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.