Reminder to those who haven't already done so to give thank. It's a very different thing than giving thanks. I couldn't tell you how, though. You just gotta figure it out for yourself.
Monday, November 30, 2015
Monday, November 23, 2015
I put this title because this week I've really thought about the Infinite Atonement of Jesus Christ and just how much importance that it has for each and every one of us. So I put down the title of a nice U2 song, although a better title would just be "you can't make it on your own." We truly can't make it on our own. We need Jesus Christ. We need what He did for us. We need His love. We need to be on His side so that we can recieve His constant help for the struggles that we pass through in our lives.
This week went by quick as heck, as the last week of the transfer normally does, but I'll try to remember a few things that happened.
Sadly, it doesn't look like we have anyone prepared to be baptized this month. Giovana has been forgetting about our appointments, Zekinha said he had a hard time getting to both our church and his (he has a problem with a swollen foot, kinda like I had, haha) and Ginana hasn't been progressing as well as we had anticipated. As hard as we tried, it seems as though it's not going to happen. We're of course still working harder than ever here. But we did have a lot of really cool things happen this week.
I seem to keep forgetting that I'm the District Leader here. I don't know why. My district calls me every night like they're supposed to and I remember that I'm supposed to check up on them. I almost forgot to prepare for District Meeting last week, so this week I decided to be a little more prepared. I'm getting the hang of it.
We went on a division with the Zone Leaders last week. I stayed here with Elder Willes, while Elder Wendt left with Elder Clegg. Elder Willes is an awesome teacher. Our investigator Helton Djon (Elton John) has been struggling with the idea of marriage, and he's been on the bridge about it. Elder Willes just went in there and explained very clearly that it's a decision that has to be made with him, his girlfriend, and God. He seemed to be a bit more open to the idea once he realized that the decision wasn't just his to make. I like that, I'm going to start using that more.
I almost forgot! I finally figured out where President Mathews' house is, and It's almost literally right across the street from our own house! The Zone Leaders had to go to a meeting in the middle of our division, so we all went there and Elder Wendt and I stayed in another room talking to Sister Mathews. It was funny because Elder Clegg and Elder Wendt weren't ready and made us late, and Elder Lopes (assistant to the president) was getting really mad and talking them off for wasting time. Elder Wendt just slipped a piece of candy into his hand, and Elder Lopes' expression just lit up and he just went "awwww." We laughed so hard.
The next day, we went on another division with the Secretaries, who are in our district. I went to their area with Elder Ruffer while Elder Wendt stayed with Elder Farnsworth. I like Elder Ruffer's way of teaching as well. Elder Ruffer's strong point is making promises with his investigators. He makes them specific, and lets them know that the promises are inspired. While we were there, we talked with a person who didn't seem to think that it was fair that Jesus Christ suffered for every one of us, when he did no sin. And he's kind of right. Jesus Christ never needed to suffer for us. It was never something that He was forced to do. He did it out of pure love for our Heavenly Father and for us. We cannot suffer for our own sins. The burden would be too great for any one of us to bear. So He did it for us. It is the single greatest act of love ever performed.
Last but not least, Transfers! It looks like Elder Wendt and I are going to stay here in Varzea for another one, which is cool. We just got here, we didn't really want to leave yet. I saw Elder Bannerman for the first time since the MTC today! He and Elder Maake make the only two Elders that I've seen from the group I came here with. I hear Elder Wakeham's going to Mindelo. Lucky.
Wishing you all are well, and an abraço,
Monday, November 16, 2015
Well, I'm sitting here trying to remember what the heck happened this week, I seem to have forgotten just about everything. I don't really remember the 21st night of September, sorry, Earth, Wind, and Fire...Well, we had a Zone Conference this past Wednesday. Elder and Sister Dyches, of the Seventy, were there as well. They gave really good trainings on the power and authority of our callings, and how we could improve our planning skills every day. I learned a lot of new stuff, and applying it has helped me out so much, it's incredible. I have an even greater testimony that all General Authorities of the Church are called for a reason. Also, President Mathews talked a lot on how our first few moments with people are. At times we like to take a lot of time getting to know the person and their background before we even speak a word of our message. He showed us that the very first thing that we should share is a message about the Restoration of the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is what truly testifies to people that we truly are representatives of Jesus Christ and that we bear His message. I saw a stark difference in how people reacted to our message as we switched to this way of contacting, and it's truly helped out the work.
We also have Ginana, a boy in his 20s who seems to like our message, but he's pretty quiet in nature. We also learned that he has a medical condition where he can't understand much of what he reads, so we're going to try to read more of the Book of Mormon together with him. We learned something a little funny yesterday, so the last visit we brought some of the Young Single Adult women, because they've been dying to leave with us for a while. Well, he apparently thought that we were trying to woo him to come to church with some attractive girls... We laughed at that, and we figured that we should be a little more careful about that in the future. It's good to hear how people think of us from a member's point of view, it helps us to learn how we can keep better appearances.
Monday, November 9, 2015
Well, this week was a pretty eventful one, so it flew by pretty quickly! I can't believe it's P-Day, and I can't believe that we only have 2 more weeks until next transfer! The missionary lifestyle is such a fast one. I recommend it if you need to pass a couple of years as quickly as possible.I guess I'll get the bad news out of the way first: Jovana (Giovana?) is even less sure about being baptized on the 14th, and we think that a lot of it has to do with the influence of her mother. She just doesn't think that she's prepared enough to be baptized so soon. I want to talk to her more about the decisions that she makes and how the Lord can help her to follow through with these decisions. Especially when we are baptized and recieve the Gift of the Holy Ghost, the Lord can and will help us through any rough patches in life, as long as we choose to follow His will. Well, I'll give you the update next week on whether or not the 14th will happen, I guess. We're praying for her.
Monday, November 2, 2015
Soo I don't really know exactly why I chose this title for my email. It's a Tame Impala song. I guess I just like the concept about how even though we can change something about ourselves, it doesn't necessarily mean that we're magically going to stop making our old mistakes. I like to think of myself as a brand new person, a newly reinvigorated missionary, but at the same time I can see the parts that were holding me back last time start to show. I guess I just really need to work at it, one thing at a time, to mold myself into the kind of missionary that I aspire to be now.
I really want to talk about my area and the cool things about it. Varzea's a pretty big area, it encompasses all of Praia 3rd Ward. There are a solid 80 active members, and from the looks of it at least 50 inactive members, so there's a lot to do in that area. We also have a lot of investigators here, especially families, which is awesome. The only problem is that none of them are married, so we have that as a big focus in our work right now. It almost seems that we mark more dates for marriages than we mark dates for people to be baptized!
I think one of the coolest things about our area is that there's a big old cemetery right in the middle, and we always walk in a little path right above it and it just gives us the greatest view. It also means that a lot of funerals pass by, which means that the streets can get absolutely crowded at times. When someone dies in Cape Verde, everyone who ever knew them comes to the funeral, even if they only met in Kindergarden. The other day there were 3 funerals coming in at the same time, and we almost couldn't get through!
As for people, they couldn't be any better. We finally met Elton John the other day, and he just seems fascinated with just about everything we believe him. We started talking about the Atonement and he was like "you guys always have the biggest smiles when you talk about Jesus Christ" and we were like "well, yeah! He means so much to us that we can't help but smile!" and it was just a really neat experience. We also met an Adventist who agreed to talk with us, her name's Leila. She's talked with the missionaries before and really enjoys our message, but she's also very hooked on the idea that Saturday should be the Sabbath, because that's what the Bible says. It doesn't help that the word for Saturday and Sabbath are the same, Sábado. I think that as she reads the Book of Mormon and as we talk to her, the Holy Ghost can begin to work with her.
Jovana, our date for the 14th, has been progressing very well, except for the fact that she didn't get to church this Sunday! She apparently partied too hard the night before, and couldn't get up. We were disappointed, but we explained why it was important to keep the Sabbath Day holy and she seems to understand now. We also ran into another problem: her mother doesn't think she's prepared enough to be baptized that early. She belongs to another Christian faith, and she strongly believes that you have to be certain that you're going to follow the path that you're on. We talked to her about how we can get a confirmation for ourselves that the church is true, and we show our committment to follow it through baptism, which opens the door to the true path, but she seemed to look at baptism as more of an end goal. We're going to talk with her more about it, because without her permission, Jovana can't be baptized because she's not 18 yet.
I've come to notice that Elder Wendt and Elder Andrade have somewhat clashing personalities, but it actually works towards our working more effectively. Elder Andrade is pretty laid back (at times to the point of laziness and wanting to just hang around), but he loves the work and especially loves to contact people and connect with them on a personal level. Elder Wendt is a little more conscious about the time and analyzing when we should be at our next appointment or what would be a most effective use of our time. When we started, there was a little shakiness, but now that we know each other fairly well, we're working pretty effectively and seeing good results on a numerical and spiritual level. There's always room to improve though, of course.
Wow, I've been writing a couple of long updates. There's just so much for me to tell. Don't expect every one to be so lengthy, though I'll try! Hope you all have a Fantasmic week!