Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Letter dated 26 August 2013---Fishers of men and fishing

Oi Familia e Amigos!

Okay, so first off can I just say, George, I can't believe that your mission is over! I bet that your homecoming talk was nothing short of inspirational. Wish I could have been there for it but I guess we will be waiting a little bit longer before we can hang out again. Anyway, congrats. You served  your mission for the Lord faithfully, something that I am trying to do now.
Things here have been a little rough lately with the missionary work but things are getting better. These next few weeks we should have 3-4 baptisms and we should be working out government related marriage problems, or at least on their way to being resolved. 
Elder Dorff and companion, Elder Paredes
So I had a couple of, "Just in Africa" moments here this past week. First, Elder Paredes and I went and worked in the Campos. That means we dug in the ground after the rain (we have had a lot of rain lately), planted seeds, and then covered them up. That sounds easy right? Well, remember that we are on a volcano and not all the campos are flat. Super rocky and mountainous. It was sweaty work but it was fun.
Elder Dorff and Edy

 We helped out a member and then he repaid us the favor by taking us fishing today (p-day). Now before, in the states, when I went fishing we could buy bait, fish with a rod, and usually had a calm lake to fish in. Well, here we had to hunt down our bait (man, those little black crabs, like at Dana Point, are really fast), didn't have a rod (but rather just a piece of iron for a sinker, hook and fishing line attached to a Coke bottle) and fished in the ocean (which is incredibly difficult without a pier but possible). Elder Paredes and I caught nothing but, Edy, our member friend, caught a fish bigger than both our heads. It was fun. 
Mom, it sounds like you are having fun with school again. If I miss anything a lot, it would probably be, well family, of course, but also BYU. I was sitting here thinking, "I think that BYU started school today if not last week..." I miss school but I'm good. I am glad that I still have more of it to do after the mission.

Well, love you all and take care. Email/DearElder/Mail me if you want me to know about your life! I know you might not think I care but I want to know about stuff in your lives! All you peoples!

Elder Dorff

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Letter dated 19 August 2013--What?? Bleaching eggs?? Possible Stake?

Oi todas as pessoas no mundo (hi everyone in the world),

Can you believe it? 3 months! 1/8 of my mission is over. It is so sad to think that it is going by so fast but so exciting to know I still have 21 months out here (sorry if that sounds like a really long time).
Oh my gosh, the story about Ben at first made me panic but I am glad that he is doing good now. It is so weird to be so far away from the family to where I don't hear about things that happen to the family. But at least I get to hear stuff weekly. Mark, we are having the same battle in our house with cockroaches, spiders, and these weird worm things. It is crazy with the bugs here.
Yeah, right....don't even try to convince your readers that spider is real! If it was, you wouldn't be laughing!!
Mom, I am excited to hear that you're looking forward to your math class. I think that what your friend said was very inspired. It is really true. It takes time to make it to the end goal, but when you think about it, the end goal hardly means anything, its the journey that makes you grow. That is what I am realizing with the Portuguese, Creole, and just mission life in general.
Great to hear that Elder Bowen is happily in the MTC now. I was thinking of him and a couple of other friends that I knew reported that day. 
So, about my life here in Paradise. It has been so hot... but so great at the same time. The missionary work this past week has been really slow because this past week has been a huge festival put on by the Catholic Church here. But because of the party, there were a lot of good street food venders. So you know how at the end of the Avengers movie they had Chwarma (spelling?) Well, I too have had chwarma and it is super good. :) It is beef, french fries, and all these veggies. Super good.
Other things that happened this week... We had zone conference on Friday and then Friday night we got to meet Elder Dyches of the Area Seventy. He was here to talk to the missionaries and to do a big conference for Fogo this weekend. Yesterday, Sunday, we bussed all the members from Mosteiros to San Felipe (a 2 hour drive) and we had a conference. There a new District Presidency that was called and we heard a lot of good messages. The purpose of the conference was to see if Fogo was ready for a stake. We won't find out if we get a stake until like 5 months from now. It was a good conference though. Liked it a lot and a lot of uplifting spiritual stuff.
Paradise shot between Mosteiros and Relva
So things with the companion are good. I feel like we are getting along good. It is going to be a good transfer. :)
Well, last thing to tell you (before I have anymore computer problems [which I have had for the past 2 hours.... Grr...]) is that I got the package Mom sent on the 16th so it took 8 days. We got lucky because  President Oliveira brought all the mail with him. It was great to get it and the pictures were awesome. I am glad I asked for the talk and thanks for the candy.  My comp and I were really excited for it. Like I might have mentioned in emails before, letters are like candy but packages are like gold.
Okay, to answer some questions really quickly. So to disinfect eggs you have to soak them in bleach water for a good long while. I don't know what happens or why but you do. About our weddings. Both I guess, are technically not happening, or at least not for a while. One couple wants to wait till November when their son from Senegal can afford to pay for the plane. The other couple has to renew their identifications and so they have to wait a while too. But we are still teaching them... just have to wait. I probably won't end up seeing either marriage though, which, I think is sad. 
Well, glad to hear that everyone is good. I love you all and can't wait to hear from you next week!

Elder Dorff :)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Letter dated 8-12-13 A new companion and "disinfecting" eggs??

Oi minha familia e meus amigos,
Can you believe that one I have already been on my mission for 3 months (as of the 15th)? The time went by really fast.
Okay so things about this past week:
1- I got my new companion! His name is Elder Paredes and he is from Roy, Utah. He is only 2 transfers ahead of me and has served in Mindelo for the first part of his mission. He is a big sports player and he played soccer and football a lot before the mission. He isn't very tall and a lot of people point out the height difference between us. It's pretty funny actually. He loves speaking the Creole to me and to others which is a little difficult since I can't really understand him when he does that. But all and all, he is a great missionary.

2- We decided to re-open our efforts in Feijoal, you know the city in the mountains, and although we haven't found many new people to teach, we did find and will find many less actives. We hope to bring many more back to Church within time. Because of it being the rainy season, it is super green up there. It's really pretty. 
A recent convert with Elder Paredes
3- They have  Pokémon cards here! Can you believe that? And they are in English which is the part that I find really  strange. You can only  buy them in Mindelo which is on the island of San Vicente. 
4- So, although I am not all that experienced at cooking, I did manage to make a really good cake  (from a cake mix which I know is really hard to mess up but when you have to disinfect eggs and your water is turned off most of the time and its a Sunday, you have added difficulty). I realize that you take that kind of stuff for granted when you have it at home. Besides that, nothing very exciting has happened. Teaching lessons, doing service, hiking mountains is what we are doing.
Great to hear about how David is doing and how his talk was. David, hopefully when you get there in Virginia you will meet Sister Montgomery or Elder Dayton. They were both in my BYU ward and are eagerly waiting for your arrival! Mom, thanks for all the ward mission call updates. I am so excited for all you people in Placentia and in Brea! Also, thanks for thinking about forwarding me Elder McKissick's emails. I really do miss that missionary. 
Elder Bowen reports Wednesday!
So Dad to answer your question , when there is a tropical storm forming around here it is windy like crazy, the ocean is super rough, the clouds move really quickly, and usually someone that we know tells us a tropical storm is forming. I don't recall being affected by the Saharan Dust but who knows. 
Well, another great week in paradise is over and new one has just began. I love it here. Thank you so much for prayers and love from home and I love you all too! Peace out! And for all those friends going into the MTC, get ready for one of the most exciting experiences of your life!

 -Elder Dorff

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Surprise Mid-Week Email! 8 Agosto 2013

I know, I know, you don't want to hear from me again but I just wanted to shoot you a really quick email. Elder Paredes, who is from Roy, Utah (totally won the bet that my first 3 companions would all be from Utah), didn't get to do internet these past few days. So because of that, I also get more internet time. It was nice to get a little caught up on emails. And will tell you more about my new companion in my next official weekly email.
Also, I got my letters!! Dad (yep mail works), Grandpa, Lauren B., Hathaway Family, Karen N. and Carlsbad 3rd (sorry I forgot the name on the letter but I still liked it a lot) thanks for the letters. If I didn't list your name, I haven't gotten your letter, yet but I will eventually. Dad, those pictures that you sent were great. I especially like the one of my friends. I should have thought about bringing a picture of them but it slipped my mind. Mom, I look forward to that package with more pictures :) Grandpa, you always send the perfect comic with your letters. They always bring me a smile. Also thanks for the updates on the extended family! Lauren, Cabo Verde is great. I am really loving it. I can't believe that you are living in Building 29. That is so weird. You will have to email me a picture of the completed exterior of the buildings. Are the two by the Creamery done too? Hathaways, I loved Camp Whitsett and I bet that Phil liked it a lot too. I learned how to make lanyards there for the Leatherwork Merit Badge and I made like 30 of them. If you don't believe me ask the guys in the ward. Speaking of which, tell the ward I say hi! Carlsbad 3rd, although I have literally never met any of you, thanks for your love and take care of my parents for me! 
Well, love you all and I will talk to you soon! The work is great, my companion is great and I am LOVING it all! 

Elder Dorff :)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Letter dated 6 August 2013--power outages and transfers

Oi minha familia e meus amigos!

I hope that nobody had a heart attack about not getting a letter to read yesterday, but you have to understand that I am in a third-world country where the chances of the power going out  for most of the day is a very real possibility. So we are doing our internet time today. 
Planning by candlelight.....again!
Man it sounds like everyone is happy and good, making and eating pies (you don't know how many emails I got about pie this week) and by the way, Happy Belated Birthday Nathan! 
Okay, so yesterday was the start of the new transfer! I have survived a full 6 weeks here in Africa, can you believe it? But to my dismay, my companion, Elder McKissick, has been reassigned to serve in Praia and I will have a new companion later today. Since he left I have been with Elder Taulbee and Elder Fortes, the other Elders of our District and it has been a great learning experience to be with them. It is crazy though to think that I now have to take lead on  pretty much the teaching and planning for our area because I actually know the area. It's a little intimidating but tudo bem, or all is well. 
From left, Elder Dorff, Elder McKissick, Elder Taulbee and Elder Fortes
The language is coming  together which is comforting and we have found a lot of really prepared people to teach who have baptismal dates later this month. This month will be really crazy with a wedding and all those baptisms but it is always better to have things to do than having nothing to do. Specially here. 
Strong recent converts, Patrick and Edi
It has been humid here lately. Not a big fan. Reminds me a lot of Florida.  But I guess that is what you get during the "rainy season."
Oh, and just if you are curious, most people that live here do have TVs and couches and things like that. They don't have washers and dryers usually (we don't even have a dryer) and indoor plumbing, sometimes. But almost everyone has a cell phone and they are constantly using them like Americans. A few people have laptops and when someone uses one, like 20 people crowd around that person. Its pretty funny actually. A lot of people use Facebook and Youtube here too. Just something interesting about the people here.
Our chapel
Oh, and one last thing. There are so many people that are here for the summer from Boston and so we keep finding people that speak English. Although we haven't taught in English yet, it is really just a matter of time. It will be so weird teaching in English but it's true just the same. 
Well, I love you all and I hope that you are all doing well. Talk to you soon!

-Elder Dorff :)