Monthly Archives: November 2013

Week 22: Survived elections, No water

Happy Monday to all my friends and family. Let me just say that mondays are a lot better on the mission than when you are at home and have to go back to school or work. 🙂

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Found this old jazz jersey, almost bought it!

Tomorrow is my 5 month mark, crazy!! Time keeps going faster and faster. Before I went on the mission, everyone said it went super fast. Once I got to the MTC I kind of started to doubt that. Then once I got in to the country I thought they were all filthy liars. 🙂 But now I can honestly say I believe them, I still feel like I just got here. And yeah, I still have forever to go but it’ll fly by! Also, I’ve said this before, but in these letters home, I talk a lot about more of the day to day fun stuff, to let you guys know what its like here. I just want to make sure everyone knows we do a lot of missionary work, I just don’t think it’s that interesting to bore you all with the details of how many lessons we taught and stuff like that. 🙂

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This week was probably one of the most eventful weeks I’ve had so far on my mission. But let me just start off by letting you know that we have been without water since last Saturday. We had to fill up the baptismal font, which used up all of our water we had. (How it works here is there is a company that pumps water at a certain time everyday, but after that time you have to wait for the next day.) So we used a ton of water to fill up the font (aka mini swimming pool) and didn’t have water. Then for whatever reason, we didn’t get any more water. There was a big problem with the company, some pipe burst or something underneath the city so the whole city has been without water too! It’s been pretty crazy, I have taken one and a half showers this week. Awesome. 🙂 Anyways. I’ll get to more on the water later!

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Yes, those are bats. Kinda awesome. Theyre everywhere out here!

Monday was our weird, non P-day. We did internet, bought a months supply of food (beans and rice and chips and milk haha), went home, and went back out to work. We went to an apartment building and were talking about how apartment contacts don’t really work, and then the first door we knocked this nice shirtless guy let us in and we taught the restoration and he accepted baptism and stuff. It was kind of funny because we kind of thought apartment contacts were lame, but they actually work pretty good here! Later that night we had a family home evening at a members house. It was SUPER funny. We sang some songs, my companion gave a nice lesson, and then we played memory. You know, that old game where you put the cards upside down and then pick two and try to get matches? Well. Bless their hearts, memory is not exactly these people’s strongest attribute. And I have always had a pretty good memory. So it was pretty funny, I DESTROYED in the game and they all thought I was the best ever to play the game and stuff. It was pretty funny, made some of the members like me. Then we ate some food she had made which was amazing. The best home made food I’ve had out here so far! And it was awesome because here you just eat everything with your hands. Everything. Then they were trying to find the soda and one of the old members there, a really funny old lady, was like, “ok, so where is the box of beer?” And we all busted up laughing and she realized what she said and got embarrassed and said, “Oh sorry, soda! Haha bad habit!” It was stinking funny.

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Bike rides through the jungle. My favorite!

The next day was kind of lame, that family we had met last week, Nhaac (Jose) told us when we visited on tuesday they were moving out of the district. So that kind of sucked! Then we had to cancel some lessons later that night because we had a presidency meeting that went long because we were talking about the stupid contract. I swear, sometimes I feel like I’ve been more of a contract lawyer than a missionary the past few weeks! It is super frustrating. Because Elder Heaton and I were talking about it, its Satan’s way of destroying the work in this area. We are spending so much time dealing with the contract and the old house and the dishonest people who are mad at us and stuff that we really haven’t had too much time to focus on the work, and It’s keeping us from really finding and progressing investigators. But It’s fine. We have a good attitude about it, we pray for help and patience and just keep working to make things better. 🙂 That night though, we were sleeping and then both woke up suddenly to the sound of breaking glass. We got up, grabbed our knives and flashlights, and walked around the house, looking for whatever had made the noise. People get robbed ALOT here. So we went to the window and started talking to our guard, he said some guy was throwing bottles at our house. So we asked him to tell him to stop and he did. Seriously, people get a little bit weird around election time…

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The next day, was bliss. 🙂 Pure, sweet, amazing, relaxing bliss. 🙂 Ahhhh I’m getting super happy just remembering it. It was election day. And we were all as missionaries forbidden to leave the house because of the instability and stuff that happens. We were told by the APs to relax, take the freeday, recharge, and be ready to go the next day. So, we did. 🙂 We slept in til about 9 (HAAAAAAAALELULIA) and woke up, played risk and scrabble and chess and checkers and called other elders and talked and made food (without water though, was kind of hard. We had just bought a lot of drinking water.) and read scriptures and just CHILLED. It was nice. We got an occasional rock thrown at our house but they never hit any windows or anything so that was nice. Elections are pretty weird! Things went pretty calm here, compared to other places. The guy who won ran with a campaign slogan of “I love Quelimane, and you?”  I thought it was pretty genius. If only american politicians were as creative and catchy with their campaigns… but yeah. Things went relatively well, three people got shot pretty close to our house that night after the results were announced and some other people got hurt but other than that it went well. Grrrrrrreat day. 🙂

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By the next day, things were pretty bad with the water. Our reserves were about out, we both had some pretty gnarly beardage going on, hadn’t showered in a long time, just gross. And we were wondering what to do and then we realized we still had all the water from the baptismal font! So we pumped it into our tank, did a load of laundry (We shoved SOOOO SOOO much into the machine) and took showers, washed tons of rotting dishes and stuff, and then filled up our reserves. And then it ran out again. 🙂 We taught some family with 5 kids who lived clear out in the middle of nowhere, the bike ride there was beautiful! I’ll send a picture or two. That day we also had to meet with the owners of the other house, (cough cough evil), they gave us a court summons letting us know that they were taking us to court for not giving them the keys to the house, even though they owed the church about 2000 american dollars! So yeah. We went over with our branch president and other members, talked with the mission office down in maputo, they told us that us as elders didn’t have to worry about it any more, they put our president in charge so we could work on missionary work. Which was a relief!

Then Saturday, was one of the hardest days of my mission! We had a ton of lessons marked and were pretty optimistic, but EVERY SINGLE ONE ENDED UP FALLING THROUGH. Lots of people we thought were doing good told us they didnt want to meet with us any more, a lot didn’t answer their phones and stuff, it was pretty lame! And At about ten I started getting THE WORST headache. Which made everything worse. As time went on I got more and more sick, to the point where I honestly felt like I was going to have to go to the hospital or something. Like, terrible terrible pain throughout my entire body, zero strength, couldn’t focus on anything, it was bad. I thought it was malaria. We got home and I like passed out on the bed. That day Sucked. 🙂

But. I woke up on sunday feeling tons better. Which was nice. 🙂 Church was pretty funny, I get to pick the hymns, right? But the members here really don’t know many hymns. So I try to pick ones they should know, to teach them. Which ends up with me and Elder Heaton singing really loud and me playing loud and every one else just kind of saying the words from the hymn books. Its awesome, I freaking love it 🙂 Then for sundayschool, Elder Heaton was giving a training and the sunday school teacher wanted to go to that, so he asked me if I could teach gospel principles. I accepted, but it didn’t exactly go too well. The topic was signs of the second coming of Christ. Which is pretty hard to explain in English, let alone portuguese. 🙂 Plus, everyone there isnt a member so they all have their own ideas and as the teacher I have to put forth who’s views are in line with doctrine and whos arent and stuff, its a really hard lesson to teach simply. Then we got kind of into a little fight about what would happen during the millennium and stuff. It was pretty funny. In the end I think it turned out good but man did I struggle. Then we had to meet for the last time about the contract, we gave them the keys and we are just happy to be done once and for all with it. We went out to work and taught a lesson that went GREAT, but at the end we found out that they were moving across the country in a week. It was a little depressing. 🙂

So yeah. 🙂 That is my week in a nut shell. We still don’t have water, if we don’t get it today or tomorrow I have no Idea what we are going to do… We used some of our reserves to make a ton of rice, so that will last us another day or two but yeah. 🙂 Its just a day in the life. I really honestly love it though. It is the PERFECT mission for me. I couldn’t see myself anywhere else right now. I’m so grateful for all the experiences I’m having. It definitely keeps things interesting. I for sure am in love with Quelimane. I can’t wait to see what else happens here.

I love all of you, and hope you guys have a good thanksgiving. I’ll be honest, I kind of forgot that was this week. Its not celebrated here. Who knows, maybe we will buy a chicken and pretend its turkey. 🙂

Thanks for everything, Love Elder Poyfair

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Week 21: Elections are coming…

(For those who are wondering, I added six weeks to Dallin’s count to account for MTC time…)

What a week man!!

It seems like it has been so long since the last time I wrote. But that’s just kind of how it goes I guess. Time feels like its going SO FAST. It’s crazy. One of the benefits of staying busy and working hard.  🙂
A lot happened this week. I know I say that every week but its true. 🙂
The big news out here is the Elections on wednesday. The people are going CRAZY out here over it. The funny thing is, the average Mozambican has no idea what the candidates believe or things like that. So campaigning here is pretty much everyone driving around in huge semi trucks filled with people, blasting music and screaming and wearing t shirts and stuff. Its pretty entertaining. The problem is, when the results of the elections come out, things get pretty scary, people riot and stuff, and white people become targets. Its been funny, because with the elections and the unrest and stuff going on, everyone out here in Quelimane thinks that we are from the CIA. And that makes us targets, especially when their candidate loses. Street contacts are hard because no one wants to give us any information because they all think we are in the CIA. For this reason, today isn’t really our P day. To protect all of us missionaries, president asked us all to email our family, go the the store and buy A MONTHS SUPPLY OF FOOD and then continue working like it is a regular day. Because on Wednesday, election day, we have to stay inside the house the whole day and can’t leave. If anything happens, we will be safe with our months supply of food. 🙂 Its pretty cool, don’t know how I’ll afford that much food but its fine, beans and rice are pretty cheap. 🙂 Its actually pretty hard to find good food out here. In T3 it was easier because Maputo had lots of big stores but here, its a lot harder. We don’t eat too well.
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We worked pretty hard this week on finding people. Its tricky because we don’t have a lot of investigators, and all our time is used repairing the house. Really fast, because the elders got robbed they moved so that they are now living in the church. But we have had to pretty much become retail agents and deal with contracts that werent terminated and repairs required on the house and pretty much getting it in good shape to turn back over to the land lords. Which is hard because that’s not our job, we are missionaries. But we are also the only ones who can do anything since we are very far away from the mission office and stuff. So thats been a little bit of a pain, plus all the meetings and administration stuff with Elder Heaton has pretty much made us ineffective as far as missionary work goes. But we are trying hard to figure out a system that works well.
We have a couple named Lindo and Philamena that are working on the marriage documents. It is hard because he was registered in a small town in Nampula and she was registered out side of the city. So its pretty confusing but they are working on it. They are really cool, I like them a lot. They are living seperately right now and will move in together after marriage. They don’t have a ton of money but they have STRONG testimonies, come to church every week even though they live far away.
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We found a cool guy named Nhaaca on the street by the church. Wrote down his phone number, marked to visit him the next day. So we went and met with him the next day, and he LOVED the restoration. His wife and son took it well to, but he liked it alot. It was a really really cool restoration lesson, he was asking really good questions and understood everything. He also REALLY enjoyed the part about Joseph Smith. He accepted baptism and everything, but at the end ran into his house to get his documents. We were a little confused but he was excited, and he came back and showed us that Nhaaca was his middle name, and his first name was actually Jose! (Joseph). He really really liked the fact that his name was the same name as the prophet, and he came to church the next day and was introducing himself to everyone as Jose, says he is going to go by that name from now on. He’s older but really funny like that, we’ll see what ends up happening with him! Contacted friday, taughtsaturday, came to church sunday, and today we teach about marriage so yeah, I like that guy. 🙂
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We sat with a couple other new people, but alot of them are NOT prepared yet to recieve the gospel. We sat with another cool, young, rich family, but they went out of town to Beira so we will sit with them tomorrow, see how they turn out.
The frustrating thing about being out here is that it is a HUGE city. One of the biggest in Mozambique. And there are only two missionaries. We literally have the whole city to ourselves. But we are struggling to get missionary work done here! Its hard because it seems like we should be having more success. But we are coming up with new ways to be more effective, and are trying really hard to get everything done on the house so we can devote all of our time to the work.
I really like my companion, Elder Heaton. He is a good teacher and a cool guy. We get along great, he is smart, its fun.
We also had a baptism on Saturday, a 16 year old named Eddy Wilson. (sounds american, right??) He is really shy but a nice kid, and his muslim mom invited us over for a big lunch afterwards. So that rocked. One of the branch missionaries named Cornellio baptized him, it was cool how close they had gotten and it is way better when the members baptize investigators so we were pretty happy about that.
I got asked to give a talk in church on Sunday, I spoke on the third article of faith and the atonement. It was a little nerve wracking but it went well, and I think it helped the members get to know me a little bit better.
Did I already mention how much I love Quelimane? I really really do. It is such a cool place. I am going to start a bike taxi business when I get home because it is genius. The branch here is small but really really nice. They really love the missionaries and all of them want to feed us every night but we usually have to turn them down because we are teaching and finding people. 🙂 Its a funny problem to have, especially in africa.
Also, on saturday night I had a really really bad craving for Little Caesars crazy bread. Sooooooo we made some, complete with pimp sauce and everything. 🙂 That was way good. Turned out nice.
That pretty much sums up my week! I’m doing great out here. Loving life. Focusing really hard on what is going on here and trying hard to forget about old friends and stuff at home.
Thanks for everything, for the emails and encouragement and such. I love you guys 🙂
Ate o proximo.
Elder Poyfair
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Week 14: Bike Taxis? Bring it on!

Good Morning. 🙂

I’d just like to start of this email by saying that I LOVE QUELIMANE. It is seriously the COOLEST place. I would be totally fine spending the rest of my mission here. This week has been a crazy one though, so I might as well get into it. 🙂
Found out I was leaving on Monday, so me and Elder Proksch went back to T3 and said goodbye to all of our investigators and recent converts and such. It was actually really sad! Most of them took it well though, said they would miss us and were greatful for our work and they can’t wait to work with the new missionaries. Antonio said something really cool though. He said that he understood we had to leave, but wanted to let us know that he beleives we were both sent to Mozambique just to find him and bring him happiness in his life. So that was cool. 🙂 We came home and packed, and then I woke up decently early and hopped on a taxi for the Airport!
The flight went well, I slept for an hour and a half, and then we started descending and I looked out the window, and saw the Coolest looking city on the banks of a river, surrounded by African plains. And I was like, “Bring it on.” 🙂
Landed, got off, got my luggage, and walked out to meet my new companion. Like I said, his name is Elder Heaton, he is from American Fork, has about 5 months left on his mission, and he is way cool. 🙂 I like him alot. An investigator of his drove us home. And by home, I mean to the church! We live at the church here. They used to have another house, but it got robbed so they moved to the church 2 weeks before.
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At this point, everything kind of runs together so since I am short on time, I’ll just talk about a couple of things that happened.
First, We baptized a family on Saturday. I use the term “we” pretty loosely since I had been there for a total of 4 days. But it was cool, went to teach them the first night I got there and they were finalizing plans for the baptism, and asked who they would like to baptize them, and the wife picked me. Her name is Aida, she is super funny and has alot of personality. So she and her husband were married and baptized, along with her younger brother who lives with them. It went well, a little hectic trying to make it all happen when our water ran out, so we baptized them in a font that was half full, and the husband is like 6’5 so he had to sit down to be baptized so that was pretty funny. 🙂
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The branch here is FANTASTIC. Its pretty new, Elder Heaton said the church has only been in Quelimane for like a year and a half. There arent alot of members, our attendance here was 61 yesterday. But the members here LOVE the missionaries. They take care of us, everyone was super excited to meet me, the Branch President is AWESOME, the members bring friends to church and stuff, it is really really cool.
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The house is HUGE too. And beautiful. Did I already say that? 🙂 We used to have a car and bikes but the bikes got stolen and the car got taken away because of the war thats going on.
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The way of transportation here is BIKE TAXIS. Its literally a little padded seat on the end of a bike. And 5 met will get you ANYWHERE in the city. Its awesome. The city is alot cleaner because everyone takes them, you arent crowded in chappas, and its just fun to enjoy the scenery and stuff. I definitely like the bike taxis.
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This week, we werent able to get a whole ton of work done. My companion is the 2nd counselor in the branch presidency here, so he is REALLY busy with meetings and taking care of stuff for the branch. President was out of town for most of the week. Also, the 2nd counselor of the mission visited on Friday, and pretty much had to be taken care of until he left last night. He did take us to dinner on saturday night though, to a super nice restaurant. I ordered a hamburger, HEAVEN. Anyways. 🙂
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It really is beautiful here. Its weird having THE WHOLE CITY to yourself, just you and your companion. There are SO many people here but also a ton of muslims.
Thats about it, I am loving life. I’m sure everyone probably knows, I got dear johned last week, not even a big deal. We were really good friends, and I hope her life turns out great. 🙂 I only cried myself to sleep for the first 3 nights. 😉 just kidding. I am so focused on my mission that it wasn’t even a big deal. Not even a speed bump.
But yeah. 🙂 I love it here. Alot. 🙂 It really is one of the coolest areas, one that every missionary wants to go to. I hope I get to stay here for a long time, there is definitely work to be done.
Anyways, I love you guys all alot.  Thanks for everything!
Elder Poyfair
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Week 13: Giddy about Quelimane

Well. This week. Rocked. 🙂 But, today is transfers, and I’m leaving T3!! I’m heading out to QUELIMANE!! It’s pretty far up north in the country. I have to take a 2 hour flight by myself to get there! There are only two missionaries in the entire province, and I’m one of them! My companion is Elder Heaton, and I’ve heard nothing but good things about him! They have bikes up there, and a car! My companion is district leader again. I am so so so freaking excited. Elder Proksch is going to be a district leader up in beira, so our area is getting white washed. But yeah. I leave tomorrow at 12!! Outside area. Dude. I am a little bit giddy right now.

Anyways, This week went well! We had another baptism, a guy named Mussa. He is 23 years old, SUPER cool. He has got a super strong testimony, he bore it in church and it was awesome. He wants to serve a mission. I love him alot.

DSC01325This week we found an awesome restaurant in our area, they have really good food and its cheap. So we ate there twice. I’m sorry I’m having a hard time writing stuff, I’m freaking excited out of my mind to head out tomorrow. I’m eating good, investigators are great, I dont have a ton of time but I will write next week. I have really had a good time, and I am kind of sad to leave T3. Yesterday was a really cool sunday. Antonio, the father of the family we baptized, bore his testimony and it was AWESOME. Made me cry. We had a fun family home evening last night, some one brought a guitar and we were sitting around a fire, playing hymns on the guitar and singing, with members and investigators, and I was just seriously, truly, happy.

Also, we had an investigator who was coming along great but we got a text from her parents that said we needed to come and visit, she was not doing well. So we came over, and she was acting WIERD. Like, possesed by an evil spirit wierd. She threw our phone out the window, was screaming in perfect english, and she didnt speak before, just freaking wierd. I was pretty scared. So we gave her a blessing, we’ll go back to see how she is later. But yeah!

Sorry this is so short. I love it out here. I’m doing WORK. I’m stoked to go to Quelimane. I’ll write next week. 🙂

Love you all so much. Thanks for everything!

Elder Poyfair

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