Monday, July 1, 2013

Letter dated 1 July 2013---first assignment....FOGO!!

Oh, my gosh! I am in Cabo Verde! Can you believe that? I like have that realization every single day. Okay, so let me lay it all out for you on what has happened this past week. So on the 24th we began our journey and flew from Salt Lake to Boston and then at about midnight we left from Boston to Praia. Once we got to Praia we met our Assistants to the Presidents and also President Oliviera and Sister Oliviera. First off, they are both so nice. I am much taller than both of them but I love their Brazilian accents. They took us to the mission home and we had a wonderful meal over there. We got to hear about the mission through Orientation and then we got our assignments. I was the last Elder to get his assignment (I am pretty sure that they knew that I hate waiting for that kind of stuff) and I was called to serve in the................ Mosterios Area on the island of...... FOGO! That's right! I am serving on the island with the volcano! My trainer and companion is Elder McKissick from Riverton, Utah. He is an awesome elder and we have gotten along really well. He has been in this area his entire mission. This is like his 5th month here.
Fogo...the volcano island of Cape Verde
Elder Dorff and trainer, Elder McKissick
 So after we got our assignments, we took another plane from Praia to Fogo where we had to stay the night because we couldn't´t get a ride to our area. We stayed in San Filipe for the night and then in the afternoon the next day we took a weird bus taxi to the other side of the island to Mosterios. I absolutely love it here! Some cool things here include that we are right on the beach. It is so pretty although we aren´t allowed to go onto the beach. It is like a desert here but it's not that hot. I am on the cool side of the island and it is much greener than it was in San Filipe. The people here are just plain amazing. I already feel a sincere love for them all and I can hardly speak the language (the creole doesn´t help me learn Portuguese). We didn´t get to teach many lessons because of how long it took us to get to Mosterios but we were able to have 2 people baptized! Kevin and Marta are 12 and 16 and have such strong faith. Elder McKissick got to do the baptisms in ocean. It was so cool. This week we are on track to have more people ready to be baptized.

Elder McKissick, Kevin, Marta and Elder Dorff

Missionaries are allowed only on the beach for a baptism. This shot is of  black sand beach.
 So one may think that there are many differences between the American and Cabo Verdeano cultures.... and well, there are. For one, if you say hi to someone they actually say hi back and you can just have a random conversation. Everyone is nice, even when angry at each other. Another thing is that a couple people here drink a lot and are tipsy at like 10 in the morning. Oh, something that is really cool is that you can look up at the sky and you see spiders hanging from webs that stretch across the street. I would say that the spiders are about the size of a computer mouse. They are pretty big but don´t bug people. Also the water, power, and internet love to shut off at just random times of the day, literally the internet has gone out twice since I have been writing this email and the power went out once. It´s always a short time though till everything is fixed. It feels great outside and its not that much like a desert.
Okay, so here are some things that are the same here. One, everyone loves their cell phones. Although they don´t have like smartphones, they text and call like crazy. Each companionship actually has a phone but it usually doesn't have minutes. They love a lot of American music here. We will be walking about at like... any hour actually and you can hear Rihanna, Chris Brown and other popular artists. Also, they have something here that I bet you weren´t expecting. They have peanut butter! Yes, that is right! I wont be starving over here anytime soon. But to be honest I actually really like the food over here. Some things don´t have much of a taste but others taste really good. My companion made us BBQ chicken with rice and it was awesome. I think that I am going to be alright over here. 
Dad, you will not believe how incredible the sunsets are. I love them and we are usually out and about during them. Now if only I took the time to actually snap a picture I could show you. Cami congratulations! Little Beckham is so cute. I wish I could see the kid in person sooner then in 2 years.
Oh, so just so everyone knows, you can still send me letters. Here  is the deal. Dear Elders and mail is sent to the mission office where it is stored until someone from our island goes to Praia and then comes back. Which means that it could take a long while for me to get them but I will get them eventually! We get to check and respond to as many emails as we have time for on Monday our P'day. So send me mail  or emails and I will respond. I promise. 
Let ´s see anything else I want to tell you. I feel like just having been here for a week, I have learned so much. I am still a new missionary, my teaching and speaking still show that but Í'm getting better. I love this Gospel and I know it is true. I really do. 
Love you all at home and those abroad on missions yourselves. Jordan congrats on your mission call to Ecuador! That is so awesome! You'll have to tell Nate Rosell congrats on the marriage too. So much seems to be happening all at once and when you stop and think about it all, it is crazy to think that Heavenly Father set it all out so that it would happen right at perfect time. 
Love you all and send many pictures and letters.

Elder Dorff

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