Monday, April 4, 2016

Week 43: Staying together with Elder Perez and words of advice to future missionaries

Hello Family and Friends!

          I am pleased to report that I am still alive and well! Plus, Elder Perez and I will be staying in Mascarenha together for at least one more transfer! I've got a sneaky feeling that this may be my last transfer here in Mascarenha as well. I've heard some things through the transfer rumor web of the mission that lead me to believe I may be transfered next transfer; which makes me sad, but also gets me fired up to baptize as many people as we can in these next 6 weeks!

          To start my email I want to write a more serious note to all future missionaries that are leaving here soon, planning on leaving, preparing on serving, or are at any stage of the mission preparation process. To all future missionaries- If you are not ready to go on a mission, DON'T GO. I beg you. Don't leave home on a mission because it is what you SHOULD do, or because you don't have anything better to do. Go on a mission when you are ready. When you know WHY you are serving a mission. I have seen too many missionaries go home early for things that they should have taken care of before the mission or even more stupid things that they did ON the mission. Just because you have the Stake President put his hands on your head to set you apart as a missionary, just because you wear a nametag, just because you have a calling to be a missionary, doesn't change you one bit. You are still that stupid 18-20 year old teenager that you were in high school. I am still that stupid 18 year old goober that was a total bum in high school. Yes, the mission will change you, but only if you let it- only if you are humble enough. President Brigham Young taught, “If you go on a mission to preach the Gospel with lightness and frivolity in your hearts, looking for this and that, and to learn what is in the world, … you will go and return in vain. …Let  your minds be centered on your missions”.  So my advice is prepare now. Don't go until you personally are sure that you are ready to serve.  Don't go because you are afraid that people will judge you for waiting. If you're not ready, you are not ready. You have until you are 26 to prepare. So start now. Get your lives in order so that you are ready to go on a mission and serve the Lord with all you Heart Might Mind and Strength- leaving behind all personal affairs.  I testify that as you do so, that not only will you pass through the mission, but the mission will pass through you.

Now to answer Mom's questions...

1. English class is going really well! We have about 25 people now and it is constantly growing each week. We are teaching about 80 investigators and 20 percent members. We teach every week at 15 o'clock and it is really fun. I feel like a lot of people are learning quite a bit from us.

2. A typical P-day for us consists of waking up, doing studies, buying groceries, then going to play gator ball- which is a sport that the missionaries made up years ago that has been passed down from generation to generation. Then we go to use internet or to go eat, and then we have time to do whatever else we need to do for P-day. Group activities we do pretty much every P-day. Because all of the missionaries live so close together it is really easy to coordinate activities together.

3. We are about a 20 minute drive from the beach, and the city is only 10 minutes from the Beach. The Stake Center is right on the beach. And so we pass the beach quite often.

4. Our area is quite massive and if we were to walk our whole area we would be walking a lot. But we have our area of force within our area that we have all of our investigators there. So we only walk about maybe 10 miles at the most per day. We use the choppas to get to our area each day. They cost 9 metecais per person, which is about 20 cents.

5. I spend about 1000-1500 metecais on groceries per week depending on my frugality. And we pretty much only shop at ShopRite, the WalMart of Mozambique.

6. How do we decide whether or not to go to a new part of our area or not? Well there are quite a few factors that come into play... Do we get bored with the areas that we normally go to? Does the Spirit direct us there? Have we had success in other areas out there? Are there Members that live out there? It is difficult to decide and it is a gamble. You could spend a whole day exploring new areas and end up wasting your day because no one wants what you've got. Or you could stay where you have success and help those that you've got. OR you could explore a new area and find a family or two that are prepared... There are a lot of things that go through your mind as you try to decide if you should explore or not.

7. I meet with our District every Tuesday for District Meeting. Previously we were not in the same house, but Elder Nielsen and Elder Nelson switched houses with the other members in our district so that we could all be together in the same house. So now, yes, we are all together.

8. Nobody really celebrates Easter here. They recognize it as a holiday, but there is no such thing as the Easter Bunny, Egg Hunts, or anything like that... And now that I think about it, America is Weird! Who's idea was it to have a Bunny run around and hide random colored eggs? Bunnies don't even lay eggs, America! How does that in any way represent Easter? But here they just recognize it as the Crucifixion of Christ.

9. As for Piano... I have yet to start teaching anyone the piano- I've managed to avoid that one. But this last Sunday I got roped into playing the piano for Sacrament Meeting. Mom, I sight read 3 hymns that I had never played before. They asked me 2 minutes before we started if I could play for them, and I told them I'd try. And I certainly did try. It was by no means perfect, but it was decent. I am the only missionary that can play the piano in our area. It is me, Elder Perez, Elder Haimbili (Angolan), and Elder Evangelista (Brazilian). So I've got a lot more practicing to do.

Mom, I hope that makes you happy! I answered all of your questions!

THIS LAST SUNDAY WE HAD 5 FAMILIES AT CHURCH!!!!! Whoo hoo! Booyah! Suck it SATAN! I think that that's all I've got for this week! I love you Family! Oh, one more thing, when Devon get's his mission call, I don't want to hear anything from you guys, I just want to watch the video for myself, then I want to read the letter. So on DropBox, put a video of the openning, and a picture of the call. OKAY?!?

Elder Ryland Rash
No names were given, but I'm assuming these are people he is teaching or are in his ward

Green rice fields - Machambas

Stripling Warriors

Pretty tree.....he said it reminds him of the tree from Lehi's Dream

He found me some COWS!!!!!

He found a dairy in their area that sells pasteurized milk.  He says he hasn't had pasteurized milk in 10 months!  Happy Day!

This is the investigators house in the middle of a Machamba field.  He has to walk through lots of mud and water puddles to get to this house

He loves the kids!

Lion King!


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