Thursday, June 19, 2014

June 16, 2014

Considering I really haven't written in three weeks time; I've got a lot to recount.

Now, I could give you every detail of what's occurred in all this time- but I feel as though it would be more effective to share my sentiments rather than particular stories.

Let it be known:

I love Mozambique. I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But most of all, I love them together - the results of which are beyond my words to properly articulate. 

I am seeing the most beautiful changes in people. Situations the world would deem unsolvable are mended through our Savior, Jesus Christ. The Mozambique Mission is a mission of miracles - and not of the nominal sort. 

Things aren't easy (and things that are worth it rarely are), but I love being a part of this great work and finding families that I KNOW will be my friends for the rest of forever. I can testify of God's love for each and every one of us, no matter where they are in the world or who they may be. I've extended the offer before, and will do so now again: In *humble* prayer, ask your Father in Heaven if he is really there and if he loves you. Just like so many people here in Mozambique, you will receive a response. 

And now, to paint small pictures of what life is like in Africa:

 - I don't think I've ever described what a Chapa is. Imagine the number of people that fit inside of a bus. Now imagine that number in a mini-van. Now imagine this same multitude has not had the opportunity to shower for a couple of days. This is a Chapa. Chapas are our main means of transportation here. To help elucidate just how crammed it is, the last time I took a Chapa I had to get in the fetal position and bury my head in a stranger's thigh. Chapas: Human-Sardine Cans.

- While fervently trying to help some kids be reverent during sacrament meeting, some children realized my skin was the same tone as the bread we were using. This did not bode well for me. 

- Speaking of bites, I forgot I was white and tried to pet someone's dog.

- My African companion peed in my water bottle. I don't know how to explain this one or validate it. He just did.

- We live next to a house where 12-13 year old girls tend to gather. I don't see how, but they are under the assumption that I'm actually Justin Bieber. When I'm within sight, my companion and I get swarmed and serenaded with
BABY BABY BABY. They have tried to enter the house and I have signed autographs okay out of time bye 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Pictures & A Requested Post by Bret.

Hey! Bret here, Elder Mortimer's sister.
Another week with not much time to write, but he's still happy with where he is. He ended a string of quick emails to me with the following:
"I have to email the president again... I know I suck at the weekly emails but I'd rather email you guys. Can you write a quick something for me and I'll give you quick highlights?
...I love you too. Just post the pictures I'll write next week you can write if you want I would like that actually i love you bert."
So, here I am (without the quick highlights, because I believe he forgot about that actually..).
And of course I feel inadequate. After emailing him and hearing about the work he’s doing, and seeing these photos of the place he’s doing it in – how could I not feel that way?
So often that word rings true when I think of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Writing, I feel a bit more confident, because I have time to reflect upon each piece and to pray about the wording in order to appropriately convey the message and touch more hearts.
But speaking – I stutter, I slur, my mind goes so fast the thoughts run together and I’m afraid I don’t make much sense.
And when I get the prompting to speak up to someone, I often doubt I’m the best one for the job.
So often I imagine this scene: I ask God, “Are you sure you want me? Are you sure you don’t want So-and-So to say it? She knows so much more... she’s more eloquent.. But I’ll do it if you want me to. I promise I will. But there are better-suited souls that can do this much better than I can.”
But lately, every thought similar to the one above are shut down by a booming thought that enters my mind.
“Yes, I trust you. I trust YOU with this.”
OF COURSE there are people better-suited to express the deep beauties of the gospel and the scriptural references and every other thing I believe to be important that I feel I lack!
But God trusts me to share what I know, because what I know about the gospel has changed my life.
It has changed my eternity.
And if it has done that for me, it will do so for someone else.
And most of all, if God trusts me to share the gospel, I trust that He’ll help me find the words.
I know that Elder Mortimer, who is still brand new to Portuguese but nevertheless faithfully trying to do the very same thing I’m trying to do in my native tongue, can testify of that as well.
1 Nephi 3:7
“And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.”
I know God puts dandelions in my path because I love to kick them. I encounter old people who love to chat because He knows they make my day that much better. He provides me with solitude when I need to realize something I’m just not getting in the quick day-to-day pace. He gave me a family that is everything I needed.
I know that my Heavenly Father knows me – what I struggle with, what makes me happy, and everything in between. And the way He shows me He knows me also shows me He loves me.

The trials I face also prove His love, because they are perfectly tailored to challenge me in ways that require me to turn to Him.
Because that’s all He really wants – for us to turn to Him. So that we can return to Him – our Heavenly Father.
I want that more than anything. And I want you there, too.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to share my happiness and hope I get from the gospel on my brother’s blog  today, and I hope I get to do it through spoken word soon. Because I know He’ll give me a hand.
-Bret, Elder Mortimer’s Sista.

(This man isn't flipping off the camera, he's pointing.)
K see ya.