I love it here and am so glad that I took this opportunity to serve the Lord and to devote my time to learning and teaching His gospel for the wonderful people of the Mozambique Maputo Mission! Most of the elders seem quite homesick in these first couple of days, but I’m not. I know that my family and friends love me and I know that we are all sacrificing a lot for me to be here. I know that the Lord will bless us for the sacrifices we are taking so that the gospel may be spread across the globe.
I have a large district which consists of 14 elders, though most districts are only about 6 or 8. My companion, Elder Russon, and I are getting to be friends already, and bonding over the stress that such a hectic schedule has brought us. He and I are very similar, which helps a lot in the transition from regular life to missionary life. I love Elder Russon and look forward to getting to know him better over the next nine weeks. I love my whole district, we are the best. As soon as I can get a good group shot I’ll show you all. 😛
My zone leader, Elder Smith, is a remarkable man. He was a scout in Afghanistan for a year, and started training to become a sniper in the Marines. He has some wonderful stories, and a wonderful spirit. I can’t help but be inspired to do my absolute best whenever I see him or listen to him teach. He knows he is here for a purpose, and he intends to show the Lord he knows. Elder Naumann, in my district, is also a military man, and he served as a field engineer for a tour in Afghanistan as well. He was shot twice and blown up three times, and know that he is still alive today because the Lord wants him to serve a mission. What an amazing district I have, full of inspiring men, all ready to do our Heavenly Father’s work.
I have already started to learn Portuguese, and am so excited for the pace at which we are moving. Although it is exhausting, it is also exhilarating knowing the miracles are happening each and every day as we work and prepare to serve the Lord. I have my P-day every Friday, so emails and letters are due by then. I only have a few hours to write letters, and a half an hour for email! So if you do decide to email me, I will only be able to respond through letter or this mass email.
As much love and effort go into preparing the food here, nothing will ever compare to food back home, especially in the weeks and days leading up to my departure. I’m hoping to gain a bit of weight before I leave for Mozambique, because I have heard about the food there… Only one real meal a day, at lunch, with a snack-like meal at dinner. Mostly fish and seafood, with some basic grains thrown in. No biking, no cars, just walking everywhere. Some of the elders going to Mozambique who leave earlier than my group have letters from those elders who have gotten to leave already and are over there. One of them told a story about how, as he was walking down the road near dusk, he and his companion heard something rustle behind them. They turned, and saw a cobra! Taking sticks and stones, they killed the cobra so it would not harm the other people who would be walking on that road the next day. How ridiculously awesome is that? They killed a cobra with sticks. Talk about a story.
I’m not worried for my safety. President Spendlove makes sure his missionaries have the best while in Mozambique. 95% of the apartments have AC, a refrigerator, a microwave, and a stove. I look forward to my mission in Mozambique, and I look forward to letters/emails from you.
I love you all, and I wish you all the best in your lives. I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Class is about to start, and I must be off! Make sure you write!
Elder Aaron Spencer Leake