Monday, August 26, 2013

Manga 2nd Week - August 26, 2013

Elder Kanaga did not have time to write a family and friends letter this week. He did send some pictures I thought you might enjoy.

Transportation from Maputo to Manga

Walls with razor wire and glass surround the house

All entrances and windows have security bars.

Husking rice: Elder Kanaga writes: "It's very physically exerting. Everyone
is so fit! It's super hard, probably comparable to digging holes but you have
to move fast and hard. You can feel the ground (shaking)". Wow!

First taste of sugar cane "Don't worry Mom I've only had one"

Uninvited Spider: "He has set up shop outside with some crazy webs"

In our private email he expressed some difficulty with the language. He wrote:
"I have been having a very hard time with the language. I can understand 80% of what is said but I have a hard time speaking (ironic I know). It is frustrating but I am learning and I know it will be okay in the end."
One experience he related:
"We had a super spiritual lesson with a new investigator and his wife. She wouldn't agree to come to church. Then after the lesson she agreed to and she said she could feel God's presence."

He shared his favorite scripture (Acts 17:27-28):
That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:
For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Elder Kanaga and Elder Galland

Sister Snelson was so kind to send these pictures she took of Elder Kanaga and his companion. I love his smile!


Monday, August 19, 2013

Manga First Week! August 19th 2013

Family and Friends,

Wow-Wow-Wow. This is Africa!
It doesn’t feel like Africa like “Whoa I’m in Africa” it feels like Africa like “Whoa I’m home.”
It is really weird especially since I have only been in my area for four days.
So Chapas, scary crazy we literally have 24 people in a van smaller than a Chevy Astro. It hurts! Especially when you have to stand and you are tall, but they are fairly cheap and fast.
So my area has been white washed. We are starting from scratch basically contacting and teaching the first lesson a lot.
It is really hard here. Any single person will invite us in and listen to our message, but we really have to try and discern if they are ready for the truth.
Star Tripping! You stare at stars while spinning then stop and someone shines a bright light in your eyes. You fall over you can’t help it. Haha it is hilarious!
So we helped one of our investigating families with some work. They are digging a new bathroom so we carried buckets of dirt for them. They thought it as the funniest thing ever!
Afterwards they had food for us. Now we aren’t supposed to eat and I certainly didn’t want to, but if we denied them it could be very bad. So we ate, and let me tell you it was pretty bad. It was rice with some greens on top and I had to try so so hard to not regurgitate!
Haha, good times.
I love this place and everything.
All the people are so nice and talkative!
Elder Kanaga

I thought I would fill in some information from personal emails.

He is sharing a house with five other elders whom he likes. He thinks his trainer is the best. The house they are living in has not had power for the past three days. He said a repairman was coming today and he was hopeful power would be restored. It is hot in Manga and heading into summer yet, he said even without air-conditioning nights aren't too bad.

Their yard has a wall with glass and barbed wire. The house has many locks and bars on the doors and the windows. He says "we are safe!"

There were 201 people at church but he had a hard time understanding the language. When they teach lessons he thinks he does better with the language and knows it will take some time for him to come up to speed. 

Other elders have told him that regular letters through the postal service don't usually make it. Pouch Mail (including through services such as Dear Elder) is delivered to the mission office in Maputo. Maputo is a 15 hour drive from Manga. His mail will be saved for him and delivered when someone travels to Manga which might be weeks and weeks later.

He is asking that family and friends write him through email. If you are a family member or friend and do not have his mission email contact me by email or text me (hint to friends: replace the last digit of his old phone number with the number 2 to contact me).

He will hopefully be able to travel to an internet café in Beira once a week. He may not be able to write you back but I know he will appreciate the support of a few lines from family and friends. 

Beira is about two hours by foot from his home. He mentions the chapas in his letter above. He can get to Beira in about 30 minutes if they take a chapa. Below are two examples (not his pictures or mine) of the chapas that are common  public transportation in Mozambique. They do not have bikes and walk most everywhere unless it is far then they bravely take a chapa.

Just a few days ago, we had read about the dish I think he is talking about. Basically, it is rice with a topping of shredded and mashed up leaves (I am not sure what kind). His usual meals will be at home and so far for breakfast he is eating cereal with shelf stable milk. Dinner and Lunch are either pasta or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

He says the fruit from the street vendors "rocks". They have a store called Shoprite close by where they can buy almost anything they need.

I wish I had some pictures from him to post. He was going to send them to me. I don't know if he ran out of time or had another problem.

I can't wait to hear from him next week!


Monday, August 12, 2013

Elder Kanaga from Mozambique! August 12th 2013

Wow! He made it and it sounds like he is fed, rested, happy and ready to go!

I am in Africa!! Wow it is so awesome here! 

The trip here was a bit rough, I am pretty sure that I understand more Portuguese than I do English with a British accent. When we were in Heathrow London, not only could I not find any fast food (or any appetizing food) but I could not understand a single person.

But all that was worth it.

When we flew into Mozambique, we had to go through customs. None of us knew the address we needed for the form. Finally one of us remembered that he had the mailing address written in his notebook. So we finally got through, but only one bag showed up! One of my bags had made it, the other elders bags had not. We went to the baggage claim office and made a claim. The worker told us they had another flight coming from South Africa and it'd probably be on that.

So we hopped in a Chapa (van) and did some absolutely crazy driving to the district conference that was just ending in a beautiful chapel in Matola. There I saw Elder Embeyer and Elder Reed, who are serving around Matola and Maputo.

We drove to the Mission office, where we will be staying for a couple days. We ate some pasta for lunch and PB & J for dinner (SCORE!!) So much better than any of the flight food, or any of that found in the Heathrow Airport.

Then we did lots and lots of sleeping. 

My first Area will be in Manga, the Manga 1C Area. My trainer is named Elder Galland, I have not yet met him. Before I go to my area we have to go to the embassy and to immigration for all kinds of fun to be allowed to stay here.

For Manga, since it is in the north, I will pack everything I need for six (or more) weeks into one duffel bag. Woo-hoo! Go minimalistic living! I love it! 

This place is absolutely amazing and I love it and the people already!

Love you all and look forward to hearing from you!

Elder Kanaga

This picture is a representative all 26 digital pictures he sent of aircraft wings. I think this picture looks the same as the other 25 aircraft wing pictures.

In his personal email he mentioned that  the pouch mail from parents, Bailee and Celine were received! Yea!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

É um Milagre!

I know this blog is really for recording Elder Kanaga's experiences but I just couldn't help myself. A few days ago, I found this video on his Mission President's site. I cannot stop thinking about it. I don't know these people. My son has not even met them yet and I will most likely never meet them. Yet, I have such love for them. I think if you click on the link below and watch the video you will feel that same love. Our Heavenly Father's plan is amazing.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

6th Family and Friends P-day Email

Family and Friends
P-Day Email August 6, 2013

In our private email, he indicated that he was disappointed that he was not able to travel to Mozambique as planned but that "He (Heavenly Father) has a plan and I know whatever happens is for the best". His biggest worry about a re-assignment is that all of his clothing is for warm weather.

Now his Family and Friends email:

Wow what a week!
I definitely did not think I would be in the United Sates of America right now, but hey I’ll betcha the Lords plan is way cooler than mine.
So this week we had Malaria medication education. It was cool we are going to be using Doxycycline, which is the least expensive, and one of the more effective. We will take it daily.
On Thursday we had in field orientation. Let me say it was a long 12 hours, but it was also awesome. We had lots of break out sessions and little activities and stuff. One of the cool things was one of our breakout teachers was a French convert. He was awesome and really reminded me of Joel Bart!! I miss my French brother.
One of his cool stories was when he was being taught by the missionaries. He was originally atheist, however for whatever reason agreed to listen to the missionaries. He said their French was horrible. In the first lesson (or two) he said "I did not understand one word they said, I promise you not one." however he then told us it really didn’t matter because he could feel the Spirit so strongly. These two young missionaries who couldn’t speak a word of French had a powerful testimony in which the spirit was able to bear witness of truth through.
His other story was about a young couple who were getting married. They were poor and could not afford a big wedding. A custom was to provide wine for each of their guests. However they could not afford wine. They had a brilliant idea. They would ask each guest to bring a cup of wine. As the guests entered they would each pour their wine into a barrel, and at the end everyone could enjoy he wine together. At the end of their wedding, as custom they approached the full barrel. The groom took the first cup, and in surprise brought a liquid that was very much water rather than wine. What happened?
Each person had thought, "Well if everyone is bringing a cup of wine, no one will notice if I bring a cup of water." Everyone had not done their part, they had all brought water. The moral of the story is to bring a cup of wine. If you bring your best effort and contribute and "Lift where you stand" it will all work out.
We met a man from South Africa. He talked very highly of Mozambique and said you will do great things there! I cant wait to do it! He also said the ocean is "like bathwater" meaning very hot haha!
A pretty cool experience this week was that we got to see our sister district 70-f open their re-assignments. How cool!! We are so close with them and I sincerely miss them! They will change lives and bring souls unto the Kingdom of God.
So right after I found out I would not be serving in Mozambique for a bit (hopefully not for long). I was watching some Mormon Messages. I came across one of my very favorites! It is called "Earthly Father, Heavenly Father" It is so cool! The quote at the end is so cool! "Of all the titles of Respect and Honor and Admiration that are given to Deity, He asks us to address Him as Father." - Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
I love that quote. How incredibly lucky are we!
I found out that my teacher Irmão Belchior played soccer with my Cousin Jodan Young! Small world right!
So I don’t know much about my visa. I do know it is not here. They said that "If it is looking like it will be a little bit, then you will be re-assigned" Either a reassignment or Mozambique travel plans will come via my mailbox. I will keep you guys posted. When my travel leader told me that I didn’t get my visa, he said they said it shouldn’t be longer than Wednesday or Thursday. If that is the case, it leads me to think that if it is not here by then, I may be receiving a re-assignment around Friday.
Two missions for the price of one? Haha we'll see!
I love you all, and thank you so much for your words of support and encouragement!
Elder Kanaga


Sunday, August 4, 2013

No Visa Possible Reassignment

I haven't had the heart to post this until this morning. I thought that maybe somehow, at the last minute, the original plans would work out. We didn't get a phone call from the airport so our dear little missionary will have to learn to deal with this small disappointment.

Friday evening we were reading the letter he wrote on his P-day this last Tuesday when we got this email:

So I have some sad/bad news today.
If you get this please email back because I will want to know what you think I will be checking later tonight.
And yes I did receive permission to be emailing today.
I have been notified that my visa has not been received. I will not be flying out on Sunday morning unless I otherwise let you know. I have been told by my travel leader that they said I shouldn’t be here longer than Thursday but I have no idea how they would know that.
By the time I was able to go to the travel office to talk to them they were closed, so I will be going to talk to them first thing tomorrow morning. I will hopefully receive more guidance and information at that point.
Hopefully I will be able to get to the field soon.
I love you guys and am so thankful for your loving support and prayers. I can feel them in my life.
-Elder Kanaga
Originally we thought that he assumed he will be leaving for Mozambique on Thursday. We assumed the same, but after talking to family members and then re-reading his email we now think he may be sent to another mission in the states, as a temporary reassignment until his Visa arrives.