Last email of 2013, pretty weird! This week seems like it lasted so so so so so so long. Like, the longest week of my life. 🙂 But it was a really fun week, I enjoyed it alot!
On monday, we woke up and began our regular P-day routine. We had 2 other elders here with us from Morromeu, we did email and made food and packed our bags and stuff, and then President Mabunda our branch president drove us to the airport. We got on the flight, I turned on some christmas music (thanks Jon Schmidt and James Conlee) andddd then woke up two hours later in maputo. 🙂 We got picked up by the office elders (one of whom is my best friend Elder Douglas!), and they took us through the city back to the mission office. It was so strange going back there, because It really hadnt been that long but it seemed like the city had changed so much! It was also cool to be at the mission office again, we stayed there for about a couple of days during my first week in the country so it was kinda cool to be back there a couple months later and realize how fast time went by!
I got there, and a lot of missionaries there from around the city were already skyping their families. My buddy from the MTC, Elder Olsen was there and I had fun talking to him for a bit. Then, it was my turn to skype my family. I went in and called them, but it turned out that I had told them the wrong time! So My mom and katelyn were there but the others were at a soccer game. But I said it was fine, I will just call them back in a little bit. But then I was told I had to skype them right then and didnt have much time to do so. So that stunk a little bit. 🙂 It was ok though. It was so so so cool to see my family. And zoey. 🙂 It was fun talking to them but I swear then second I started, time started going 8 zillion times faster. And about 4 minutes later, my time was already up and it was time to go! So that was a little frusterating. Made me miss them a ton. Especially when Katelyn was crying at the end. 🙂 Hahaha pretty funny. But its fine, I get to do it again in like six months anyway. 🙂
So I was feeling a teeny bit down after that skype call, and how short it was, but then thought that to lift my spirits, I would go and open my package that my family had sent me and was there at the mission office. So I grabbed it, went upstairs, and began to open it.
Before I go on, I just want to say that I debated leaving this part out. But I realized I have to keep you guys updated with exactly what is going on, and It just wouldnt be right to leave parts of this journey out. I have to relay the whole experience.J
So, I opened the package, and instantly this nasty smell came out. NASTY. And I thought, what the, that cant be right… I opened it some more and saw that EVERYTHING inside was covered in a dark, sticky liquid. And I mean everything! Wrapped presents, ensigns, food, candy, everything. I started lifting stuff out, to see what the problem was, and saw that there were maggots crawling around. Literally hundreds of maggots. I pulled stuff out, that was dripping in this liquid, with maggots crawling all over everything. I’ll admit, I got a little bit angry. J I found that the liquid was Polynesian sauce from Chic fil a, arguably the greatest sauce ever. Unless its covering your entire Christmas package. They had put them in bags, but in the roughness of the trip, all the sauces and safety bags they were put in had got burst. J The maggots (or post office workers) had also made their way into some of the food my family sent, which was now covered with rotton sauce. I separated the saveable stuff from the completely destroyed stuff and went to bed. Needless to say, I went to bed that night pretty frusterated. I was tired from our day of traveling, a little disappointed in how short my skype call was, and pretty sad that this awesome package my family had sent got destroyed. It took me a while to fall asleep, I was feeling pretty sorry for myself.
But I woke up the next day, on Christmas Eve, and had the best turnaround. I woke up pretty early and went through the package stuff again. I realized that it was a blessing they had wrapped some of the presents in wrapping paper, because the sauce didn’t quite enter in. I realized I had made things seem worse then they were, and a lot of the food and candy was still fine. The ensign wasn’t too bad, I only had to throw away one of the AWESOME ugly ties they sent me. I got most of it cleaned off, and realized it really wasn’t too bad. I really enjoyed the book, a singing cat card, and they had sent a NICE tie too that I was super grateful didn’t even get touched by the sauce or maggots. What a blessing.
That day was zone conference, so I headed out with all the other outside area elders (wearing my santa tie my parents sent me) to the chapel in matola where we had our zone conference! Zone conference was fantastic. It was exactly what I needed. Our president is amazing, we learned a lot and the spirit was very strong there, really brought me a lot of peace being there. It was also fun to see all my friends, from my mtc group and from t3 and stuff. After zone conference, we went back to the mission office where we had the sweetest Christmas party ever. There was SO much good food, balloons, pies, ice cream, turkey, oh. It was amazing. We talked and pigged out and laughed at skits and had a good time. Then president gave us all a stocking with candy and a tie in it. Super cool. I went to bed that night feeling a hundred billion times better than the night before. It was probably one of my best days on the mission so far. J
Christmas itself passed by pretty uneventful. Woke up, packed up, headed out to the airport and caught a flight home. I wrote in my journal and read the Christmas story from the bible. We got back to Quelimane, dropped our stuff off, and went to A member’s house, Walter and Dharmin. They are my favorite members! They are a funny funny couple, and they act super American. They are young, and some of our strongest members. We ate with them and played games, and had a blast. We went home and fell asleep, completely exhausted. J
The next couple days leading up to today weren’t to eventful, with two exceptions. Most of the time was speant trying to reconstruct our area because after you leave for a couple of days, strangely enough it turns out investigators forget who Joseph Smith was and where the church is. I’m exaggerating of course but it is still pretty funny.
My testimony was really strengthened on the importance of working with members this week. I know I have written about Lindo and Filamena and the sad story happening with them. We had pretty much given up, but took a member, Irma Marta with us to teach them. And I swear, Marta COMPLETELY turned them around. 180 degrees. She really didn’t say anything different then what we had been saying, but she made it into their hearts like we couldn’t. They are back on track and doing great, should get married and baptized in January. There is power in members people! If you are a missionary, use them. If you are a member, help the missionaries. J Call them up and be like, “Hey, I want to help you guys get a lesson with a member present. When could I help you out?” And they will put their jaw back in their mouth and be happy to find a time.
The other cool thing that happened was with Clasmen and Ginesia. They are my favorite, I love them so so so much. When we started teaching them, she was pregnant. Well, she gave birth on Christmas day! (here, the translation for giving birth is “giving the light”. I like that WAY better.) We were excited, but found out that their baby was born a little early and had problems breathing. They stayed at the hospital there for a while. So yesterday, we were in the city doing contacts, and I got this feeling we should go to the hospital and visit them, and give their baby a blessing. We already had a lesson to go to, but the feeling persisted, so I told Elder Heaton and we turned around and went to the hospital. Clasmen was very excited when we told him, he got us and brought us in to the maternity. Can I just say how humbling of an experience that is, to be in a mozambiqan hospital. I can not even describe, how sad of a place it is. Oh. We don’t realize how nice we have it in America.I for sure didn’t. But these hospitals are terrible. It is just a really sad, hopeless place. We walked in, found Ginesia with their baby. Also, they named the baby Klagesia. (clasmen and ginesia mixed!!!!!!! How funny, right?!?!?!?!) And they baby was sooo cute. We explained how priesthood blessings work and stuff, and something amazing happened. When we had entered, there were lots of people talking, and babies crying, and just noise. But when we started to give the blessing, everything stopped. It got silent. The only thing you could here were the words coming out of my mouth. All the babies had stopped, and the moms and workers too. The spirit was so strong! I ended the blessing, opened my eyes, and there were other moms standing close with their babies!!! They asked us to bless them, so we did. Their babies were a lot worse off then Klagesia. It was pretty humbling. We left that hospital with the greatest feeling. Then, about an hour ago, we got a text from clasmen saying the baby was better and they had left the hospital and were at home! So cool.
That’s about it. Im excited to get back into the groove of things here. I had an awesome, awesome Christmas. I am truly happy here. Thanks for everything, I love you all.