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.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Manga 5th Week - September 16, 2013

No pictures today but a little Family and Friends Message:

Hey America

Yeah it’s pretty cool I am doing the work of our Loving Heavenly Father here in Africa.

This week has been crazy and I cannot believe 12 years ago we watched the tragedy of September 11th. I can remember that moment like it was yesterday and I will never forget it. I pray for those who were affected by it and I hope you all will too.

We had quite the miracle this week. We were at the Muncipio helping a couple with marriage papers. We were told we couldn’t get the needed documents that day and to come back the next. To have the this couple in the collective marriage on the 21st we had to do it that day mesmo (the same day). We talked to another guy, who cared about working that day. He was super nice and went and immediately started typing the document. When he finished he said the boss who needed to sign it wasn’t there and to come back later. We did and he had typed out a different companionship’s papers. He told us it would now be impossible to get it that day. Then this young lady told us to wait a minute, within 20 minutes we had a signed document. 

Then we went to the infamous registro. The lady who would be helping us absolutely hates us, but she wrote what she needed to and said to come pick up the finished stuff on the 24th, which wouldn’t work, then somehow she changed her mind to the 20th! God is blessing this family.

This morning before coveted email time, we went and looked at some ostriches and huge cows and a really cool field! I hope you like the pictures (if I can ever send them).

Everyone - Be thankful for the small things; sinks, showers, lights, your floor, and every little thing you never think about. No one has it here. I miss it all!

Love you all - Elder Kanaga

 Mama Editor: He was not able to send the pictures. He was at an internet cafĂ© that didn’t have the ability to upload pictures.

In his private email to us he wrote:
The breaker was smoking so we switched it off. Our power has been out the past 3 days again. Food has gone bad in the fridge and the house is sweltering. I haven’t been able to do laundry. Bucket showers actually aren’t that bad. GO AFRICA! We will hopefully be getting the power fixed today.

A testimony building experience I had this week: We had a first lesson with a man and his wife. They did not know anything about God or anything. They were accepting and able to learn. We told the husband he needed to pray to know if the church is true. He knelt down and said "Dear Father in Heaven, I am asking if this church is true?" He waited for a good four minutes then closed his prayer. He said his heart was beating very fast. We told him it was the spirit.

We emailed about the difficulty he was having during Sunday meetings understanding the language he wrote:
I think Sundays will get better but it will be a while. I do miss our home ward a lot. I have actually been thinking of our oh-so-amazing priest quorum a lot lately. Especially ________, he is such an example to me and he has no idea. I really look up to him.

Mama Editor Explanation: In respect for the privacy of others, I often removed names so if things sometimes read strange (for example: “a man and his wife” or “Especially ________”) it is because I have removed the name he mentioned.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Manga 4th Week - September 9, 2013

Family and Friends,
This week was good! We got a lot done. We are teaching five families.
On Monday or Tuesday we had a war with wasps. We were in our rooms and walked into the kitchen. Someone had left the back door open and there were about fifteen big tan colored wasps assaulting our kitchen light fixture. Elder Thomas and Elder Lynn went in with a towel and a fly swatter. About 15 minutes later we had a bunch of dead wasps! Luckily nobody was stung.
Wednesday Elder Galland and Elder Robinson went to a funeral of a member (who was Elder Gallands first baptism here while he was being trained by Elder Robinson).  I stayed in the Manga 2 house with Elder Houston who was sick. I did a lot of reading and was able to watch the DVD “The Testaments: Of One Fold and One Shepherd”.
We had a family night with a family on Friday and it was good. The husband has a gift for understanding and applying the Book of Mormon! Then they fed us Chima and Peix Seca. Peix Seca is dry fish. They take fish and dry it on the roof for two weeks, then heat them up.
Last week we had our first ride in a tchopella which is a little three wheeled car. It has enough room to fit two (comfortable) or three (squished) missionaries. However, we fit four missionaries in it with all of our groceries. It was a fun and a super bumpy ride. I will get a picture of a tchopella one day and send it home.
I am constantly being blessed and loved by Heavenly Father and I know I need to have patience and persevere. This is truly an adventure. I know I will look back on the hardest times with fondness. I know that blessings come by trials.
I miss the temple and the ability to go there and do work and feel that spirit. However, I know I am here to help the living right now.
To answer Mom’s questions – My foot is all better and healed up. This will be a sure test for my shoes over time. Walking has not been painful and they seem to be holding up nicely so far. I have not had any blisters, even with all the walking. Sundays are still hard because of heat and language, but I do enjoy when investigators come and I can tell they love it.
I love you guys and always look forward to hearing from you.
Working for Chick-fil-A the summer between his sophmore & jr. year  taught him a few things.
He sent this picture and a proud little message "I fried chicken!" Looks like American food to me.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Manga 3rd Week - September 2, 2013

We were so excited Elder Kanaga sent some real information in this email. Hopefully my commentary doesn’t annoy anyone. I love this boy!
Fam and Friends 9.2.2013

The work is real! I can hardly believe in 3 weeks I will be 19 and just 3 days after I will have been gone for 3 months

So what we do. Every morning we wake up at 6:30 and get showered and ready then from 8-9 its personal study (some of my most coveted time) then 9-10 is comp study. 10-11 is language at 11 we take an hour and a half lunch and then at 12:30 we go out and tract and contact and teach. It is crazy and hard sometimes but good. At 21 (mama editor note: 9pm) we come home and get ready and go to bed by 2230. We can eat at night but we are not given time for dinner. (I don’t know if this means they don’t eat until they get home at 9pm or if it means they just grab and eat as they work).

It is very hard cause any Mozambican will sit down and listen and such. Everyone says they will go to church, but people rarely do. So our task here is to try and discern those that are truly ready and want to receive the gospel. We have some amazing families that are progressing so fast. 

The father of our golden family was a pastor. Elder Galland, Thomas, and Greenman tracted into him and had a ten minute lesson the day before I got here. They didn’t think much would come of it. Well that Sunday the father of the family came to church. None of the elders recognized him.

The Branch President was giving a lesson on baptism and asked all who were baptized to stand; he stood and said I was baptized in a different church.

President said no you haven’t [been baptized]. There is one baptism and unfortunately that wasn’t it. You need to be baptized properly and with authority. Please sit down.

 Well later that week after we realized who he was we went and had a lesson with them. Immediately they truly accepted everything. After we taught about the first vision, the father said “Wow, I’m the same as Joseph. I always doubted all the churches were true, and now God has answered my prayers too.” He also asked how quickly and what he needs to do to be baptized.

They are just such a prepared family they are always asking perfect questions and they are so excited and working hard to get legally married so they can be baptized!

 Elder Greenman and Elder Thomas paid an investigator to come do some yard work (he doesn’t have a job but wants to get married). While working he yells "Cobra Cobra" which is Portuguese for snake. It turns out that we have four Black Mambas in our back yard. Fairly big ones too. They happen to be a very venomous snake, so we are going to be very careful and watchful if we are out there. Fun Africa fact!

Mama editor note: He sent pictures which I will be nice enough to spare you from seeing but the next paragraph he talks about a foot infection he is dealing with. He is on meds now so hopefully that will soon be healed.

Other than the infection on my foot, and being very tired, it’s amazing! There is no better work in this world!

I love you all,
Elder Kanaga

In our private email he wrote:
“We are seeing so many miracles in our area!”

He also told this story:
“One rather long day we were walking and I see a chicken walk out, then run across the road. Not even thinking I turned and yelled “WHY DID THE CHICKEN CROSS THE ROAD?”  We laughed for like ten minutes then sadly realized that we didn’t follow it! We could have known the answer!”

Tree's on the missionary house property:
Pineapple, mango, banana, and lemon

There are market stalls are called baracas. Anyone can build one wherever
and whenever they want to. They sell whatever they want to out of them

Woven coin purse