Monday, June 13, 2016

Welcome to Paradise

Hey all! What a wonderful week it's been! I chose this classic Green Day song today, even though the actual lyrics make it more of a satire, because we're welcoming two people into kinds of "paradise" today:

First off, our investigator Adiley (formerly known as Adelei until we filled his baptismal record and realized our mistake lol) was baptized this last weekend! Super spiritual experience. From the first couple of lessons that we've had with him, we've known that he's been ready for baptism for probably a long time now. We barely had to do anything ourselves, we just taught him what he needed to be taught and he did the rest on his own. The Bishop's second counselor, Nuno, is already trying to get us to get Adiley's info into the Church system so they can officially give him the Priesthood. Really cool stuff!
  1. Adiley's baptism!

Our Ward Mission Leader, Chido (shee-doo) he's super cool, and an artist too

Secondly, we're welcoming my replacement into the office today: Elder Neville! I've known him for a little while, ever since Elder Maake trained him in the area next to mine while I was in Varzea. He was born right as I resurrected into the field. I think that he's going to be a really good secretary, and he's got a lot of good energy, which in any place is a good thing. So I'll get to train him for a week, and then it's off to my next area with all the rest of transfers.

The ward had been pretty weak for the past month or so, but especially this week it's been picking up very well. We had a really fun dinner for the Young Single Adults in our ward on Friday, and we brought Adiley so we got to hang around for a while. It was a super good bonding activity, and Adiley got to meet some more friends in a non-church meeting atmosphere. He really wants to get a good friend group in the church, because he doesn't like what he sees youth do here normally, always partying and getting into gang stuff. We're trying to get him to every activity we possibly can.
  1. Our Ward activity we had. It was a YSA dinner thing, we brought Adiley (I'm sitting by him)

Our investigator Mundinho, who's also super cool and best friends with Chido. His family is like a part of the ward now, although they're not getting married until near the end of the year, they say.

Adilson and Ineida are becoming a good part of our ward now! Nuno and his wife Melissa went with us to have a little Noite Familiar at their house last night, and it was super fun. Adilson spent up most of the time ranting (jokingly) about how quiet some people in church are and how he can't hear a thing. The way he was talking about it was super funny, I love the guy. It's really neat to see how his character has changed since I knew him over in Varzea. He's a lot more at peace, and a lot slower to get angry. I think one of my favorite aspects of missionary work is how conversion really changes peoples' character.

On a slightly more humorous aspect, we're still working with Baka, but we just have to face the fact that he's a pretty weird guy. Every time we talk to him he tells us "I read the Book of Mormon every day from 5 to 7 a.m.!" but every time he changes the time that he reads. Every time, he reminds us about how it was HE that contacted US and not the other way around. He also just bursts out into random war stories because he served in some war when he lived in Guinea-Bissau. Our last visit was pretty good, because as we were about to leave he told us "I am the most blessed man in the entire world! Ask me why!" so we asked why and he pulled out 2 copies of the Book of Mormon and said "Last time you visited me, I went to bed with my book here. When I woke up the next day, I found a second book here as well! I'm the most blessed man by our Heavenly Father!" It turns out I had forgotten a copy that I had brought with me that last visit. We laughed pretty hard at that one and agreed with him. As we were walking away he shouted to us, "I'm going to give it to my woman! And if she doesn't accept it, I'll leave her! There's plenty of women out there for me!" We were laughing so hard after that. He's a sincere guy after everything, and he's already been to church a couple of times. We just have to work with him on his drinking problem and he'll be good to baptize as well!

That's all I have time for this week. Super cool stuff! I'm hoping for a great last week here in the office. I'll probably take pictures with a lot of people here, there's some guys that I've become really tight with. But anyways, have a good week all!

Elder Penner

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