Monday, February 27, 2017

Start of Transfer 5

Well, transfers. Transfer 4 felt like a weekend not 6 weeks. So that's a bit crazy. Anyway, we were told that Elder Nunes was leaving us, but we are still together. That is super nice because I don't know the area well enough yet to show it to another person. It can be really hard to get around because there are no addresses or real street names. You ask someone where they live and they *pointing North* "Over there".... What? Could you explain "You go to that one blue shop, then take your next 12345 lefts, 23456 rights and its the 17th house on the right behind the other house...." Oh, thanks. But, we are together for another. Adventure part 2.

To begin the update from the week before, everyone is convinced I have 'The Gift of Boleia's". I can somehow always flag down cars for rides. Its super convenient and we haven't even been kidnapped again!

Three things about food! I helped make fried fish and rice with some members. It turned out pretty good other than the whole fish head and the pain of eating fish bones. We ate on the beach this week (we have a little strip of beach in our area apparently! Whoooooo). The chicken, xima, fries and salad stuff was SO good. Insanely good and only 125 Met.... Also, I think Coke has mind control powers here. They have this song/jingle that plays in all their commercials. Whenever I hear it I want a Coke.... I'm not addicted, I could stop whenever I wanted *sips Coke*

Two last random things. It rained almost non-stop for almost 5 days last week so all the streets are flooded which makes for some serious parkour skills that are needed to make it to lessons without wet shoes.  We teach a lot of lessons everyday, no time to waste!

Lastly, this week during a lesson I thought a mosquito bit my leg, so I slapped at it... THEN MY LEG CAUGHT ON FIRE. Not literal fire, well kinda. My legs (in and out of my pants) were swarming with big red biting fire ants.... I subsequently asked to be excused, then bolted outside to slap my legs to death. It was not fun. That is all.

Have a good week one and all!

Elder Howell

Monday, February 20, 2017

Transfer 4 Week 5

Well, only four real things of interest happened during the week.

First, I have come to love Peri Peri sauce. Its like hot sauce but way better. Anthony Bourdain described it as better than cocaine. I agree (though I haven't tried cocaine, I still think its better). Anyway, this week a member challenged me to eat a peri peri raw... I was like "eh, why not". Terrible idea. It felt like my mouth had a hot coal in it, then my throat. It was soooooo not fun. I will never make that mistake again :)

Second, we got a text mid week saying "GO HOME NOW OR YOU'RE GOING TO DIE". So, we headed home at 16:00. Right as we left our area it started pouring rain. Turns out a hurricane was on its way. Thankfully it hit further up the coast in Gaza, but we still got lots of rain this week.

Third, I got peed on. That was not fun. Middle of a lesson a kid just walked up to me and peed all over my new Happy Socks... In the house. I was the only one who even seemed to think that was odd.... Yay Africa.

Fourth, Camilia, Sarita and Cloudio finally got baptized. After last Saturday and Sundays mess of no water we finally got to baptize them. It took 4 days of slowly filling the "font" with nasty greenish yellow water. But, it all worked out. Hopefully the photos will finally load up.

Love all of you. I hear its finally warming up a little in Utah.... "Warming up".... HA.

Elder Howell

PS:   I don't know if I'm even saying Howell right anymore. I hear it wrong countless times a day and I'm starting to question if I know it.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Week 28: No water = no baptisms

This week has been a bit hard on us and our investigators. The big thing of the week should have been a double baptism on Saturday. We showed up at the church 4 hours early to fill the "font" (cut in half water tank). It was filling slowly but going, so we left to get ready everything else. Once we got home we got a call saying the water turned off. Long story short we had no running water at the church and maybe a foot of water. We spent the next 2 hours running to the neighbors around the chruch with buckets trying to fill it, but then their water stoppped. We ended up having to cancel the baptism for the day and move it to Sunday.... Sunday the same issue of no water happened again .-. That was really sucky for us, and the girls getting baptized. But! We will just move them to next week with the baptisms planned for then. Hopefully next week it all works out better.

In terms of families we are teaching, one of my favorite families I've met here moved middle of the week... We aren't sure exactly where, but probably not in our area anymore. They're still coming to church and are planning on getting married in our chapel with us there. But they will probably have to get baptized in the city. They finally have all their marriage documents and have opened the month waiting process, it really sucks to see them go.

As far as life here... the little garden at our house is starting to grow nicely. I hope before I leave this area to see that it has grown a lot, to the mini fruit stage. Lots of people ask me about the weather. Answer: Its stupid hot here. So hot and humid. The people who were born/raised here complain about it and kindly let me know I will never adjust because they haven't. I sweat pretty much 24/7 which is great fun, but drinks are cheap!

Thanks for all the love, I will try to send photos next week!

Elder Howell

Monday, February 6, 2017

Week 27: Six months out!

Well, after last week this week has seemed very simple and boring by comparison. During the week I write little notes in my planner of "noteworthy things to write home about" and this week I had very few. So, I will do more updating on my "new" area.

First off, like the pictures will show, I literally work around a massive, flaming, mountain of a dump :} Yes, all the fun of smells, flies and the like are there. This week however we walked/climbed to the top of it to take pictures of the sunset. Beautiful in a trash smoke filled way. It was really cool to see my whole area though.

Quick family update, the family that all had malaria is already better... Except the youngest daughter who didn't have malaria now does. BUG NETS PEOPLE, BUG NETS.

We also had Stake Conference this week. We got to church at 8:00 to take an hour bus ride with the members to Matola {where the stake center is}. Tons and tons of people were there. I got to talk and catch up with all of my friends from T-3 which was really fun. Also, I got talking with a member from my ward who is going to South Africa this week, he is going to pick me up good food....MAHAHAHA Does that count as me being an international trader? I guess we'll see if he delivers or not!

That's it for the week. Love you all!

Elder Howell

PS: Loved getting all your letters this week. 15 from October to December all showed up this week!
Trash Mountain Hike.

Pre/Post haircut.


Me preaching the sacred bible in an African church.

African selfie that they wanted.

Stake Conference in Matola.  People in attendance:  1107.

Elder Howell and his comp Elder Nunes at Stake Conference.