So, this week was a little weird, and I don’t really have that much to say. Monday we did our normal Pday stuff, then went and visited Albino. He and his family are struggling big time to feed their family, so we are trying to help them find other ways to make money. Before, they would make an alcoholic beverage and sell it, but he recognized that it was against the Lord’s will, and so is trying to find another way to make money. Tuesday, we were full, in preparation for the week, possibly two, of not getting to see anyone. We picked up Faizal (a member missionary), then went and visited Irmã Natercia, one of the only endowed members in our branch. She is having us teach a child that they are essentially adopting off the street. It’s hard to talk to him, because he mostly speaks Makua, his Portuguese is a little lacking. Then, we went to go visit Alex, and talked to him a little bit about the Plan of Salvation, then we went and found Valeriano and Inacia, and got lucky, because Ofelia was there, too. So we talked to them a little bit about the plan of salvation as well, and they seemed to pick up on it. We ended the day at Marcelina’s house, talking about our life to come following physical death. It was a good day for the second lesson 😛 Wednesday, we taught English class, and then went to an investigator of Elder Lopes’. It was weird, because we ended up talking to these two pastors of a different church, and while they knew a lot about the bible, it was a little discomforting to see their lack of understanding of God. We had to end the lesson on an off note, because the pastors kept wanting to argue about certain topics. I hope that we were able to still communicate our message to the investigators who were there listening.
So now begins the epic journey.
Wednesday night, we packed for Beira, and were done at about 2230 at night, and had to leave at 200 from our house, so we didn’t really sleep, in hope we would be able to sleep easier on the bus ride down to Beira. The bus ride down was niiice. Fully loaded tour bus, almost as nice as ones in America. Some of the road was potholed madness (for more than two hours…) but overall, it was a smooth ride. Our bus left at 400, and we arrived in Beira at 2200 ish. 18 hour ride, not fun, but not bad at all. We stayed the night at the Manga zone leader’s house. Fell asleep at about 0030, and had to wake up at 0545 to get ready to go for Elder Scott. Elder Scott was amazing. He didn’t talk too much at the beginning, but he ended strong, with the most amazing testimony I have ever heard. I got to talk with a couple of members from my MTC district, and we went with one of the members from nearby that Elder Hill knew to help her set up for her mother’s 80th birthday party. We got back to the zone leaders’ house, and the power was out. So I tried to sleep, but it didn’t happen very well, and we had to be up at 0300 for the ride back.
So 8 hours of sleep for 48 hours. But it only gets worse.
We show up to the bus place, which is a mess, people everywhere, and see this dinky little chapa. Elder Hill groans. He tells us this is the bus he took back from Beira last time, and it took 27 hours from start to finish. Sigh. Oh well, we have no other choice. So we get on, and it’s a bit crowded, but it’s not terrible. Leave around 0400, and get on the road. About an hour down the road, we stop, and pick up more passengers. These passengers, I’m fairly certain, were not paying the company who owned the chapa. They were paying the three people in charge of our journey. So not only were they paying less than us, but they were inconviencing us in the process. This happened about 20 times on our ride up. Stop and let off passengers, pick up more until we are full. Super annoying. We make it to the ‘lunch’ stop, which took 11 hours from Nampula on the way down, so it was about two and a half hours less than halfway. And we were almost an hour ahead of schedule. I was so stoked.
But it was not to be. The trip that took 11 hours on the way down took twice as much on the back up. We didn’t get back to Nampula until 0915 Sunday morning, missing church. We had to stop at a little town about 3 hours outside of Nampula at 2200, because the driver said the police would stop us if we kept going that night. So. we had to ‘sleep’ on the bus for 7 hours while we waited. We went and got some dinner, then tried to sleep. I might have gotten an hour of sleep that night.
So now I’m at 11 hours of sleep for more than 72 hours.
The President of the branch rescheduled church for 1400, so I decided to make lunch and clean the house, so that I could sleep well at night. We went to church, but most of the people had already gone home, and weren’t going to come back. We only had one investigator show up to church at it’s rescheduled time, Albino. Maybe a total of 35 for the day. Kind of a letdown. But it went well, and Elder Hill and I taught Mission prep afterward to Nelo, Faizal, and Soares.
Then I got home and did one of the stupidest things ever. I washed my sheets and blanket. They needed it, but with next to no sleep for the last few days, I wasn’t thinking right. Ended up trying to iron my sheets dry. Didn’t work, so I just went to sleep with wet sheets. Still, it was probably the best night sleep I’ve had in years.
President Spendlove is coming up tomorrow, and heading out to Luaha, So he’ll probably end up taking Elders Hill and Beal with him, so this week is going to be different as well. We are going to be splitting our time between two different areas, each with a fairly large number of new investigators. So we won’t be able to get to many of them this week. But, we will try our hardest, and see what we can do!
Crazy week, but after it all, I definitely loved it. The ride sucked. But I know it has helped me, even if only to say that nothing in America will ever be as bad as that trip… 😛
Pics: Me with 3700 Metacais. (about $100), but it looks like a lot more -_-
Us after our ridiculous trip – 2 minutes after we walked in the door. Me, then Elders Hill, Lopes, Cluff, Young, and Beal. (left to right)
Love you all, and hope everyone is doing well.
Elder A. Spencer Leake