Giraffe on the Safari!

This week we were able to go on a Safari! We had a sleepover at the Gamek's the night before because we had to get up at 4:30 to leave by 6:00 at the Chapel.  We met President Merrill there.  We had so many wonderful views, leaving Luanda was amazing and I got to see the real beauty and nature of Angola.  There were also ocean views. We saw a lot of rivers on the way. We went off-roading in the plains to get to the Safari range.  We saw a bunch of giraffes on the way into the park, super cool, Elder Lopex who is a Senior missionary let us ride in the back of his truck and we all took photos and saw lots of animals.

When we got to the park we saw a bunch of monkeys and we all got to feed them and they would grab bread out of our hands.

For the Safari they loaded us in a Huge truck and we went off on a very bumpy ride. and a lot of tree branches hit us in the arms and face.  I had a huge branch hit me in the face while I was recording...really hurt though.  We saw Giraffes and Wildebeests and deer and Antelope.


 We saw a bunch of animals and beautiful scenes of Africa it was wonderful, we had the best time, such a one in million experience!

Beautiful scenery!

Unique trees!

Greatest day on the Safari!

So I can't believe that its already been 20 week in Angola! Time has surely flown by!  Things are getting so unreal I think I have forgotten what it is like to live in the United States.. Estou acostumar agora...I am getting used to everything here.  The summer is starting up here and each day it gets a little bit warmer.
The new area is tough.. Elder Hannay and I get a lot of first lessons in, with mainly new people, the hard part is getting the return appointments, in Cassaquel we could get a lot of return visits but here it is a lot more difficult.  We do stick out here in Angola and the word is getting spread everywhere, I think just about every neighborhood has our pamphlets and Book of Mormons, we pass out a lot of them,
At District meeting this week I got a bloody nose...so random..first time that has happened in my life, lots of blood..strange. So after the meeting we grabbed a couple motorcycle/taxis to ride out to Filomena's.  We talked with her for awhile and left her with a spiritual message.  Then we went to Puchi and Naira, and we taught them about the Priesthood because he will be receiving it next Sunday.
We had a reference for Fernando and it did not get very far because all he wanted to do was ask about a million questions about our lives back in the United States.  After that Elder Hannay wasn't feeling well so we went back to the house and he rested for a few hours...some kind of stomach issue that has been going around the Viana house. He rested for a couple hours and then we went back out and met Timotio and Cristina and then we had a return visit with Kelson. Thank goodness for those return visits as we try for those like crazy right now! We met again with Erisilia too!
So on Sunday President and Sister Merrill showed up for the meeting, super cool and right after Priesthood session the first meeting, President Pedro came up to me and Elder Hannay and asked if one of us could give a talk during sacrament meeting..I said immediately that i could do it and then he said I could talk on whatever I wanted.  I had no idea what I was going to talk on..and nervous out the wazoo. So I worked on it during Sunday School and decided on Obedience.  I gave my talk, sweating through my shirt I was able to finish smoothly thank goodness.  I also sang in the choir in front of the ward.  It did not sound the best but it was the best Angolans could give.
Love you all!


Lizard....Visit from Government official.....and finally Hot showers after 18 weeks!

Lizard on the Back porch

Loving Viana, this lizard was on our back porch!
Also the Motos (Motorcycles) are taxis here and we use them when regular taxis are not available, they are driven by the Angolans that live here. We have to use them in areas that are far out from the city.
So new news big news! Me and my Zone are going on a Safari this next week!! I heard that there are lots of Lions!! We are all so excited!
So on the way home the other night from playing soccer on our P-day this guy had a huge rat in the taxi, so I asked him if I could hold it.

Rat in the Taxi

Later on that night we taught this guy named Marcos and he has been struggling because he has 2 wives, we shared a message with him and he has decided to give up one of his wives. Super cool!
So on Tuesday we got a call from the Branch President and he told us that we needed to go to the Church to visit with one of the government officials of Angola and that we would be interviewed. so we went there pronto and met up with the First Counselor there not knowing why we needed to go there.  Well turns out he had a bunch of questions of why were we here and what were we doing, super cool interview.  Actually I had the opportunity of explaining the origin of the Book of Mormon and about the Lamanites and the Nephites and he read some of it and began asking questions. Then he asked us what Angola could do to keep drugs and crime off the streets to help our work, I was taken back...first not knowing what to even say, but then also I know that we don't participate in political issues, basically my response was just that we can't advise you on that, but what we believe in is a Christ centered life.  I don't know how he took it but anyways cool moment, he was very interested, got his number, he said if we are ever in trouble to call him. Super cool!
We had our Zone meeting in the morning and it went till the afternoon. My Zone is new, and I'm so stoked, and we are all stoked to go on the Safari next week!
Friday we had to wait at the house till about 4 p.m. for a water heater guy to show up and put a water heater inside of our house, it took forever but on the bright side we now have hot water and it works great!  First time after 18 weeks!!! I get to take warm showers!
We talked with a lady named Sofia and a really funny moment happened. I'll write what she said in English. So I told this family the name of the Church, and then she said The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints...how many days? Dos quantos Dias?? Too funny, you had to be there..but it was a tough one not to laugh. So after that we were walking through the streets and we came across a big stadium in the streets where there were a ton of Angolans crowding around and so we went to go see what was going on. It turns out that there is a boxing ring in our area and a couple Angolans were boxing, so we took a minute to see it, pretty cool.
So basically this transfer Elder Hannay and I are trying to find new people so we went and knocked doors for about 3 hours and were able to teach 6 lessons!! It was awesome and such a testimony builder.  I was not feeling that motivated at the beginning of the day but the Lord showed me through my weakness that He can work miracles through me, super cool, I learned a lot that day.
So on Saturday we taught Tati who is 9 and preparing for her baptism, we read the Book of Mormon with her.  We knocked doors for awhile after that and I accidentally called one lady Irmao which means brother instead of her name Irma.  Elder Hannay had to jump in and save me. We have met a lot of interesting people here in Viana, its kind of compared to hick town, its on the outskirts but the people ere are amazing, I love it here, there is so much to be said for space and less noise, I truly love it.
Sunday we met for church and once again in the Viana ramo, we are singing in the choir.  We are singing next week and I'm sure that no one is prepared... no one has the right pitch, even though we have practiced a lot.

Church in Viana

That night our power went out so we worked in the Barrio Esperanca and had a super cool follow up lesson from someone that we had visited just a few days earlier named Mateus, we talked with him and his friend about the Restoration.  One of the best lessons of my mission thus far, Elder Hannay and I were teaching in such unity it was amazing.  We left them with a Book of Mormon and invited them to be baptized, they said yes, the spirit was so strong, super amazing lesson.  I hope you all have a great week! Miss you all like crazy!!! Keep moving strong, te amo! Chau! Chau!


New Companion....Pick pocketed.....Viana!

My new companion Elder Hannay in Viana!

We had transfers and now I am in Viana with Elder Hannay so excited to work with him! Viana is on the outskirts of Luanda. Also great news about the Temple in Kishasa, Congo that will be the closest one to Angola, can't wait till it is finished for the members here.
So it was incredibly hard to say goodbye to some of my investigators...I miss them already, anyways there were some tears shed and lets just say it was not the best day.  I already don't like leaving this area because of that reason, anyways, but it was a good experience to feel the love from so many.  So you met Brother Weggeland, I love him he is way cool, anyways super stoked to get the package.
The work here in Viana is way different than the work is in Cassaquel, its a lot slower because the area is super big, actually right now we have 2 areas combined and that make up our area, so its massive, anyways there is less noise and more space which is awesome. We have to travel to the city to get good Internet each P-day. We are getting 12 new missionaries withing the next 2 months! It's going to be awesome, so about half of the missionaries will be trainers.
So I got pick pocketed this morning on the taxi! This business guy hopped in and looked like he was fidgeting in his pocket for something and I noticed that I felt something so I looked down and his hand was in his pocket so I didn't think anything of it and when he left I realized that my wallet was gone. Super ticked, thanks for cancelling my card...now my driver's license...I guess I'll get when I get back.
So the day after receiving the information on transfers we went to say goodbye to all the families.  We went to Irma Bias and had family night there.  Seresty Grandy was there also and we bore our testimonies to him and said Goodbye.  We then went to Antonio Jovete and it was hard saying goodbye to him and all of the newly baptized members that are doing so well in their progression in the church. I gave him a big hug before I left the area, super sad anyways after that we went and said goodbye to Claudia and Stella and left them with my testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel and how I believe it to be true, Claudia has a baptismal date and Stella is working towards on hers.  So I am excited to see them get baptized in the future.  After that we went to Rocha and I said goodbye to Graciano and then Francisco, we were able to have a discussion with each of them and I was able to leave them with my testimony.
We then went to Kito and Miloka's and stayed for a bit to say goodbye, I hope that they will be married soon and then be able to get baptized, they are looking forward to it in November, super excited.

Saying goodbye to Kito and Miloka and Family

Then we went by Joao and Paulas and said goodbye to that whole family...super sad..but I know they will be fine.  I just pray that the whole family will one day be baptized.

Saying goodbye to Joao and Paula, and Family

 We then had a group dinner at the Lassalets house. She is kind of like the Mom of all the missionaries, anyways she made us grangeteii, my favorite and then we said goodbye to them.

Saying goodbye to the Lassulet Family

After that we visited my favorite family...which was the hard part..said goodbye to Rita and Paulo and Orpheu(son) and also Lou( daughter) and also said goodbye to Sidonia and their were tears shed on both side...super sad, I am hoping that one day they will be baptized.

Rita & Paulo & Family

My Good Friend Paulo

More Goodbyes...

The next day Elder Abdo showed up at the house in his truck to pick me up to go to Viana.  I said goodbye to Elder Montgomery (sad moment) and I was off to Viana. When I arrived I met my new companion Elder Hannay and I unpacked. I am super excited to work with Elder Hannay, he is way cool and way pumped to serve in Viana.  So after that we went and knocked doors for a few hours.  I love knocking doors, here in Africa you get in about 99 percent of the time.

Filomena in Viana

So we went to go see one of my first recent converts Filomena who had moved to Viana and she is now in my area! Way cool! We went to visit her, we had to go way out on the outskirts of Viana to get to her house. We had to ride on motorcycles to get there, it was way fun, we rode them through the sand and on the road.  It was great to visit with her, she is doing amazing.

Motorcycle ride to Filomena's

After that we went to visit a recent convert Puchi and he is way cool he smiles at literally everything.
Saturday some of Elder Hannay's investigators were getting baptized, way cool there were 2 baptisms, after that we all went to Pizza Perfect for lunch with all the church leaders.  So after that really cool story we got into a taxi to come home and I sat in the front seat, and noticed that there was a pamphlet that was sitting on the dashboard, the same guy we had made contact with a few days ago, super cool, his name was Nono and I forgot to get his contact info. the last time and so I asked him and he said Kalemba 2 and that is part of our area!! super cool!!

My bed in Viana...to protect against Malaria



After that we had District meeting with the new Elders, way cool, I am loving Viana and my new district is awesome, there are 4 of us living in the Viana house and soon we will have 6 Elders.

Cool trees here in Viana!

Viana & friends

The Church here is small and there are less members, I got to meet a lot of people...trying to remember their names. Filomena called during church and said she was locked out of her house and could not make it to church.  I was really sad...hoping for next week.  After church I sang in the choir...once again... (Riley) the choir is pretty much the same here as it is in Luanda, no one really knows how to sing, we are practicing a lot to prepare for the special musical numbers, so after that we had lunch at President Pedro's house.  He was called to be Branch President after being a member for only 6 months.  He has a lot of Faith. 
Well it was a great week, got to know the area and also my companion, super excited to serve here and the people of Viana!


Transfer to Viana....My buddy Orpheu...KFC!

Ola Familia! I just received word that I'm going to be transferred this Wednesday, most likely to Viana, which is on the outskirts of Luanda, a little bit different from the Capital, I'm super excited I can't wait to get out there, it's going to be a blast! Although I don't like saying goodbye to people and I know it's going to be tough, I have already made some strong connections here with the people in the Cassequel ramo, the ward members and also the investigators that we are teaching, it's going to be a bummer.

My Favorite buddy in Angola, Orpheu

I have some pictures of one of my favorite kids from the family of Rita and Paulo, his name is Orpheu, my favorite buddy in Angola.
Anyways, family I love you so much I want to share a scripture with you all that touched me this week, Alma 37:46....For so it was with our Fathers for so was it prepared for them.  That if they would look they might live.  Even so it is with us.  The way is prepared, and if we will look we may live forever.  I just loved that scripture, super cool.
The week was awesome to start off on Monday we had family night with a member family of all girls and they taught the lesson and then we had dinner after.
Tuesday we had lunch at Irma Lassalets house and we had a delicious fish and after that we went to Irma Claudia, she is still planning on being baptized on the 31st. Next we went and taught Joao and Paula and we taught their family about the 10 commandments, they always have so many stories and questions that go along with each commandment, so fun to teach them.  Then we went to Geraldo and taught him about Baptism and receiving the Holy Ghost. He is planning on getting baptized a few weeks from now, super pumped! We went to Seresty Grandy and shared a scripture with him D & C 84:88.
On Cuarta Feira (Wed.) we had a meeting with the Mission President and all of the missionaries that morning and we talked about obedience and also our goals, to work as hard as we can and we are trying to grow and strengthen the mission from within, we don't want to get too far out of  Luanda, we want to build it up as a center force here within, so that the church can sustain itself.  After that we had lunch and then off to work.
We went to see Graciano first and talked with him about the vida preterrera (pre-mortal life) where we came from and he was had a ton of questions that we answered. We then had a great lesson with Oliva and Mariza that are sisters and the daughters of Joao and Paula who are preparing for their baptisms on the 31st of August.
We visited with a member of the church from Portugal who was visiting Angola for a while and she was having a hard time so we bore testimony that in order for us to receive inspiration and help in this life when we are struggling that we need to pray and move forward and the Lord will sustain us in our trials.
After that we read in the Book of Mormon with Rita and Gelson and then we walked to Antonios and Rosanos.  We had discussions with some new people, Liop and Rodina and Dona Bem Vinda and talked about the restoration of the Church.
On Friday we went to Geraldo that morning and talked about faith and repentance and then we started reading from the beginning of the Book of Mormon with Seresty Grandy..super cool.  Then we sat with Graciano and had a super cool lesson and taught him about the Plan of Salvation, he studies the Bible a lot and always has a lot of questions. We invited him to come to church but he said that he did not have any money for a taxi. So I offered him 200 Kwanzaa ( about 2 dollars) to catch a taxi and take him there and back. After that we went to fill buckets from the well to fill up the baptismal font for the baptisms on Sat.
On Saturday we woke up and went to the church at 7 in the morning to full up the font some more because it has a leak in it, so it goes down during the night and they can't get baptized unless the water is high. After that Elder Montgomery and I cleaned the capela (chapel) because no one showed up to do the cleaning, so we offered to help.  Then we ran back to the house to get changed and make it back in time for the baptisms, it was a stretch but we barely made it.

Elder Montgomery, Elder Stewart, Claudio's baptism with his family, Elder Merkley and Me

 Super cool, anyways after the baptisms, we all went to KFC and my meal was about 1800 Kwanza which is about $18.00 everything here is so expensive.

Expensive lunch at KFC

Chicken's everywhere in the street...Appropriately in front of KFC

 After that we started our fast for the next day.  We then had to go back to the church to empty the font because we didn't want the water in there for the next day on Sunday at church because it attracts mosquitoes and it is dangerous for the kids. I accidentally spilled a bucket of motor oil and had to clean it up in my good clothes, I was filthy and we had an appointment after with Bernardo.

Spilled bucket of Motor Oil

On Sunday Graciano came to church! And so did Geraldo...both came it was way cool! Super stoked that they did! Graciano was asking questions the entire time and involved and participated in everything, super cool.
Francisco's cousin passed away a few days ago so we taught him about the Plan of Salvation and it gave him great comfort to know where his cousin is right now, super cool lesson.
While we were teaching Joao and Paula and Mariza about following the Prophet the lights went out, so we had to use our lanterns, super cool moment, gotta love it:)
Super great week! Hope you all are serving the Lord with all your capacity and loving you life!
Ficam Bem ( Stay Good) Chau Chau!!