As mentioned in the last post, Friday’s mail brought an important envelope. I figured we’d have to wait until Saturday for Steven to open it, but he surprised us and arrived home Friday night. So, after showering (it’s typical Steven-behavior that he wouldn’t want to be sandy and grimy), and as part of family scriptures and prayer, he shared with the rest of us that he’s been called to serve in the Mozambique Maputo Mission. He reports to the Provo MTC on August 22nd to learn the Portuguese language. Needless to say, he’s pretty excited, and we’re excited for him.

About the only thing we knew about Mozambique was that it was in Africa. We have a lot to learn! I wasn’t even sure WHERE in Africa it was, but now I can tell you it’s on the east coast, just north of South Africa, and across the channel from Madagascar. There are about 25 million people in the country, with an average life expectancy of 52 years and a literacy rate of 48%. I think Steven better be prepared for some culture shock!

One of the first things Steven noticed was that the Mozambican Independence Day is today – June 25th. (They were under Portuguese rule until 1975.) The other Portuguese colony in Africa, Angola, is also part of this mission. I wonder how many other missions have sections on opposite sides of the continent?

Here are a few sites where we got our information if you want to research it yourself:

Good Old Wikipedia

CIA World Factbook
US Department of State
Nations Online – lots of links
Lonely Planet Guide
Church News – Mozambique Maputo Mission created in January 2005
Church News – new mission president – alumni site

Finally, Elizabeth has a family friend (or a friend of a friend) who set up a blog sharing their mission experiences in Angola – Mission Blog.  Isn’t the internet amazing??  We’ll be sure to keep you posted as preparations continue!

P.S.  I just discovered that the newest link on the side of is an interview with Elder Holland on the church in Africa – Unto All the World: Emerging with Faith in Africa.  I love little miracles and tender mercies like that.