December 5, 2011
Hello my lovely family and friends,
It has been a looooong time since I have written to everyone, and I appologize for that. A lot has happened and I do not even know where to start...
Last transfer I was transferred to Praia (again) and was working as General Secretary in the mission office. All though I leanred a lot, I am sooooooooo happy to be out of there!! Two weeks ago I was transferred to a little beach/mountain town called Mosteiros on the island of Fogo. I am here training another mini missionary, Sister Da Costa, from Assomada, Santiago. We are the FIRST Sisters to EVER serve here in Mosteiros. There has never been sisters here before. I think its because of how difficult of an area it is to walk. We have the LARGEST area in all of the mission split with another companionship of Elders. The Elders live a 45 minute walk from us so we only see them when when things happen at the church.
The branch here is so great. There has only been one set up elders working here in Mosteiros here for months and they have worked hard. About 4 months ago the branch of Mosteiros had only about 30 active members. Yesterday there were a grand total of 125 people at church yesterday!!! So it is growing like crazy...thanks to the hard work of the elders. Our Mission President wants to create 2 branches here come the first of January. The Elders will have a new branch up in their area and we will continue to have the branch in our area. The problem is, we currently have 3 active members in our entire area that takes 2 and a half hours to cross on foot...like if we start on one far point of our area and walk to the other furthese point of our area, it will be 2 and a half hours before covering our entire area. And on top of that, in two weeks we will be taking over the mountains (if you see the pictures I sent you will see those great big mountains....up at the top of those mountains is currently the Elders area, but we are gonna have to start hiking straight up it and take over the town up there in 2 weeks) and one other large zone of the Elders...because it will all become one branch. Then the rest of Mosteiros that wraps around over towards the volcano will become another branch that the Elders will be working with. So lots and lots is going on here and it is very exciting.
Our area is beautiful. It reminds me of Hawaii. Like how you are RIGHT on the coast, but also have the giant green mountains right there. I am a little nervous to take over the mountains. I takes about an hour to hike straight up them on a rugged trail that goes straight up. I heard its hard and super tiring. But up top is where they have all the banana, orange and other big fruit and tropical trees are. So it will all be worth it.
As far as holidays go...they blow here in the mission. For Thanksgiving I forgot that it was even Thanksgiving until I was writing in my journal that night and it suddenly dawned on me. Pretty lame. But seeing that Im the only American for miles, nobody celebrates it for me to really remember. I did just get a big Thanksgiving package from my lovely and amazing mother though on Friday, and me and my comp are going to cook up a good feast tomorrow.
I am not sure if Christmas will be any better then Thanksgiving was. People are so poor here that they dont have money to really celebrate it here. I heard unless you were in an area with a "missionary couple" serving near by, Christmas often times is just like any other normal day in the mission. And I DEFINATLY have no missionary couple near by...nor do we have any missionaries that are really near by. But us 6 companionships of missionaries that are here on the island of Fogo (that would be 12 missionaries in total), are gonna maybe try and have a small Christmas celebration the Thursday or Friday before. We will see. But, either way, I will get to talk to family that day...and that is always very exciting.
Well, I am pleased to say that I am very happy right now and am loving my new area, companion, and the mission. It is truly an adventure. We are working hard and looks like we will be having lots of success here in Mosteiros. The future will tell. All I know, with faith and trust in the Lord, all is possible!
I love you all and have a wonderful week!
Sister Taryn Beus