Monday, December 30, 2013

Manga 20th Week - December 30, 2013

On P-day, due to Christmas, Shoprite was crazy. But P-day email rocked and we ate at our regular place. At 1500 we went to play soccer at a field that’s back way behind the church. It was super fun. We played with the Manga 3 elders and Manga 1 and Manga 3 youth. We ended up having about 26 people playing. My team won 3 to 1!

On the way home Elder Schachterle and I found what is I am pretty sure the only pay phone in Mozambique. We met with a family in our area and dressed up for a Nativity. We were able to read and talk about the birth of Christ.

Christmas Eve we had a crazy day. We had a couple of lessons and then went to Baixa to the Senior couples apartments for our Christmas Party. We were able to skype our families, ate awesome food, had a white elephant gift exchange and watched the Christmas Story. Skyping was so amazing! Getting to see and talk with everyone it felt like our 40 minutes lasted only 2 minutes. It went by so fast and it was so hard to hang up. I could have talked for hours! I love them so much! I did not want to quit the call. That part was hard. After the best part of Christmas (the skype home), we read the Nativity in Luke 2 and watched a clip from

Christmas Day I wore a brand new absolutely amazing tie I got from Bailee! I hope that this was the hottest Christmas I will ever have in my life. It was so hot. We were able to visit some of our investigators. We had not taught the Word of Wisdom yet and we were glad to find out that they do not have a problem with alcohol. It was such a good day. We met with another family and did the Nativity with them. It was awesome. The cherry on top of everything was visiting the T---- family, on the way home. I love them so much.

The day after Christmas was my six month mark. Time flies by! I still feel like I just stepped into Manga. It was a good day. During a lesson I got a call from the office elders. They had some good news and bad news. The good news is my Christmas package from my family was received. The bad news is due to how many packages they had for many missionaries, they were not going to be able to send my entire package. I had them open it and tell me about each item. Then I had to pick a few things for them to bring me. At least I know the package made it and I will get some of my things on the 31st and some at the next zone conference or if I am transferred south.

We had a really neat experience from one of the members. He text us “I have my call, I am at the church. I will be opening it in 20 minutes. We power walked there. He was so excited! Then came the moment of his opening. It was a bit odd hearing a call letter in Portuguese, but so cool at the same time. He will be serving in the Angola Luanda Mission. He will be reporting to the Brazil MTC in April. He was shaking so bad from happiness, nervousness and the spirit. He is going to be an awesome missionary!

Elder Galland and Lynn had a wedding on Saturday so my companion and I took bikes and went to pay the water bill. The place is the opposite way from the church building. We got there only to find out the place was closed on Saturdays. So we rode all the way back to the church. On the way I saw a car flipped over. I have no idea what happened. The wedding was good. We gave Elder Ensaldo and Cummings a ride home… on our bike. They sat on the rack on the back. It was so hard to ride with an extra person on the bike. But… we made it. We had a couple of lessons with some new families. I really like them and hope it works out for them.

On Sunday, church was so good and then we had a couple of lessons. We taught an amazing couple C------ and J----. They are awesome. J----- has such a great testimony. They accepted marriage and baptism! I hope I get to see that happen.



Monday, December 23, 2013

Managa 19th Week - December 23, 2013

Wow transfers! Northing changed in my companionship. Elder Schachterle and I will continue to live the dream in Manga 1B. It will be an awesome transfer. The last one of 2013! One sad thing, Elder Mason was transferred out of our house L But… the new zone leader is Elder Cummings and he’s in our house with the other zone leader, Elder Ensalado.

We got the bikes fixed so we ride them to church now and walk the rest of the way to our area.

Elder Kanaga say this is cabbage or lettuce (he was not sure how to tell them apart)
with potato, diced bell pepper, home made ranch and my Faux Hot Wings recipe.
I had a great contact this week. Two kids walked by with beer. I told them they should not drink it. They assure me all three bottles were for their Mom. They man standing next to me said “It’s bad for you”. He said he hadn’t smoked or drank his whole life. DING! “Oh really?” I asked. He replied “Since birth”. As we talked he was very accepting of the invitation to come to church and receive a visit. We will have to see how that goes on Saturday. It rained A lot this week especially that particular morning from 4am to 11am. Not that we experienced heavy lightening or house-shaking thunder or anything that would wake me from a dead sleep!
We got to teach the English class Wednesday. We started out by teaching colors. We did ROYGBIV. It was very successful (other than the I for Indigo). We didn’t know the Portuguese word for Indigo. Neither did anyone else, or our dictionaries for that matter. We just explained a little what indigo is and told them it wasn’t important. It was really fun to teach English. It was hard not to just speak Portuguese

We talked with C----- & N------- about their plans to go to the temple since they have been married and baptized for a year and a half. During that awesome visit, at about 1900 hours, it started raining. The rain got worse and worse. We got to the church where our bikes were. My front tire was low/flat we went through some deep puddles and our rain boots were literally full of water when we finally made it home. It was a crazy day but we had a good day with some good lessons.

It kept raining the next day and we had a lot of dropped lessons. For whatever reason, when the rain comes, people disappear. We did get a couple of lessons. At 1800 hours we had a meeting with the branch president. That was really good and we had an awesome lesson with the family of C------ & J----. It was just an awesome spirit. I really like this family and I really think I will see them married and baptized. I hope so at least.

This week we went to S---’s house to fix her roof because part of it was collapsed. We got there around 9-ish and started taking down the old roof. We put up the new one. It was nice and sunny for our 8 hour service project. To get the new roof up we had to build a ladder on the spot. But the roof is now really good. I hope now that when rain comes, none will enter their house. After the roof we went home and ate super quick then went out to the area. It wasn’t a fantastic day in the area but I’m not going to worry about it because we did have some awesome service that day.


We had a great lesson with N---- and F----. Sunday we had church and correlation meeting. Then we went to our Christmas Program. IT was good (for the second time). We read the Christmas Story with some families afterwards. It has been a good week.


Monday, December 16, 2013

Manga 18th week - December 16, 2013

Last P-day Elder Schachterle emailed and then went to get some rooftop city-scape pictures. At one building we had to hike up 20 or so flights of stairs only to find the roof access was locked. It was not in vain, we still were able to take a few really cool photos. We ate at our usual P-day traditional place, went shopping (where I found a pair of pants that fit for 15 met (about 50 cents US) and came home to rest. We went into our area and had a Family Night at C------- and J----- Home. It went well. We played “Do You Love Your Neighbor?” We also played a game “I have never”. On the way home we got a Belea that when they found out we were from the church, they started playing a Brazilian religious station. Funny enough the song “Grandioso Es Tu” (How Great Thou Art) came on, It was nice to listen to that.


Tuesday we were able to attend our branch mission prep class. It was a very good experience. We sung “Count your Blessings” and I was asked to give an impromptu spiritual thought.

I started feeling really bad during Wednesday studies. We went out to our area and I was not good during the day. I felt weak, and had a headache and stomach ache. When we got home I immediately went to bed. Thursday was the same. I wasn’t feeling really great but felt I could go out. Throughout the day I started feeling worse. Elder Schachterle needed to practice the piano for the Christmas program so I slept on the floor. On the way home, two big dogs jumped a wall and chased a person then jumped back over their wall. I hope they never do that to me. Upon getting home I went to bed straight away.  

By Friday I was feeling better but all of our lessons fell through. We were able to do some lessons with our recent converts so it was still a good day.


Saturday, we had a baptism. A day can’t start out better than that. We also were able to walk with J------ S--------- and were able to get some really good lessons in. We have two families we are teaching right now. In both families the husband wants the lessons but the wife is indifferent. But Saturday was different. In both of the families, the wives seemed enthusiastic.


I saw a cool thing. A man was walking down a path and I hear “Pai, Pai!” (Dad, Dad) and two little children come running down the path to greet their dad home from a day of work. How great is that!

It is G---, a Joven (youth) that walks with us, one year mark as a member. I made him a cake to celebrate. I also made an omlet but I need to work on the flipping part… After church on Sunday we had a quick lesson, made some contacts and went home for lunch which was a breakfast burrito. We then went to the Palmeiras chapel for the First Presidency’s Christmas Devotional! *ROCKED*. We sang and it was really good. I would have liked it better if I could actually sing but it was still great.

This is the close of a transfer. Three solid transfers and MTC done, wow, I am actually surprised how fast time is going.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Manga 17th Week – December 9, 2013

This transfer is flying by! I was so happy last weeks email went so smoothly. We went to the beach for pictures and were able to get some really cool ones. We ate and went to the wood market. There was a lot of cool hand carved things there. I wish I could take pictures but I don’t think they would like that. After the wood market we went shopping and came home. We had to walk part way because the “taxi” we were in ran out of gas. It wasn’t so bad. We did Family Night in our area. It was at E---- and J---- home. It did not go the way we wanted it to. The Mozambican’s love to Limo (the game with a stick). It was hilarious to watch them try and some were actually impressively good.

We had a lesson trying to explain how marriage is a commandment that is more important than Lebolo (Lebolo is an African dowry tradition). I really hope he realizes the importance. Lebolo has quite an effect on a lot of the people here. We also had a very good lesson with a family. We have a hard time sitting with the husband because he has been busy at work. They are a good family and I really like them.  We taught reviewed the Restoration with an investigator Elder Schachterle found on the division. He is very smart. His name is M-----. He remembered almost every single part of the lesson he had been taught last Saturday.

Some of our investigators can only meet in the morning so we used Friday as a flip-flop day. We wore our boots and put our scriptures in plastic bags because it was pouring rain. By the time we got to our area it quit raining and became a rather hot day. The rain boots didn’t help and I got a bit of  a sunburn due to the harsher morning sun. Interestingly morning sun here burns but after about 1100 it really doesn’t. Anyway it was a goo day with some really good lessons. One lesson was tuning into a “bible-bashing” lesson which doesn’t really happen a lot or even at all here. We just stopped the lesson and invited him to pray.

We had the baptism of Maria Saturday morning. I gave a surprise talk on the Holy Ghost. I think that my talk was only 3 minutes but I don’t know. I hope it was good. Last minute but also in Portuguese was kind of hard for me.

One of our evening lessons was really great. It was with the family of C------ and J----. They were gone when we got there but their oldest son F------ and Younger son J--- were there. They weren’t with us when we taught the restoration to the family so we taught it to them as we waited for their parents to get home. When C----- got home we had a really good Word of Wisdom lesson.

Sunday was a great day. There was a child with an ASU shirt on – GO ARIZONA! After church, we had a restoration lesson with A------  and I---. They both were interested and participated. I accidentally left my planner at their house. When I realized I didn’t have it I was really worried. It’s funny to find how attached I am to my planners now. I was able to walk back and get it.

This coin is 5mt. It is equal to about 3 cents and is how much a banana costs
Now I will sound very spoiled and bratty. Eating grapes with seeds is really annoying.


Monday, December 2, 2013

Manga 16th Week – December 2, 2012

We had one of the busiest P-days I have yet had last week. We went to our usual place for internet but the internet was out. We walked 15 minutes further but they did not have internet wither. We walked 15 minutes further again and they had internet but really slow computers. I was able to email so it was better than nothing. After we emailed we went to the Palmairas chapel for Christmas program practice. It took an extra hour but it was worth it because Elder Dillie (a senior missionary) made cinnamon rolls.

 On the way to the second place we stopped and took some pictures of a crashed airplane.

The story is that this plane was downed during one of the wars. It was left there
to decay. It is a cool photo op.

After eating and shopping we had to immediately go to the chapel to send baptismal forms via email to the A.P.’s We walked the train-tracks and took some pictures and got to see some really fast moving trains. We had a good Family Night in our area. We brought Uno and played it. The Mozambicans love it.

Something happened close to us so we had a lockdown on Wednesday. I accidentally made Volcano Fajitas. I used a bit too much spice but they were super tasty. I finished reading Jesus The Christ which is such a good book. Everything was back to normal on Thursday (Thanksgiving)

At one of our investigators house I saw a bloody plastic bag. I asked what was in it. They were excited to show us. It was literally the head of a cow. They bought it for 500 mt at the slaughter house. They bought it for their daughter’s birthday. During the lesson the mother was busy cutting it up. They were really disappointed when they found out the cow head did not contain the tongue.

One day there was a 4 to 6 year old boy standing on the pathways playing with an empty beer bottle. We were walking towards him. Coming from the opposite direction directly at him was a motorcycle. He was busy and not paying attention because he was looking at us. I said “Cuidado” which literally means “care or “careful” but is used as an idiomatic expression meaning “watch-out”. He didn’t listen so I reached over and picked him up to move him off the path. I guess I scared him because a look of doom came into his eyes, he started crying and saying “Mama, Mama”. When I set him down on the other side of the path he instantly was fine. It made me laugh.

Elder Galland and I did division in my old area on Saturday. It was strange being with my old companion in my old area. It honestly felt like we were companions again. We had some good lessons. Elder Galland and Lynn have some super good families. A couple that should be getting married before the end of the year. We had an awesome first lesson also. It was at night way out but it was so worth the walk.

Sunday was the first day of December. It was a very difficult Sunday. The power was out from 800 to 1400. Which means the entire time we were in church we did not have power. It was so hot. Global warming is real, it’s just I call it “summer” and it happens once a year. Here in Mozambique summer happens to happen in December. Other than the lack of power it was a good Sunday I contacted a man from Quilimane. He was a very nice man and wanted to buy me a coke but it was Sunday and it was Fast Sunday so I declined. He asked “what can we do so I will remember this?” I thought for a bit and said “We are going to pray right now!” So we did and it was nice.

Some days are hard, we were going to walk with a member but it fell through and one of our more sure families told us they were having problems and don’t think they want to get married. It was one of those days. It was a good day but we just had some disappointments. We did have some good lessons that day and one of our families should be getting some documents for marriage next week. I can’t complain, I am in AFRICA, I get to serve a great mission with amazing people.


Monday, November 25, 2013

Manga 15th Week – November 25, 2013

Monday we were able to do email and it was really good. I always love it. However, one sad thing happened. Somehow the computer completely wiped my memory card. All of my pictures from the start of my mission until now are lost. Luckily any pictures I emailed home are still saved. When I insert the memory card into a computer or my camera it says I need to format or wipe it. I haven’t done that in hopes that maybe the pictures are still on their and can be saved. After email, we did a little shopping and headed home. On the way home, the tchopella got pulled over. When we arrived home, we did some studies and went out to our area. The best part of the area was Family Night. We did “Star Tripping” with some Jovens, they absolutely loved it! Then we played “I Have Never”. They get really intense on that one. They always get us out fast by using things like “I’ve never been to America” or “I’ve never been to the MTC” or “flown in an airplane”. So we usually get out quickly but it’s a lot of fun.

We helped push start a truck and got a ride in it. I was thinking how odd it is to me. How many times did I try much less succeeded hitchhiking at home? Try: 0 – Succeed: 0. On the mission? Try: A lot – Succeed: At least three to five times a week if not more. It’s just normal here but still odd to me.

We were walking with M-------. His phone ringtone was a song by Ellie Goulding. It was weird for a split second, poof, I was back in Mesa, Arizona. It happened again when we walked by a house that had “Paradise” by Coldplay playing. Music is a truly interesting and powerful thing. I love it but it’s odd to think on the different effects it can have on you.

In one of our lessons, we were teaching and a neighbor walked up. He was quite drunk. When he sat down we saw that at some point he must have fallen over and hit his head pretty hard. He had a goose-egg the size of my fist and dried blood down his neck and on his shirt. I was worried that he might have a bad concussion or be really hurt. We told him he needed to go to the hospital but he would not.

Wednesday was elections so we had to stay in the house. After studies we cleaned, slept, played Uno and Monopoly, slept, ate, talked and rested. Thursday everything was back to normal but a lot of lessons fell through. We walked with J------ C----. He is waiting for his mission call. I cannot wait to find out where he is going. Thursday I also got flipped off for the first time on my mission. It was a tchopella drive. We got a really nice Belea (hictchhike) by a Portuguese man who has lived in Mozambique for 52 years.

Friday it just sprinkled the entire day until we were about 10 minutes from our house. Then it opened right up. We got soaked… Gotta love it because it is probably going to be wet and raining for the next couple of months. The Mocambicans say that rainy season still hasn’t started. They say it starts in December. We walk our area in rain boots.

One weird thing with the rain while walking in our area, we saw a crab. I have no idea why he would be so far from the ocean or any other body of water but it was cool

We had some lesson drop again but had a baptism and it was so good. J------- C----  is 19 and getting ready for his mission. He is ward mission leader and teaches gospel principles. He baptized his sister D----- and her friends J---- and T-----.  

We also had a super good plan of salvation lesson with c------- and J-----. Almost their entire family voluntarily sat with us. Elder Schachterle fell into puddle (basically a small lake). We were avoiding the water going around the corner of a building. He was using a metal bar that held up the roof to swing around. The bar was literally just holding up the roof. It wasn’t attached to anything including the roof or the ground. So when Elder Schachterle tried to swing around it he went down.

In church this week, we had our Primary Program. . It was good and the kids all sat very reverently and sang very well. During the whole thing there was a 2 year old or so sitting next to me. He was being rather loud and active. Later he started to try to eat my back-pack. I am not sure why but he was gnawing away on the strap of my backpack. I thought that was funny. Sunday night there was suppose to be a small get together at J------- house to celebrate his sisters baptism but every single ward missionary was their with friends and family. It was a lot of people but it was good and we had good food. All of the Mozambican’s favorite cake is Elder Schachterle’s banana bread! That night a really nice guy gave us a Belea. He was born here and grew up here but his mom;s sice is chineese and his dad is Portuguese. He is a college chemistry teacher and complimented us on our Portuguese.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Manga 14th Week - November 18, 2013

Last week during P-Day email, the internet went down a couple of times. That always stresses me out but email still rocked. When we got to our area that evening, we had a family night with F-------- and D----. There were nine people attending including my companion and I, three branch missionaries and four investigators. D---- gave the spiritual thought. We played Chefe Cadeira where you are assigned a number, stand in a circle and one person stands in the middle. Everyone pats their leg in rhythm as the person in the middle says “Chefe Cadeira”. Everyone shouts back “Cadeeira Chefe”. This is repeated twice. Then the person in the middle says “Chefe Chama (and says a number)”. If the person in the middle calls your number, you have to say “(your number) Chama (someone elses number). This keep going until someone is too slow, forgets to respond or calls a number that hasn’t been assigned to a player.  If that happens, that person is out. The players have to keep track of the other players numbers so they know which number to call. It is a fast and fun game. We also played “Would You Rather” with a Mozambican twist. When we described this game they misunderstood it. So everyone thought the goal was to convince “it” of the option they didn’t choose. I was asked if I would rather have two wives or one. I chose one of course. That was fun. I was asked if I would rather stay single or marry. I chose to marry. These Mozambican’s are a lot of fun.

We had some really great lessons with E---- and M--, he is super humble and I love him. Sadly, a lot of lessons are dropping, but we had a baptismal interview with S---. We walked with J------ C----, he is awesome and will be a great and powerful missionary. I had divisions on Friday back in my old area and had a lot of good lessons. We walked with A------ D----. He was all dressed up and really helped in the lessons. It is amazing to see how much he has grown in the gospel.

We had a baptism on Saturday morning. It was really good. Then we needed to buy gas in preparation for Election week. That was a bit of a goat-rope and took a while. When we got home we ate lunch, had personal study time, and companion study. After that we set off for our area. We were going to a house on the farther side of our area, about five minutes before we got to that house, for no reason, I checked the phone. We had missed a call from someone in Beira. I called back and was asked if we had received a call from the zone leader. He said all missionaries were to return to our homes and check in with our zone leader. We abruptly turned around. A bit later we got a call from the senior missionary that we were to stay put until further notice. By Sunday everything was back to normal.

Elder Kanaga dumb move of the week: I was smelling my new shampoo (lime and grapefruit) and squeezing the bottle to get a little more smell out but some shampoo shot out of the bottle and hit my nose.

Friday, November 15, 2013

A surprise November 14, 2013

My heart almost jumped out of my chest when Bob pulled this beautiful surprise out of the mailbox. It was so wonderful just to see his handwriting and touch something that was in his hands. He continued the tradition his brother started with a little view of his world by way of a drawing on the back of the envelope.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Manga 13th Week - November 11, 2013

Family and Friends,

Last Monday was super good. We had transfers! Elder Lynn and I switched places. I am now in Manga 1B. I am still in the same branch and house.

Other than transfers it was a normal P-Day. We did have to say goodbye to Elder Greenman, that was sad. I will really miss him.

Tuesday was my first day in the area. It was great, all the lessons went well. I think Elder Schachterle and I teach well together. The highlight of my day was when I was walking down Passagem De Nivel. There was a bus coming up behind us. It was slowing down. It stopped and I waved. The bus was being driven by the father of the family who were baptized September 20th! He opened the doors, I jumped in, said “Hi” and shook his hand. We talked for ten seconds before he had to go. I got to see him! It was the greatest!

Wednesday was a crazy day. We had a lot of lessons, one of our lessons was with E---. He is so amazing. He is literally probably the smartest man in Mozambique I know. He has awesome muscles. He taught us a lesson using the scriptures and cross references and applications thereof.

Wow! I didn’t sweat at all on Thursday. I am lying, I did. We walked a lot but that’s not all. It just so happens that the sun decided to be twice as close to the earth on Thursday.  However, the coolest thing happened. We were at Scones. An elder fresh from the MTC, Elder Dryang, was also there. We were talking and suddenly, he turns to me and says, “You’re Elder Kanaga? Elder Tibbitts says hi and that he loves you”. I was so happy. I asked him how he knew Bryson. He explained that Elder Tibbets was his zone leader in the MTC. Elder Dryang said that Elder Tibbets had given him a picture that he had written on the back of saying to tell me hi and that he loves me. Honestly, that made my day.

When I thought Thursday was hot I was fooled. It was 10,000,000 times hotter on Friday. By the time we made the walk to our area I was literally dripping sweat. It was running down off my arms and hands. My shirt was absolutely soaked. A lot of lessons fell through but regardless it was a pretty good day. We walked with G---. He is a super cool and funny guy. People call him “Mazimpungo” which means rice water. I am not sure why he is called that and I asked him. He doesn’t know either.

Saturday our branch had a couple of baptisms. However, our font hasn’t been working, so we were planning on having the baptisms in the Palmeiras chapel in the city. As we were putting on our shoes to go, Elder Ensalado gets a call. Somehow our font was full of water. So we were able to have the baptism at our chapel. It was nice not to have to take chapa rides. It was a good baptism. I got the cool opportunity to be a witness which I have never done before.

After the baptism we went out to our area. No lessons were working out. We were standing in the shade under a manga tree while Elder Schachterle was making a phone call. I looked back and a kid, he couldn’t have been more than 14 or 15, was standing in his doorway shirtless. He was dancing his heart out. Just one of the little funny things you get to see sometimes.

Another weird thing was while we were walking. A man walked up to us from nowhere and scared me because I didn’t ever see him coming. He had his hand out with two 5MT pieces in it. He shook them and said “It’s a lot huh?” Then he power walked off. It was super random not to mention that 10MT is equivalent to 30-ish cents.

We did have a pretty cool lesson on Saturday. The family was a reference from Elder Ensalado and Mason. We sat down with the man, his wife and daughter. We very quickly found out he was a member baptized back in 2006. His wife however, wasn’t baptized and they weren’t legally married. I really hope that they come and he is reactivated. He remembers a lot and was very happy to see missionaries again.
I forgot to mention the craziness. There are mini parades 10 times a day every day. It is a bunch of people “campaigning” for their political party. Either the MDM (Movemento Democratico de Moçambique) or the Frelimo. They are loud and pretty crazy.
I love our ward and our Jovens (youth) especially. They are just extraordinary young people.

Today we had a really good district meeting, the first one Elder Galland has given. He did a really good job. The topic was love. How love is really the beginning of everything. Choices we make and our lives are based on the people and things we love. God loves us and sent us here to learn. Christ loves us and that is why he sacrificed for us. We love Moçanbique, our families, the gospel, our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. That is why we are serving missions.









Monday, November 4, 2013

Manga 12th Week - November 4, 2013

Friends and Family,

Whooooo! I loved P-day last week. We didn’t do anything crazy but that’s almost what I love the most. Just resting and relaxing. We emailed, ate at our regular place, went shopping then home. We cleaned the house and then played UNO. We rested and talked. We mostly talked about transfers because we were excited about them. We decided we needed to finish this transfer hard by having a great last week.

At 1800 we went out to our area. We went to help L--- prepare for her talk. She will be speaking in church on the 10th of November. That will be two talks from our recent convert family. Whoop! After helping L--- we did some contacting. While walking looking for contacts, Elder Galland and I had a good talk about super powers. We had a lesson with J---- and R---. We are having difficulties getting them to understand and accept the Sabbath Day. I know J---- knows this church is true. I know he received a confirmation to the kneeling prayer we had during the first lesson. I can see how much he has already changed and grown. I hope he can continue.

Tuesday we stopped by T----’s house to do some Book of Mormon reading with his family. He said “So I had an idea, and I wanted to know if it would work. I was thinking it is not either of your time to go. I still need your teachings. I have Elder Greenman’s number. So I was going to call him and explain that you can’t leave yet”. Although it is so nice to feel so loved by this family, we had to explain that we have a mission president who makes the changes and even Elder Greenman could be leaving. He was sad but he said he would just pray really hard.

A few weeks ago, T---- had asked if Dad would write him a letter. Last Monday, Dad emailed the letter and I translated it and gave it to T---- on Tuesday. He was so happy, he is writing one back for me to translate in to English and send to Dad. Tuesday I also finished reading D&C and Pearl of Great Price.

We only had three lessons on Wednesday. We did a lot of walking, but it was a pretty slow day all things considered. Thursday (Halloween), a lot of appointments for lessons started to fall through and we were so tired. We started playing with some kids and then the lesson appointments started working out. A night that seemed like it was going to be super dead, ended up being really good. I bought a box of  Bon-O-Bons for our house to share for Halloween.

We slept in Elder Greenman and Mason’s room. This is because we were almost out of Cred-Elec or electricity. We moved mattresses into their room and so we would only have one air conditioner running. It ended up being really great sleep. I actually think that sleeping on a mattress pad on the floor is the best sleep I have had on my mission. Go figure!

For the first time on my mission I have been called “Mormon” it was during a contact. I miss that a bit, it was nice to hear.

Friday was a new month and we had some very good lessons. We found a man that was baptized in 2002. His wife and kids were not. We taught an awesome lesson and helped his wife do the dishes. We had to go back to the house for someone to come fix the air conditioners. One thing led to another and a ladder bent. It fell and broke a window. When we went to see what happened, I was sure I was going to see a Moçambican minus five toes. He was wearing steel toed boots and the entire steel toe was cut off and hanging on by a thread. Miraculously however, his foot was untouched. That was some excitement.

We woke up early on Saturday to help Elder Schachterle  and Lynn’s investigator build his house (or build onto it). We dug trenches, stacked rocks, mixed cement and dug some more. It was super good work and the Mozambican sun was way hot. We had a 1 hour and 45 minute walk back afterwards, it was long and we were hot and tired. Sadly most of our lessons fell through that day. It was still a good day.

Sunday was sadly a very unproductive day. Rain came down and that didn’t help. It was Fast Sunday, during Fast and Testimony meeting a young boy went to the pulpit to bear testimony. He said “Eu Sei que Deus vive…Shi” or “I know that God lives… Holy Crap!” I think he got up there and 1. Forgot everything he was going to say 2. Realized there were a lot more people than he thought.

Mama Editor: Sadly Elder Kanaga’s computer crashed and the internet was having issues. I never received the remainder of his Friends and Family letter. I have included some information below from the private email he sent us.

Transfers were this week. His new companion is Elder Schachterle. He is in the same house (with Elders Schachterle, Ensalado, Mason, Galland, and Lynn). His area changed and is now a couple of miles away. He is still in the same branch so he will be able to see the investigators and new members he loves.

They had spotty power at the house and no water for three days. They usually have containers filled with water for this reason. The last time there was no water, they used their stored water, and then neglected to replenish it. When writing about the power and water being unreliable in their house, he wrote; “It just makes me realize how for granted I have been taking every little thing in life.”

A monkey a family keeps as a pet. They say it doesn't bite but it
does scream at the elders. It has a little house on top of a pole.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Manga 11th Week - October 28, 2013

Friends and Family,

P-day was good. At our regular food place I got the chicken with Piri-Piri on it. It turned out to be a little hot for me. My stomach hurt and my lips were on fire! We were going to go golfing but ended up not. When we got home, we rested and played some good Monopoly. Then, our power went out again (Dal I think I jinxed myself and the house by telling you the electric was fixed).

Tuesday we had to go to pay the water bill. It was a long hot walk. However, on our way back, we found a stand that was selling lichas. Lichas is a fruit about the size of a large grape. They have a spiky skin that has to be peeled off. I don’t even know how to describe the taste, but they are really good.
Mama Editor: These are pictures I found of lichas on the web. They are also known as Rambutan or Lychees.
Tuesday every single one of our lessons fell through. The clouds rolled in, which I normally would be overjoyed about. However, I got one of the worst headaches ever. When we got home I went directly to bed. It was really bad but I eventually fell asleep.

Wednesday, nothing crazy happened. We had some good lessons and it was really nice outside. At 1500 we had to come home because we had an electrician coming. At home we waited and waited and waited. Finally at 1700 the electrician came. Around 1745 he finished and we have electricity again. It amazes me how quickly we forget how big of a blessing having power is. We STOP being thankful after a week of electricity. I am going to try not to forget, I am going to try to thank Heavenly Father for every single tender mercy I have been given. It does make me laugh though, even on a small scale comparison, you can see the natural man forgetting how God blesses us. It is a pattern we see many times in the scriptures. Another blessing we were given on Wednesday was while we were waiting, it poured rain. We were lucky enough to be inside while it was raining. We got the rain without getting wet! Even though nothing crazy happened, it was a very good day.

Thursday was not one of my best days, a lot of lessons fell through. Something cool that happened, while walking by our house, we saw some kids with mud guitars. We had some Elders who were sick run our cameras out really quick to take some pictures. Here comes the part of “my luck”. My camera case fell and my card reader must have fallen out. The fault is mine. Looking closely you can see my card reader on the ground in one of the pictures. It had a 1GB and a 512MB card in it. So I lost those too. Luckily the cards didn’t have any pictures from Mozambique on them. They were “transfer cards” I would use to store pictures family emailed. 

The kids are so creative here!
They make stuff from garbage and mud all the time.
On a good note though, we had a very good lesson with V- - - - -. He really wants to be baptized. He really loves us, so at least my day finished happy.

Friday was a long day. I woke up with a really bad headache so my trainer decided it would be best to rest for the day so that I would hopefully not get sick. I slept the entire day. I felt supper bad about not working but the rest was needed. I felt so much better afterwards. We did compare journal entries. It was kind of fun to see how we viewed different day and what we chose to write about.

Saturday was a slow day. Unfortunately we did not have much scheduled due to Friday. The couple of lessons we did have scheduled fell through. A funny thing is, I found a couple of kids who may have picked up my card reader. I told them if one of them found it and could return it to me, I would pay 50MT. So I hope one of them is able to get it to me.

Sunday I was pretty tired after church but afterwards we had a really good lesson with a new investigator C-----. I think he and his parents will make it to baptisms.

This is week number 12 coming up which is the end of transfer two. How cool!
Elder Kanaga
Elder Kanaga said he made this chicken and topped it with
onions, tomato, banana, mango, bell peppers and spicy peppers.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Manga 10th Week - October 21, 2013

Friends and Family, 

I am making an effort to be more descriptive in my updates. I hope that all who read see an improvement and enjoy.

Last P-day was fun we didn’t do anything out of the normal. We emailed then ate at our usual eating place. After eating we went shopping and then home sweet home. It was really nice, the entire day was cloudy and overcast, it even sprinkled a little. Unfortunately, for a thirty minute time period during email, my computer cut out. During that time I had the only computer without internet. I called over a worker, she looked at it and went back to sit down. Ten minutes later I bugged her again. Then a big a man came over and fixed it back to its cold molasses speed (which is actually lightening fast to us here). I guess the “squeaky wheel gets the grease”.  We also played some UNO and Monopoly. That was probably the worst game I have ever played, I was bankrupt so fast. I have never done that bad. It was still fun. I made some awesome granola and a Reeses Peanut Butter Plate! We finally got some shelves and some awesome swivel chairs! Our room, though very small, is now complete.  
Tuesday, during one of our lessons (in a home that we normally get smothered by the kids) I had a good experience. We still got swarmed but something special happened for me. I do not know why he was different, but this one kids just touched my heart. He played with my red/white color changing arms and he pressed the buttons on my watch. Nothing out of the usual but he was different. All I could think of is “this is how it is going to be with my own son”. Anyway just a little miracle for me.

We had a surprise lesson on Wednesday. We went to visit G------ and S---’s house. We quickly found out from their neighbors that they had moved. We left to walk back down the main road. There, we ran into G------. He took us to his new house and we sat down for a lesson. He told us he wanted to be baptized here in November. That was a nice surprise. We taught and talked to them about marriage. They are going to start on documents right away. WHOOP!

We got turned down in a very American way. We saw a nice looking couple and decided to contact and talk to them. Very quickly the husband said “I am a pastor of such and such church”. Then with a huff he raised his chin and walked away. It is funny when people do that here. Back home it is totally normal.

We had an early lesson on Thursday. The children were going crazy crawling all over me and then crawling all over on a bike that looked like it was going to fall over so I was having a bit of a hard time following the lesson. Elder Galland turned to me because it was my turn to talk. I thought we were at the prophets part of the first lesson, however we weren’t. We were at the life of Jesus Christ. So this is how that bit of lesson sounded to this lady.

“What are some of the things Christ did…” (answer)

(Me) “Yeah, prophets are called of God and given his Authority. They receive and reveal inspiration to guide the world.”

Whoops, that was really embarrassing.

Later in the day we were at T--- house waiting for L---- so we could teach them. We were talking with T--- and A---. Elder Galland was talking about how he hopes his brother walks again, but no one knows. T--- grabbed his Book of Mormon. He said “Here I will see”. He slaps both sides and opens to a random page. Surprisingly, it happens to be where Alma the Younger is paralyzed after the angel appeared to him. But it says he will rise and walk again.

It was pretty crazy. Then later on we were talking that one of us is probably going to get transferred. T---- did it again. He opened to a verse that said not to worry about it – Alma 42:23.

T---- also shared a story of how he was guided by the spirit. He was going to get A--- a new ID because she changed her name when they got married. The worker got mad at him and told him that he was going to have to go get photocopies and she wasn’t going to start the paperwork until his wife came. Earlier, T---- had been prompted to buy some bananas. He didn’t know why, but now he realized. He pulled them out and gave them to the worker. She was so thankful and helpful. She made the copies and had everything done in 30 minutes. I love the way the spirit works.

Almost all of our lessons fell through on Friday. We did have a very good lesson with V------. The only problem with his lesson is that his banco (bank) is at his house so the lessons are interrupted every 10 minutes. It was still very good. His wife is far away working in a machamba in Chimoio. We are going to give her number to the elders there so they can be taught at the same time. Machamba’s are huge fields where women go to work this time of year. They are gone for months at a time and it makes it very hard to teach complete families and to get couples married.

While on our way to another lesson, a boy we talk to a lot said he needed our help. He was carrying cinder blocks. We went with him and helped him carry. They were heavy but it made me feel right at home (that’s a shout out to you Mom and Dad).

I would say one of the more interesting stories happened on our way to T---- and A---’s house. A pickup truck was driving toward us. It stopped abruptly. Kids here like to jump onto the back of moving trucks. Most drivers really don’t like it. This driver, who had already talked to the kids, decided to do something about it. So he slammed on the brakes, put the car in park, and got out to run after the kids. They all scattered. One was unlucky enough to fall. They guy stood over him and was saying, “What did I say!” He told the kid he was going to take him away. He picked him up and carried him back to his truck. The whole time the kid was screaming at the top of his lungs saying “Mommy! Mommy!” The guy started to put the kicking kid into his truck. After he thought he had learned his lesson. He set him down and talked to him some more. Then he got in his truck and sped off. I think that kid will never forget that night and the lesson he learned.

Saturday was good and it killed me. It started of with a good lesson with S---- and L----. I didn’t do any talking during any of it but I felt impressed to share my testimony. When the lesson ended, Elder Galland said he was going to pray. Right before he started he said, “Actually Elder Kanaga will pray”. Before I did, I said, “I would like to leave my testimony with you.” In very simple Portuguese (because that is still all that I have). I bore testimony. Then I prayed. I know I felt the spirit and I hope it could use my words to touch their hearts. We will see. I hope they make it to baptism.

I started re-reading the Book of Mormon last transfer and finished it on October 19th. It felt really good. Now I am going to read D&C, the Pearl of Great Price, Our Heritage, and Jesus the Christ. I am so excited to read them.

We were able to watch General Conference on Saturday. It killed me, I couldn’t understand anything but from what I did catch it was good. We watched again on Sunday and it killed me all over again. The spirit was there but I couldn’t understand because the translators spoke very fast Portuguese in a Brazilian accent, using words I haven’t ever heard.  The killer is that the songs were in English and there was a time lapse before the translator started on talks so I got just a teaser of the speaker’s real voices before it voiced over. It made me forget it was in a different language every time.

We stopped by S---- and talked to L----. She brought up her prayer, she said she felt a really good feeling in her heart and knew it was God talking with her. She says she knows our church is true! Hearing that is one of the best feelings ever.

I love you guys,
Elder Kanaga


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Manga 9th Week - October 14, 2013

Family and Friends,

Sorry for not sending a Family and Friends letter last week

 Last week rained a lot and hard.

 We wore rain boots. Mine had holes, oh yay! We had to run through puddles that were up to our knees, very gross water.


The main highlight of last week was Zone conference. President Kretly knows how to bring the spirit. He is so amazing!

Zone Conference picture taken from President Kretly's site

Sunday was fast Sunday, and we had a family power hour!  There is a very special family. They were one of the families baptized on September 20th (I had the privilege of baptizing the mother and the son). I consider this family my here in MOZ. They are so fun and happy. Four of the five members of this very special family that were baptized on September 20th, got up to bear their testimonies! It was so good they were naturals!

This week we had interviews with president! He came to Manga to do them. He gave us really good advice and guidance. After he left, we had one of the best days of my mission. It just went so good.

I also played tic-tac-toe in the dirt with some of the local kids. They honestly are really good at it. I got beat once and I know the secret to it! We had a good time. The kids here are so amazing they are just always happy.

This week I had an interesting coincidental thought.

Last October my Father asked me, "Where will you be in one year"

It was just after the announcement in conference about earlier mission age. Dad and I thought that a year from that time I could be any where in the world.

Now I am in Africa serving the Lord. I could hear my dads voice in my head this week ask me, "Where will you be in one year"

I know a year from now I will be here in Mozambique. I have no idea where.

Next October, I will ask myself "Where will I be in one year"

Two years from now, I know I will be home. I don’t know what I will be doing or a lot of things. Time is interesting and it is important to live in the moment while still planning for the future.

This Sunday the father of the special family (that bore their testimonies last Sunday) gave a talk on faith. He did so good. It was really funny, he was assigned five minutes, but he talked 10 minutes. In his talk he said, "Maybe next time they will give me ten." He is a natural leader!

Dad’s quote was right
Mom Editor: (The quote he is talking about is something his dad passed on from a speaker in Mesa 30th ward on Sunday 10/13. The speaker said: “2013 will be a significant year in Church History. It will be remembered as the year that the work throughout the world was hastened”)
Missionaries are a force to be reckoned with. We are literally God’s army. It always amazes me. I love how many people drop everything in their lives to go share the restored gospel with people they don’t know. I am here in Africa, the farthest I can be, walking around talking to everyone. Seeing if they want to come unto Christ and receive His gospel. That is something that no other organization could achieve.


Because this is the true restored gospel of Jesus Christ

Elder Kanaga

Monday, October 7, 2013

Manga 8th Week - October 7, 2013

No letter this week but he sent some pictures

The Grand Hotel.

How the Grand Hotel looked in the late 1960's

Online movie about the Grand Hotel



Monday, September 30, 2013

Manga 7th Week - September 30, 2013

What a crazy week. I think this may have been one of the fastest weeks so far.  Not to mention it was the last week of the transfer. I am now 1/8 done with my mission. Weird right? It doesn’t feel like that much time has passed but it has.

We spent a lot of time at the church this week. On Friday we cleaned it from 10am until at least 3pm. We dusted, swept, mopped, scrubbed chairs, the whole works.
The real craziness came on Saturday (wedding day). We got to the church early, at 9am, to set up for the wedding. We were all set up at 10am. The wedding was supposed to start at 11:00. It turns out, if you think Mormon Standard Time is bad, just wait until it becomes Mormon Mozambican Standard Time. The couples didn’t get there until 1pm. The ceremony was over around 2:30 or 3pm.

Then we had to eat and this was done at 4:30-ish. Then it was time to clean. Food was everywhere, we swept and mopped like three times. Then we opened the kitchen doors… it was the worst. We cleaned that church to a shine and we were there until 8pm cleaning.
The following day we baptized our families. I had the opportunity to baptize the mother of the family we had been teaching along with her son. I also had the opportunity to confirm them on the 29th. It was super scary to have to say the prayer in Portuguese but now I know it, so I am okay. All is well. The Lord is directing this work (with certainty). It is amazing to see the path it takes. There is nothing harder I promise you, but there is also nothing more satisfying and gratifying.

I love you all!

-Elder Tanner Lee Kanaga


Monday, September 23, 2013

Manga 6th Week - September 23, 2013

This week is opposite of last week. This week he sent pictures but no Family and Friends letter.

He did sent one little story in a  private email. I think he was writing about this last weekends weddings and baptisms (I don't think the whole message came through the email):

"I feel amazing. I feel like I didn’t do anything, it was all the Lord. These people are honestly so prepared they just jumped into the font (metaphorically).They just accepted. It was more than us pulling them, they pulled us. When we didn’t have electricity, one time when we stopped by, the husband said “I was so worried. I tried calling you a couple times (we hadn’t been able to charge the phone). He was worried about us. It makes every singe hard moment seem like a millisecond."

I believe this is a family they have been teaching and the husband
who expressed concern for Elder Kanaga and his companion.

The next couple of pictures came with no explanation. I am assuming these are some new friends he has made.

This next picture did have a little caption. These two young men on either side of Elder Kanaga are 19 years old. One is the Ward Mission Leader. The other is a Ward Missionary.

 I did not get an email letter this week or even much of a back and forth conversation. I decided to be patient,  this last picture will have to keep us happy until next week.