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.