Monday, March 27, 2017

The Return of Pedro (Elder Evangelista)

This week was quite uneventful as far as cool stories to share other than one investigator by the name of Bia. She has a baptismal date for the 8th of April, so I will wait until then to give the full story. This is like a trailer for whats coming. Oh, movies :'(

Well, Elder Evangelista (Pedro of Pedro, Tiago and Joao) has safely returned to us. He had some infection cyst thing removed from his foot but is all better after a week and a half resting and healing up. We are back to walking in our tripla in both areas still. Its huge, but things are going well in both areas and we are having lots of success with people who we didn't think would progress.

We had the chance to help pilar (smash with a big wood stick) some corn and peanuts. Its super entertaining because they are shocked we can manage pilar-ing. Once it gets to the separating with the basket thingy...That is when their shock turns to laughs as we make a huge mess. It is a nice little service thing that we get to do quite often.

Lastly, we had a rat in our house this week. Not mouse, rat. Kitten sized rat. We tried to kill it with brooms, sticks and literally kicking it but it escaped because Elder Evangelista freaked out and fell over... HAHAHA. I told him because of his cowardliness the rat would crawl on him while he slept... It's 3 am the power comes back (we were fighting the rat in the dark with 2 flashflights). 30 minutes later I wake up to Elder Evangelista screaming. He had woken up to the rat sitting on his arm. MAHAHA I was right.

Bonus: This week we bought a bottle of street side peri peri. Old olive bottle filled with "the fires of Hell". We use  a tiny spoon to drip it into big plates of food.... More than 3-4 drops and your eyes start to water and you feel like you might die without milk. Though, done in moderation its SUPER tasty.

Thats it for this week. I did also get a nice stack of letters and 2 packages this week! The letters were as old as October... So, that is interesting!

Elder Howell

What is this?  A McDonalds fry container!  There is no McDonalds in Mozambique!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Pedro is Gone

Well, the first important part of the week is that we are missing Pedro. Elder Evangelista had to have surgery at the start of last week on his foot to remove some weird thingy out of it. Apparently it made a bit of a hole so we couldn't walk a lot (aka work) so he will be in the mission office until around mid week this week. That means Elder Nielsen and I have been running both our areas. That's a massive amount of area. Which just means that boleias (hitch hiking) have been key. 5-10 a day. There are gifts given to people, mine is flagging cars apparently. Craziest boleia this week was getting picked up by some white people. Such shock/confusion that no one said anything for almost the entire car ride.

Due to splitting time in the areas we haven't been able to visit my investigators and recent converts all that much which is tough. That however leads to me seeing who really wants visits. After a few days in Elder Nielsen's area ALL of the recent converts had called wanting visits and even some investigators. How awesome of them. *it's also super nice to have my own phone, there is comfort in the weight of it.

This week I also learned:

 1. How to cut hair---Sorry Elder Nielsen, I tried. It didn't turn out too bad though?
 2. That I am totally allergic to the weird grenade looking fruit.... Never has my mouth felt so itchy.
 3. Learning dialect terms like "can I have some food" or "please, go home you're drunk" are very useful.

That's it for this week. Sounds like the "tripla" will be staying until transfers in a few weeks!

Elder Howell

 Elders Evangelista, Nielson and Howell
 Grenade looking fruit
 It makes my mouth itch
We have to sleep under beg nets

Monday, March 13, 2017

Crazy, strange week

I uploaded some pictures and even a video this week, so this email will probably be pretty short.

To begin, I am without a companion as of Wednesday. My old companion is taking some time at the mission office then will be getting a new area. No idea when I will be getting a new companion. For the meantime I am working with Elder Nielsen and Elder Evangelista. They are both killer people and Elders. Super awesome teachers and because of Elder Evangelista's nationality of Brazil, clearly he speaks Portuguese well (though like a Brazilian which is an accent, like a sickness that you can catch if you're around it too much). That means I have walked a lot in their area and have been able to see another teaching style and way of doing things, very interesting.

Lots of the kids around call the missionaries Moses and Abraham due to a TV show 10 Commandments. But now that we are in a tripla they call us "Pedro, Tiago and João" (Peter, James and John) which we all find pretty funny.

Like I've showed with several photos kids like to hold our hands and walk. Fun to talk with them. This week however Elder Evangelista was taking a kid back to his house and this old lady came out yelling at him, slapped him (hard, glasses went flying) and started yelling about how he was going to kill and eat her grandkid... So that was super funny afterwards. Some old ladies here love us, some don't apparently. We call our next door neighbors (very old) Grandma and Grandpa. They are super awesome and always give us fruits and stuff (same couple who's tree we chopped down).

That is pretty much it for the week. Updates of comps and such to come next week if I get a new one. Enjoy the photos!

Thanks for the emails and everything!

Elder Howell

Monday, March 6, 2017

This week will be a pretty short email given our lack of "working" in our area this week. We had interviews on Tuesday with our Mission President. Right after we were talking with his wife and she sent Elder Nunes to the hospital (cough, lack of appetite and such). 5 or so hours, blood tests and x-rays later, and he is pretty much totally fine. Just a cough. Better safe than sorry though. They did however order bed rest for the week. We did work on Wednesday and Thursday but then we stayed in the house.

We did have Zone Conference on Friday which was nice to see some of the other Elders I havent seen in a while. I was able to chat with Elder Burchett and get a package my Mum gave to an Elder that she found in Utah (Thanks Mum!) After eating some nice Pizza Hut little pizzas we went and started the official bed rest time. I got tons of reading done this week.

On Saturday we did have Movany's baptism. He is the brother of Sarita (who was baptized 2 weeks ago). Sarita's mom took weeks of talking with to finally agree to the baptism. Sarita invited Movany to church one week and he hasnt missed since. We had to visit him 4+ times a week to get him all the lessons, but it all worked out super well. The baptism was small, but nice.

Here are some answers to questions from last week:

It seems like you are having good success in your area. Are you getting to know the people in your new ward?

I am getting to know the people from my area. I have some nice ward friends who I enjoy chatting with and such, but no super close friends. Everyone knows I will leave within a few months, so its hard for people to get attached. Still trying to get to know everyone though.

Is it a ward or a branch?

Ward, part of the Maputo stake which will soon split into the Maputo/Matola stakes.

What are the biggest differences between this area and the last one?

Much smaller area, less walking more hitch hiking. We have a strip of the beach, so we go get food there when we can which is soooooo awesome and sooooo cheap. 125 Met for the plate of food I got-totally full after too. But healthy. We also work with members a lot more there.

 How is the garden doing?

Growing like crazy. The one papaya tree is like 3 feet tall already.

What are you trying to grow?

3 Papaya trees and an orange tree.

 How long has it been growing?

6 weeks, right when I got here it started.

One thing. Home teaching. No one here does it. I can't tell you how many people we talk to that haven't been to church in years say they stopped because "a little after baptism the missionaries couldn't keep coming and we felt alone, like no one cared". Literally all it takes for tons of people is feeling cared about and home/visiting teaching does that.

Thanks for all the love and support. Emails, letters and the like. Love all of you!

Elder Howell