Monthly Archives: July 2014

Week 54: More Transfers, finding lost keys

Hi! How are ya!

Once again its P-day and I am trying to bring in all my thoughts and
experiences from the week and put them into a letter to let you all
know just a little bit of what is happening in my life.

It’s hard. πŸ™‚

And once again, I am short on time, so it is going to have to be a
sweetened-condensed version of my week. πŸ™‚

This week I passed 13 months on the mission. I had a crazy dream that
same night! I was at an airport, and my mission was over. But I
couldn’t believe it was over! I was trying so so so hard to remember
what had happened during the 2 years but I couldn’t. I was really
disappointed it was over. Luckily, I woke up. πŸ™‚ It scared me! I think
that is one of my worst fears, that one day I will wake up and be back
in my bed in America, and everything that happened here in mozambique
will seem to me like it wasn’t real, like it was only a dream. It made
me really grateful for the 11 months I still have on the mission. This
is it people. The only chance I got.

Guess what? ELDER DOUGLAS IS GETTING TRANSFERRED!!! Its true. Finally.
After over 10 months as office elder and 5 months as companions, Elder
Douglas is GOING TO SWAZILAND! That is actually not official. It was
kind of a funny story, I was looking at president’s calendar on
outlook, and I saw on August 8th, “bring Elder Douglas to Swazi”. So I
thought it was a joke, and showed it to him. He started freaking out,
and the APs were right there, and they were like, “DANG IT! I told
president he shouldn’t put it on there, that it would be visable!” so
yeah. Its confirmed. There are 3 elders leaving swaziland early for
school and president will go there on august 8th and bring elder
douglas down and it will just be me and Elder Lourenco!

I’m going to miss him. I love him so much. We are such good friends.
He is going to do WORK in Swaziland.

So we have this family we are teaching named Marilia and Jersio. They
are the most ELECT family I have taught! We found them as a reference,
from a crappy street contact. And they are so so so cool. We showed up
this week, and sat down, and I noticed the shirt he was wearing. AND
IT WAS AN EFY SHIRT! An old, 2004 efy shirt. Had some cheesy quote on
the front and a handprint on the back. Like, what are the odds!? He
said his wife bought it for him a while ago, they didn’t know what it
means. I love them! They are SO good looking. Like, the best looking
couple in the ward. And they have a cute little girl named Ashley,
they named her after a character on a movie. But they forgot the
movie…. Anyways. They are awesome. We were teaching the plan of
salvation, we had just started, and we explained how this plan
responds to three questions…. “Where did we come from, why are we
here, and where are we going…” and we said, “marilia, have you
already thought about these questions?”

And she said, “Yeah, I have….. I think….. that before this life,
we lived with God. Like, everyone says he is our father, I think its
true. We lived with him, but then we had to come and be tested, and we
forgot everything, and now we are here but its just a passage, to
learn and get experience….” it was so so cool! She like…. knew the
plan of salvation! The spirit was so strong. They are getting married
and baptized next month FOR SURE!

We have other investigators as well, they are all doing good. Today
for p-day, we all went bowling! I was one of the best bowlers…. with
a score of 108! Haha brazilians and mozambicans STINK at bowling. It
is pretty funny. πŸ™‚

On sunday, Justino, (our branch president-recent convert) invited us
for his birthday dinner. IT WAS SO GOOD! We talked with them, lots of
other members were there as well. They have some funny kids I played
with pretty much the whole time, running away from them and acting
like I was scared while they chased me like monsters. πŸ™‚

Hmmm… what else….

Oh! This is kind of a dumb story but its true and it happened. We have
a 15 passanger van here. And a couple months ago, an ap lost the key.
So we have been using the spare key for it. Well, a couple of weeks
ago, I lost the key! I thought I put it in my pocket but then I
couldn’t find it ANYWHERE! I literally looked everywhere, and was
freaking out because everyone was kind of mad at me and we needed it.
Well, wednesday we pulled up to the office, and the whole car ride I
had been thinking about it, where it could be. And when we stopped, I
said a little prayer that I could find the keys. I opened the door,
and as I did I looked down and saw that in the little side pocket on
the door, on the ground, THERE WAS A KEY! It was actually the original
key that the AP had lost a while ago! But I swear I checked there tons
and tons of times. It was a little miracle, but such a cool little
experience.

This week I ate caviar! Fish eggs, right? Well yeah I ate them. And
they were SUPER good! No one else liked them except me and President.
Now its kind of a thing, that we both like to try new foods and stuff.
The aps and other office elders and his wife always order the same
things, but he says we are adventurous and fun to eat with. He sent a
salad home with the aps one time, and said, “give this to elder
poyfair, none of you will like it. Only him.” Haha, It was a good
salad! I love working so close with President. He is an amazing leader
and the greatest mission president.

I am doing good, Loving life, living the african missionary dream.

Thanks for all you do,

Love, Elder D Poyfair

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Week 54: Milk and super glue

Hiya family! And Friends!

This week starting out on a promising note because ON MONDAY WHEN WE
WENT SHOPPING ON P-DAY WE FOUND PASTEURIZED MILK!!! I bought so so so much of it. I don’t think you understand how big of a deal this is.
Here, all of the milk is purified through the “uht” process.
Basically, while pasteurized milk has to be refrigerated and goes bad
after a little bit, UHT milk doesn’t have to be refrigerated until it
is opened and lasts way longer. Plus its cheaper. However it tastes
WAY different and not in a good way. Point is, there is no pasteurized
milk here, and you just kind of get used to the crappy milk. UNTIL
LAST WEEK! So nice. It was the first time in a while where I just
poured a big glass of milk and drank it. You kind of learn to
appreciate the little things like that here. πŸ™‚

Things are going great out here in the MOZ. I am getting along well
with my two companions, Elder Douglas and Elder Lourenco. Elder
Douglas has been my companion since March, and we have the same sense
of humor and sometimes say the same things at the same times in the
middle of lessons because we have been together so long. Then, Elder
Lourenco. He is a 22 year old brazillian from Sao Paulo, and he is so
so legit! He speaks FLUENT english, and used to be a crazy rock star!
He was in a “The system of a Down” cover band! They played a lot of
shows and stuff. I don’t know it anyone knows who they are (you
probably shouldn’t, they are a very heavy hard almost satanic metal
band), but he was the singer. He has really changed though, he is a
super funny kid who says “dude” and “freak” a lot, and is learning all
of the office stuff really fast.

The week started out with us going with the APs and President Kretly
to pick up the missionaries who were transferred from Beira back to
maputo at midnight. President went because a sister from there is
starting her mission here, and President and Sister wanted to make
sure she was well taken care of and stuff. So we picked everyone up,
including some old friends from the MTC, and took them to their areas.
We didn’t get home until 2:30 in the morning! I woke up the next
morning with a super sore throut, and was pretty sick from then up
until yesterday. I am feeling better now though. πŸ™‚ Just lack of
sleep. #officeelderlife

Speaking of Office Elder life, this weekend I had a pretty funny
accident that would literally ONLY happen in the office! We were at
our desks, and I had a little tube of superglue and I was kind of
bending it back and forth without thinking about it as we were
talking. Well, suddenly, I felt like my face was getting sprayed, and
then my eye started to sting really bad, and I realized that the super
glue had exploded all over my face and in my eye! I ran to the sink
and started flushing it with water as I felt my whole face and hair
hardening. It was awful! Most of it came off of my face but in my
eye/eyelashes and especially in my hair, it was AWFUL. It took a lot
of work and pain to get it all out! Like what kind of a mission story
is that?!?! #officeelderlife

In other news, we are finding some AWESOME families here! Our area is
being super blessed, and we had two new families at church! Sorry, we
have to go like right now to pick up an elder from the airport.

Missions rock, I am learning a lot and absolutely love it here!
Have a good week,
Love,

Elder Poyfair

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Week 53: Transferred!

Not.

I’m still here in the office and SO IS ELDER DOUGLAS!!!! Yeah. πŸ™‚ This is his 7th transfer in the office. At the end of this he will have been there for 10 and a half months. SO LONG! We are also receiving a third missionary! We will be in a tripanionship with Elder Lourenco, from BRAZIL!!! He came to mozambique about 3 months ago and wasΒ serving in Brazil before that. He speaks fluent english, and was supposedly emo before he came here but I have met him and he is super cool! I am way excited, it will be fun to have him here with us and interesting to see how it works with us two training him to be office elder. Something happened with the APs similar a couple of transfers ago with the aps, there were two and then a third one went in, they both trained him and then the next transfer they both left. Hey, it could happen, right? Haha. So yeah. 6 months of my mission spent with Elder Douglas! Crazy!

Anyways.

Elder Proksch, my trainer left for the United States today! Completed two years and stepped on the plane about an hour ago. I got to talk to him alot, he flew in on Friday and being here in the office, we had plenty of time to talk and stuff. He helped me so much, I freaking love him and it was pretty weird to see him go.

This week we really didn’t get out into the area too much, we were SUPER busy! The new missionaries arrived on Tuesday, Elder Mejia and Walker and McAllister. Elder McAllister said he went to school with Maddie Halcrow my cousiin! They were all pretty cool, a missionary named Elder Khumalo arrived the next day from South Africa. We took them around, getting all of their documents and stuff, and Elder Khumalo kept saying his tooth hurt, so the next day, Elder Douglas stayed at the office and President had me take him to the dentist, which was a little interesting because he didn’t speak any portuguese and the dentist didn’t speak any english. So I was translating, and it was a little sad because he was really scared of needles and didn’t want any needles but the Dentist said his tooth was so bad, all they could do was numb him up and pull it out. So I had to stay there and watch while the brand new missionary got his tooth pulled out by scary people who don’t speak the same language as he moaned and cried. I hated it. We went and got him some pain medications, and he went to sleep.

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We have a banana tree here at the office, it finally gave us some fruit!

I got to go out and walk one night with Elder Walker, from pleasant grove. I had kind of an interesting experience with him, we went to teach a new family that I had contacted on the street, and we got there at their house and started to teach, and Elder Walker would say a little bit and then I would kind of explain and say a lot, and then him a little bit, and then me kind of rush in and correct and stuff.

And at first, I was a little bit worried, like, “they aren’t going to understand him, and its going to ruin them”, and then, we got to the part in the restoration about Joseph Smith, and he looked at me and said, in English, “Joseph Smith?” and I nodded and decided to let him just go. So he started in, explaining the background of Joseph Smith, and his question, and everything. And he did NOT speak too well, his portuguese did not make much sense, but he kept going, and I LOVED IT! The family was so attentive, and you could feel the spirit as he struggled through it. You could tell it was something important toΒ him, and it was a nice reminder to me as now one of the kind of older missionaries (wow) that it doesn’t matter what we know or how good we are at the language, all that matters is the Spirit that we have.

Tonight, we go once again at midnight to pick up all of the Elders when they come down from Beira. There were A LOT of changes this transfer, and tons of tickets to buy and elders coming down and stuff. So tonight will be another late night.

Missionaries

This is the Maputo 2 with the missionaries who are leaving, including Elder Proksch!

We have been working with a family for quite a while now named Ancelmo and Beatriz. We have been kind of struggling with them, because they did not want to get married and just wanted to keep pushing it off until next year. This is a problem, because they are still living in sin and cannot be baptized. Well, last week we had a really good lesson with them, and they said they would talk it over and think about it. We went back this week and they said they wanted to get married in secret without telling the family as soon as possible! It really was a miracle, this family is awesome. We are working with a few others as well, but none of them are really close to marriage and baptism yet.

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Our District. Maputo 2. The best one in Mozambique. πŸ™‚

Well, thats pretty much my week in a nutshell. Not the most exciting letter, I know, but transfer week is always pretty crazy! I would just like some sleep. πŸ™‚

Thanks for everything, love you all,

Elder Poyfair

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Week 52: Family History, Zone Conference, Integrity, No keys

Happy Monday! This week was crazy! Being a Secretary is a whole
different mission!

(I’m sorry. I completely understand that every weekly letter starts
EXACTLY LIKE THAT. You’re just going to have to bear with me though,
because its true. It’s kind of like a mission in general, every day
you do more or less the same thing. So yeah, my letters are going to
all kind of start the sameish. Its just how it is) πŸ™‚

For real though, this week was pretty crazy. It started off with
“pday” one week ago, which was kind of a joke unless the “p” starts
for Packed. Elders from Maxixe got into the bus stop on one side of
the city at about the same time the elders from Chimoio had to be
picked up from the airport, at about the same time that the bus with
20 elders from swaziland needed to be guided to the mission office, at
about the same time that one of the senior couples here got in a car
accident on the way to go shopping. πŸ™‚

WOW!

Luckily, we had two cars because the APs were working with president
on last minute Zone Conference and stuff so we were able to split and
take missionaries with us to make sure everyone got put into place and
happy. It all worked out. It was the day before zone conference, and
we were told by president to have our “Minha Familia” (my family)
booklets filled out, and I had everything except for the memories and
stories for a couple of family members. Luckily, RIGHT before we left
for the office at night, I checked on the computer and both of my
parents had sent me the things I needed! So, without even reading
them, I pushed “print” and brought them with me to our house. We got
home pretty late, but I stayed up a little later transfering what they
had emailed me into my little booklet.

And it was the coolest little spiritual experience! As I was writing
my parents memories and thoughts about their ancestors, looking there
at their pictures I had printed out and everything, I realized how
much I really didn’t know about these people. And I loved it! I dunno.
I had never met a lot of them, and it was just a really cool little
moment I had, sitting cross legged on my bed with a little lamp on,
learning about my relatives.

Anyways. The next day we woke up at about 5 o clock, because they were
like 10 elders at our house and we all had to get ready and drive to
matola, about 30 minutes away. So we get all ready, and then ended up
having to go all the way to the other side of maputo to pick up the
swaziland elders staying at the office, because the APs weren’t ready
on time. So we rushed over there, picked them up, and had gotten kind
of far, when we realized we had forgotton the apples at the office, so
we had to turn around and go and pick up the 75 apples we left.
Luckily we still got there with plenty of time, so that was good. πŸ™‚

Zone Conference itself went well. It was a really inspired training,
and President Kretly is phenomenal. He has such a gift and it is such
a blessing to learn from him. The theme of the conference had to do
with the difference between an “Ordinary” missionary and an
“Extraordinary” one. One of the things I especially liked was when we
talked about how an ordinary missionary goes on a mission and comes
back the same person, while an extraordinary missionary goes and comes
back a completely different person.

We watched a video clip from a talk by Tad R Callister called,
“Becoming men and women of integrity”. Obviously the whole talk is
good, but the part we watched talked about an experience he had as
mission president with an elder who was struggling with disobedience.
The clip talks about how on a mission, when a missionary only changes
his behavior (doing missionary things), he comes back the same person
and have the same weaknesses and such. But when he goes and changes
his nature, he will come back different and the type of man the lord
wants him to be. I don’t know, probably doesn’t make too much sense,
but I loved it. I think I can be kind of guilty of that sometimes,
only changing my actions and not my way of being. And I was pretty
resistent as well, especially at the beginning, of changeing on the
mission. I always made fun of those kids who came back totally
different, and “stiff” or boring and all that, and said, “that’ll
never happen to me!”

And it won’t. However, I believe that your mission can change you for
the better if you let it, and that change doesn’t have to be the kind
of becoming boring and not liking fun, but can be a perfecting of lots
of the little things. πŸ™‚

Yeah. The next day was busy as well, getting everyone taken back to
the airport and stuff, but all left well, and later that night
President and the APs were catching a flight to beira. The APs were
late, and we had to speed there, almost missing the flight. In the
confusion, the APs took our house keys with them! So we got back to
our house late that night, and realized we had no keys! IT WAS SO
BAD! No tooth brush, clothes, food, NOTHING. We were pretty upset,
after a pretty stressful week and stuff but did our best to “come what
may and love it.” πŸ™‚

We drove back to the office, and slept there. Luckily they were able
to send the keys by airmail and we got them the next day.

Well, I’m about out of time. Things are going really good here. I love
my mission. I can’t imagine myself anywhere else. Transfers are next
week and I am excited to see the changes in the mission. I love you
all, miss you guys so much!

Thanks,

Elder Poyfair

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Week 51: Zone Conference planning is worse than getting malaria

Hi everybody,

Sorry for the lack of a weekly letter. Things got CRAZY around here,
and while I had written about half of this letter, I was unable to
send it. So now, even though its Thursday, I will just finish the last
letter and send it, and next week write a little bit more about these
past couple of days. SO. You just have to pretend its monday right
now…..

Tomorrow is Zone Conference. All of the missionaries from Swaziland
(22) are coming up here to Maputo to join us. 5 missionaries are
flying in from outside areas as well. = 74 total missionaries who all
need places to fed and food to eat and to make it to Zone Conference
tomorrow!! Needless to say things have been a little stressful around
here.

But its ok, I like it. πŸ™‚ It reminds me of being back on Student
Council in High School, just like I’m back to planning the senior
dinner dance or something. It is fun having so much control over an
event like this, and making sure everything works out perfectly and
everyone has a good Zone Conference. Unfortunately, P day gets shafted
a little bit, but what else is new here in my life as an office elder?

Last thursday was my 1 year mark! Me and Elder Douglas woke up at 5:30
in the morning and went to the beach, where we watched the sun rise.
It was pretty cool, but we were pretty tired for the rest of the day
as well. Still can’t believe its halfway done. It goes so so fast!

On Tuesday, we went to Justino (our recent convert and branch
president)’s house. His wife is Cacilda, the sassy black lady who
ripped me off with the ties. She was pretty smart in getting us over
there to her house. At church last week, she said, “So when are you
guys coming to visit us?” and we said, “Oh, we don’t know, we have
been SUPER busy and this week is going to be pretty difficult (plus
they are the greatest family and don’t even need visits) ” and she
interrupts us and says, “I’ve got some shrimp I want to make for you
guys on tuesday and you HAVE to come!” A pause, and me and Elder
Douglas look at each other. “Yeah, tuesday works for us!”Hahah smart
lady. I really do love that family though.

We sat with quite a few new families this week, the first one was
named Antonio and Lurdes, and they were a reference from a member
named Chevite. He called us, and told us he wanted to show us this
family, so we agreed. Chevite is a pretty… interesting member. He is
really smart, but he has helped us teach in the past but tends to kind
of ruin lessons by talking WAY too much and going off about why the
catholic church is from hell because they baptize children and all
this extra stuff like that, that would be really funny if it wasn’t to
investigators hearing about the church for the first time. It is
usually kind of a turn off for them. So we teach this family, and
things are going pretty good, until Chevite starts talking and all
this stuff that isn’t too important, all these extra details about
Emma Smith and all this stuff (right?) and the investigator kind of
cuts him off and says, “I have a doubt about tithing. Does your church
pay tithing? I have gone to churches before, and they ask a ton of
money, and I don’t even have money to pay for shoes for my kids!”

So we open our mouths to begin answering the question, when Chevite
starts talking, and says, “Yeah, in our church we pay tithing. Tithing
is really important. For example, here we have these missionaries,
they have to leave America to come here, and the airplane ticket costs
money, and they need food to eat and a house to live in while they are
here, and tithing pays for that…” And at this point, you can just
kind of see the excitement drain out of the investigator’s face. I
pretty much smacked the member at this point, cut him off and said
“Actually Brother Chevite, tithing doesn’t pay for any of that stuff.
We as missionaries pay for ourselves to be here…..” And turned it
around into explaining about tithing.

Again, it would be a funny experience if it wasn’t a brand new,
impressionable investigator. Needless to say, they didn’t come to
church on Sunday. Its hard, like…. we want to teach with members and
stuff, but sometimes they complicate things. Its like you are teaching
the memeber and the investigator at the same time. πŸ™‚ Oh well. Life
goes on.

On Friday, we had district meeting, and I thought it went pretty well.
We talked a lot about attributes of Christ and his character and
stuff, and I shared about how President Lyman challenged me to carve
his name on my heart so that when I take off my nametag, it doesn’t
hurt so bad. πŸ™‚ Anyways, it was good and crazy that that happened a
year ago.

Well, I should probably wrap up, don’t have too much more to say about
this week. Transfers are on July 14th, so that will be interesting to
see if I get a new companion, or if me and elder douglas will stay
together for 6 months of our missions!

Anyways, love you all,

EP

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