Angola Luanda Mission
a Mission Region of the Mozambique Maputo Mission

A Mission Region of the Mozambique Maputo Mission

A Mission Region of the Mozambique Maputo Mission

Monday, April 30, 2012

April 30, 2012

Fam, Thanks everyone for the letters, I do not have a lot of time to write, so sorry if I do not respond but thank you so much for the letters and keep writing me because they really do lift me up!! Thanks so much!!

(What is your schedule?) … but pretty much what you said finding, teaching, strengthening members. We do not knock a lot of doors here, we normally just walk around and try and talk to people and a lot of times people will just call us over or come up to us and want to know what two white guys in shirts and ties are doing. 

The language is pretty difficult to understand, they just speak with a weird accent so it is really hard to understand, but I am getting better at it.

We have some Branch problems right now because pretty much everyone here are converts, and they do not understand really how to be leaders, so we are in the process of doing that. No I have not played the piano yet... sorry. The branch is called Luanda 2, my area is Luanda 2B, there are a few families but there are a lot of single members. Luanda 2 is split into two parts but we have one branch so we have 4 areas that are in the same area more or less and they live with us.

Yeah they are looking for a new apartment, I am not really sure how to describe it, but it is pretty gross you could say:) Hopefully we will be able to find a new house in the nest week or two. But we are safe it is not really dangerous here. …Well right now we do not have any power in our house right now, so we actually slept outside last night because it gets so hot. So we do not have any running water or anything. 

We email pretty much at this little small room that has computers in it. Today we got permission to email from a member’s home. She is actually American and so we are at their house right now. …I only have about an hour to read and right, but the Internet is really slow so sometimes less.

Breakfast and lunch we eat at our house and we eat dinner with the members sometimes…I do not have money yet because my card does not work but we just have a debit card we use.

Thanks everyone for the letters again. I have still been having a really hard time, but all of the letters have really helped me a lot. Thanks so much I love you all!!!!  You are great!!!

Mission Blog: Our new missionaries were still in the MTC during April General Conference and they all got to sing in the Conference Center for the Saturday afternoon session.  We decided to watch a replay and see if we could spot Elders Tilley, Hansen, and Wilhelm.  Happily we saw them all.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

April 24, 2012 (1st regular Email from Africa)

So I wrote this long email and then my computer shut off and it did not save my email in the drafts and now I do not have as much time to write.

My companion is great. He is a convert of about 4 years, and he loves to work hard and help the people here. His name is Elder Rainbolt.

My New Companion...Elder Rainbolt
But it is pretty crazy here, all of the homes in the area I am in are pretty much shacks. Angola has rich parts and then crazy poor parts, but the rich parts are obviously not as nice as the US. Where the people live there are just dirt roads everywhere and no names to any of them you just have to know where you are going. Also there is trash everywhere it is pretty crazy! Also there are a lot of stray dogs and chickens. The few main roads are pretty crazy packed and there are no traffic rules so sometimes it is pretty scary. Also to get to the other side of the road you have to just walk across whenever you can, and so that is pretty scary a lot of times.

So someone went through my bags when they flew from the US to Angola, so I did not see my bags for a couple of days and when I got them in Angola they looked like they had been messed with and my ipod and camera cords to charge my camera were gone, so that was kind of a bummer. My companion said that an elder here might have a charger that I can use, but if not he said we can try and figure something out, but we will see.

It is actually pretty safe here in Angola. I looks really scary and the places we go look really scary and I would not go on these streets if we were in the US, but all the streets are pretty much like that, but people here are pretty nice and alot of them like to help you if they can even if you do not know them. Several people have helped us with getting different places.

We also have to take these blue van taxies pretty much everywhere and we get off a certain place and then walk to someone’s house, but these taxies are pretty crazy. Imagine the frame of an old old old van with in an engine in the front, and that is pretty much what it is, and then they cram as many people as they can in them, so that is fun!

My house is pretty crazy, it actually is pretty big, but it is very dirty and pretty much no way to clean it. We have ants and bugs pretty much running on the counters all of the time and flies and mosquitoes everywhere. It is pretty intense. Also our shower is right outside the front door which is also right outside the front door of the chapel and there are no doors on it, it is just a pipe out of the ground that goes above your head and then a drain at your feet, so we have to wear shorts when we shower, but I was still a little nervous to shower on Sunday because people were coming to church, but luckily I finished before anyone came. Anyways that is pretty much the basics of Angola. I love you guys thanks so much for the emails.

Mission Blog:We had rides for each of the duplas to their areas. Elder Tilley happened to be with President Walton and the official mission camera, so one final picture in front of his temporary home at the Luanda 2 chapel.
So President Walton said friends can email you a letter and then you can just forward them to me, that is if anyone wants to email me... just so you know.

Dad…This past few days have been the hardest days of my life. I cannot really explain it has just been very very difficult for me and it is sometimes really hard to stay focused and really get to work. I always try and work hard, but most of the time it is really hard to find the desire to. I do not know it has just been really hard to really get out and do this. Please pray for me! I just wanted to let you know! Love you so much Pops!!!!!!!!! Elder TIlley

Saturday, April 21, 2012

April 21, 2012 (Safe in Africa)

Elder Hansen, Wilhelm and Tilley arrive in Angola
6:45am (From Sister Walton’s email address) . . 2:45pm Angola time
I am here in Africa safe and sound!! Sister Walton said I can send a quick note. I am going to be serving in Luanda for this transfer. I think my trainer is going to be awesome! Living conditions I are pretty intense, but they are trying to move us to another apartment as soon as possible. I actually think we sleep outside and take showers outside. Crazy! Love you family I will email again on Monday!

Pray for me!!! Love you Elder Tilley
Last Saturday we received 3 more missionaries from the Provo MTC.  
The greeting committee included President and Sister Walton and Zone Leaders... 
(They) were understandably tired, but all they could say once they left the airport was they 
couldn't believe they were in Angola.  
They've brought with them the MTC fire and they are ready to go!

Welcome to Angola!
(From President Walton)
Dear Brother & Sister Tilley-
We are very grateful to have Elder Tilley here in Angola. I know Elder Tilley sent you a quick email saying they sleep and shower outside.  I think I need to explain that a little.  They did sleep outside last night, but it is in the locked “compound” of the Luanda 2 Branch chapel.  The generator ran out of fuel a few days ago and we were not able to get fuel delivered until today. Without the generator, there was no AC.  It was so hot in the apartment, the missionaries decided to sleep outside.  The missionaries have been showering outside (with shorts) because we have been unable to get the septic tank fixed.  The shower is the outdoor shower for the pool (empty).  The tank should be fixed on Monday, but we are searching for another apartment.  I want the missionaries out of there as soon as possible.  Sister Walton will soon have more pictures on her “blog”:
Thank you. 
President Walton

Mission Blog: 
Once the training was over, the companions and areas were revealed, it was time to head out.  But Elder Tilley was overcome from the more than 24 hours that he had been traveling to Angola. 

Mission Blog: Elders Hansen  and Wilhelm thought it was funny, but they were struggling as well!  

Mission Blog:  One final picture of the group of three on the mission home balcony and it is time to go.   

Monday, April 16, 2012

April 16, 2012

Yes I will be able to call. I am not sure when though. The only thing that the MTC Presidency said was that we could. So I am going to talk with my Branch President to see if I can call all my family, and how long I can for. So maybe tell everyone to keep their cell phones on them from Thursday to Saturday Morning just in case.

Hmm yeah I really do enjoy listening to all of the stories. Weirdly enough it kind of helps me to be less home sick because it feels kind of like I am there with you guys, going through the whole experience with you guys. I will let you know if it becomes too distracting though, but right now I love hearing the stories. Elder Russel M. Ballard came and spoke to us yesterday, and it was really good. He spoke about Preach My Gospel and how to teach, and also that what we are doing right now (being on a mission) is exactly what the Lord wants us to be doing. It has been crazy how many apostles I have had the opportunity to listen to here!! I am really grateful!!

Well I am considered a Solo right now, so I don’t really have a companion, but I just go with the Zone Leaders, well they just got released so they are not any more, But one of them is awesome! I really like him a lot and he is a really good Kid and Missionary! ... So the rest of my district is at the airport right now about to fly out! I love my district a lot, but man it was so hard!! Yesterday I had a “departing interview” with my Branch President and the first thing he said to me was I am so sorry for what you have had to go through! Ha I am just glad that I have already learned that I grow the most spiritually when I am going through hard times. I love you mom!! I will talk with you Thursday or maybe Friday or maybe Saturday or maybe all threeJ Haha just kidding!! Love you

Wow!! I love you so much Dad!! How was the birthday!!? Big 47! So I have not really heard your opinion on Chelsy. Is she a keeper? I hope all is well at work and stuff and things are going well. Keep up the great work! And continue to follow what the Lord wants you to do! Thank you so much for what you and Mom have taught me. A lot of times I think to myself, why don’t these missionaries get it? And I think it is because they did not have as great of parents as I do! Thank you so much! Love you!
Oh one of the members of the branch presidency told us that Mitt Romney was the Republican Candidate for President! That is pretty cool! Hopefully he will be able to stick it out! Elder Tilley

Thanks so much man for the letter! Things have been pretty difficult, but I know it has helped me to become a stronger personal and will help me in the long run! There are several things that I have learned here and things that I have really began to embrace. And one of those things so that I am a Son of God! Literally! I think most of the time when we think this; it is kind of like “yeah I am a son of god and prince and a king… but not really.” But one of the things that I have learned is that I really am a LITERAL Son of God!!

Monday, April 9, 2012

April 9, 2012

Becca-…Yes I saw the picture (David Archuletta), my Branch President gave me the Newspaper with that picture so that was pretty cool!! I kind of know him, but not really. I have just talked to him once… Yeah I do like him, I think he is really down to earth! Way to Jimmer it up!! Keep it up and work hard!! Catz is definitely hard!!! But you will definitely get a lot stronger and more explosive from it. You can send letters if you want (to my friends on missions), it might be a little bit weird, but on a mission it does not really matter who it is from, it is just really up lifts your day when you get mail!! Keep up the hard work Bec, Spiritually, Academically, and Physically! In that order! If you keep STUDYING, not just reading, but studying the scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon then the Lord will help change your life in ways you could not imagine! And when you put the Lord first in everything that you do and focus on others more than yourself, the Lord will help you academically and physically! I know this for a fact!  Keep up the hard work! I had the thought/feeling the other day that Becca was going to serve a mission! That would be so sick!!! It has been really hard for me so far, but I have grown so much in such a short amount of time, I cannot wait to see what the Lord will help me to become by the end of my mission! Love you Becs!! Love your favorite Youngest, Oldest Brother!! Elder Tilley

Mom,…It looks like Preston knows how to respond to the promptings of the Holy Ghost already! That is amazing! No I cannot believe it (going to Africa), I am getting a little bit nervous and excited at the same time. … we got our itinerary this past Friday. It is pretty intense, we have a 10 hour lay over in London so that will be a lot of fun! I will try and take a picture of the itinerary and send it on the SD card. Oh but my whole district leaves a week from Today, but I do not leave until a week from Thursday, I do not know why they did that, but it will be an interesting. … That will be interesting getting new a New Mission President. I am a little bit bummed because I think I will Love Sister Walton.

Easter was really good! We had a Devotional with the whole MTC at 9:00 AM with President Packer and Elder Packer, his son in the seventy. It was really cool because we took the Sacrament in the meeting, it was a cool experience.

So I was able to watch the Character of Christ again … at the very end he said so if you have been listening to the Spirit you have some homework to do, and he gave us a suggestion for what we should do. And he said we should get an inexpensive paper back book of Mormon and think of a question you have and then study the Book of Mormon with that question in mind and then when you are done pray about it and write a half page summary of what you have learned and then do it again with another question. It was really cool because that is pretty much exactly what you do! Thanks for the example! Also this time when I listened to his talk instead of writing down what he said I only wrote down what the Spirit was telling me It was awesome!! Love you mom! I Pray for you each day!!! Love your little missionary!! Elder Tilley

Preston-Haha Ironically enough the thought came to me to lift up my foot and touch his arm But when I started to raise my foot I realized I still wouldn’t be able to reach him very good and I do not know how well that would have went over, so I refrained myself from doing it. How was Thatcher and the huge Dog? Was it pretty sweet!? Nice Job in the school work! Keep working hard man!! So when do Josh and Jalin know if the little bean is a boy or girl? You will have to tell me when they know! Do you know if you are going to get your Patriarchal Blessing yet? My Blessing is so important to me and every time I read it, it really strengths me and lifts me up when I am having a hard time. Just Yesterday I decided to read it and it just brings peace to my heart! I love you so much man! Keep up the hard work! P.S. If you could help take care of Mom for me while I am gone that would be great! She really needs help right now from some little Angels and you can be that Angel. Thanks man!:) Love you Bro!! Elder Tilley

Thanks for that letter man!! I just read it and I am so pumped right now! I am having flashbacks to when we were in the Temple we would be walking towards a mirror and you would pretend to pull your sword out! Thanks a lot for your example and your love for me! Thanks for having my back because I know you do!! I think I am ready to go “shake hell!” in Africa. Elder Tilley

Mom, That is crazy that sister B. is getting married! Tell her congratulations for me! I think the airport in London is called Heathrow Airport (LHR) or something like that. I should be able to call home at some point when we are flying to Angola, but I am not sure of all the rules or anything, so we will see, I will let you know next Monday!  Love you Mom! Have a great week! I will be praying for you!

Elder Tilley

Monday, April 2, 2012

April 2, 2012

 … I am not sure why I was chosen (interview with the Brazilian newspaper). They just called us over the intercom one day and told us to go to this specific room, so that was pretty cool. I will try and get on my email one more time today in the next half hour or so, before I am off for the day, just incase you want to know anything else or if anyone else responded! Love you guys!!

…Yes I did get to see myself sing (in General Conference), I just got onto and skipped to the singing part. I am glad I was a good shot of me for you guys to see. I was really praying that there would be a good shot of meJ. We practiced every morning for about an hour for the past week and a half or so. We took the bus to the conference center at 9:45 AM and listened to about an hour of the first session on the bus. We got to the center and went to in a side room and practice for a while. Then we went through some tunnels and entered into the conference center. IT was really cool to see everything from the choir seats. After the session we walked back through the tunnels and got back to the busses and got back to the MTC just before the Priesthood session started. We were not aloud to take anything with us to the conference center so I could not take notes, so I was not able to take notes for all of the Saturday sessions, so that was not very fun. … Russell M. Nelson came up and talked to us for just a little bit. So that was fun. Because I was in the second row, I could not see any of the Apostles or prophet very well, I could not really see the pulpit either, so that was kind of a bummer. I could see and read the transparent glass that they use for their talks though. It was kind of weird though because I could read part of their talk before they even said it. Yes, I did know (David Archuletta) he was right in front of me. I actually talked to him for a little bit. He is a really shy person believe it or not, but I think he is a really good kid. He was been the talk of the town here at the MTC. They did seating arrangements by height so that is just kind of how it worked out. I probably could have tried to stand next to him, but I didn’t. that is pretty cool that my picture was in the Desert News! I think my favorite talk was the one that talked about Judging others. I am not sure who it was by. I do not know why, but it was really hard to get what I normally get out of Conference when I am home. But it was really nice to hear the Prophet’s and Apostles voices.

We go to the Temple every Monday morning, and if we do a session it is normally the 7:20 session, but sometimes we do initiatory or sealing’s. (Africa) I am really excited and scarred, both at the same time!! J It is kind of a weird feeling, but I really want to go and start trying to teach people at least! J I have not heard anything else about my visa. When I went to New York I got a paper that said I would leave on my departure date. When I went to New York I just went and signed for it, so once it is processed they will send it to the MTC I think, but I will not know if my visa got here until about a week before I leave or so.

I love you Mom! Sorry for all of the stupid things I did before my Mission that would make you and Dad worry about me. I have really started to see how awesome our family really is. It is incredible how you and Dad have raised us! Thank you so much!! Love you! Your Son Forever!!!
Elder Tilley

Elder Knighton
Braden,…So do you want to teach me a little bit about what you know or believe about the Spirit of the Law and the letter of the law. It has been hard for me because I do not really understand it yet. My companion is a great missionary and is really trying his best, but sometimes does not see the need to be on time to different things, and things like that, and I feel that it would be just better to go along with then to have contention arise and drive away the Spirit. Also a lot of times I am in bed saying prayers and I finish my prayers past 10:30.  I am constantly feeling like I am not being exactly obedient and that I am not doing my best because of these things. Also some of the times our district is just laying in bed past 10:30 just talking, and I feel that sometimes this is when we have become closest together, but then I always feel bad because I am not being obedient. I am sure you probably had some of the same thoughts and feelings, so I just wanted to ask.
Thanks for writing me! I love you man!!
Elder Tilley