Monday, March 25, 2013

1 Month

Shout out to Ryan and Ely for getting their calls! that's awesome... that's just about all of the Spartans that have their calls now!! crazy stuff. and shout out to max for mentioning me in his farewell talk haha. following in my footsteps like always.... ;) love you all.

So this week was like the rest of our weeks, super hot, weird food, teaching lessons. We lost energy a couple times this past week. which just makes me even more grateful for the times when we do have it. But not a lot of new things have happened. today was different, we went to a place called the praça where you bargain to buy paintings and wood carvings, kinda like the ones Reed has hahaha. but i bought a painting of some elephants and a imbondeiro tree. i think that's how its spelled. but they're pretty common here in Africa. so that was fun. after this well go shopping and back home and relax a bit. I love P days.
So i figured this week, id talk about some of the people here and what I've learned so far. First of all, The BW Family. They're all sisters all about 40 years old and they always feed us. theres 4 of them. so thats nice. this week, one of them, named B fed us a french fried chicken casserole haha. sounds kinda gross but it was pretty good. I make sure i drink a coke a day to kill any bugs in my stomach haha. but they're awesome. they love the missionaries so its nice. Second, I don't know if its just Angolans, or Africans in general, but they have dreams... Like crazy vivid dreams. Like one of our investigators said that he wakes up at 2 am and 4 am every night with the same dream. he has a pain in his chest and its not until he holds the bible against his heart that it goes away. Another of our investigators said that he sees evil spirits in his dreams and so he has to pray to send them away. He also asks us some pretty funny questions like if wearing an all black tie is a sin, and when we talked about priesthood authority and told him his baptism wasn't valid, he said that he thought so because it was done in a pool and not a ocean or river hahaha..... were gonna have to talk about that one. but he committed to baptism on the 20th of April which is pretty cool. we have two other families who are almost ready to get baptized, they just need to get married. But yeah, crazy dreams. For the most part, Angolans like the white people. There are a ton of Chinese people here. like a ton... Supposedly they're criminals from china who get sent here to work and live out their jail time working.... but they're really nice. even though they don't speak any Portuguese.
So what I've learned so far... One thing I've really been working on is courage. courage to stand up for what you believe in. A lot of times i just want to let things go and not worry about it, but as a missionary I've learned that i need to be more courageous. Like telling people to stop swearing, or to change the song if it swears a lot. or things like that. even though they're little, sometimes i just want to let them go so I'm working on that. Second is patience....... I hate patience so much. Its the most annoying thing every. but the only time Angolans are in a hurry is when they're driving. other than that, they take their time. cooking, talking, everything... i still haven't learned patience but I'm in the process.
Things are going good. i love it here. Some days are hard. but they're always worth it. I try not to think of home too much. I love and miss you guys! I pray for you every night. LOVE YOU ALL!!!! Fica Bem.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Week 3

Sup Peeps!
     Congrats to Brielle on getting Baptized! that's awesome! I wish i could have been there!! but I'm so proud of you!!!
     So writing from Africa... That still seems so weird to me! Occasionally there will be moments where It hits me that I'm in Africa, but it still hasn't sunk in yet. Angola actually is really nice. Its super hot but has some really nice buildings. and a ton of people!! Id call it the California of Africa. haha.
     Food story of the week: so Last p-day, we went to a special store just so we could get peanut butter. Its pretty far but its definitely worth it! so after emailing, we got in the taxi and went to this store. its called shoprite and its in the middle of a mall called Bellas Shopping. (Angola is ridiculously expensive! i thought it'd be cheap because its Africa, but not at all. just to give you an example, Iphones here cost 1300 dollars. us dollars. xbox games, which are normally 60 cost 120!!!) but yeah so we go to belas shopping which is the rich part of Angola, and my companion tells me theres a food court here. so i go lets go check it out... and then i saw it.... The Colonel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! KFC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! oh man, I've never been so happy. it cost 14 bucks for a three piece combo meal, but it was the best meal i ever had... and we got the peanut butter, so it was a good day.
     Ok so I didn't have a lot to write, except my mom asked me what a normal day is like, and to not hold back because "I can take it" so here we go:
     We wake up at 6:30 crawl out of bed and exercise, I'm usually still tired so i just sit at my desk for 10 minutes haha. Then I eat a bowl of cereal. Our kitchen is actually pretty nice, except there are cockroaches everywhere!! I don't know what i hate more, them or mosquitoes. Then we shower, you have the choice between cold running water, or a warm bucket shower, but you have to boil the water, so i usually take the cold running shower. Then studies begin at 8. Personal study for an hour, then companion study for two, then language study for one. then Lunch at noon. its usually cereal, but sometimes we eat at members houses. The cereal here is weird. but then again, everything here is weird haha.
     then at 13 (they use military time here) we go out of the house. We walk a little bit to the bus stop, and wait for it to pick us up. its usually packed. like wall to wall. but its like a mini bus. then we get out and have to cross the street. its two 5 lane roads, with no traffic lights. so crossing it is a little difficult sometimes but it makes me laugh. Its like Frogger, or like George Kstanza on that one episode of Seinfeld. haha. but once we get to the other side we catch one of two taxis. there are blue vans which are govt taxis, but those are always packed and they make a ton of stops. then theres illegal taxis, which are kinda sketchy cause its just random people who use their personal cars as a taxi. so kind of sketchy but nothing has happened yet. and there are like no rules on the roads, the only rule is no left turns haha. so to turn left you have to go past, make a u-turn and then turn right. if that makes sense...
     We usually have some lessons scheduled and teach those then, we walk the streets and try and find people. its so hot and we sweat so much that i can feel sweat running down my stomach when were teaching lessons haha. we sweat a ton. if we followed the ´rule´to not wear g´s when you sweat, we´d never wear them! we walk through places called bairros. theres the main street and then theres these which are neighborhoods with dirt roads. the houses are made of cement and metal. just cinder blocks and then metal for the roofs. most peoples houses look like nothing from the outside, but then you walk in and they have a flat screen TV and a sound system. its weird. but i guess its just priorities.
     Sometimes we have to walk past the things called shoppas, which are usually by garbage dumps and are houses people have built out of stuff they've found in the dump. they stink and people there don't have toilets so they just go wherever they can hahaha. its so freaking weird! and ladies are constantly breast feeding their kids. everywhere! walking down the street in the bairros, its ridiculous. and the plumbing feeds into rivers which run through the middle of town, so you're always either getting a whiff of sewer, b.o., or garbage. it stinks. except we walk by this one plant that smells way good. its my favorite plant in all of Angola.
     This past week was a little different, we ate at a bunch of members houses ( all the members always laugh at my name. haha. they all know ´money´. and they always make a joke about it like ohhh come to my house, i need more money, or do you have lots of money haha. but its nice, cause it helps me talk to more people. ) it rained a ton this last week. Like the most rain I have ever seen! and When it rains here, everything stops. People don't go out of their houses, and they don't want anyone coming in. so theres not a whole lot a missionary can do. so we stayed in for a bit and it kept raining, it rained so much that there were rivers in the streets! but behind our apartment complex is a big dirt field where the kids from the shoppas go and play soccer, so we went out there and played with them!! It was the funnest thing ever. pouring rain, 3 Elders versus 15 African kids haha, wed score and everyone would yell goal! and run around, running in straight mud, haha we have a bunch of pics, but i cant send them :( but it was way fun. and then we went back in and cleaned off, the rain stoped and we went out for the rest of the day.
      Like I said, everything is mud, and we had to walk pretty far but there weren't any taxis. but there were motorcycles :) so we hopped on the back of these two guys motorcycles and rode all the way up through the mud, through the bairros haha, it was a blast. one part we had to lift our feet up cause the mud/water was so deep!!
     We get home at around 21. or 9 pm. and get ready for bed, eat dinner, and sleep. then do it all over again. Africa is pretty crazy. It stinks, Its hot, Its weird haha. but despite all that, I LOVE IT!!!!! Angolans are straight forward, so its not weird to call them brother, or ask them their name, or if they're married or where they live, the very first time you meet them. every day is a new adventure.Were always meeting new people or something crazy is going on. I love it so much!!
      I miss you all a ton! I'm glad to see everything is going good! You're always in my prayers. I love you All. Thanks for all the love and support it helps so much! I Love it here. I wish you guys were here to see it! Fica Bem! Eu Amo Voces! Adeus

 i love you so much! and i miss you! but I'm in good hands, even with all the sketchy things we do, i feel protected. i wish i could
see the unseen world, I'm sure there are angels around us 24/7. Love you. And tell Trish thanks for the pictures!!!! I loved all of t

Monday, March 11, 2013

Week 2 of the MotherLand

Ola Familia e Amigos!!
     So week 2 here in Angola. Its still hotter than ever! but i haven't had
any funge since my first time so that's good. things are going great. we
spend a lot of time walking and a lot of time in taxis. the taxis here are
crazy. they pile as many people in as they can. they are these blue small
buses and so crowded. then they have big buses also. oh but something
way cool!!! they have motorcycles that will give you rides to places.
and we were headed to one area and the only way to get there was by
motorcycle so we got to ride on the back of one on this dirt road
hahahha it was way sketchy but way sick!!!!
    The main problem we run into here is that people are never legally
married, even though they have a wife and kids.
people love hearing about the ´word of God´ but they
always say they'll come to church and never show up and say that we can
meet with them at a certain time and then not be home haha.
     we had an emergency transfer and so one of the areas lost its two
missionaries and we picked up their area. so our area just doubled in
size. its massive!!! so we don't know how were going to manage but well
have to.
    Theres a family that were teaching, the same one i ate the funge
at, and they are awesome. they have one document left to get married
and then they'll most likely get baptized. so that's exciting. people
love to sit and talk to us, one because were ´men of God´and two
because were white haha. people will always come up to us and speak
English. or try to speak English. the people here are a lot more
Americanized than i thought. they love American music so its cool to
walk down the street and hear and American song haha.
     My food story for the week.... they have these things called
Angolan Hamburguers. they have a regular hamburger bun, with a fried
egg, potato chips, corn, lettuce, and sometimes tomatoes. they are
wayyyy good! i love them. but they're pretty expensive. everything here
is expensive! its ridiculous! except i bought a real Madrid jersey for
7 bucks so that was good. but food and anything in an actual store is
way expensive.
     My funny story for the week.... we were working in one area and I
always talk to the kids. they're my favorite. the kids are always
scared of you at first but you give them a thumbs up and then they
love you haha. so we did that to these two kids. and they started
following us. we were walking in a place called Simione and its mostly
dirt roads. the kids start following us and i turn around and yell and
scare the kid way bad haha. it scared him so bad that he fell down and
ran away hahahhaha but then i started laughing and he kinda laughed
and kept following us.
      funny story number two.... kids here love magic. so we started
doing some magic tricks to these three little boys. then pretty soon
it was 24 kids... i counted them. they had us cornered against a wall
asking for more magic. Elder Hobbs did the one trick where it looks
like your pulling your thumb off and it scared this one kid way bad
haha. we had some others, and then these adults came over and were
seeing what we were doing. they're way superstitious here so they
probably thought it was black magic. haha so Elder Hobbs had to show
them how he did so they didnºt think we were like evil or anything....
and then they're like oh no that's not magic (we were like yeah duh) and
then they left. but the kids still wanted more. so for our last trick
we told them all to close their eyes and that we were going to
disappear. Elder Hobbs turns to me and he goes you know what were
gonna do right? i go what, he goes run! and so we just take off
running down the street, they see us after about 3 seconds and then we
just hear them screaming and chasing after us, all 24 of them
hahahaha. but we got away so its all good!
     I love it here! the people are my favorite. I get a long with my
companion and all the other Elders here. I love them. I still struggle
with some of the food, mostly its just rice and beans so its descent.
the heat is bad but I'm getting used to it. I Miss you guys a ton!
thanks for all of your emails Ç= keep emailing me!! Love you all

i keep trying to send pics but the internet is too slow here so it doesn't work... next week well go to a different store and ill try to send some from there! love you! Ç


thanks for the Taco soup recipe, i might try to cook it haha. but as
always, a coupe things.....
   The Elders here love you! hahaha they love the taco seasoning and
the ipod, and bang!! hahaha they're so glad i brought it so they say
   my friends should all be getting their missionary emails. could
you have them either email me from them or give me their emails?
that's about it! i love it here!!! i miss you a ton. but I'm doing good.
I'm getting adjusted to everything, like the heat and the food. were
headed to a special store after this that has peanut butter haha I'm
stoked. i miss you and i love you soooo much. love your little boy,
Elder Money

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

First week in the Field!!

Hey everyone!! how´s it going?! I have a lot to tell you so i´m just gonna get started, and it might be all over the place.... so here we go:
     Angola: Its a lot like salt lake. Minus all the black people, add about 60 degrees, and add a ton of dirt, add a ton of people, add a beach, take away the mountains..... okay so its nothing like Salt Lake hahaha but i love it. It does kinda remind me of California. It is super hot. I don´t know how hot exactly, but with the humidity and everything, my clothes are soaked by the end of the day :\
     The food here is gonna take some getting use to... Whoever said we don´t eat at member´s houses LIED!!! I´ve already eaten at like three peoples houses. two of them was descent, i could eat it. but one, oh my gosh it was so bad. It was the worst food I have ever had. It´s called Funge. it looks like mashed potatoes but is nothing like it. It sticks together, you have to like cut it. and you could turn your plate upside down and it won´t fall off. It has no flavor but its the texture that's bad. We were teaching a lesson at this family´s house and they're super nice, and will hopefully get baptized. but they found out that i hadn´t had funge so they cook some for us. I grab just a little bit of it but then H, the dad of the house, Goes noo come mais come mais, and grabs a huge spoonful of it and put it on my plate. I about died. i sit down to eat it, and choked down about half of it but then i realized there´s no way i´m doing this. he was sitting there laughing and laughing. then he told me if i ate it with this spicy pepper sauce, that i wouldn't have to eat the rest. so i did. oh man that was the worst experience I've had so far haha. I do love the coke here, and the juice, its so good.
     Our area is actually pretty nice. Its an apartment building, we have a living room, a kitchen, 3 rooms and 2 bathrooms. Theres 6 of us. Me, Elder Hobbs, Elder Castleton and Elder Hannay, Elder Kearney and Elder Cafforty. We all get a long great! I love them all. My companion is awesome! he reminds me of Nick Smith hahaha :) #Steeze.... My companion hasn't caught on yet, but he will:) We sleep in the same room cause it has the best air conditioner. Its actually pretty nice! except we have a ton of cockroaches everywhere. kinda nasty. We have a tank of water, but we have to be careful of how much we use. We have running water, but our sink water goes through a filter so we can drink it and the rest, you cant drink. but our room is usually about 75 degrees, so not too bad!
     Right outside of our apartment is a thing called a shoppa. Its where the people basically live in a dump and use whatever they can find to build their houses. so we walk through there to get to our areas. Our area is a little bit nicer, they´re small cement buildings that the people live in, but other than that they´re the same as the shoppas. super poor. And it stinks haha. you´ll be walking and just get whiffs of garbage or sewage or b.o. its pretty bad. We get some pretty funny looks, one because of how we dress and two because we´re white.
     My favorite things: the coke and the little kids. They are the cutest funniest things ever. I always say Hi to them and to everyone I see. cause they just stare at us as we walk by, and once you say hello they smile and sometimes want to talk to you. We´ll be walking and the kids will always yell at us one of two things, either Amigo! Amigo! which means friend, or Blanco! Blanco! which means white hahaha. We always yell back Negro Negro! which means black hahahaha. Sooo funny. I was Laughing every time we said it the first couple of days. But i love talking to them and sometimes we play soccer for a minute or two as we walk by.
     So that's all the facts. Here's what i´ve learned so far: Angolans are super relaxed and super chill. You have to be kinda pushy with them. I´m pretty sure its almost impossible to offend them because they're so straight forward haha. Second, The heat sucks and so does the food. I miss Taco Bell soooo much. Theres not that many mosquitoes. but we still have to be careful. Angola is a lot more advanced than i thought. There are some buildings that are huge and super nice. like big apartment buildings. but they're also super expensive. I miss pools soooo much. its so hot and we sweat a ton. People here are funny. You have to be able to laugh at yourself with the people here. they have a very simple funny sense of humor. There are rich people who live in nice houses, have nice cars and nice clothes, just like America, but then there are those who are super super super poor. their priorities are messed up hahaha. they all dress like Chris Brown. The ones who have some money, spend it on their car. I have seen so many cars that aren't that nice, that have tinted windows, loud sound systems, and huge rims hahaha. its way funny. oh and they always wear a ton of jewelery. The people are really nice and well ´believe´ anything you say. they'll accept it. and tell you they're coming to church but never do. so you have to be pushy. I love them though.
     Its definitely different than America. I´ve seen a man carrying an AK-47 and an MP-40. and some other gun that i didn´t recognize. They jam pack the buses. there are pretty much no traffic laws as long as you're driving on the right side of the road. its insane. I've seen goats, chickens everywhere, lizards, and cats and dogs. Haha. it is so different. but i love it here.
     We played soccer this morning with some of the other Elders and then we have to go shopping and then well eat dinner at a members house. I love you all. Keep emailing me! i get an hour and a half of email every week so i wanna hear all about home. I love you guys and miss you!!! Tchau!