Monday, March 31, 2014

Maxixe 33rd week - March 31, 2014

We had to make three trips to Fipag to get our water hooked up. Miraculously it finally got reconnected at 19h30 Monday. Once we had water, I cleaned all the dishes and yes (it’s going to sound very gross but honest) I flushed and cleaned the toilets.

I have been walking with members as companions. With a lot of lessons falling through we have spent a lot of time walking. I have had a lot of time to study and so I read “Our Search for Happiness” by M. Russell Ballard. I love it, it is awesome.

I learned a bit how to cook like a Mozambican. It isn’t too hard. I really enjoyed learning and it is super tasty.

2 tomatoes
½ to 1 large onion
4 cloves of garlic
½ to 1 green bell pepper
About 250 grams cabbage
2 to 4 cups cooked beans of your choice (Red Kidney beans – cooked with coconut water, butter, pinto, baked, etc…)
½ to 1 cup Meat of your choice (chicken, beef, pork or fish)
25ml salt
1-2 cubes chicken stock
20ml oil

Cook meat and cut into pieces, set aside.
Cook the beans, do not strain, set aside
Finely dice onion and bell pepper.
Skin (optional) and cut up tomatoes
Put 4 cloves of Garlic into a cup with salt. Find something hard and smash ‘em until they are liquid
Cut cabbage into squares.
Put oil into a pot and get it hot, add the garlic/salt mixture and stir. Add diced onions and let cook for a little tiny bit Add tomatoes and stir and smash. The tomatoes will become more or less liquid. Add the bell peppers. Stir. Add stock cubes (or equal powder). Stir. Add beans but not the bean water yet. Stir. Add bean water and cabbage and meat. Stir until it’s good and evenly mixed. Let it cook a bit. Servido!

Wednesday I got to hold a little class on the priesthood for the young men who will be having interviews to receive it. It was fun and a good experience

Church was good Sunday. It was the 5th Sunday so combined Relief Society and Priesthood. I was asked to give a talk on Baptism and the Gospel and my miracle for Sunday was that my talk went well. Next week this branch will be doing a special fast. I am excited, it should be really good.

This week is just being impossible to sit with anyone. Hopefully next week after zone conference will be better but it’s another miracle that I have this opportunity to grow.

Living Room and Chapel

Monday, March 24, 2014

Maxixe 32nd week - March 24, 2014

Normally on P-Day, “tracting” is done from 18H – 21H, but in Maxixe more people are available in the morning. Last P-Day we got up and went to work first then we emailed our families and did our shopping. When we got home, I studied and “jimmy-rigged” a tie rack before resting and some more studying. My miracle for P-Day was that I felt rested and that I had a productive day.

I have made a “Spider-Proof” decision. I have started to call my mosquito net a “bug-net”. I hope this can help the spiders clearly understand the net is to keep them out too.

This week we had a lot of contacts and had a recent convert lesson with A-------- and E-----. About half of our lessons fell through during the week and Saturday it rained a lot, so unfortunately all but one lesson fell though that day. But, if we didn’t have “bad days” we wouldn’t know what a “good day” was.  Even bad days can be a miracle.

Luckily we were able to visit some recent converts. It was funny, we made the trip out to “Matador” (or “Killer” where they slaughter cows) twice on Tuesday. Both times the lessons fell through. It is about a 40 minute walk to Matador but it was still a good day.

It is so hot here, I’ve decided water is a miracle. Water brings such relief to the body. It is no wonder that Christ chose to call His word, His Gospel, “The Living Water” because the gospel of Jesus Christ brings infinite relief to the soul.

Wednesday after contacts, lunch and two lessons, we had to come home because Elder DePino had a presidency meeting to attend. That meeting lasted 3 hours which gave me a lot of time to study, which was nice, but after a bit I was ready to be back out contacting and teaching. Also on Wednesday, A--- (the secretary of this branch) was able to help me, help Elder Rebollo. A--- went to get some documents for me that Elder Rebollo had asked me to get that were outside our area. Miraculously A--- was able to get them for us.

I feel immense gratitude for the schooling I had and the opportunity I will have to continue my education.

First thing in the morning on Friday, the water company turned off our water. There was some problem with billing. I don’t really understand exactly what the problem is. That night the power went out too but early Sunday morning was restored.  The water is to be restored sometime on Monday.

Saturday I was grateful for the miracle of water storage! I had filled up all of the empty bottles of water which saved us from dehydration!

We had 31 people at church and church went really well. I especially enjoyed a member’s talk on Sabbath Day observance and the Principles of the Gospel lesson. We are hoping for water on Monday.

It is great how a mission has changed me, my outlook on life, my priorities and even what I eat. One of my favorite meals now is rice and kidney beans with bell pepper, onion and chicken or sausage with hot sauce.

(The internet was slow this week so no pictures but he was able to send this post)

Monday, March 17, 2014

Maxixe 31st week - March 17, 2014

We don't have to take a chapa on P-Day because both the internet and shopping are within walking distance. It was a miracle that we had Internet. I was told there have been quite a few weeks that the missionaries haven't been able to e-mail. It was also a miracle we didn't get rained on. It rained after we got home and stopped before we went out to work.

Maxixe is HOT. Especially when the power is out in the middle of the night and break something. We didn't get power working until 19H on Tuesday which made studies and lunch boiling. I was sweating so bad and when we went out I got lightly sunburned. Lot's of lessons fell through but the miracle is we did get power back.

 A lot of lessons fell through this week but we still had quite a few. So I made up a new activity. I call it "missionary swimming". It's not actually swimming of course. It's when, as a missionary, your sweating so much you are practically completely immersed in water, and thus swimming. I do it pretty much every day here. A huge miracle here in Maxixe is shade! The shade really helps. It rained all Wednesday night and all Thursday morning. I love the sound of rain while I sleep, it's great. But it isn't good for missionary work. Literally every Mozambican disappears. The rain more or less stopped after lunch and we were able to get a full day of lessons in. The miracle was I didn't sweat all on Thursday! It was a beautiful cloudy and windy day.

We met a new family. We accidentally went into their yard. They are already married, so will see if they progress. 
We have been working a lot with an investigator A--------- so he can get his documents here so he and his wife can open the marriage process. And it's a miracle that his documents got here on Friday! They opened the process and we are helping them prepare.

I watched about 10 chickens lives end as things were prepared for a wedding celebration for Saturday. The wedding went good. The baptisms were good as well. Both were simple and very nice. After we ate a lot of food (some chicken) and then went out to work. Unfortunately quite a few lessons fell through but we still got some good ones. It is a miracle that to more of God's children have entered into the sacred covenants of baptism!

Sunday was good I gave more or less of a surprise talk in sacrament meeting (I had some time to prepare) I spoke on charity. We had lunch and some lessons. It was a good day Sunday and a good first week in Maxixe.

Monday, March 10, 2014

T-3 and new area Maxixe 30th week - March 10, 2014

P-day was good, however, it started out with a big mean disappointment. Here’s the story: We got up, cleaned, and got out the door. We caught a chapa pretty fast. Had a nice long bumpy ride and got to our computer café. I stepped in and the first words I hear are “There is no internet”. Now I will have you understand a couple of quick facts - I am a missionary, I only get to communicate with my family once a week, by way of internet, on Mondays. We stood outside for 5 minutes with the general feeling/thought  “No internet...did the world end…No that possible…what are we supposed to do now?" We decided to see if some of the more expensive, slower internet cafés near our house were working. We did find internet closer to home for double the price. What a miracle we still got to email our families. That night, we went to Family Night and played musical chairs and Cadeia Chefe. Sadly because of my NEW spider bite (Which hurt very bad and was inconveniently located in my armpit) I wasn't in a super playful mood. It was a good day. Mama Editor: I am sparing the readers the details (as I did when he was bit in Manga). You really don't want to know or see the beginning, middle or end of what happens. I am sure he will require some medication and the bite will heal eventually as his bite in Manga did.

Tuesday also started out with a disappointment. I didn't get very good sleep and when I got out of bed the house was strangely quite. I walked to the bathroom and turned on the light but nothing happened. Then I realized “Oh… It’s been raining, we don’t have any power, flashlight!” Miraculously, a couple of hours later our power linked back on. Unfortunately by that time, we didn't have running water but it a couple of hours later the water came back on. It was a good day, it rained a lot and more or less all day. All I can say is I am so thankful for a dry home, bed and clothes to come home to on days like Tuesday. The are a little miracles.

What a day was Wednesday. Wow it pretty much started out the same as Tuesday, no power, then no water then the power came back on and finally the water did too. It was super rainy in the morning. A lot of puddles and so we had to use boots. Oh yay! I love boots. If you ever played “the Legend of Zelda: you will know what I mean when I say that by the end  of the day, I felt like I had been using "The boots of iron”.

We had mini-divisions with Elder Herd and Barroso. Elder Borroso needed to interview an investigator A--------- for baptism. Elder Ndala went with Elder Barrosso and I went with Elder Herd. We had a lesson and did contacts. At lunch, Elder Borroso said that President Kretly wanted me to call him. President Kretly said “Elder Kanaga, you are being transferred this Saturday. You will be going to Maxixe” We talked about the transfer. The transfer happened early, because Elder Brandoa, who was still in Maxixe, will be going home after completing his two years. The trip to Maxixe was scheduled for Saturday. I was super excited, Maxixe was just made a branch from being a group. So it is pretty small but ready for growth. 

Thursday sadly, almost all of our lessons fell through. It was however quite the miracle that we didn't have to wear boots! Our last lesson on Thursday was with J--- and M----. It was good. I said goodbye. J--- was sad to see me go but I assured him he will like the next elder. As we were leaving, a great miracle happened, we were walking and a chapa backed up right into our path. The driver said "beep-beep". It was C------! I got a last chance to say goodbye to him! I wasn't going to be able to, we got to see him before I left to say goodbye. Sadly, I will be missing his baptism as well as  A---------. That is super sad I love those guys.

Friday was my last day in T-3. Crazy, no not really crazy it was a good day though instead of doing contacts in the morning. Elder NDala and I went to the church and cleaned out the baptismal font. That took a while. When we went out to the area, sadly, almost all of our lessons fell through. At one point we came back to the house to grab some water, and Elder NDala wanted to grab his debit card so he could take out some money. When we got there, we discovered that the new trainer of Elder Barrasso had already arrived. The office had sent him with the envelope I had left in the office. It had my drivers license, a copy of my passport, and money. I am really not sure why they sent that to me. Elder NDala thought I may be driving in Maxixe. The rest of the day every lesson fell through. We came back a little early so I could finish packing. It is weird to already be leaving T-3. I feel like I was basically just here. It's super interesting how this time works. Anyway that was my last day in T-3.

Saturday I woke up and got ready and left with the Hobson's for what turned out to be an eight hour trip. It was awesome. I got some great pictures it was a really good drive. I love Maxixe, I can see the ocean from our house. It is a pretty nice city. Sadly, it does not have a ShopRite or anything like it we just have a little shop. It has all we need though. It was a good but long day. There will be no other elders in Maxixe just me and my Cape Verdian companion Elder Depina.

Sunday we had 36 people at church! It is a different place. We live in the church. Church takes place in our front room. But the church was good after that we went to invetigaor and member homes so Elder Brandao could say goodbye. 

Oh our house is hot!

Monday, March 3, 2014

T-3 29th week - March 3, 2014

It was a little hard to get out of T-3 on P-Day. It was hard to get a chapa. It is the Combatentes Chapa, and for whatever reason none of them came for like 20 minutes. Then a huge rush of them came. In T-3 Chapa lines are interesting, at least in the mornings. In Beira it was a Chapa mash-pit. Here it is usually a bit better (but not downtown, it's still a Chapa mash-pit).We had a great P-Day, the whole day had pretty good weather. It was awesome! Family night was good, nothing crazy we just played hot potato and stuff. It was a really good day.

Tuesday not a single lesson dropped, it was a miracle. Another little miracle for me happened in the lesson with a less active member that was baptized and living in South Africa for three years. She speaks English well. She really doesn't know how to discuss gospel topics in Portuguese, just English. So I had a really cool opportunity to translate everything she said into Portuguese for her aunt which was really cool. Later as we were walking, in 5 seconds a flash downpour came out of nowhere. So we ran in to cover the nearest investigators home. The rain pass fairly quickly and, luckily, didn't start until after we got home.

Wednesday was an interesting day. We went out and did contacts, then had studies, lunch, and left for the area. Only 2.5 lessons fell (.5 equals super late). But the lesson that went through were good. Some miracles for the day: #1, good weather the whole day! #2, members to walk with. It amazes me, we are getting so blessed with members. People calling us to say they can give up hours of their day to help us. This Wednesday was really a double miracle, because the joven that called us and spent four hours of his days helping teach the gospel is a less active member. What a blessing and… #3: crazy drunkards on the road did tell me I can't speak Portuguese. Yep, kind of an odd miracle. Well it made me and I can obviously speak Portuguese, so I actually enjoyed it. I find it so interesting that I is I am looking for miracles I can see more and more of them. And it isn't like anything out of the ordinary is happening, I am just noticing blessings more and more. Which, to me, in and of itself is quite a miracle.

This week I was so excited to use American deodorant. I had left a couple of sticks at the mission home when I went to Manga. I finally used up the rest of my Mozambican deodorant and started using the American stuff. Wow! American deodorant is a miracle! It is such amazing stuff. 

I love it when it is windy! It is so nice to have a nice solid breeze to keep me cool. What a blessing that is to have some days. 

We were teaching a lesson with M------, who is a recently baptized joven (youth). He was bearing testimony. It just is amazes me, how can you see him "growing" almost quite literally. I can see the light of Christ emanating from him. 

I had one of the favorite days on my mission so far. in the morning, I had a division with elder Herd. It was a super good day. It started out with us going to do some contacting before District Meeting. We walked around and did some good contacts. Then 10H we had district (party) meeting. The reason for that is because it was Elder Rebollo's birthday! Then something super funny happened during district meeting. Elder Barroso had a little activity. It was based on "Listening and Obeying the Spirit". He had us take off our ties. He gave us some random objects to hold. Then told us to use our ties as blindfolds. He said it was very important that we didn't look. After we blindfolded ourselves, he kept repeating two phrases, "Put everything you don't need to be sitting, in the middle of the circle" and, "It can sometimes be hard to understand what the spirit is telling you." After a bit I put down my books, then my sandals, then my watch, belt, name tag, and finally my shirt! After all, I didn't need them to stay sitting did I? He had us all take off the blindfolds (at least those of us that still had them on). The object was to take off the blindfolds. However, he had very specifically and clearly stated that we were not allowed to see what the other elders were doing, so I thought removing the blindfold was against the rules. The rest of our day was super good, although, we did get the division curse, and almost all of our lessons fell through. So we did do a lot of walking (we got 35,242 steps, the most in one day so far) and a lot of talking and got a lot of contacts. The whole day was just one big happy miracle.

Saturday and the miracle of getting 10 contacts in 45 minutes. Then we headed to church for the wedding of a couple in Elder Rebollo Reeds area. The wedding was supposed to start at 9H but the bride didn't get there until around 12H. The did the wedding and baptism but then she took another hour and 15 minutes to get dressed again. Elder NDala and I actually left before she was done because we had lessons marked. I mean it's not a problem, it's her wedding day, if she wants to take up some time that's her right. We had a good lesson C---- and another lesson with J---- and M-----.

My Sunday miracle was working air-conditioners in the church! 

It was a really good week. 

Loves (My heart went beat beat when I read this last word. When he was little, instead of saying "I love you" he would say "I loves" or "Loves".)