Monday, July 28, 2014

Maputo 50th week - July 28, 2014

Another week without a blog update. On personal email he said they get lots of contacts but the lessons fall through.

UPDATE: Again he sent the post later and I am just getting it updated

P-Day we went to Matola to play one of the funnest games of my life “Gator-Ball”. It is a crazy mix of soccer, football, and basketball. It is a whole lot of fun and makes you think a lot more than any other sport. I am definitely taking gator-ball back to play in the USA. We ate lunch at KFC did our emailing and then grocery shopping at Premier. Best of all, when we got home, I did something I should have done a very very long time ago. I called my dear Txxxx and Axx (a couple that was married and baptized when he was working in Manga) He was so happy to hear from me. He is the second counselor in the branch presidency and sounded like he is doing so very good. I am going to try and make it a habit to call Txxxx and Axx, the Jovens from T-3, Members and Investigators from Maxixe. Because #1 It is my responsibility and #2 I love them and want to know how they’re all doing.

Some days being a missionary is just simply difficult. To be honest, I was pretty darn discouraged Tuesday, not only was it the 4th day in a row that all of our lessons fell through, but the 4th day in a row  that all of our lessons fell thought while we were with a member. I have no idea what we are doing wrong, but it is killing me. I just feel like I am powerless, oh wait I actually am a mortal, and therefore am powerless, but I don’t know what to change. We are getting our contacts, and I feel good about a lot of them when I get them, but then for one reason or another, when we call to mark, none of them work out. It is really really frustrating to feel like you are doing it all right, but it is all going wrong. We call and confirmed our lesson at lunch, then when we got out to the area, they all fall . I don’t know what to do from here on out. I guess just keep pushing forward.

Wednesday morning we had to go to the Registro to talk to the lady who opens the process.  she will help us to get both of our couples married on the 2nd of August. In terms of lessons of the 3.5 we marked we were able to teach 2. We managed to get a member with us. The first one was a bit odd, he was ready to argue his guns were o blazing but we didn’t get hooked, just plainly shared truth and left with a prayer. We found out another Dupla (companionship) is coming to Maptuo 1.

Thursday was a day full of miracles. We started out the day headed to the Registro, ready to open twp processes of Marriage. Then everything started falling apart, Dxxxxx and Mxxxx didn’t have money, Dxxxxx (the husband of Ixxxxx) was at work. This, that and the other, everything was going bad. Then it all started coming together. A member of the branch decided to financially help Dxxxxx and Mxxxx so they could open the process. Dxxxxx (the husband of Ixxxxx) got permission to leave work to come open the process. Everything came though. It was awesome! Both couples successfully opened the process for the 2nd of August. Whoop!

I am so very happy and excited, and it just proves Nephi is right. The Lord always provides a way to follow his commandments. On top of our miracles, we had a pretty sound day lesson wise. Axxxxxx, a super awesome Joven (Solteiro that’s prepping for a his mission) walked with us. We got in some really great lessons. Plus, we had a really nice first lesson with Pxxxx and his brother Nxx. Unfortunately his wife, Qxxxx, was still at work. They were nice, I really hope they turn into some solid investigators. It was a miracle day.

Very late Thursday night we got the new Dupla they are both Brazilians. Elder Barroso and Elder Carvalho (who just got in from Brazil) are super nice and fun. It will be nice to have another companionship in the house.

Friday we had District Meeting, which I personally felt went well. I mean I haven’t heard anyone complaining yet so that’s good. Unfortunately Elder Mistola and I could not manage to mark a lesson in the hours of 14H to 16H so we contacted until our lesson at 17h. We have half of the area now which is a huge blessing. We are keeping Maxaquene.  Elders Barroso and Carvahla are talking the area of Polana Caniço. So that will really help us out a ton. Our lessons that night went well. We had a member Jxxxxxx with us. He is recently married and baptized and a super awesome member to teach with.

Saturday we had a lesson with a recent convert with Dxxx and Ixxxxx. It was the last “temple-prep” lesson that went nicely. Then we took Dxxx with us for the other lessons. Sadly all but one fell though. I got one of the happiest phone calls of my mission. It was from Jxxxx (from Maxixe) telling me that Jxxxxxx and Lxxxx got married. WHOOP! I can’t wait for pictures on Monday.
Then we had an awkward lesson with Hxxxxxxx. We taught him the law of chastity and he told us about how he doesn’t have a wife, but he has a few “friends” he calls over sometimes. He said he would stop though, so that is quite a blessing. Sometimes the missionary lesson are a bit awkward.

Sunday we got the time and place solidified for the weddings. I am so excited, they are so ready follow God’s commandments. Church was nice, but then our lessons fell though. We spent some time trying to mark more lessons but sadly none of our contacts worked out. That is always a bit of a downer. However, we still had a great day. We visited Dxxxxx and Ixxxxx. On the way there we ran into a member family who were also on their way to Dxxxxx and Ixxxxx’s house. That was a nice blessing, we were able to get in our last member present lesson for the week.

New Elders in the district and in the house

The design is one he drew and I had put on a t-shirt for him. Unfortunately, now an
extra large hangs on him. Maybe I will have put the logo on a large or medium shirt
and send it for his birthday or Christmas.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Maputo 49th week - July 21, 2014

Update: Although he wasn't able to send an entry at the time, Elder Kanaga has since sent an entry for July 14th through the 20th. Enjoy!

OH P-DAY yup I do love a good preparation day. It is always such a good rest and rejuvenation. Not to mention the fact that now I get to do my shopping at Premier. And WOW Premier is really nice. Our internet place was really bad. I hope that there is another one for next week I literally couldn't stand up without hitting my head on the ceiling and what is worse is that the computer wouldn't read my flash drive so I couldn't send any pictures home. I cleaned the house and went through all the expired meds left in the bathroom and trashed them. I neatly organized everything. Then we did contacts and had a lesson with a part-member family.

Tuesday was good Dxxxxx and Mxxxx sadly are having money problems. I am worried if they are going to be able to succeed in getting everything done in time for their wedding date on 7/26. I really hope so! We  did contacts in the morning. After personal studies and lunch. We did companion study and left for a nice long walk to Sxxxx’s house. He lives a good 1 hour walk from our house. After that, we had a lesson that fell through, which ended up being a blessing because as we were walking, we received a phone call from the APS. They had Elder Mendes with them and needed to drop him off with us. So we had to run home and pick him up then head back for an absolutely amazing follow up Law of Chastity lesson. It was with our other couple, Dxxxxx and Ixxxxx. They blew my mind, they really took it straight to heart.  Dxxxxx already talked to his family about it. On his own, he explained that he was getting married to obey God’s commandment. They accepted. He also explained the same thing to her family. They also accepted. He is going to, or hopefully already started on the documents. Namely the Declaraçlaracão  de bairro, tonight! I was sad to leave my awesome families in Maxixe but I am super happy I found more families to teach here.

Wednesday,  we started off with no electricity which continued for the entire day. Miracles happen so I can’t complain - as we were waiting for a member, Axxxxx to go teach a lesson with us, we ran into Dxxxxx, Ixxxxx’s husband. He was returning from the Chefe do Bairro’s home with his Declaraçlaracão  de bairro. Tomorrow we will be going with his wife to the Municipio to get their Atestado da Residência. After that, all that is left is to open the process. Woo hoo!  I really think that they are going to succeed in getting everything in line to get married and baptized on the 26th of July. We passed by Dxxxxx and Mxxxx’s house. He managed to get enough money for the Atestado da Residência as well we will be going with Mxxxx and Ixxxxx to get their Atestados.  Wow that is awesomeness! It  was a pretty productive day. We had 4 good lessons and we sat with a new family from a contact I met yesterday, Bxxxxxxx and Mxxxxxxxx. We had a very good lesson with them. I hope to see them progress, but we will see. Wednesday was my niece Eisley’s one year mark in life. Para-Bens Eisley  Monster!

Thursday was pretty good, we went with Ixxxxx to the Registo and the Muncipo. We first went to the Registro to start getting Dxxxxx certidão made. Then we ran down to the Muncipio to get the Atestado da Residência. Sadly we will have to push the wedding and baptism back one week because of the Certidão de Nascimento for Dxxxxx won’t be ready until Tuesday morning. That’s okay; everything is going well with their documents. We had a really good lesson with them that night. We taught them about the Plan of Salvation. They had some good questions. One of Dxxxxx’s questions was “Is there really Hell, where people are burning with fire?” When I asked him where he thought we came from, he answered 100% perfectly correct. I almost thought he had read Preach My Gospel. It was a really good lesson. I am really quite happy to get to participate in their conversion.

Friday we had district meeting in the morning. I was happy with it. When I ended it, I felt like it went well. I am having a hard time getting lessons in this area. My companion is still way new and I don’t know our investigators well enough yet to get the marking down perfect. However, I am starting to get it all solidified. We had another good lesson with Bxxxxxxx. We taught about the Book of Mormon. He understood the “two points” example really well, but had a lot of good question to go along with it all. Then we had a lesson with an OLD (time being taught) investigator, Axxxxxx. It went good, but I am really worried, I don’t want him to turn into one of those “Eternal Investigators”

Saturday morning we did studies and headed out for a lesson with Jxxx and Axxxxx. Right as we were getting pretty close to their house we got a call from Jxxx that he  was at work still. So we just stayed out in the area and contacted until lunchtime. After lunch we had a nice full afternoon/evening marked and Irmão Dxxx  was planning to walk with us. I was pumped. But then, like a giant rabbit-eating mountain squirrel, disaster struck. One by one our lessons began to fall. All of them… that was very disheartening. As we were in front of Frangão, a restaurant, waiting for Irmã Dxxx, we frantically started calling our contacts again. Luckily Elder Mistola was able to make an appointment for a lesson. It was a really good lesson which is nice because it was the ONLY one of the day. On the brighter side we managed to get a solid sixteen contacts today.

Sunday was good. Church was nice. It is still rather odd for me to be in a branch that is big, where the missionaries don’t teach classes or conduct meetings. It’s nice. But to be 100% honest today was quite discouraging. Quite a few of our investigators did not show up at church. For sure we were to have a lesson immediately following correlation, however, that fell through. So we got home, ate lunch, and headed to the area. I was pumped. We had a full day marked, and an awesome member to walk with…However, the general public of Mozambique had a different idea. It all fell through… not a single one of our four marked lessons, or any person we called worked out. That made for a very discouraged Elder Kanaga on the 30 minute walk home. It is always discouraging to have lessons fall though, however, it is a whole lot more discouraging when lesson fall though and you have a member with you for more than four hours. It was something that, as far as I know, was out of my control. Hopefully this week that comes will be a bit more fruitful in terms of lessons.

Elder Kanaga and his new companion

Monday, July 14, 2014

Maxixe 48th week - July 14, 2014

There is never anything to complain about on P-Day.  It was a good productive day. It started out with our lesson with Cxxxxx and Dxxxx at the Rxxxxxx Family “complex” We gave them some instruction and encouragement, and then sent them on their way to Morromsene, where they have to go to register Dxxxx. I really hope that they succeed in getting her registered (as a step towards marriage). 

We spent the rest of our morning contacting. We got all of our contacts for the day fairly quickly and if I am going to be honest (and hopeful) I felt really good about a lot of them. I am excited to see what happens with them. We also grocery shopped and emailed, sometimes it’s nice to go and do things on P-Day other times it is really nice to have a day to relax and recuperate. This was one of those days.

Some days are interesting! Or, in other words, I don’t quite know how to label them. Why? Because some great things happen and at the same time, some really downer things happen. Days that are interesting also seem to last a couple of days long and what can I say, Tuesday was one of those days . We had a couple of so-so lessons in the morning.  Then we met up with “the man of the hour”, Jxxxxxx, to help him get his Declarações De Bairro. That was a wild goose chase; we got the documents all done, and then went to the Municipial to do the Atestado Da Residencia. That is where things started to spiral downhill like a “double-bird-strike” We had to run through pouring rain to find somewhere to type a document then go back just to find out something was wrong with the Declarações and that the process has to be open for 15 days before the wedding. So we have to do it tomorrow and there won’t be a wedding/baptism this weekend L. On the other hand, Jxxxxxx has GIANT FAITH and we had a really great lesson with Zx and Ixxxx a new reference from Jxxxx.

Wednesday I had presidency meeting in the morning. Then we walked some more with Jxxxxxx to help him do some documents again. We also hiked up on the mountain (an hours walk) to Exxxxx and Dxxxxxxx house. It was a good restoration lesson. There was just one thing, I was on the far right side of the couch against the arm. I thought I felt something nudging my leg. I wasn’t sure, so I put my hand between my leg and the couch arm, and sure enough there was some little beastie inside the couch moving around. Of course my mind started to pay 100 different scenarios; snake? person? dog? rat? huge spider? what? What if I get bit? If it jumps out, will I grab it and kill it? I ended up saying something to them.  They explained that it was a rat. The rat lives in the couch. I am so glad he stayed inside the couch.

Thursday… Hoje foí um bom dia! (today was a good day!) Thursday we killed off the day with a less than ideal lesson. It was with a high ranking man. They are set in a mindset that any church that talks about God is a true church. We tried, but it isn’t yet their time. After that we rushed home to do weekly planning. It was super amazing. I feel like weekly planning really gives me a “big-picture” view of how truly blessed we are by the Lord! I cannot believe how He has blessed us. After planning we went up to the highest point in Maxixe to have a really nice lesson with a new family. Rxxxxx and Zxxxx. Rxxxxx practically taught himself part of the lesson. He is super smart and going to progress very nicely. We called to check up on Jxxxxxx and Lxxxx. They are still moving along on their documents. I have to say I really love them! After a long walk down into Maxixe again, we had a good lesson with Zx at Jxxxxx home.  Then we passed by Cxxxxx and Axxxxx. I really love them, and I am worried about them. I hope they have enough food to eat on a regular basis.

Friday was interesting. We started out the day by heading out to Exxxxxxx house in Abana. We had a super good lesson with him. We taught about the Plan of Salvation. He really understood and asked some killer questions. I am honestly impressed with him. Later we walked home, and had district meeting and ate lunch. We went to meet with Jxxxxx to visit some of the Young Women she has been bringing to church and hopefully our visit will bring them back to church. Something happened afterwards, as we were walking we got a phone call from Presidente Kretly. I am going to Maputo 1 to be Elder Mistola’s new companion. Wow this is the fourth time knowing about a transfer before it happened. I didn’t even get the chance to say goodbye to or take pictures with any investigators or members. L Oh well, mission life. We finished out our day with some lessons and headed home so I could spend the better part of the night packing. I will be getting on an early bus to head down to Maputo on Saturday.

Mama Editor Note: This is where his update ends. I received it a week late and no update for the week following (yet J) 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Maxixe 47th week - July 7, 2014

Last P-Day we woke up at 3am to eat breakfast, get ready and get to the bus stop 30 minutes early. We got there early but ended up waiting until 7H32 to climb into the highly uncomfortable Maximbombo. It took a good long 8.5 hours of no leg room (A.K.A. my knees being smashed into the seat in front of me to get to Maputo. We got there and ran some errands then went to the Tidwell’s home. We were dead tired from the trip but we got to meet all the elders from Swaziland.

The next day was Zone Conference. Whoop! It was really nice, the Zone Conference was basically based on the differences of an “Extra Ordinary Missionary and an “ordinary” one. I love our mission president, he showed a couple of videos from Franklin Covey. It was about a blind man who climbed to the peak of Mount Everest. Another was about choices not passing up opportunities and being involved. Of course it was quickly compared to the passage of scripture in D&C about always being anxiously engaged in a good cause of your own good will. It was a nice conference. After we did a lot of driving with the office elders, then bought bus tickets for 23H30 to come back to Maxixe. The office elders dropped us off at the Tidwell’s home to get our stuff packed then took us to the bus stop and we got on. We had a much more comfortable bus back to Maxixe.

Thursday was a day full of contacting and quite fortunately, we had three lessons with a member present. We taught two lessons with Nxxxxx. The lessons went very well and we were quite lucky to have him with us. He translated in to shitswa some stuff for Dxxxx’s mom in the lesson. Good news, Dxxxx’s mom is all for the marriage.

Friday we got Fipag paid. I do love that 0 balance in the account. I hope in my life I can always stay out of debt, because I do love not owing money.

We had a great district meeting and sang the Star Spangled Banner. I had one of the best burgers of my life. It was a veggie burger. I felt bad though because President André insisted on paying. Quite a few of our lessons fell through but we managed to sit with Jxxxxxx and Lxxxx, then Cxxxxx and Dxxxx and their family and after that Lxxx and Lxxxxxxxxx. What a miracle, Lxxxxxxxxx actually sat with us and participated. Maybe she is starting to come around. That would be awesome.

Saturday morning we went all the way out to Gxxxxxx’s house. We had a good visit with them. Then we basically had to return, a long walk. We visited Jxxxxxx and Lxxxx we are going to start teaching them “lesson 5” from Preach my Gospel. We had a short follow-up lesson with Axxxxx because Cxxxxx still hadn’t got home from work. We visited the Rxxxxxx household. They are awesome I cannot wait to see them baptized. We also taught the Temple Preparation class.

Sunday, what a day. As Elder Greenman used to say, Sunday is “Fruit Day” It is the day that we see all of the “fruits of our labors”. It is when we see what investigators have the conversion to come to church. We had four families with 13 adult investigators. It was a “Fruit-full Day” and it is truly a blessing, and a testimony to me. Sunday, when we woke up we found a sky full of rainy-angry looking clouds. I was worried that our attendance was going to very painfully drop however, the lord was merciful enough to help me see I need to exercise a little more faith plus Sunday was Fast and Testimony meeting. It was quite a special one as we had about 12 children from the primary get up and share their sweet and pure testimonies about our Loving Heavenly Father, and His Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. AWESOME! We also had a killer first lesson on Sunday. It was with Rxxxxxxx’s sister Dxxxxxx and her husband Exxxxxx. Desire not to mention a bit of a nudge from God. It turns out I contacted him (who knows how long ago) but we were never able to sit with him but he is going to progress nicely!

I hope I can become what God expects of me.