecting to come. He brought his six kids, two of them are 8 and two are 10. They WERE the primary that week, which I was in charge of by the way. We talked about prayer and drew pictures and sang songs and it was great. 🙂 They are all super cute but some are pretty demonic at times. They make me laugh. I played the piano in sacrament again, I am getting alot better at it! Anyways, sunday the attendence at church was 85 and 15 of them were our investigators. So they really came out strong!

That night we had an amazing lesson with Oscar and Claudia, they are progressing like crazy. Its almost at the point where they are teaching me and my companion!

And then this morning, we woke up at the butt crack of dawn, to go pick up Antonio and Ineis, our couple who is closest to marriage and baptism, and went into the city to open up their marriage process! This means in about twenty days they can be married and therefore baptized. Its a pretty big deal, like I said, No missionary from T3 has opened a process in at least a year. My companion says its been longer. The ZLs were freaking out, its kind of a hot topic. And it is awesome because next week, another companionship in our district will open one up as well! T3 is blowing up, its great.

DSC00992I’m having so much fun out here! There is a lot of work to do, but I love it. My companion and I get along great. We are both goofballs, and neither of us really know 100% what we are doing but we are figuring it out! I cant even describe how awesome it feels helping these people. And yes,

there are things to complain about, like coming home at night after a long

day in the hot sun and having to eat cold oatmeal, write in your journal by candlelight, and sleep in your sweatiness because there is no power or water, but its the funnest thing ever and there is no where else I would rather be.

I love you all, and I miss you all. Hope life is going great in the 801! 🙂

Love, Elder Poyfair

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Week Seven: Saved by a Tootsie Pop!

HEY!

1 Transfer down!! You’ve got 16 transfers in the field so its pretty weird to think that I’ve already done one! But yeah. Me and Elder Proksch are staying together in T-3, so thats good. We’ve still got alot of work to do here. 🙂

This week was another great one. It was MEGA hot this week, the hottest heat I think I’ve felt in my life! We would take 2 or 3 bucket showers every day, and still be nasty sweaty all the time. Luckily, we had water for most of the week so that was nice. Im getting a pretty good tanline on my wrist from my watch, and also on my neck from my shirt collar!

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Also, can I just pause the email for a second and let you guys know that this ghetto awesome internet cafe Im at has been playing the Beegees on shuffle for the past half hourish? Loving that, might have to come here more often. 🙂

This week has been all about marriage documents. Like Ive said before, In Mozambique, our mission is all about baptizing families. But in order to baptize families they need to be married and in order to be married we have to do A TON of work to get all these random paper documents in books in offices all across the city and stuff. Its a little bit frustrating sometimes, but its just what we do 🙂

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We had a pretty funny experience, we were going into the city to get this document for one of our couples. And I just grabbed some change off the top of my dresser, didnt count it or anything, for the chappa ride into the city. And as we were walking, I found a 2 met coin on the ground, which never happens in Africa. But I picked it up and put it in my pocket, and off we went. When we finally got there, We waited for about an hour at the registro and they came back with the document, and said it would be 94 met. (about 3 bucks). So my comp pulled out a 500 met bill, and the lady said she didn’t have change! And she wouldn’t take our 500. So we pulled out all the money we had, but didn’t have enough. So we told her to wait right there, and we would be right back with exact change. She said we had 10 minutes! So we RAN out, to the nearest little drink place, and bought some juice with the 500 and the guy gave us back 2 200 bills and a ten met coin, because he didn’t have 100 bills!! Which is what we needed! So we ran out, and pooled all our money together. I found a random 20 met bill in my backpack, which was a BLESSING, and with everything put together, all the loose change from my dresser and the 2 met I found on the street and all, we had 93 met. I KID YOU NOT WE HAD 93 MET! 1 MET SHORT!! ONE 30th OF A DOLLAR SHORT!! We didnt have much time, but I had a tootsie pop sucker in my bag from the MTC, so I straight up sold the tootsie pop for 1 met to this random guy on the street. And it was a hard sell, because he was a little skeptical of us americans (he asked if it was poisoned) but he bought it, and we ended up getting the document. We laughed for quite a while about how funny that was! But I guess if its the Lords will for them to get baptized, anything will happen!

Inacio, the 16 year old that we baptized, really wants to serve a mission when he is 18 and this week he asked if he could help us teach a lesson once in a while! So he walked with us a couple times, it was super great. He has such a strong testimony and made our lessons that much better. Im proud to have helped him get there. 🙂

Me and my comp came up with the easiest and cheapest dinner, and Im not even joking, we have had it 4 times this week. Because there is a Padaria (bakery but only small loaves of awesome french bread) pretty close to our house, and a loaf costs like 7 cents, so we buy a bunch of loaves and then chop up tomatoes and onions to make a bruschetta type thing, put some garlic and butter and herbs on the bread and toast it in our oven and then put the bruschetta on after wards. Its
super tasty and costs like 30 cents total.

Saturday and Sunday it actually got super cloudy and cold! And Saturday night, it even was raining a little bit! We were waiting outside this catholic church, because its like the only landmark in our area and every body knows it so thats where we meet people. And we were waiting for an appointment, just sitting in the rain in the dark, and all the power went out, (aka the three streetlights) and we were just sitting there, in the rain and quiet, looking out at africa and it ROCKED. So yeah. 🙂

We had another super cool experience last night, with one of our families named Oscar and Claudia. They had been progressing awesome and were starting the marriage papers, when they got in a HUGE fight where the husband thought the wife was being unfaithful, so he ran off and then was sending her messages calling her a fat cow and just mean
dumb stuff like that, and they didnt want to get married anymore. Me and Elder Proksch were pretty sad about it, they didnt come to church and stuff, and so we were kind of going over there to give them a last lesson. And they were there, and the lesson went good, and at the end, Claudia asked if she could share something. And we said, “yeah, of course”, and she started telling us about how she had left him that week. She went to her parents house, and they were going to get separated. And while she was at her parents house she started reading her notebook (shes so cool, she takes notes at all our lessons and writes down what we talked about and scriptures and stuff like that), and she was reading through it, and found something from one of our eariler lessons when we had talked about faith and read the story of Peter and Jesus walking on the water. So she opened her bible to that part and re read it, and said that when she had read the part that
says “homen de pouco fe” (oh man of little faith) she stopped and realized that Christ was talking to her! she said, I thought “mulher de pouco fe”, which was her, and that she knew the church was true and needed to have more faith and so she went back to the family, and they are all good now!!! Isnt that crazy???? That the spirit helping her understand a scripture we shared literally saved there marriage. It was amazing. Cant even describe it!! They are so awesome.

Anyways, I think thats about it. Hope everything is going good for everyone, I love getting all your letters and stuff. 🙂 keep them coming. 🙂

Im doing great, having fun, loving the life and the work of a missionary. So dont even worry about me! 🙂

Amo voces muito, fica bem e fica firme. Temos que confiar em Deus, porque ele sempre vai nos guiar. 🙂

Chau chau, Elder Poyfair

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No Water, No Soda, Beach Party!

Hey Everyone! 🙂

I know I say this every week so it probably doesn’t mean anything anymore but this week was awesome and filled with loads of work and fun! This letter is going to have to be kind of fast, a lot of people emailed me and also its a lot later in the day then normal, but I’ll try and give y’all a quick update. 🙂

We spent most of this week without water, so that was kind of tricky. It would come on for about an hour or two everyday, but we never knew when it would! So we stunk, and didnt cook alot of stuff and ate off of dirty plates! But Saturday and Sunday we had water most of the day so we think the worst is over. We hope. 🙂 We filled up lots of bottles, we now have water storage so we think we will be prepared. 🙂
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We had a way cool experience with one of our investigators this week, he had been having word of wisdom problems and we had decided that we needed to stop teaching them and spend our time teaching others. Because we had literally tried EVERYTHING to help him stop drinking, and nothing was working. But In the middle of what was supposed to be our last lesson, I got this impression that we couldn’t drop him, and we needed to try something else. And I just got this idea, randomly, in the middle of the lesson, of something we could try. So I just started talking! I said that we really want to help him overcome this addiction, and he wants it to. And I said that Its easy for us to tell him to stop, when we don’t have to do anything. And I talked about how much me and my comp love soda. And honestly, we do. We drink it a ton, especially with sketch water and stuff. And then I said how we were going to give it up, and not drink it, so we could help him out and stuff. I know it sounds way dumb, but It really wasnt me. And he LOVED it! We told him we wanted him to call us every night and make sure we hadnt drunk any soda that day. And anyways, long story short, he calls us every night, and checks up on us, and he said he doesnt have the desire to drink anymore or anything! Super cool. It has been hard not drinking soda though, especially with crappy water! But we’ve done it. He’s funny, he always calls us randomly to tell us he’s drinking a soda and rub it in. I love that guy, so glad something is finally working. 🙂

We have had a lot of switch ups in our house lately, all of our natives got their visas for brazil and the US and so we now have three new natives, and they are all freaking FUNNY!

We spend alot of time in our house laughing with them. 🙂 I can pretty much pick up on most of what they say now, so I think that makes things funnier too.

We had a way cool lesson with this guy named Fernando, he took the restoration way well, and then at the end we asked if he had any questions. And he said he did, and asked where we go after this life! So we taught a bit about the plan of salvation, and he ate it up. Then we asked if he had any other questions, and he said he did! He asked, “So if I want to get to this awesome place, and live with Heavenly Father again, what should I be doing here on the earth? And me and my comp just looked at eachother, grinning, and taught him a bit about the gospel of Jesus Christ. And he went off about how he felt this peace in his heart, and he knew we were from God, and how he wants to do whatever we tell him because if he didn’t, he knew he’d have to answer for it to God someday. And as we left, we looked back and saw he was reading the Book of Mormon. It was pretty much the sweetest lesson a missionary could ever have, so we’ll see where that goes! The people really are elect here.
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Its the last week before transfers, so everyones a little anxious to see what will happen a week from today. Personally, I think I’m staying here with Proksch but you never know!

We got a call from the Assistants a couple days ago, they said everyone was getting together for P-day at the beach to play soccer! So we got up early today, and went to the Beach. It was WAY fun. And someone brought an american football, so we taught all of the brazillians and cape verdians and natives how to play american football, but they were NOT getting it. They would through through it forward, he would catch it and then he would throw it forward and stuff. It was way funny.

I’m convinced that there is not much cooler in life than playing football barefoot on the beach in Africa.
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So yeah, thats why today was a little jumbled! I’m sorry it was short and probably not that interesting, yeah. Life here is awesome. I’m loving it. I still miss you guys every once in a while though. 😉 Just kidding. I miss you lots. And love you all. Thanks for everything!

Love, Elder Poyfair

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Week Five: Playing with the kids, Getting wet, Working hard

This week was gnarly!

It was jam packed with a ton of stuff so I guess I’ll just get right into it :)

First off, because my companion is District Leader, he has do go on splits with the Zone Leaders every transfer. This means that by default, I also get to go on splits with the one who isn’t with my companion! So monday night they came in, and spent the night. One of them speaks English and is from Pleasant Grove, the other is from Cape Verde and ONLY speaks portuguese. Logically, I was the one who got to hang with the portuguese speaker all day!!! It was pretty insane. But we were mostly able to communicate. It made me realize how much I really know, and stretched me alot! Also, both ZL’s were SUPER impressed with me. They both said that they’ve had companions who had been there for 6 months and didn’t speak as good portuguese as I did, so that was a nice confidence boost. :) I guess later that night they were also talking to Elder Proksch, my comp, about how good I was doing. I guess they like me :) Except I’m kind of scared because they say that next transfer I’ll be training? And they were dead serious. But thats impossible, so its whatever. We’ll see I guess. :)

Had a funny experience this week, Me and my comp were walking, and he was in front and I was a couple feet behind him. And a little group of kids came up behind me, and started following us. So I started being funny, doing random things as I walked like marching with my knees high for a while, and then doing butt kicks for a while, and then swinging my arms, and clapping and just random stuff like that. And the kids that were following started doing whatever I would do. And more of them started coming! Every time I would look back, there were more and more kids, following me like an African army, doing whatever I did. Super funny! So we got to a clearing, and both turned around, and there were seriously, I kid you not, 50 or 60 kids. I swear. All smiling at us. And kids here love to learn english, and so I taught them some! I taught them to say, “baptize me”. It was legit! But then we had to go, so we were telling them bye, and they all started chanting “baptize me!!!” SUPER loud, and pounding their fists, and following us! All the people were looking at us, and me and my comp were laughing SO hard. Ahhhh. It was super super super funny. :) I wish I had brought my camera that day!
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Also, one day we were on our way to a lesson and some house was playing music, and the song changed to “In the Jungle”. As in, the lion sleeps tonight. As in, every white guy’s idea of african music. It was pretty awesome, the coincidences that happen. I never thought I’d hear that song here :)
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And then on Saturday, I was able to Baptise Inacio! It was so so so amazing. I had to memorize his full name too, which was a bit tricky. Inacio Jr Chiroco Nacido Mochimhane. But yeah. Can’t even describe how awesome it was. The baptism was held at the chapel in Matola, a neighboring city. And the water was FREEZING. But it was definitely worth it, can’t wait to get back in. :) He is such a cool kid and when he bore his testimony after, it was super super cool. I loved it. I love him. :)The baptism went smooth the first time, he went all the way under and stuff with no problems. Which Is rare I guess, because most africans have a irrational fear of water! Fun fact for ya. Anyways.
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I have a new calling in the branch here! I’m the new branch pianist. We used to have a man who could play decently well, but he got called to be the 2nd counselor and so they asked me. Pretty crazy since I can barely play piano! They asked me a good 4 minutes before sacrament meeting started, but luckily I figured out all the translations pretty quick and was able to pluck out the right hand with occasional chords on the left hand. It actually went way good, I was definitely helped out by the spirit.
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Another super good week of hard work. Its funny because every week I think we worked super hard, and every week that follows we work harder. Its way nice. We’re actually doing way good, you are supposed to get 35 qualified contacts a week, and we got 113 this week, which almost broke the all time record in the mission! Next week for sure ;)

Some random side notes, Shout out to all my friends who got mission calls this week! Especially Tyler Meek, Tikal, and Jake Michaelis! You guys are gonna do awesome! I wish I coulda been there to see you open them! Also, the office elders were bringing us some random stuff and had a handwritten letter from Courtney Bartholomew, super random, unexpected, and awesome! But I actually can’t write one back, its insanely tricky and won’t end up getting to you. Sooooo feel free to send me an email but I’m sorry! And thanks! Also, good luck to my Grandparents who are starting their mission! First couple of days can be a bit tricky, just a heads up ;) Just kidding, they are super cool and will be fine :)
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I love all you guys, been thinking about my family alot this week! :) I’m doing great. I’m having tons of fun, really enjoying the work. Missionary work is hard, but super worth it. :)

Fica Bem. (Stay strong, Portuguese.) Afambani Schkweembo (Walk with God, Xichangana)

Love you all :)

-Elder Poyfair

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Week Four: Big Spiders. Dinner with members. First Baptism.

Hey Hey Hey friends and family, hope you guys are enjoying your memorial day weekend. Is it bad that I forgot about memorial day until I read all of your updates? Yeah I guess its not really a big deal in Mozambique. But at least it happened to be on a P-day 🙂 So its kind of a day off.
the kids are super cute here and all wear funny shirts that they dont know what they say in english :)

the kids are super cute here and all wear funny shirts that they dont know what they say in english 🙂

This week has been an awesome awesome week! Lots of work but we are doing great. T-3 is actually one of the hardest and least productive areas in the mission but I wouldn’t have known if I hadn’t heard it from people because we are doing grrrrrrrreat! We have 4 families right now moving forwards towards baptism on October 5th, all working on marriage papers. Its pretty awesome!

Shelob. She is freaking scary.

Shelob. She is freaking scary.

Some random sidenotes, we have a HUMONGOUS (butchered the spelling on that one but its whatever since english isn’t my first language anymore) Spider living in our laundry house aka four brick walls with a door and a washing machine in it. This spider is seriously enormous. We named it shelob. And we are all SUPER scared to do laundry now. Because sometimes we’ll walk in, shining our flashlights and stuff because its dark, and get scared because we can’t find it, and then we’ll see it on the ceiling above us and scream and stuff!! Super scary. Its as close to a horror movie as any of us are going to get for a while!

Also, this week was a wee bit difficult money wise since I had spent all my money for the month and had about 11 US dollars for the week. So that was fun, but I survived 🙂 (Also, got my personal debit card to finally work so that was nice to pull some out!)

This one is my favorite. This is pretty much T-3 in a picture :)

This one is my favorite. This is pretty much T-3 in a picture 🙂

 

the view from our roof, where we like to study :)

the view from our roof, where we like to study 🙂

We met 2 AWESOME families this week. One of them, the husband has crazy cool dreads and speaks perfect english, he’s also an artist and just one of the SWEETEST people to talk to. He’s way cool, and his wife is cool too. They’re loving the book of mormon, marking it up and stuff and reading alot. So thats rad!

We also got a great reference from Regillio and Amellia, their best friends named Oscar and Claudia. They’re really cool! Really nice and funny. And at our second lesson, after we had talked about the book of mormon (in the dark, by the way, by candle light. Its pretty hard to read the book of mormon by candle light! But the power goes out ALL THE TIME. Its sweet.) they told us that they wanted to feed us dinner! I was SUPER stoked. My first legitly african dinner, cooked by africans! Like… wow! They made us fried chicken and rice and vegetable salad, and it was super good. Better then most of the food I have been cooking for myself the past four weeks! So not exactly the monkey brains or pig intestines I was expecting but way good none the less. 🙂

We had a SUPER cool lesson with regillio and amellia this week. We had wanted to do a game night with them, because he is struggling with Word of Wisdom  and his friends all drink so we wanted to show that we were friends. But then we realized we had no games. 🙂 Then we were going to watch a movie, like joseph smith or something, but we couldn’t find it. So we were walking to the lesson, going to teach Plan of Salvation (they teach things out of order because of marriage and such), but I didn’t feel right about it. And I got the feeling we should just read a chapter from the Book of Mormon. But I couldn’t think of a good one! So I told my comp my idea, and he said we should do the story of alma the younger in mosiah! But I felt like we should use the account in alma 36, I thought it applied more to Regillio and was more personal. So we decide this, literally 2 minutes away from their house, pretty much going in blind. But oh man. It went SO good. SO SO SO SO SO good. Like, I wish I could describe to you how awesome it went but I can’t. Way cool. The spirit was so strong, and I just felt so good. I know that it was the spirit that helped us have that lesson and I know it was exactly what they needed. We left, and my companion was like crying, he said it was the best lesson he’s had on his mission. Way cool. Wayyyy cool.

And last, but CERTAINLY not least………….

I’m getting in the water on Saturday! Yeah. 🙂 This saturday will be my first baptism, and I’ll be in the water with him, performing the baptism! It’s for Inacio. (like nacho libre! coincidence that my first baptism is named after nacho libre? I think not.) I’m super excited. This kid is so cool. He has been coming to church by himself for 8 years. And he is so so so excited to finally be baptized! When he asked me to do it, I felt SO good. Super awesome. He’s 16 years old and super funny. This kid is a goof ball! But he’s way spiritual, and I can’t wait. 🙂

the one in the middle is Inacio! Love that kid!

the one in the middle is Inacio! Love that kid!

So that’s pretty much my week! I’m sure you can tell from the letter, I’m 100% back to my normal self. I love missionary work! I’m having tons of fun. Life is good. 🙂 I love and miss you all. Seriously so much!

Esse e minha vida- ensinando, pregando, trabalhando. Como Missionarios fazem. 🙂

-Elder Poyfair

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