Monday, August 30, 2010

Week 15 - Answering Questions


Africa, Africa, Africa. I LOVE it here.
1. So with pictures, I’m going to send some printed ones home sometime this week. So pretty soon, well in like three weeks, you should be getting some pictures. There, well, pretty different from what your used too. I was thinking, if you’re going to send me a package, maybe you can send a memory card reader to me. President Spendlove said they could possibly work here. So that would be nice. You all can send some smaller cards if you want too. But with the one dad sent me, I can put almost 5,000 pictures on it. So yeah. Depends on you all.
2. From what I can tell, most elders are in an area for 2-3 transfers usually. That’s 3-4 and half months. But it really depends on President. My companion was in Beira, the same zone, for like 8 months. But with president Spendlove, who knows. He is sending two people who are only in their third transfer to Angola ja. I mean already. So who really knows? My comp is going there soon
3. Here, we don’t have wards. We have branches. Our chapel used to be an old chicken coop they renovated. And there are other buildings for primary and young women’s. We have priesthood in the chapel. Well, over all, President Spendlove presides over the church in Mozambique. He is the presiding authority here. But each branch has a branch president, and his counselors. Some branches have elders as presidents. We really don’t teach a lot here. We kind of help. But yesterday we taught the primary. So that was fun. There really good kids.
4. The weather is starting to get hotter. But it only gets hotter. The hot season starts like October, and that’s when it rains and really humid. If I have lost weight already, just imagine how the hot season will be.
5. We see rats, dogs, cats and lizards in Magoanine. Oh, and goats too. Lots of them.
6. On p-days, we email first in the city. Than when that’s done we go play a sport or something. After we go eat lunch, go shopping for groceries than go back home. Nos temos noite familiar cada segunda fiera. We have family home evening every Monday night at the church. And that’s usually what happens.
Last week we went to Nachaama. That’s some waterfalls that are in the mountains around us. It was so beautiful. I really enjoyed it. It reminded me of Snoqualmie Falls.
I was thinking for letters, you can use the ones that come straight to Mozambique. I didn’t know you could. Chris sent me a letter trough that one. So from now on, you can use it.
We have an investigator named Edson, and his family sells chickens. And he showed us where he keeps them. Oh my gosh. I have never seen so many chickens in my life. There were like 100 of them. It was the worst smelling place ever. I almost barfed. Ha-ha. Some lady also bought 12 chickens from them, put them all in a basket, and put it on her head. Kind of strange
We also found some inactive members this week. We have been trying to help come back to church. Yeah we are trying.
They have the best bread in the world. Dad would LOVE it. They make it fresh every day. We buy it all the time. It’s so good. This week we also heard a boy who speaks clicks. I really wanted him to teach me. It was the most awesome language in the world. I had to put on new garments this week. We were digging a hole and mine ripped in the crotch. So yeah. I never knew new garments felt so good. We were at a members hose this week and I went to sit down, and I sat on their cat. I pretty much put all my weight on it. Ha-ha. And I also have a rash on both my arms. I think it’s from my medication. I’m going to try different medication this to see if it goes away. It’s for malaria. Next Baptism we will hopefully have two baptisms. I’m really excited. Both have been waiting a long time for it.
I was thinking, for the package, can you put Frito scoops in it. I don’t know why, but I have been craving them. And m&m’s too. I also need some regular T-shirts too. Most of mine here have holes in the arm pit. And pictures. Pictures of anything. Ha-ha. I think that is it. Oh yeah, like a memory card reader for a camera memory card.
Until next week. I love you all with all my heart.
Elder Sirrine

Week 14 - Fun things are happening

Como Estaos??!!!

So this week it was pretty good. Lots of fun things happened.

So last Monday, we got home from going to our appts, and we arrive at the house. We turn on the light to our living room. And there is this GGGGRRRRAAANNNDDDEEE ratozhino, or large rat there. Dad, remember the rat we saw and killed at Opas house? This one was bigger. Elder Jamba, Elder Call (My Comp), and a branch missionary go to kill it. It runs into the room I sleep in at night. Freaky. They then close the door. And the hunt starts. I took a little video from right outside the door. There was no way I was going in there. You can hear things moving around and people yelling. It’s pretty funny. They eventually killed it with a baseball bat. I took some pictures. This week we also gave a member of the branch a blessing because he has malaria. Like he has been really sick. He lives like 45 minutes away walking from our house. And he walked all the way to it. He knows the power of the priesthood can help him. It was my first time doing a blessing for the sick. And it was all done in Portuguese.

One day we were walking back home in the evening, and on the side of the road somebody was selling a shark. It was probably like 3-4 feet long. Elder Call almost bought it. He cooked fish this week so it would have gone with that. I also tried to make Nasi (spelling?) this week. But it wasn’t nearly as good as moms or opa's. Oh Mom, if you send a package with the stuff I asked about, can you send some recipes over too. If not oh well...
We had to help an investigator fix her satellite. It took like 2 hours. But it was worth it. Anything we can help them with we do it.

I also played Mozambiquan checkers. The rules are so weird. Like you can move backwards to jump someone, or you can move your queen as many spaces as you want in any direction. It’s different but I’ll show you all when I get home.

We also ran into some Jehovah’s witnesses. They were cool. They just showed us some scriptures about Christ and they left.

I also got the chance to chase some African kids around. Like if you start running at them, they run away and start laughing. It’s like they are afraid of white people. They always call us malungo, or in dialect that means white man. So we also say "onde", or where. We also say some dialect words to the older people and they just laugh. It is pretty funny for some random two young white guys to be talking dialect. some words are canimombo, which means thank you or zipalli, which means good night.

We almost got hit by a chapa. It was like 3 feet away. We were walking in the sand. And it comes zipping by where there are no ruts for it to go. It was so so scary.

Last Saturday we did service at a mental health hospital. It was really awesome. We cleaned up the gardens, played with kids. One of the kids kept on saying "Corre" which means run. So I would run away and she would chase me. It was really funny.

I also got to eat the fruit rafiki from the lion king uses in the movie. It’s really sweet. I love it. We also got to "pilar". This is where they get it a trunk, carve it out in the middle, and hit like corn, or something, until its fine. It was hard.

So today an Elder went home. And we was bigger than me when he got here. He lost 85 pounds here. That crazy. I got here weighing 235, and now I weigh about 226, so 9 pounds in 4 weeks is a lot.

Other than that, were just working and walking in tons of sand for ten hours a day.

I love you all and WRITE!!! Ha-ha

Elder Sirrine

Monday, August 16, 2010

Week 13 - Rats and Cockroaches


Life here in Africa is going. Thursday is the halfway mark for this transfer already. These past three weeks have gone by fast. I am told it will only go faster.

For the mailing address just use the ones that we got from the book. We don't directly receive mail from anyone. We only get it either on Mondays or when the zone leaders go into the city. You can try letters to the mission home but I am not sure. I think the pouch for letters is the best.

1. The weather here is kind of weird. In the morning it’s like super cold. It reminds me of Washington winters. Than in the afternoon it’s either windy but hot, or just hot. I am told this is freezing compared to the hot season. It should start getting warmer in like October November ish.

2. My shoes are doing really great. Thanks for them again.

3. For food, I eat a lot of fruit, cereal, and bread. Every day during the week, an elder cooks something for lunch except on Mondays. So it’s whatever he makes. We go to a store called Shop Rite every Monday. It’s a South African chain store. We get the basics there. All over here there are little stands that sell fruit so we get that stuff from there.

4. I was told not to download pictures onto the computers in Mozambique by the mission president. He said it would just delete all the pictures because of how bad the pictures. So I think when I write a letter home, I will just send my memory card home with whatever pictures I have on it.

5. My companionship is going awesome. At the end of this transfer my companion is going to Angola. I already lose my trainer after one transfer. We get along really great. His name is elder Call and he is from Bountiful Utah.

6. In our apartment, we have a filter connected to our sink. So we get our water from there. Whenever we get back to the house, we just fill our water back up.

7. There are some actual things I need. I sent home some PJ pants, I need those. The ones I have here have a hole in the crotch. I also need some of my other T-shirts. Two of my mine here have holes in the arms. I also need a new watch. The one we bought broke. And all the ones here are cheap so I would have to keep buying one. And if possible, but you don't have to do this, but I need smaller white shirts. The ones we bought in Utah are really big for me now. The sleeves go like down to my wrists. If I need anything else I will let you know. I also need my line of authority and that other memory card of mine.

8. On the 28th of this month, we will hopefully have two baptisms. We will have one for sure. Her name is Rebecca. She us really awesome. She has been waiting for over a year. Her parents wouldn't let her be baptized but now they will. And the other ones name is Angelica. We are going to challenge her this week to be baptized. We have nine other Investigators too. So were busy busy busy with them. So most of the days go by fast.

So mom, remember last week how you asked if we had rats. Well, funny story. We got back to the house last Monday, and we saw a rat in the kitchen. So we all freaked out, grabbed machetes and broomsticks and went rat hunting. It was so fun. Elder Jambi accidentally stepped on it and killed it. It was really funny. We have family home evening every Monday night with the members and we lost power halfway through. We have lost power almost every day this week I think.

I started to read Isaiah this week too. It’s a really interesting book. Next I am going to read James and then read revelations.

This week I felt sorry for Elder Jambi. Lately he hasn't really been digesting his food. So he went to the doctor about. They couldn't really figure out what was wrong. So they gave this laxative to make him clean out his stomach. He went to the bathroom like 30 times in two hours. The next day he had to get a colonoscopy. I don't know what they figured out. So I felt sorry for him.

One of our investigators speaks English. So we teach him in English. He asked if I could say the prayer in English. So I did. I kept messing up and praying in Portuguese. Like I really had to think on how to pray in English. I have only been out almost three months and I can hardly pray in English. Just wonder how I will be when I get home.

Last Monday, after email, we went and played indoor soccer. It was so fun. We had all the Elders from the Maputo area there. That’s like 30 elders. They do that all the time. This week we are playing football de Americana. Or American football. So I am super excited for that.

So hears a couple more funny stories. So I was doing personal study outside on the chair outside of our house. And I felt something on the back of my neck I brushed my neck and it was gone. Like a minute later I see this cockroach that is like three or four inches long crawling on my arm. I freak out and brush it off and step on it and kill it. It was the thing that brushed my neck. I don't know where it came from. Another story. We were on a chapa coming back to the house after our last appt. of the day. We were like the only people on. And this drunken lady gets on and starts talking to us. She was saying she was a member and stuff. And she got really close to our faces. I thought she was going to make a move on us. Kind of scared me. haha.

This week we also had service to do. We dug a hole for someone. Yes a garbage hole. Tt was about as tall as me.

Also ontem, I mean yesterday, the teacher that was my sub for two weeks in the MTC came to Mozambique. The Spendloves went to our branch too. It was kind of cool.

Well that’s my week. My time is up. I love you all have a good week.

-Elder Sirrine

Monday, August 9, 2010

Week 12 - The Work is Going Well


Everything is going great here. I love it here in Magoanine. The people here are awesome. In our branch we have about 20-25 branch missionaries. That’s so much. We have about 90 people in our branch.

So I will answer questions now.
1. For Mozambique, our house is pretty nice. It has two kitchens, two bathrooms. The property is huge. But it’s like all sand.
2. My bed is like metal frame with springs and a mattress. Sis. Spendlove gave us sheets for it. And I have a mosquito net that covers it. Ha-ha. Pres. Spendlove said the mosquitoes that give malaria come out between midnight and 6 am. So when were asleep.
3. An elder in our house said he saw a rat in our kitchen. But I don’t know if it’s true. He likes to kid around or not. I personally haven’t seen any.
4. And for mosquitoes, there are TTTTOOOONNNNSSS. We have an electric swatter. And it seems like every time we use it like hundreds of them die. It’s crazy. I have never seen so many at one time in my life.
5. For the kitchen, we have a fridge, sink, and a stove. We also have cupboards for our food. So we have all our basics. And for the bathroom we have a toilet sink, and a shower. We have to wear sandals every time we have to take a shower. There are like tons of diseases in it. The floor of the bathroom is always dirty no matter what we do. It’s gross.
6. It is actually pretty safe here. We have a cement fence, with barbed wire. And at every post on it, the top of it has broken pieces of glass all over it so nobody can climb in. even the church fence has the same thing. Almost every building has I would not want to climb over. Would you?
7. No we don’t have a guard. But there are guards all over who have shotguns and AK47s so I’m not too worried. You don’t have to be either.
8. Every day, an elder cooks lunch. So with that it’s like whatever they want to make. (We have six elders in our house). In the morning I usually eat cereal, than for lunch whatever the person make, than for dinner, I usually make like a sandwich and some fruit.
9. For the money, they put in 6000 metacals. That’s about $180 us dollars. We get 1500 a week. That’s to pay for like food, email, and transportation stuff. It’s enough. We just go to an ATM and take it all out. Right now, it’s about 35 meticals for 1 us dollar. So it’s pretty good for us.
10. All the wildlife I have seen is lizards and mosquitoes. I am Right outside of Maputo. So there really is not a lot of wildlife here.

So some more info about here. For Dad, they have the new ranger model out here. There is a ton. I don’t know if you have seen them or not in the states, but there out. When I was in LA I got two of the new 2010 pennies. There out too. So you can look out for them

Last Monday after I emailed, we played ultimate Frisbee on the beach with another district. It was so fun. It reminded of one time as a stake; we had some campout in Oregon. We played on the beach there too. Brought back tons of memories of home too. Last Thursday, we lost our electricity and plumbing. So I had to take my first bucket shower with water from the well we have. It kind of sucked ha-ha.

Oh and mom, can you add these two people onto a way they can here what I’m doing. They are my teachers from the MTC. the first one is Bro. Okasaki. His email is And the other is Sis. Olson. Her Email is Thanks.

This week when I had to cook, I made Macaroni and Cheese like you do. Except I didn’t put in spam. Ha-ha. I’m trying to remember how you cook some things so I can make them. This week we went to a member’s house to eat. They put pumpkin and cornflower together and mixed it. It was probably the nastiest thing I have ever eaten. One time I almost threw up. But I held it in. I would rather eat spam for the rest of my life than ever eat that again. Hahaha.

Our transportation is way different here than the states. They have things called Chapas and Machibomus. A chapa is this mini-van thing. and they try to put as many people on as they can. one time i had like two people sitting on my lap. and the van was like bottoming out. I was like what is this. Ha-ha. And a moshibombo is like a metro bus. I had a guy’s crotch on my arm for an hour. Gross right.

Here they have chickens and roosters all over the place. It reminds me of Hawaii so much. In Portuguese chickens are call galinhas and roosters are called galoa.

We live like ten minutes from the airport. So whenever they land or takeoff they are like right over our heads. Like one was only like a thousand feet above us. I swear.

We have two investigators who will probably be baptized in like 3 weeks. I’m excited. But I can’t baptize them because Pres Spendlove wants members to do it. So it kind of sucks. But oh well.

Mom, if you can, can you send me my line of authority. It would be really nice to have it. And the memory I sent home too. I would appreciate it.

According to the scale at our house. I have lost about three pounds. I’m excited. In Magoanine, its sand, sand, and more sand. More sand than I have ever seen. I pulled muscles in both my calves. But I’m better.

Well that’s about it for this week. Until next week!!!

Com Amor,
Elder Sirrine

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Week 11 - My First Week In Mozambique - I LOVE IT!

Hi Dad, Mom, and family,

I hope everything is going well in the states.

So my Companions name is Elder Call. He is from Bountiful Utah. Guess what? After this transfer, he is going to Angola. So I lose him after one transfer. It’s sad but it’s awesome at the same time. It was funny. Like five minutes before He got the call that he was going, we seriously were talking about how cool it would be to go. So it was kind of Ironic too.

So here in Mozambique, the drivers are crazy. Take like New York or la and times it by like 50. There driving all over the place, driving on the wrong side of the road. It’s scary. They have trucks that have like 30 people in the back going like 60 MPH. and people just walk right in front of cars and just pretty much do whatever they want. I am afraid I would hit somebody if I drove.

So on Saturday, we attended 4 people’s baptisms. None of them were from our district. But it was really awesome and really spiritual. Here in Mozambique, the Elders don’t do the Baptisms. They have members do it so they build unity with the members. It kind of sucks but it makes sense.

The culture here is crazy. Like when you come from the states you’re in shock and awe. Like I still am and I have been here almost a week. I can’t really even explain how it is.

In magoanine, we have a really solid branch. We 35 branch missionaries in it. Crazy right? We haven’t even gone tracting yet. We get all our referrals from the members.

So on Thursday I was waiting in the mission home for my Comp to come from Beira. That’s up north. And so we were going to do splits. And my comp was supposed to show up during it. So all the other missionaries left to go. I waited in the mission home until 10 at night. So I didn’t even go on one. So that kind of bites but oh well. Nothing I can do about it. Pretty much like the first two days in Mozambique were in the mission home.

So the plane rides were crazy long. We had 27 hours of plane rides and with layovers we a total of 37 hours of traveling. That’s without the time change. I am 9 hours ahead of Washington.

Magoanine is like a Desert. There is sand, sand, sand, and more sand. Every night I have to dump sand out of my shoes. But I love it here. My comp and I live with two other companionships. One is the zone leaders. They are Elder Dunn, from Rexburg, and elder Marlon from Utah. The other is Elder Master Don from Utah, and Elder Jamba from Laonda Angola. They all great and really cool guys.

For laundry, we have a Maquina de llavar ropa. or a washing machine at our house. it spins around one way, stops, goes the other way. It’s cool

Sister Spendlove put me on a diet plan. She expects me to be 10 pounds lighter before this transfer. The Spendloves are health freaks to the max. and vegetarians. But they still awesome. On Saturday for dinner, I had an apple and some cornflakes. Good aint it? That’s the kind of food here. But for lunch, all the elders come back and one makes food for everybody. They have a store here called Shoprite. It has everything we need.

Yesterday I had my first encounter wither a drunken guy. It was funny. He was trying to have us come inside and stuff. His wife or whatever was like don’t listen to him, has stupid. Ha-ha. I guess we have a lot of them here. There are little shacks that sell alcohol to anybody. All day and night.

There is a family called a familia do santo. They are awesome. There members and we were at their house last night. The father is learning English so we help him.

Other than that things are going good here in Magoanine. Until Next week.

-Elder Sirrine