This past week was crazy. We had to take buses to Maputo and back twice in two days. It cost us a lot of time and money. It took us away from the work for a lot of hours.
Funny story so as a rule the missionaries aren’t allowed to eat at members homes. One night Elder Abel and I were meeting with a family named Daniel and Rosa and we were all talking than Daniel whispers something to Rosa. She gets up and leaves. Then Daniel proceeds to tell us that he and Rosa talked about it and they have decided to get serious about getting married and baptized. Elder Abel and I congratulate them and then daniel says “to celebrate we made you food” and out of nowhere Rosa comes out and sets these plates of food on our laps. I just look down and look at Elder Abel and he says “I’m sorry man, we’re trapped we have to eat it.” It was this crazy good dish of rice, beans, and chicken (which we didn’t eat) and the entire time home Elder Abel is just apologizing.
But yeah the food we eat here is very normal. We shop at this place called shoprite. Its basically an albertsons. The fruit we buy on the street here is to die for though. In my area we have this really good fruit stand which is like a two minute walk from the church so we buy fruit and go wash it at the church and then eat it. I found out thursday that as of right now,
Elder abel and I have 14 investigators marked with a baptismal date and weill have 20 by the end of this week.
I’m sorry I don’t have any pictures but I haven’t been able to take any because we aren’t allowed to proselyte with our cameras so the only time we take them is on P-days and baptisms. I found out today that since I left on the mission I have lost a bit of weight. I’m pretty sure that’s all been here. I sweat a lot during the day and I never eat very much. I eat enough to stay healthy though. Love you all can’t wait to hear from you next week.
Mozambique is crazy. The second we stepped out of the airport the culture shock got real. Everyone was way friendly and waved to all these pale white guys. A lot of the kids here just stare at me as I walk past. One little girl walked past me and my companion and kept saying “chong chong ching chong ching”. I looked at Elder Abel and I was like “What’s that about?” and he said that all the little kids here think that people who aren’t black are chinese. That cracked me up.
Just so everyone knows my companion is Elder Abel, he is from southern Oregon, has been out for a little less than a year,he is the district leader of our district as well as my trainer, speaks fluent Portuguese and a little bit of the dialect here that helps us make friends.
I am not directly in Maputo actually. I am currently in the Matola zone serving in Matola 1. All of our lessons take place out doors in these plastic lawn chairs. This is because the insides of houses are to hot for anyone to stay in. Everyone is outside all the time here. Yesterday we had a lesson outside this house that was 4 wooden poles dug into the ground with tarps hung over the top of it. The people here are so humble and willing to accept the gospel its amazing.
I started with Elder Abel Friday night. This is already an amazing story so pay attention. It was Friday night we were out walking around making contacts, and we see a man and his wife sitting out in their yard with their baby. We go up and talk about their baby, it was brand new. We asked if we could come and meet them the next day and teach them a message about the restoration. He gets excited and says yes. So we go Saturday, teach a great lesson and ask them to be baptized, they say yes and we are happy. We remind them that we have church on Sunday and we’d love to see him and his wife there. Thankfully they come. I sit with them and talk with them between meetings about what they think so far and they both really liked it. Then Sunday night we went to thank them for coming and follow up about it. We were outside their house knocking when they came up behind us. We talked to them and found out that they were just having dinner with some friends and were looking at a house in the area for their friends to rent out. Olfoso then tells us that he invited his friend to come to church with him next week and meet with the missionaries (us) as well. He’s only known about our church for 3 days and he’s already doing missionary work. It’s such a blessing. We are currently teaching 13 families and most of them are working on getting married and baptized. Its amazing here teaching these people.
Just so everyone knows I don’t have any pictures right now but the ones you will see my head will be shaved. An Elder shaved it all down and gave me a three all over. Its weird but feels way better. So if you liked my hair sorry. I have been sun burnt for the past 3 days which is good because I got a lot of weird looks cuz I was so white. So, I have no hair and am either sun burnt or tan everywhere else. An elder from Cape Verde (Island off of west coast of Africa) told all the new elders we’d look like him in about a week. It was funny.The jet lag wore off after my first night in the field. I fell asleep right away. I haven’t slept with a blanket since I’ve been here because it’s too hot and I’m too tired. I haven’t been able to lie in my bed for more than 5 minutes without falling asleep. Our room does have an air conditioner which makes it livable.
It’s too risky to send packages, but mail is generally alright. Just don’t put anything valuable in it. And if you do put like a picture of the Virgin Mary or Jesus somewhere visible.
Love you all so much can’t wait to here from you next week.
Elder Keck with President & Sister Kretly on day 1 in the field
Elder Keck with his MTC District at the Maputo airport with President & Sister Kretly
We received a sweet email from President Kretly WITH pictures! I guess for a little background, I should put the email I sent to President Kretly first followed by his response:
I am Elder Keck’s mom and see on Elder Reinstein’s blog that his family got an email with a picture of you, Sister Kretly and Elder Reinstein. We suspect that our son does not remember our email addresses. For your information, our email addresses are LisaKeck@everettlaw.com and Brad.Keck@mail.com (his was recently changed so Nate might not have had that one!). We are so grateful for your service and are so happy Elder Keck gets to serve with you!
We receive them here and today we have a dinner with them. Elder Keck looks a very strong missionary in all aspects! But we can fell the very good spirit and the desire to do the work. He arrives very well and will work in Maputo City, the capital of Mozambique. Thanks for prepare a great servant of The Lord!
At the Phoenix airport – Elder Keck with Elder Hunsaker, Elder Badger, Elder Reinstein, and Elder Dustin
Nate called last night from Johannesburg at about 10:00 p.m. our time and we got to talk to him for about 45 minutes before he boarded the plane for the last leg of his journey to Maputo. He was pretty exhausted but excited to be nearing his destination. He said it was VERY hot and sticky there in Johannesburg (and it was only 8 a.m.!)
Just in case I missed you earlier, I’m attaching the photo taken by a woman at the Phoenix airport. Nate told us last night that when she saw them she told them that she had two sons who had served missions and asked them if anyone wanted to use her cell phone to call home (which some who hadn’t yet been able to do that did) and then took their picture and had them all write down their parents cell phone numbers or email address so she could send the picture to us.
Nate got sick after landing in London (had trouble with the plane driving around on the ground) but the flight to Johannesburg was better. On the flight to London he said he and the other tallest missionary in his district were both stuck in the very middle of the middle row of the plane. On the flight to Johannesburg they told the other missionaries they were with that they got the aisle seats and didn’t care where their tickets said they were supposed to sit so had more leg room on that flight. Some of us will never know just how hard it is to be tall!
He said it cost him $95 (!) to check his 2nd bag! Wow! But it’s worth it! I couldn’t imagine trying to go to Africa without that 2nd bag.
Nate says that his teachers at the MTC thought that they would be comfortable with the language within about four months. He also said that the rumor about going on a safari with President Kretley was a false rumor L He DID get to dry clean his suit before he left which was concerning me. Now that I think about it, I bet that’s why he was wearing just a shirt & tie in the picture with Mike & April. Nate says that Mike & April got to spend last weekend at Cherise’s! I had no idea senior missionaries got such great perks!
Elder Keck (middle) with his Aunt April and Uncle Mike Dever who are getting ready to leave to Liberia on 3/7/14 (see link to their mission blog on the right).