Monday, October 26, 2015

Back in Black (and white)!!!

Hey all! It feels so great to be back on the mission! It's a little weird because I almost feel at home but it's just a little different so that I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing here.
Well, to recap if ya didn't know, I went home and hung out on the couch for a month for the surgery, and then had to slowly work out how to walk again. It was cool to see family and friends and everything, but at the same time it felt like life had kinda moved on without me and that I almost didn't belong at home anymore. Netflix just isn't as fulfilling as helping people to come unto Christ, it seems. Anyways, after a nice trip to Disneyland and a good amount of new movies watched to brag about, I started coming back last Monday.
Now I'm in the grand city of Praia! I'm in an area called Varzea, which really reminds me of my first area on the mission... a lot of hills, a lot of dirt, and I can't really understand what anybody's saying except for a few words here and there. The Creole here is so different that it almost feels like I'm starting the mission over again. Except this time I don't feel as lost haha. I'm in a trio right now with Elder Wendt, who's in his second transfer (which means I am now officially a stepfather) and Elder Andrade, an Elder from Fogo who's waiting for his visa so he can go to São Paulo Brazil. They're awesome companions, and this area has a whole lot of people prepared to recieve the gospel! Oh and I was also put as the District Leader here, which nobody told me about until they asked if I was coming to the District Leader training meeting on Wednesday. So it's been a bit of a crazy ride, but I'm happy to be back in business.
We apparently have an investigator whose name is literally Elton John. Elder Wendt and I laughed when we heard this, but Elder Andrade didn't get it. I guess his music's not all that well-known here. But as to other investigators, we marked a baptismal date for a girl named Jovanna on Saturday. We marked for the 14th of November, and she wanted to move it earlier, but we have Stake Conference on the 7th so that didn't work. It's wonderful to see just how prepared she is to accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ into her life, and I look forward to working more with her. The only problem is that I can't really understand what she's saying half of the time...
For a spiritual thought today I thought I'd share a story about a man that I met in the airport in Lisbon. I started a conversation with him, and it turned out that he was from Germany, so we talked in English. He started by talking about how he went to Maio once every few months to make money selling the art that he makes there. He then proceeded to make some REALLY racist comments about the people of Cabo Verde, my immediate thought to which was to end the conversation as soon as possible. For some reason though, I felt as though I needed to introduce my religion to him, despite my doubts about his interest. He asked me "so how does one become a missionary for your church?" and I replied "Well, I guess you'd have to start by reading the Book of Mormon" and he became very interested in getting one. I didn't have a Book of Mormon on me, but I gave him the September copy of the Ensign that I was reading and told him to check out if he really wanted to know more about what we believe. It was a neat experience, and I a scripture came to my mind. It was the one where Jesus said "I came not to bring the righteous, but the sinners to repentance" and I just thought about how some people are just lost and don't know that what they do is wrong, and that just makes it all the more necessary to invite these people to investigate the Church.
Well, I hope all of you out there are doing as well as you were when I last talked to you. As said in Badiu (Praia Creole), "Nyos fica direto!"
Elder Penner
p.s. They haven't activated my card with money yet, so I've been living off of all of $15 for the last 5 days. I dare you all to achieve what I have.

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