Hello family and friends,
Happy Mothers Day yesterday to all of you lovely Mothers! Family, it was really good to hear and talk to you all on Saturday. It is weird that I will not talk to you again until Christmas.
Anyways, I have finally made it past my first week here in Sal, Cabo Verde. Things are going really really well...especially since Sister Walker and I are starting from scratch with an empty area book. We already have 5 of our investigators marked for baptisms. Our first baptism will be on the 28th of this month. Sister Walker and I are both excited because the baptisms will be in the ocean! It is the only island now that they do that because it is the only island without an actual church building with a baptismal font.
More then half of our work has been focused on visiting inactive or less active members. I think I mentioned last week that there are 407 registered members here on the island of Sal but only 46 are active. Of the 407, 172 are women who should be in Relief Society...but currently only 14 of the 172 are active and going to church. Tomorrow the Relief Society president (Luci) is going to go with us for a few hours around the island to visit and mark appointments with a large amount of these inactive women. Then we are going to see if we cant get them to start coming again.
Church yesterday was really great. We walked around our area and picked up 16 investigators on our way to church to make sure they came. It was like a parade as we walked up to the building where we hold church cause there was a good number of us. It was neat that we got so many to actually come. We had marked 21 to come to church...so getting 16 of them to go was really good.
Yesterday we also had a lesson marked with a less active member. His name is Samuel. He is in his late 30s and is actually from Ghana. He doesnt speak Portuguese though which is interesting. He only speaks French, some African language from where he is from, Sanpadjute Creole, and very broken English. We met him last week on one of our very first days here as we were walking through one of the neighborhoods. He walked up to us ont he streets and began talking to us in his broken English. He told us he was baptized in January into the "Church of the Elders" (that is what the LDS/Mormon church is referred to as here...not LDS, not Mormon...Church of the Elders). We tried avoiding him all week because he seemed a little sketchy and his English was also difficult to understand. But by the 3rd encounter we had with him in the street during our week he made us feel guilty for avoiding him and really wanted us to come by. So thats what we did yesterday. We went to his home and we all sat in a circle on the ground because he had no chairs in his one bedroom home. We had one of our young woman members with us who did not understand anything he was saying since it was English. Sister Walker was being kind of weird and was refusing to speak English because she said she did not know how to teach in English and felt awkward. So basically it turned out being a 30 minute conversation between this man from Ghana and myself as I battled with him the importance of going to church and living life in faith, while Sister Walker sat and translated the entire conversation/lesson into Portuguese for our member who was with us. In the end, he commited to come to church next week and we have another appointment marked with him this Thursday, which we are making the President of the Branch come to with us. It was one of the more interesting lessons we have had so far...mainly because it was in Broken English and just WEIRD.
We are also teaching this 15 year old girl named Andreia. She is really interested in the church and has been reading a ton from the Book of Mormon every day this last week. She has a few other friends who are members and has commented on how happy she sees them and how she wants that same happiness in her life. The only problem is, is that her mother is really sketchy and turned off by us and the church. Adreia actually was taught by Elders already months ago and had a marked baptisimal date. But her mother finally chased them off and said never to come over again and that her daughter will never get baptized and that she can never go back to church. So when we met her in the street a few days ago and she told us all of this, we were a little worried about facing her mother and trying to get permission to continue teacher her. Our first encounter with the mother went really well. For the first 10 minutes or so she had a very disgusted and turned off mood towards us. But after we talked to her about how allowing her daughter to take the lessons ago and attend church would better her life and change the way she does everything from the way she treats her sibblings, to how much harder she will work and help out in the home and in school, ect...she started opening up and accepting us. By the end, she herself said that she would give us permission to come and teach her daughter again and that she could also go to church. She is one of our 2 investigators that we have marked for a baptism on the 28th...but now we have to approach her mother within the next few days and try and convince her to allow her daughter to be baptized. We are praying hard that her mother will gain understanding and comfort to letting Andreia be baptized. So in the mean time, we are constantly passing by everyday and visiting and helping Andreia with chores and things to try and continue to be on her mothers good side. One of the things we helped her with on Saturday was washing her entired families clothes all by hand on a wash board. I have come to the conclusion that I am really bad at washing clothes by hand. All of the locals on the street gathered around and watched because I think it looked really funny at how bad I was at it. It was a bit embarressing and I felt ashamed that I was so bad at something as little as washing clothes by hand. I guess it is something I will have to continue to work on. I plan on being pro by the end of my 18 months here. As for Andreia, we will soon see whats going to happen but I really hope that she will be able too because she will be a really strong member if we can get her to that point.
Hmm, what else...
We had no water in our house for 4 days. Our water tank on the roof finally got filled this morning so we once again have water...only thing is is that now there is no water pressure. So that is the next thing we have to get fixed and figure out. So as of right now, we are still taking showers with water out of a bucket and a cup. JOY!!
Well, that is pretty much all of the news I have for this week. I am loving it here and am so happy with the decision I have made to serve and be a missionary. It is a humbling experience that I am honored and feel privilidged to have. It is not easy, but I would not choose to be anywhere else right now.
I love you all! Thank you for all the love, prayers and support!