First Week in Mosambique (July 1, 2013)

hello everyone!

first off, I want to apologize. The computer I am writing from is way janky, so I keep making punctuation and capitalization errors. just know that they pain me. also, I don’t have enough time to get to reply to everyone, but I will do my best. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers! They are everything anyway, I am here! finally! Mozambique! It’s finally here! I miss the MTC alot, but Mozambique is better than I could have even imagined. after dealing with a lost bag at the airport (mine, of course….I just got it yesterday), we were driving to the mission home, and my heart was so full – I already love these people, this culture, and this city more than I can express. I know, without a doubt, that this is where I am supposed to be. I am so happy, and hope to be able to do much good here.

Where to even start? after three days of flying (this experience deserves an email of it’s own! some highights – one of our Elders getting put into an oxygen mask on the flight from dallas to london, an elder sleeping ON my desk tray during a 9 hour flight, losing bags, etc.) I am just so excited to be here. It is definitely a culture shock, and we are still figuring things out, since we are the first group of sisters. The native sister who was here left for her actual mission in Cape Verde, but sister smith has been here for three months has everything under control. she is amazing. she is my new companion and I am so excited to work with her. We have all been in awe of how much she already knows – she drives these crazy traffic-ridden streets, haggles for fruit (in portuguese) outside our car window, and calms rowdy street children (a funny story for another time). Plus, yesterday, during a lesson, she answered some hardball questions about the Millenium. she is amazing. But just to give you a snapshot of the culture here-

There are NO traffic laws. You can park, drive, and walk, pretty much anywhere you want. People always park on the sidewalk. I basically feel like I am going to die everytime we get in the car. But we’re okay. We also see these hilarious buses called shappas (scrap metal) that are supposed to hold around 9-12 people, but often have about 30 people in them. There are various limbs hanging out windows, and we always get a kick out of looking for the funny positions people managed to wedge in with. funny. Their currency is called metacais, and 30 metacais is equivalent to about $1. We went grocery shopping today, and it was hilarious to try to figure all of that out. Peaut butter is about $8 which is crazy, but other things are super cheap. It was also funny when they play american music in this store – they played ‘santa claus is coming to town It was so funny. The weather is great – even a little cold – because it is their winter time. But I am grateful! The sisters here are well taken care of. plus, we do have a washing machine and dryer! Tender mercies or what? I feel very safe. We have a really nice apartment in the city. We frequently lose water (we are getting good at sponge baths), but we have all that we need. The people here are amazing. They are so kind, so open to hearing the gospel. We are making contacts on the street, knocking doors, and teaching lesons everyday. This work is incredible! On friday of last week, we had our first zone conference, and I am so grateful for president and sister kretley. Their vision for the mission is inspired. We are focusing on finding families – and helping them ‘endure to the endowment.’ I know this work is true! I love it more everyday! it’s definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done (I can barely speak to anyone yet) but one thing I really know is that this is the lord’s work. Right now I am studying the instances of ‘in the strength of the lord’ in The Book of Mormon. This is teaching me so much about what we can do and become with the lord’s help. I know I will see this on my mission. I also am just trying to exercise as much faith as I can. I know this, with exact obedience, brings miracles.

On saturday, we got to attend a baptism for some investigators found by our Elders. the spirit was there so strong and I have an increased testimony of what I am here to do. Baptism is the gate! It’s the beginning of life of following the savior. We also got to help at a primary activity – the kids here are the cutest in the world, hands down. Besides my nieces and nephews, of course. The girls like to sing in English, so we helped them, and they helped us with our portuguese. We were so excited when they sat with us on sunday at church. We have friends!
I had my first lesson yesterday with a girl named Carmen, and we have a lesson with her whole family tonight. I am so excited. I usually can only manage to say a couple of things clearly, but the spirit is there and I know the lord helps. The other day while we were knocking doors, this group invited us into their party, then invited us to their church! It was a pretty funny turning of tables. Then the other day, a man stopped us on the street, asking us where he could get one of the Bibles like we had. That turned into us getting a contact with him! alma 24;27 – truly the lord works in many ways to the salvation of his people!
Okay, I don’t have much time, but I just want to say that I love you all! so much! thank you for all of your emails, thoughts, prayers, and love. It means more than you know. It strengthens and lifts me everyday. also –
anderson family – have a blast on your vacation! you better send me pictures! tons! seriously, i’m waiting…and shelby! congrats on all the byu news! i am soooo excited for this new adventure! tell me everything. the acronyms are definitely hard, but they will come with time. like my portuguse, i hope!
Reid – I actually heard that shakira song about africa yesterday…in africa…and thought of you! congrats on all the utah state things! I am so excited for all you will get to do. what’s this about an african dance class??? say hi to Cole for me.
sorry for the lack of time! i will plan better in the future. tem uma boa semana!

love,
sister baldwin
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One response to “First Week in Mosambique (July 1, 2013)

  1. YAY!!! So happy you are there, safe and thriving! Keep working hard and sharing it with your fans here as you can 🙂 Love you!!! My neighbor is investigating the church and she loves hearing about your mission too. She asked if she could join our church just to serve a mission – to be able to study the gospel for hours, discuss the gospel and serve others. 🙂 You go girl!

TALK TO US, YO.

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