Monday, May 12, 2014

Maxixe 39th Week - May 12, 2014

We had a lesson with a family at 8am last P-Day. When we arrived, the father of the family was already drinking. Not only that but he had four other guys drinking with him while he was holding his baby in his arms. I have a hard time with that. Children shouldn’t be anywhere close to the trash of alcohol. We had a lesson on the Book of Mormon and I asked him to read and to promise not to drink before reading it.

P-Day we also had fun by buying some ingredients and meeting with a member and his mother to learn how to cook a meal. It took four hours and the food was AMAZING. You take dry beans and crush them and then cook them. Then you add onion, tomatoes and garlic. The beans, when cooked, make a sauce, I don’t know how to describe it, but on rice it is really awesome. I also found out I have no idea how to rasp a coconut.

We had a “strong” lesson first thing Tuesday morning with Jxxx and Axxxxx We really laid down our purpose as missionaries. We emphasized the importance of reading, praying and coming to church. We made solid the fact that this is the one true church of God and that this is either true or not and they need to get an answer for themselves. It was a good lesson. 

It was really cloudy almost all that day so it was really nice (I was still sweating all day, a lot) Most of our other lessons fell through that day, but we walked a bit with a member, Jxxxx. Even though the lesson we were going to with him fell though.  We went to Gxxx’s house (the really good first lesson we had last Sunday). He wasn’t there so we called him and he said he wouldn’t get home until late. Then about five seconds later he called back that he was doing a job very far away. It made me feel good to know he valued our lessons enough to call back and explain why he couldn’t make the lesson. We re-marked his lesson for Wednesday. We also had an interesting first lesson with a family who has had a lot of interaction with the missionaries in the past. About two years ago, the missionaries helped them carry blocks and building materials down to build their house. I hope this time around they make it to baptism. It would be really great to show that we don’t always see the fruits of our labor.

We had a bold Word of Wisdom lesson with the family we taught on Monday. It really made me sad, because I could see the deep addiction to alcohol in the father’s eyes. I could see he couldn’t imagine not drinking. It made me want to make sure I don’t have vices in my own life. We had a lot of lessons fall thought but that’s missionary life. We had a very odd lesson though. It was quite far away and we had to ask for directions. The great thing about Mozambicans’ is not only will they give you directions, 95% of the time they will go out of their way to SHOW you the directions. That is so nice and quite Chrsitlike. Unfortunately, once we found our way there, the lesson didn’t work out so well. The couple has a very low level of formal education they don’t speak a lot of Portuguese. It made sharing our message quite nearly impossible.

Thursday we had a lesson marked with Jxxx and Axxxxx marked first thing in the morning but he was in Inhumane, so it fell through.  I think we all by now know what that means… Contacting! After a day of contacting, Elder DePina got to call his family. The assistance said it was fine for him to call Thursday instead of Sunday because that is when they were available. It was a little bit of trouble. He had to Skype on President Chamballs laptop but there were problems with the laptop and the internet was not very good. Finally everything was working fine until the microphone went out. We tried and tried to fix it but it was no good. He was able to switch laptops and finally got to speak with his family. After his call we had two lessons, one with a new family Nxxx and Axxxxx. It was a really good lesson except that he is really sick right now with malaria. It looks very painful which makes me want to always remember to take my daily Doxy because I don’t want to gain knowledge of how painful it is.

Two Relief Society sisters went to visit Axxxxx on Wednesday. They had a good and long visit with her and she said she will be coming to church with them. Yea, I hoped it would work out, but later in the week I was told she would not be coming to church and had given them an excuse. It got me to thinking about excuses. How often do we excuse or justify ourselves? Imagine a society where people were responsible because that is just what it boils down to. We excuse ourselves from responsibility and then justify why we didn’t do it. Imagine if, in our daily lives, we all just stuck to our word. Instead of saying “oh, but this happened” we would either do the thing, or if we fell short, as all humans do, we would own up to it. What if we said “I am sorry, I didn’t (or won’t) do that. What can I do to make it right?” It would be much more responsible if we were upfront and upright about the things we should be doing.

We also go the sad news that Sxxxxxx will not get married. He said he isn’t sure if the woman he has been with for two years and has a daughter with is the right one for him. If another woman comes along who he wants more he doesn’t want the responsibility of marriage. That was sad and to me is an example of not owning up to ones responsibility.

Friday morning we didn’t have any lessons marked so we went fishing – that’s not true – we did contacts. While we were walking I got a really cool phone call from Elder Reed. He is in Tete right now and called to ask about a family I taught in Manga. They are now in Tete and working with the missionaries. They have some problems but are working them out. They remember me, which is a highlight. The call also made me feel good about my Portuguese. When Elder Reed called, not knowing who it was, I answered in Portuguese, he asked to talk to Elder Kanaga. So obviously my Portuguese passes as a native (at least over the phone with a bad connection).  That evening while we were doing contacts, there was a man strolling around in a leather vest, slacks (and to top it off) a leather fedora. We walked so much doing contact that I broke my previous pedometer record of 41,239 steps in one day with a new (undesired) record of 42,846 steps. I don’t want to jinx myself but I really don’t want to break anymore daily step records.

I also got some fantastic news during district meeting. I get 15 or 20 minutes more to talk to my family. But that was sad for Elder DePina who had already contacted his family.

Saturday the branch finished watching the Saturday afternoon session of general conference.

Sunday I gave a talk about the church in Christ’s day. Then after church I got to Skype with my family. Let me tell you, there is no way to see time pass faster than that.   It was like I had just said “Hello” and blink it was time to do the hardest thing in the world by saying goodbye. It was so amazing to talk to them and see them. December seems really far away for our next call but I know it will come quick. It was really nice to see them again. 

A lesson I learned from my Mother’s Day call I have named after a popular-ish (or at least it was when I left) YouTube video “Life comes at you fast bro” or better yet in the words of the scriptures “Don’t procrastinate the day of your repentance” That call went by so fast. I remember I looked down at my stopwatch about half way through and thought “I have a bunch of time still”. Then it was over. Life is the same way, we always think we have a lot of time left, but the “day of reckoning” always seems to come fast. Whether it is having to go to college or pay a bill or whatever. So we should not leave for tomorrow what we can do today.

After my family Skype we went to work. We had some contact time and lessons. Irmano Jorge was kind enough to sacrifice a couple of hours of his Sunday to help us with some lessons. We found a really nice lesson Sunday night. A really nice family. They are already married with three kids. Mxxxxxxx and Zxxxxxx. They are solid, they paid attention and understood some parts of the lesson people usually have trouble with. Needless to say both Elder DePina and I have high hope we both felt really good about this family

BOM, That’s this week.

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