Week 7- July 1, 2013 Maputo Mozambique
“For the most part, the people here are soooo nice and friendly! You can walk up to pretty much anyone and just start talking to them… they'll take the time to talk.”
|Arriving in Maputo Mozambique 6/26/13|
It's great to finally write home. Right now its 3:30PM, so it must be like 7:30am over there. I'm doing really well! I'm glad you got that email from the APs. Well, a TON has happened since last spoke to you in London. The flight to Johannesburg was good; I slept through a lot of it. There were a few snags getting our boarding passes for Maputo once we got there though but we figured it out. The flight to Maputo was nice and short, just a little under an hour. Landing into Maputo was crazy! It is a HUGE city with A LOT of people! We landed and got our bags. Thankfully I picked up both my bags with no problem. I was lucky, A few elders and sisters had their luggage misplaced or missing, and some bags were still in Johannesburg. Sister Kretly showed up a little while later, and helped us with the luggage problems. President Kretly was in the northern part of Mozambique at the time, so he didn't greet us at the airport. So 2 hours after we arrived in Maputo, we finally got to leave the airport. The APs came with their cars to load up our bags and give us rides to the mission office. The drive was crazy! There are basically no rules on the road over here, it seems. People walk out into the roads without looking and other cars get really close to you and turn without warning.
We had a little lunch at the mission office, but we were mostly tired and dirty from the long trip. Half of us elders slept in the mission home and the other half went to another missionary residence in Maputo. I was one of the ones sleeping over in the office. It has a kitchen, a couple bathrooms, a bedroom, a living room, and of course, offices. It's a really nice place. That night after we showered and relaxed, the APs took us out to eat in downtown. We ate at a place called Mundo's. It was really good; I got a cheeseburger and coke. They love coca cola here! It’s everywhere, on all the signs and walls all over the place.
Anyway, I slept really well that night, I was sooooo tired. They let us sleep in a bit, thankfully.
The next day we went to the US embassy to sign some paperwork so we can stay here legally for the next little while. After that we went back to the office. We got the chance to walk around the area a bit. We walked out to the road that goes right along the coast. It was really nice. The view is really amazing. That night, we went to president's house for dinner. So that was the first time meeting President Kretly. I really like him, he's nice, funny and really goal oriented. He has great expectations for the mission over the next two years. Right now there are 0 stakes in Mozambique. By June of 2015, he wants 4 stakes. So there's definitely a lot of work to do here. We were able to learn more about the different areas of Mozambique and the goals of the mission, as I mentioned.
The next day was a Zone Conference for missionaries Maputo and Matola. Matola is the neighboring city of Maputo, it's really big too. The conference was at the chapel in Maputo. It was great. We were all new to the mission, but it was good to hear the training from President Kretly to all the missionaries on how to accomplish the goals of the mission. President Kretly is the CEO of Franklin Covey in Brazil, and he's really good at giving motivational talks and getting the missionaries energized and on the same page to accomplish their task. I love hearing him talk, he's really passionate about the work here, and it’s great! This mission REALLY focuses on baptizing familias, because it builds a good foundation for the church here, and families are more likely to stay active than single people. I couldn't understand everything in the conference though; it was done all in Portuguese. It was still good, though.
I am guessing that you're probably wondering when I got out to my first area to start working with a new companion. Well, we arrived on Wednesday, and transfers were today, so for Saturday and Sunday we were put into divisions with other missionaries in the area. I was sent to Matola and worked with Elder Williams, on sat and sun. It was a lot of work, but it was really good. He is also from Pleasant Grove, believe it or not. He graduated in 2011. When I saw him, I thought he looked kind of familiar. So yeah, that was really cool to work with him for a couple days. So I went along with him as he did baptismal interviews and other responsibilities. We did contacting in the streets too. That was pretty interesting. I have a hard time understanding the people here a bit; they speak Portuguese different than I've ever heard it. We also went and taught a lesson to a couple. We taught about the plan of salvation. I didn't say anything until the end, when I bore my testimony about our Heavenly Father’s plan. For the most part, the people here are soooo nice and friendly! You can walk up to pretty much anyone and just start talking to them. They don't all want to be taught, but they'll take the time to talk.
On Sunday we went to church, it was great! We took a chapa (a van stuffed full of people) and a bus for 40 minutes to get to the church; there is a closer chapel that is still under construction. Church was really good. President and Sister kretly were actually there, and they spoke. The chapels here look very different than in Utah, that's for sure. I wish I could send pics, but I'm on a computer in the mission office, and we can't hook up cameras here. I will send pics as soon as I can. Anyway, after church and lunch, we went out contacting and teaching lessons again. We taught a lesson on the restoration to a couple, and I spoke a lot more during it. It was really nice. The houses are super small. One of them was basically four pieces of metal and a roof. But the people are happy, so that's nice. I really like it here.
I don't have time now. But I needed to say that I got my transfer today. My first official area: *Quelimane!! It's up north. I get on a flight to there on Wednesday (7/3) and in the meantime I will be on a division with another elder in Maputo. But today has been good. We did more visa work and stuff. But I need to go now, sadly. I wish I could have said more.....I know you're all doing well, thanks for the pics! You all look great as well! Don’t worry about me, I'm healthy, and eating right! Have a good week!!
Love you all, Josh (Elder Rebollo)
*Quelimane (pronounced "kelly-monney"), is Mozambique's 4th largest city and seaport which serves to be an important trade centre for Mozambique. Situated approximately 20km from the Beautiful blue seas of the Indian Ocean