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 :/

Monday, January 1, 2018

Christmas & New Years


It's 2018. That means that I will have to scratch out a lot of miss written dates for the next few weeks. It also means that I have finally completed my "calendar year" of my mission. Being in country from January 1 to January 1 again.... Its been a long time! But its also been a very informative and unique time in my life. With this I have about 5 months to go---that is crazy. Eternity does have an end apparently. Overall I can say it was worth it though. I think, if I get another Jeff worm in my foot I may change my mind though ;)

Last week started off with Skype on Monday which meant that Monday and Tuesday were a bit of a blur. Skype is a two sided knife that can really help you or really cut you up emotionally. Thankfully my family (and close friend who was also there) were only helpful in being motivated. That was awesome.

The rest of the week was one giant blur though... As they always seem to be these days. Sadly ChuChu's baptism just didn't quite work out, we didn't feel it was quite time and we wanted to teach him a bit more before hand, but he is marked to be baptized this week along with a guard that works at our office (He comes to church every week, he is super awesome but it takes a long while to teach him things--Zeca, but his devotion makes it worth it).

Elder Skraba did however still manage to baptize people this week. We went to Chamaculo and Katembe for him to baptize some old investigators he had taught from his first areas. Fruits of his labors were found... over a year later. That was super awesome to see that even when we think what we are doing is a waste, that maybe its just preparing the way for someone else later on. That is something that I think applies in life a lot too. We do a lot of things without seeing immediate results and become frustrated, but in the end it might be better for us in the long run. Hopefully I can learn that lesson well while here :)

Well, that's it for me. I am super tired. We were up for New Years, not to light off fireworks but because some Elders up north got burgled while they were watching fireworks... So we are traveling there to deal with it.... Yay....

Love you all. Thanks for those who email me or do other things to support me.

Elder Howell

Mustaches because why not?

Chamaculo Baptisms

Katembe Baptisms

Katembe Baptismal Font

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Skype Week

I am taking a week off for writing a weekly email for the most part because I got to Skype home this week.... Its the perfect excuse to be lazy about emailing!

Christmas here was.... Well.... Unique like last year, but something I will never forget. We did a lunch with members (all of them treat us amazing) and then we did a District Christmas lunch that was nice. A mini family dinner of sorts. It was a mix of happy and kind of trunky... Overall good though.

Next week I will give an update on everything better.

Thanks for all of you who support me though your emails (and those old fashioned letters too!)

---Elder Howell

Member Christmas lunch.

Christmas dinner with the district.


Monday, December 25, 2017

Monday, December 18, 2017

House Hunters International: Nampula

The big thing from this week was going to Nampula for a few days again. We showed up, got a car this time (smart, very smart move) and headed to the current missionaries house. We got unpacked then headed out for the day with the house finding person (who after two visits and a stupid amount of time together looking at houses I still cant remember his name). We right away headed to where a the new 'chapel' -retrofitted house- is going to be.

House 1:

The house had no windows.... The roof was made of metal sheeting with nice holes in it for star gazing and ease of entrance for mosquito and lizards. No running water in the house to get in the way of things and there was no kitchen or bathroom in the house.... It was also filled with the largest spiders, and spider webs I have ever seen :) What a magical place! Super low rent and great location.

House 2:

Located close to the chapel again, also low rent but with some nice modern twists. This house had electricity and 4 bedrooms! The bedrooms all even had their own bathrooms... But the rooms where about small enough for 1 twin size bed and a chair... The "kitchen" area was a common area for the whole, yet partially developed, building... Oh, it was 100% made of cement too! Super nice. The highlight of the house was it having over 4,000+ units of energy (we maybe buy 600 for 2 months). That and the random ladies living around making food were real wins.

House 3:

We showed up to a store front, close to the chapel, super safe area, easy access to the main chapa stops... My money sense was tingling feeling the price rising. We then get escorted through 2 full metal doors and gates, down a hall to another 2 set of metal doors.... Up a flight of stairs to anther door, hall way and then the door to the house... At this point I just wanted to see what was so magically hidden and gated in but I was sure the price would be outrageous. We entered into this super nice apartment. New paint, tiled floors and nice wooden doors. 2 really nice bedrooms and a nice, yet small bathroom and kitchen. Then comes the upstairs. A massive roof top patio thingy with a cover over looking the city. It was a magical view. With sadness I asked about the monthly rent waiting for a horrifying price just to be told a price less than a forth of what I thought..... Wow.

In the end we got House 3 ---Obviously, it was a miracle to find that house. We saw several other houses that I can just picture missionaries sending photos home and them very quickly getting ordered home by their parents. Thankfully we found that awesome house and one other!

This week we also had "Natal Branco". We did a choir with the stake and it turned out pretty great in connection with the "Light the World" campaign thingy going on right now.  We did two "shows" for people on Saturday and Sunday which was interesting, thankfully it went smoothly.

People update:

Fei and Ana are doing well and were at church along with Chul and this other new person. We will hopefully be having Chul's baptism this week (I havent talked about him much, we kinda 'adopted' him as an investigator from that Elder with toe problems). He is Pedro's friend (Pedro was my first baptism in the office). Hopefully all goes well this week!

I look forward to Skyping my family and to seeing photos and such from everyone's Christmas fun. Enjoy the snow and cold for me...and some Tacos.... and slushees.... and good hot cocoa!


Elder Howell

Monday, December 11, 2017

Weekly Email---As Required

Hello Everyone,

This week was a bit different than most because we were living in another dupla's house and on Monday we picked up an Elder who was headed home. He stayed with us in a strange version of a tripla for the week. We kind of mixed around between Elder Skraba, that Elder and Elders Lemmon and Godfrey (the other dupla we were living with). For a few hours I would go off with Elder Lemmon to the bank, money changing or making purchases then I would pick everyone up for lunch or would grab another Elder to do other tasks. Elder Godfrey is healing up well but he is supposed to avoid walking or sitting for too long.

A few key things from the week:

1. Flavia and the twins actually got baptized this week.... Finally. We had good member support and everything... Both twins required doing the actual baptism twice because they kind of freaked out as soon as they started going into the cold water.... One literally ran away, the girl I baptized just kind of angrily glared at me in the font looking like she was going to slap me for needing to get dunked again in cold water (though it was her fault for flailing her legs out of the water...) In the end it all worked out, everyone got baptized and confirmed on Sunday.  They are doing well an the twins aren't too upset at this point.

2. Elder Skraba totally organized my desk during one of my "You come with me *grabs closest Elder and runs off to do something" moments... So that was nice. Though my 'organized chaos" is now just organized, I will relearn it.

3. Ummmmmmm *flips through photos* Yup, nothing else super big.... Um, we dropped of that Elder yesterday... Matilde is back today, finally not sick.

Alrighty. Have great weeks you peoples.

Elder Howell