Monthly Archives: November 2014

Week 72: Elder Poyfair loves Mozambicans

Happy Monday!

This week was great. Things started off fun with Transfer night: Me, Elder Lourenco and Elder Reinstein and the APs picking up Elders from the airport and taking them to their areas. We didn’t end up getting home until two in the morning! There were a lot of changes this transfer, including Elders from Beira going to Swaziland. It took some careful orchestration for it all to happen, but we all ended up  ok and all transfers happened smoothly. 🙂
Elder Reinstein is our new companion. He’s a great Elder! He cracks me up. Apperantly he had a dream a couple of nights before transfers, that he became Office Elder. He woke up, and told everyone in his house, “Guys! I had the worst  nightmare last night! I was transferred to the office!” Hahaha. I guess dreams really do come true. He was looking through all of the music on my computer, and he said, “So this is all kosher?” (Meaning, is all of the music approved for missionaries?) Hahaha. He is smart and learning everything really fast. He’s awesome!
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From left to right: Elder’s Reinstein, Poyfair and Laurenco.

Before he came in, me and Elder Lourenco were trying to figure out the best way we could help him learn everything. It is kind of hard with only two computers and three elders. How we did before, when it was me and Elder Douglas training Elder Lourenco, was that Elder Lourenco didn’t have a computer, and sat in the middle so he could learn from both of us. However, Elder Lourenco didn’t think it was too effective, so with Elder Reinstein we decided I should give up my computer and be able to teach and train and help both of them. So I don’t have my own computer anymore! But its ok. Its been working really really well, being able to train him like that. Sometimes it is a little frusterating though, like on Pday when you want to email your family hahahaha.
We started driving with him this week! My respect for Elder Douglas and his patience in teaching me how to drive stick and in Mozambiqiue is at a all time high right now. 🙂 WOW its scary but he has been doing really good. He drove today from our house to Matola (20 minutes away) for our soccer today without any problems.
Other highlights of the week included making 6 trips to the airport and getting pulled over 5 times. Our techniques for not having to bribe or pay fake tickets from the corrupt cops are improving- This one was pretty mad at me, and was telling me I was going to have to pay a huge ticket for  not having an international drivers license and that he was going to take me to jail right then. I noticed him try and slip in an english word  here or there and decided to run with it- I said, “You speak English?” (Like a caveman). And he said, “Uhhh yeah…. I speak. Little by little.” and he had the goofiest grin on his face and  I knew I had won.  “You like to read?” I said, and he said, “Yeah, I like….” and I pulled a Book of Mormon and said, “Read this book. It will teach you about Jesus.” and he took it and said, “Yeah, ok. You can go now.” And we drove away. It was pretty funny!
We were walking home one night, and it was pretty late. Our area, Chamanculo, is a pretty sketchy neighborhood. Like, the sketchiest. Well, I was walking in front and I see this group of guys who look pretty gangster start coming towards us, and I get a little freaked out,  and then they like close in on us and this one reaches into his pants like he is pulling out a gun. And I am legitly scared and kind of made a noise and then  they all busted out laughing and were joking the whole time, and all of the old ladies were laughing hysterically and I felt so embarrassed. Well played, african hoodlums. Well played. 🙂
Then we were walking in the afternoon on Saturday, and there was this old, homeless looking guy who was a little bit drunk who was holding a bunch of belts and trying to sell them. We saw one of the belts, that said Jesus on the buckle, and Elder Reinstein thought it would be pretty funny to buy, so he started talking to the salesman and the guy says it costs 180 Meticais, which is pretty expensive for a lame belt. So Eleder Reinstein tries bargaining  with him and he won’t have it. And then, there were some teenagers sitting in chairs nearby who had been observing the whole thing, and one butted in saying, “180  Meticais? You can buy that same one  for 50 meticais and the market down the street!” and we all turned and looked at the teenager and slowly back to hear the old man, and his response was priceless: “That guy over there? He’s a DONKEY.”  And everyone on the street started laughing. It was so funny. I love Mozambicans. 🙂
It was Elder Hamrick, one of the APs birthday this week, so I thought I would be nice and wake up early and make him breakfast in bed. I have done it for  all of the Elders in my houses I’ve lived with. So I made him french toast, and It looked SO nice, with syrup and juice and stuff, and I put banana slices in a circle around the plate and drizzled sweetened condensed milk around it and it looked GOOD. So I brought it in to him, and he was so happy and ate it and it was awesome. However, because it looked so good, he had forgotten that he is pretty allergic to bananas and can’t eat them. About 20 minutes later  he was sick, and then he spent the rest of the morning throwing up. 🙂  Happy birthday Elder Hamrick! Hahahahahaha.
This week was District Conference! The attendence there was CRAZY!! There were 850 people at the chapel in Matola on Sunday. The capacity is 600. There was not enough seats for a lot of people, we were all standing outside listening through the windows. It was so cool. I saw alot of the  people I had baptized in T3. It was so cool.
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We were really blessed this week in finding new families. We had a lot of new investigators, and we  had a new family come to the district conference! The work is going great here.
The best part though about this week was with Gersio and Marilia. We had dropped them about a month ago, they are the family that was having struggles with the family, where they live with their parents and there parents said if they got baptized, they were getting kicked out onto the street, and they decided to stop investigating the church, they didn’t want to get baptized and they stopped marking visits with us or  coming to church. They were   one of my favorite families, and I was super  sad when they dropped us. Well, this week, we went back, and it was literally one of the best, most spiritual lessons of my mission! It went so so so good. They had started reading again and decided that they need to be baptized. I wish I could describe how awesome the lesson was. They accepted baptism on Christmas day! Its going to be a white Christmas.
Honestly, things are going great right now. I love my mission, I love the work, I love my area and I love my companions.
BUT! As always, p-day is short  and I have to go now. Oh yeah! Some of the American families in Maputo 1 invited us over for dinner on thanksgiving!  Its going to be really good. I’ll actually eat some turkey this year. 🙂
Love,
Elder Poyfair
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Week 71: SEVEN TRANSFERS!!!!

Hello family,

Today is TRANSFERS and……………………

I am staying right where I am. Maputo 2A. Special Assignement, Financial Secretary. FOR THE 7th TRANSFER!! Each transfer= 6 weeks. So 7 Transfers=10 and a half months of my mission!! WOW.

Also, we will be in a Tripanionship! Me, Elder Lourenco, andddd Elder REINSTEIN. He has been out on the mission as long as I have been in the office. We are pretty good friends on the mission, I am really excited to serve together. He is really smart and organized and obedient. He is gonna be a great financial secretary. 🙂

I am not too bummed about it. 🙂 President Kretly called me and we talked for a good 20 minutes about what his plans are with the Office. He said that the idea is that this will be my last transfer here in the office, I will train Elder Reinstein in the office work and everything and then leave for the field next transfer, onDecember 29th. He said, “It’ll depend, ya know? On how well you can train Elder Reinstein. If he isn’t trained well in one transfer, you will have to stay longer. If you want to stay the rest  of your mission here in the office, no problem for me. You can. But if you want to leave earlier, you need to train him really really good this transfer so you can leave.”

It is going to be a great transfer. 🙂 He is going to be SO well trained. 🙂

In other news, Elder Cummings, will be leaving and going to T3 for his last transfer. He has been AP for 5 transfers, and we have been in the same house for 7 months together. We have gotten pretty close! For example. Two weeks ago, I bought some mushrooms. And this week, I opened my fridge and they were rotton. ROTTON. Like, they smell SO BAD. So I said loudly, “Who wants some rotton mushrooms?” and Elder Cummings said loudly from the other room, in a joking voice, “I DO!!” So I walked in and threw the mushrooms at his face, and he jumped up and started chasing after me with them. So I went and hid behind Elder Hamrick, his companion, who  was reading the scriptures, and he walked away. I thought he went to throw them away, and so we resumed the night. But I didn’t know, he put them on my bed!! We ate dinner and stuff, forgot about it, and as he started to pray, he remembered it and felt bad, so he went in and moved them to my desk. So I walk in, see them on my desk, bring  them out, and say, “You put them on my desk?!?!?” and he said, “I’m sorry I put them on your bed…” and I said, “YOU PUT THEM ON  MY BED?!?!?! ARE YOU SERIOUS?!?!?!” and he said, “There’s no problem! It didn’t do anything. We will go and look right now and then you’ll see theres no mess and it doesnt smell bad or anything. And if its bad, I’ll sleep there and you sleep in my bed.” So we go and check, and there is a HUGE stain on my bed of gross rotton mushroom juice and it smells AWFUL. We just busted up laughing, I went to sleep on his bed and he cleaned  it all up and we were just laughing and our room smelled bad all night.

Moral of the story: DONT MESS WITH ROTTON MUSHROOMS. 🙂 Andddddd me and Elder Cummings got to be good friends and he is leaving. He goes home in December.

It was a typical pre-transfer week: New missionaries arrived on Tuesday, three elders who had been serving for a transfer in Florida because of Visa problems, and then the next day one new Elder from the MTC and two new sisters. You have NO IDEA how much work goes into getting new missionaries! Buying all of the food and having rides for everyone and places to sleep and getting them their money and trainings and bringing them to President’s house, and walking with them and dealing with Jet lag and stuff. Then, we had to purchase all of the airplane tickets, give another budget presentation at staff meeting for the month, etc.

As far as our area goes, things are going pretty good. We were able to sit with 3 new families! All three lessons went well, and we had two complete families at church. The Lord continues to bless us as we try to do it all, office work and normal traditional missionary work.

Now, I am heading to the airport to pick up some elders from Quelimane, and other places, and take them to T3, where I will pick up Elder Reinstein and bring him back to the office. The real fun starts tonight atmidnight, when the flight from  Beira gets in, 8 Elders each going to different spaces
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^ Right about here is where things got pretty crazy, and we had to go pick people up and all of that fun stuff and we didn’t get home until 2:30 in the morning. Luckily President gave us permission to sleep in a little bit, so I am just quickly putting this together and sending it off.  SO MUCH TO DO, ALL THE TIME AND IT NEVER STOPS. 🙂
So yeah. 🙂 Crazy crazy crazy life but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I promise a better letter next week. 🙂
Love,
Elder Poyfair
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Week 70: Getting the President to LOL on his phone is no small feat

Hi, today is P-Day! Everything is going well here in MOZ.

This week went well. There were definitely some highs and lows. 🙂 On the bright side, this week will go down in history as the week I MADE PRESIDENT KRETLY LAUGH THROUGH TEXT AND HE SENT BACK HAHAH ON THE CELLPHONE IN A TEXT. I know that doesn’t even seem like that big of a deal but it was literally the first time it has ever happened ever ever ever ever. In portuguese, they don’t say “Hahaha” but they say “KKKKK” instead. So I was texting him about hotel reservations, because at the end of the year he is going on this big long trip to visit a whole bunch of the areas, and one of the areas SUPER far away is called Luaha. It is literally a teeny village, in the middle of the mountains, with no stores, cell phone service, or ANYTHING like literally the middle of the jungle, but the whole village are members of the church and have a branch of like 50 people there. (Sadly, no missionaries.) So I texted president, saying that all of the reservations were done, the only problem we had was the reservation in Luaha, which was funny since there is obviously NO hotel there. Then he texted back, saying, “KKKKK my reservation is already confirmed” (meaning in the cool tent attachment in his truck).

Anyways. I know it doesn’t seem that big but like, no one has EVER been able to do that, no APs or Office Elders. So I was proud.

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This week, Elder Herd had his surgery! Both toes got operated on. We were asked to go there with him and stay with him at the hospital for the surgery. We thought it wouldn’t be a big deal, but we were pretty unprepared for how long it ended up taking! It was like SIX HOURS LONG!!! Luckily I had brought my scriptures. I was able to read for about two hours, but in the end I fell asleep, and slept for a good two and a half hours haha. It felt SO good. I woke up, and my companion Elder Lourenco, was sleeping as well. Haha I took a picture of him there sleeping. That picture pretty much sums up Office Elder Life. 🙂

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The surgery made working during the rest of the week a little complicated, because someone always had to be with him, and normally we just drop them off with the senior couples at night, but all of the couples, AND President and Sister Kretly, were at the couples “conference” (ahem vacation) for the whole week. But we were able to go out and split with members, and it wasn’t too bad. 🙂

This week, I had a SUPER good personal study on D and C 100. I was reading in Preach My Gospel, and went there for one of the scriptures, and stayed there in the short section for the whole hour! It was seriously SO GOOD. I literally felt like as I read, God was personally teaching me and helping me apply it and understand it. It was SO personal, and I was very grateful for it. 🙂 Its a good chapter, and sums up EVERYTHING that is going on in my life right now. 🙂

Sad news though. They took Zeus away. Zeus is our Ford Ranger, and we got a call from President saying that Elder Dille, one of the Senior couples would take it to Beira the next day. 😦 So we had to wash it, clean it out, fill it up, and turn the keys over and suddenly he was gone. 😦 President wants us and the APs to share a car eventually, but for now we are using the extra truck.

Anyways. My time is short and I already have to go. My mission is going so well, I’m so grateful for everything thats happening here. Mozambique is the BEST. Today we played soccer on the beach and it was heaven. 🙂

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Thanks for all the support and prayers. I feel them every day.

Love,

Elder Poyfair
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Week 69: So there’s this new thing where I write an email every week….

Hi Family,

Another week down and we are already in November. One year ago from tomorrow I went to Quelimane! Every month goes so fast. It kind of scares me. But things are going good! I think that one of the problems of staying in the same area for a long time, is your weeks all start blurring together. Like, honestly, what did  I do this week that I didn’t do last week? Haha. So I apologize if the emails are getting less and less interesting. Welcome to my life. 😉 Haha just kidding. And the pictures! Sorry I have been slacking lately. Seriously, I can only take so many pictures of my car and computer screen. And we are only out in Actual Africa at like 7 o clock when it is already dark anyways. 🙂

News for this week:

Our life kind of got shaken up when we went and picked up Elder Herd from the airport. Did we think he was going to be the new office elder and replace me FINALLY after 6 transfers and nine months in the office? Yes it definitely crossed our minds. Especially when on Tuesday, at staff meeting, Elder Herd got invited to come in and be apart of it. That never happens! We have had other elders come in to stay with us for medical procedures, but NEVER were they invited to staff meeting. We talked about lots of confidential stuff, and at that point we were sure that he was going to the new Secretary.

However, a week later, we are pretty unsure. We havn’t received ANY further instruction, like if we need to start training him, or teaching him to drive or anything. His surgery is tomorrow, for double ingrown townails. So really no further updates on that. 🙂

Election day was pretty calm, but this week, the results were announced and there was a ton of rioting and chaos going on, so all missionaries were told to stay in our houses! We and the APs were at the office, and President said we had to stay there and sleep there! With no extra clothes, no food, dinner or breakfast, pillows, or enough beds or ANYTHING. We were on lockdown, it kind of stunk! Luckily, President showed up that night at like 8:00 PM with a big family pack of KFC, and we all ate together. It was nice. I slept on the floor that night, because there werent enough beds and I didn’t have a mosquito net. Well, I woke up in the middle of the night, DRENCHED in sweat and with mosquitos ALL OVER MY FACE!! I seriously slapped like 6 of them that were ATTATCHED to my face, and went and turned on the AC that had mysterioulsy turned of and gave myself a mini-bath in bug spray. It was so awful. Luckily, no malaria yet. 🙂

This week was spent working HARD. Our proselyting area is falling apart. We are only able to go out and work at around 6 or 7 PM each night, which makes it really hard to keep up with the families we are teaching. Unfortunately, it makes it even more difficult to find new families at the same time! So our problem was, we were trying to teach lots of families at the same time, and as such did not have much time to find new families. Then, last week, all of our families that were progressing well began falling apart, and now we are pretty much starting from square one. It is a little bit frusterating. This sunday, we did not have a single “family at church”. This is a key indicator our mission has, of how many complete investigating families (mom and dad and kids) your companionship has at church. If the mom is there but the dad isn’t, it doesn’t count. So this week, we didn’t have a single family at church. It was only the second time in my mission that this has happened, the first time being my very first week in Mozambique, in T3 with Elder Proksch. Needless to say, it was a little hard. I felt like a failure. Like, I want to have success so so bad, and I honestly feel like we are doing our best with what we are given, and working effectively and being obedient and stuff but lately we have just been getting crushed out there. Its hard, and I felt bad for myself for a little bit, but we moved on and speant the rest of Sunday looking HARD for new families. We really are coming home every night just DEAD tired from working all day, and as hard as it is right now, I know the Lord will bless us as we keep moving forward.

We started playing basketball for our morning excercise, there is a high school down the street from our house so we wake up half an hour early and go play, us and the aps. My companion is a pretty funny basketball player. He can destroy me in soccer but I’ve got him beat when it comes to basketball. Brazillians can’t be good at everything I guess. 🙂

We worked a lot with President this week.  There was a time this week where me and Elder Lourenco were sitting on the floor of President Kretly’s office, counting a BUNCH of money and sorting through the emergency fund of the mission, laughing with each other and making jokes and stuff while we did it. And I thought, “This isn’t too bad.”. President Kretly trusts us SO much! We speant the whole day with him on Friday, after district meeting, which included us going and getting pizza together after some of the work we did together at the bank. We talked a lot there at the pizza place, about what the plans for the mission are and what is probably going to happen. In the end, I probably won’t be leaving the office for a while. STILL. There are some plans he has that still havn’t happened. So yeah! I will probably be here until Christmas at the earleist. Yaaaay me. 🙂

Serving in the office has been a blessing and a curse. I know I will look back, and be greatful for every second I speant here. But at the same time, I am just kind of itching to see what I can do full time in the feild.

Oh well. 🙂

Things are going good. I am healthy, me and my companion are getting along pretty good, I mean, its hard when you have been with the same guy for 3 transfers, like, there are obviously things that are going to bug you and we butt heads sometimes but for the most part things are good and we are able to work them out.

Mozambican’s are SO great. I am so gratful for the chance I have had to serve here with them! They are so special to me. We have been working a lot with the members in our branch as we try to find families to teach through their friends, and I am so inspired by how happy they are compared to all the other people we come in contact with. Seriously, the active members here in Mozambique are SO BLESSED! They are so happy as they live the gospel and the contrast is amazing. This is a people that really needs the gospel.

But yeah. 🙂 That was my week. Thanks for all of your support, prayers, and interest in whats going on in my life. I am doing well, and love you all!

Elder Poyfair

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