I feel so bad for my truncated letter last week so I hope I can write a little better this week!
The week began, of course, with a very welcome P-day. We have to walk about 15-20 minutes to Shop-Rite and fill our backpacks with food and walk back home. We live in a pretty nice suburb, so you can buy most of the things you need here, but there is one thing that I am desperately missing: Kraft Mac and Cheese. Man that would be the perfect meal here, so I guess I have just added another purpose to my mission– introduce Africa to Macaroni and Cheese. [In case the satire doesn’t translate, I’m kidding, of course. Although I am going to try to make it somehow.]
Otherwise this week was a lot of work, which is to be expected. Our days consist of contacting and maybe a lesson from 8-12, lunch at 12-13 (1 pm), studies until 16 (4 pm) which includes personal, companion and language study. These first twelve weeks, I have an additional hour of comp study as part of the training. Around 16 we head out and usually have 3 or 4 lessons in the evening, plus contacting, plus any other visits, plus any other service that we can see needs help. We can’t eat at members’ or investigators’ houses, so we don’t take time for dinner. We get home at 21 (9 pm), or 21:30 if there is a lesson and then eat a bit, plan and get ready for bed. Needless to say, I sleep very well. Last week, I have around five blisters, now they have nicely turned into 5 calluses. The work is draining, but so fulfilling. I read a quote this week that I think really summarize how this feels. As missionaries we get to see the greatest miracle of all: seeing families’ lives be transformed by the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
We are teaching several families right now, and some are not progressing as we had hoped, but many of these people are truly becoming converted unto Christ. I love seeing their joy and happiness as they come to church, or they understand a principle. One couple should be ready with all their documents this week in order to open the process for marriage! We also have at least two children (over 8 years) who should be ready for baptism on the 29th of March. One girl, Chekila, lives with her grandparents who are sealed members, and absolutely loves our lessons and already knows so much about the Gospel.
Also this week, we had to go Maputo twice for training and visas. I’ve included some pictures of our transportation. They are called “shopas” and we use them to get everywhere. (Lucky for us, we live in our area, so most of the time we can walk.) It cost 7 Met a trip, and these shopas can be packed. Normally the vans should hold 9 people, but regularly can get as high as 15 to 20 people. I’ve tried to include some pictures of them and the city of Maputo. I’ll try to get some more pictures of my area for the next couple weeks, but we are not allowed to carry our camera during proselyting.
The language has good days and bad days, but I am definitely seeing progress. I am speaking more and more during lessons and I spoke to and received telephone numbers from about 20 people on the street this week!
Desculpe (excuse me) for the lengthy email. I know this will be another great week!
For the pictures: I have one of a shopa, and the interior. A picture from Maputo (with the buildings) and a picture of the road where our house is located.