Monday, February 19, 2018

Last Week In Triple Digits

Today marks my 222 days in the mission office. Wow. That is a long time, but I have had a lot of good experiences too. My life as an office elder is strange, the hours are weird (example: look at when this email was sent my time....23:00) but I also get to see a side of the mission that few get to see. My day to day life revolves around numbers whether it be rents, missionaries, payments, receipts or baptisms. I have 105 days left in Mozambique which is insane to think I just have to do less than half of what I have already done, just in the time in the office (which is all one giant blur).

This week we had a visit from Elder Miranda (one of the Area 70's) and he got talking about goals and areas and baptisms. It was a good time to look on goals and plans for the mission. Currently I am working on finishing reading the Livro de Mormon then I want to read the New Testament in Portuguese. Hopefully my weird schedule will make it work.

Anyone who I didn't email today (....everyone) I will email tomorrow night. Its been a crazy day. I went to bed at 2 am... Woke up at 6:30, drove people around until 10ish, then got in a car accident (not my fault at all. Still mad about it. I am totally fine. The guy will be paying for it.), then I was  getting lunch for everyone. 12:00-12:30 I passed out for a power nap, then it was running errands (bank, store etc), picked and dropped people from the airport until 18. Then I was picking everyone back up for a family night. I helped make dinner a bit, then had to run others around picking up their stuff. Then we took everyone to one house to pick up mattresses, drop everyone at our house, then I came to the office to email for a few minutes to say I'm not dead, just a bit sick, but I still have an hour of stuff to do here before I go home and sleep. Then get up at 6:30 to start the whole thing all over again.

Thanks for all the love.

Elder Howell

Monday, February 12, 2018

Fast Update

Well, once again it was a boring week, arguably more boring than last week. Not much to comment on...

....It rained a lot?

We did have a few nice visits this week with our recent convert Pedro and his sister, Latia... They gave us mafura and sweet potato puree thingy to eat.... That was, well, unique. Imagine baby food but with seeds you had to spit out.... It was  a fun time though.

That's pretty much the biggest thing of my week. Hopefully this coming week has more to comment on!

Love you all,

Elder Howell

Monday, February 5, 2018

I think I can I think I can

One more week completed here in the office, one more week of transfers over with everyone correctly documented and in their areas. Pretty much transfers week is me just driving a ton to the airport and to peoples areas to drop off and pick up people without sleeping enough *yawn

Thankfully that mess is over and there aren't many of them left for me!

In terms of what I did other than driving this week, Elder De Paula and I are figuring things out, things are going well there. There's always a weird phase as you get a new companion like 'Hi, someone emailed me and said I will now spend 24/7 with you for the next 6 weeks, is that my bed?".... Cool. Thankfully its going well though.

Elder De Paula had to do interviews for a few young woman getting baptized so we went to get those done, I got to sit around and just talk with people, learn some dialect. It was fun. Those same girls picked me to baptize them, not sure why, I dont know them, but that happened on Saturday as well, hence the baptismal photos in the Drive.

We also had a family night on Saturday night with a recent convert of the Sisters which was fun to go to, the totally standard mozambican food and weird games. Good times.

That's all for this week!

Elder Howell

Monday, January 29, 2018

Happy Week

Today is transfers which means I have been driving back and forth to the airport all day and the day still has more driving to come. I have to make this quick, but I will try to explain the two big things well:

1. Its transfers, for the first time in 6 months something changed for me. Elder Skraba left to serve in Nampula.... We have been together 7 months, it was really strange to see him leave. I then received Elder De Paula. Brazilian, obviously. That is fun. All Portuguese all the time. It will be good for me. He is from Fatima do Sul, apparently that is a city. It sounds like a road name to me. He is fun and well organized so that will be nice.... He isnt however a secretary, he is the district leader and my comp. I am kind of just handling all the office stuff now, because why not right? He got here in my 3rd transfer so he has a few more after I go. We should have a pretty fun time, we like a lot of the same shows and we both are willing to drive 4 hours to buy M&M's. What more is needed?

2. There was a humanitarian group here this week, I think called 'Entheos' and their campaign here 'Hearing the Call', honestly not sure I am terrible with names. But they came here in a big group to test people and give out hearing aids. It was incredible. Some of the happiest 2 days of my mission. About 10-12 missionaries stayed at all times at the hospital sun up to sun down translating and helping with the operation. Over 450 people got hearing aids. It was amazing seeing all these people get helped, hear for the first time, see this huge change instantly happen. All of the volunteers who came were just all so happy, all the time. It was great. I mainly worked in the molding group getting up the hearing aids but it was a wonderful experience to be a part of. Somewhere there is a really cool video of people getting to hear for the first time. I will try to get someone to send it to me this week.

That's all for now. As always, its great to hear from all that write me.

Elder Howell

PS: Still no camera, but I just got the phone back, which has a camera. Pictures for next week!

Well, thats good enough. Maybe they will send me the full, better video later.

Elder Howell

Monday, January 22, 2018

Boring but Fast Week

Okay, this week was really boring. Like really boring. Only two interesting things happened this week, so I will keep this short.

1. There was a temple caravan from Beira that we found out about a few hours before they arrived in Maputo... This means that we ran around between cities collecting extra mattresses... We stacked a solid 18 onto the trunk of the car and on top of the cab..... It was.... SUPER redneck. But we helped out the caravan have something soft-ish to sleep on. It was fun to see peoples reaction as we drove around with all of them.

2. Chuly (apparently that is his legal name, I am so confused about his name at this point, I give up) got baptized. Yes, it did happen. There wasn't messed up times or malaria to get in the way this time. It all went smoothly and he showed up for his confirmation, almost on time... Almost. But it was really good that it finally happened.

Thats it for the week... Still no photos (though I will get some mid week from the baptism and put them on the Google Drive). Hopefully I get my camera back from the repair person soon!

Until Next Week!

Elder Howell

Monday, January 15, 2018

Malaria Week

To begin, I dont have malaria :) What a wonderful thing that is!

I did spend a big chunk of the week with the Area doctor, Dr. Johnson. He is such a fun person! He came to do a tour with our mission to help people with the questions and problems we have here (mainly: diarrhea, abscesses, malaria and so forth). He doesn't speak Portuguese which worked out perfect for us because that meant he needed someone to translate at conferences... and breakfast.... and dinners.... So, it worked out well for both of us. 

I however started the week with a cold... Which kind of just grew during the week due to not enough sleep to recover, but was fun and worth it. We started with 'health conference' here in Maputo where I just got to listen, but the following day we went to Beira. 

We got there on Wednesday and went straight to house inspections, which went surprisingly well! Then it was off to lunch (win), then to visit houses we are leaving with the landlords --always fun to see what all needs to be repaired after a decade of Elders living in a house..... Then it was off to a sketchy shack for dinner.... The kind of food I would never have eaten at, but Anthony Bourdain would have high-fived me for eating at. It looked like the kind of place you get a beer, or twelve then stagger home.... But the food.... Oh my word. Dinis (the missions first counselor), you are amazing to have found this place. The food was fresh from the day sea food and garlic bread.... Incredible. Clams, crab, prawns, fish all the best I have had one after another. Just the best. Mmmmmmm 

The following day was more house visits (sadly they didn't go well, but it had to happen), some hard discussions with landlords over things not done well---never fun. Thankfully that should get cleared up. We then went to visit the Clinic the missionaries use in Beira for a tour, interesting... *Photos next week* but surprisingly nice for Mozambique. Then the real fun of going to a wood market, then getting cane sugar juice and going to climb a lighthouse.... Good day!.... That wasn't over. I then went with Dr. Johnson to get fresh, 'side walk' pineapples (because street food isn't to be eaten ;) ) Later we did Chinese food.... Because we are in Africa, so why not eat Chinese food. 

I left the following day and the cold hit me hard.... I fell asleep on the floor for a few hours just dead after long days and about 6 hours of sleep a night. I am now pretty much 87% good, which is good enough. This week should be fun as we try and get all the work I should have been doing during last week.... Alls well that ends well though. Transfers should be interesting in two weeks!

Oh, Chuchu.... He got malaria... So his baptism is this week. Thanks Africa for that perfect excuse... 


Elder Howell

Monday, January 8, 2018

I think I can... I think I can....

This week was kind of a mess in terms of our area. Sadly Chuchu (how its actually spelled TIL) wasn't baptized again. We tried sitting with him at the start of the week but he just wasn't there... That is something that happens a lot here, but usually not to us, I guess it had to start happening again at some point. Anyway, with that fallen lesson and me cramming my way through the last of the book keeping for 2017 we ran out of time before leaving to teach him again.

This week we went to Chimoio... Because the Elders there got robbed and needed a new house. Thankfully I like those Elders, especially Elder Pontius so it wasn't too bad of a stay. After a quick 2 days we had found a good, safe and pretty cheap house for them. We signed all the paperwork, enjoyed eating some pizza and the following day got back to 'My home, Maputo'. Coming back to Maputo was when I realized that this city is my home now... T-3, Mahotas and Mozal never quite clicked as my home, just the places that I slept each night. But now I know that Maputo is my city, my home. That was a nice realization.

We are also running around prepping the way for the Area doctor to come and give some training's this week for all the missionaries... That should be fun to hear about all the nasty stuff that could happen to us [that we are told we shouldn't email home about ;)] But also the path clearing for even more housing changes and so forth along the next few weeks.

Well, once again our area is suffering but we have 2 good hopefuls for the next few weeks: Chuchu and Zeca. This week I will travel to Beira to resolve some problems there but then we will be with those two a lot teaching them. Hopefully next weeks email is less business..... I hope and you probably do too!


Elder Howell

PS: No photos as my camera is broken *Thanks chapas and the iphone is currently with MP.... Not sure when more photos will come :/