Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Letter dated 29 Oct 2013--Transferred to PRAIA!

Oi Familia e Amigos!

Well, you may be thinking that I didn't email yesterday because the power went out. Well, you are wrong! In fact, you are so wrong because the biggest change of my mission happened yesterday. Sunday night was Transfer Assignments Night and President called us and told Elder Paredes that he was staying in Mosteiros and that I was going to PRAIA! Not only this but I would be working in a nearly new area of the mission! The area is called Achade Grande Frente. And not only that but I am also training a new Elder and my new companion is from Mozembique! His name is Elder Conduanhe. He is 26 years old (makes me feel really young and old at the same time) and he is great. He doesn't speak any English so this transfer will be Portuguese 24-7. Because I am training him, I will be doing most of the teaching for a little bit of time until he learns how to teach.  He doesn't understand Creole either so I will have to decipher what it is exactly these people are saying. It is going to be a fun transfer. I really am looking forward to the work here. Just yesterday, we found some really cool people to teach.
I arrived here yesterday afternoon (Praia is the capitol of Cabo Verde on the island of Santiago) by plane and then was shipped off to my new area. Praia is soooooooo different than Mosteiros and Fogo, in general. You never have to wait for a taxi because they are everywhere and they have supermarkets, not as big as Walmart but kind of like it. I am trying to decide if I am going to like the city life or miss the more country life of Mosteiros. Either way it will be an adventure. I am really sad though, because since I have gone to Fogo, my chances of returning are limited. The good news is that one of our recent converts, Katia, is here in Praia for school so I am looking forward to finding where she lives and trying to say hi one more time. I think that she is my branch here. We work with the Praia 4 Branch and the branch is preparing to be a ward by the end of the year. I am really excited. I wish I had pictures of Praia to show you guys but I don't yet. And also I forgot my cord for the computer at the house... and my camera itself... Next week photos for sure.

Well, the adventure continues. It was kind of hard to leave Elder Paredes and Mosteiros though. I am going to miss both. I hope that everyone has a great Halloween this week (I decided that I was going to be a missionary for Halloween. I got my costume picked out and everything) and hopefully school is going good too! Love you all!
Sporting the Halloween costume!

Elder Brent Dorff :)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Letter dated 22 October 2013-- a volcano and immunize 'em!

Oi Família e Amigos,

Well you know the drill. I get on the computer after my companion finishes and the Internet goes out. Just my luck, right? But that is why I am emailing today.
Well, it sounds like everyone is doing good right now. Glad to hear that. I am doing good too but I am really tired from this last week of stressful work. Right now we are working with many new people and some that we have had for a long time but just aren't progressing as we were hoping. We have also been working a lot with less active members and helping them come back and partake of the Gospel again. There is a lot of work to do here in Mosteiros but I am still loving it all! 
Ocean near Vila da Igreja--what a view!
So, since I am writing on Tuesday, I guess I will tell you about what we did for P-day yesterday. You may remember, like 6 or 7 weeks ago, we went and hiked part of a nearby mountain but because of time we had to turn back. Well, this time we better planned and took an easier route and we hiked the entire mountain. It took about 2-3 hours to get up there and then 1 hour to get back down. We went with some other Elders from Relva. It was a lot of fun and I got probably my best pictures that I could ever get of the volcano. Only thing though is that I think that I got a little bit too much sun. That will be fun to deal with for the next few days. But it was worth it and besides that, no real after effects from the hike. 
Volcano-Pico de Fogo
Me and the volcano's moonlike landscape
Funny story time. So right now, Cape Verdean's are getting this weird vaccination thing to boost up the resistance to some disease and the Church is helping to sponsor the distribution. So this Sunday at Church, we were all in Sacrament Meeting and someone was giving a talk. After the person concluded, some random lady yelled (in Creole), "Good Morning everyone! Is Rosangela here!?" She then took her out and then that same lady just kept pulling random members outside to get shots. I don't think that the vaccine people understood that they shouldn't take members out of Sacrament Meeting to give them this shot but they did. Because of that I won a bet with Elder Paredes (I told him that the vaccine people where so determined to have everyone get it that they would pull people out of Church to do it). 
Moon above the ocean in Feijoal 
But yeah, it has been a good week and this week should be pretty good too. I hope all is going good and I keep you all in my prayers. Thanks for your love and prayers for me too!
Until next week comes!

Elder Dorff :)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Letter dated 14 Oct. 2013---God's love and the promised goat

O minha família e amigos!

Well, this past week has been a pretty normal week with a great ending. We finally watched conference this last weekend. It was really good, although it was a great challenge to understand it in Portuguese. Thank goodness the language of the Spirit is the same for all people. Eventually, I could figure out what the translator was saying. I plan on copying General Conference in English and Portuguese today onto my flashdrive so that I can listen to it whenever I want to.
So this last week was BYU's Homecoming. I was thinking about that this past week, how long it has already been since I was there. It has been like almost 6 whole months since I was there and I am coming up on my 5 month mark of being on a mission tomorrow. I feel like an old and new missionary at the same exact time. 
Sounds like everyone is doing good. I am happy to hear that. And I can't believe all the weddings that look like might happen as I am out here. 
This cow in Feijoa wouldn't stop mooing until I took her picture
Like I said in my last email, last week we did a division and Elder Paredes and Elder Andrade (from the other área in our district) swapped. Elder Andrade (he is a Cape Verdean waiting for his visa to Brazil) and I went up to Feijoal (our city in the mountains) and tried finding some less actives that we had heard about. We went to this one house where I knew a less active lived, and I asked this guy at the house how he was doing. Well, he went crazy and just started yelling that he was Catholic and never was going to change. I think he did that for a good 10 minutes and then I was just like, "I am sorry sir, but we heard that a member of our Church lived here." He comfirmed that a member did live there and it was his son. He then took us into his house to this random room. He slammed open the door and swung the windows open and there on a bed was his son. He then started yelling about how his son was sick and other things. While he was talking, I was looking around and I saw 2 Book of Mormons and a hymn book. I then started talking to his son about the Book of Mormon and the importance of prayer. Eventually the father sat up his son, and we discovered that he is mentally disabled or "sick" and so his Dad helps him a lot. We talked to both the son and his dad about the power of prayer. The Spirit was so strong and I just felt the love of God for this mentally disabled son. I love these people. I can't love them more than God but I just have so much love for these people.
Oh, and one story just for laughs. I still don't have a very soild handle on Creole and proof of that came when we were in Feijoal; I accidently promised someone that we were going to buy him a goat. I don't know when I did that but I must have said yes to something I didn't mean to. The next time we went up to Feijoal, that man when crazy on us because we didn't bring him a goat. Elder Paredes just looked at me and was like, "You promised him a goat?" The whole situation was funny. Ah, language barriers.
Oh, and one more story. We went out to go pick up a couple of investigators for conference and we were walking up to this plaza and there were all these people just hanging out with pieces of papers and people were yelling out numbers. We were super confused and then we found someone that we knew and asked what was going on. He said that it was a bingo game and the winner gets some couches. There were literally 300 people playing bingo. It was crazy. I think that is the biggest bingo game that I have ever seen. Next week they are going to do it again but for a table.
The longest staircase in the world (From Vila da Igreja up the mountian to Feijoal)
Well, I love you all and you are all in my prayers. Thanks for your love and your prayers! Tell Elder Klein that I can't wait to hear some of that Russian when he returns!

Elder Brent Dorff

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Letter dated 9 Oct. 2013---A zebra shirt and Stacy's baptism

Oi Família e Amigos,
I am not dead so you can stop thinking that. So my excuses for not writing on Monday and Tuesday and almost not today are as follows: Apparently,it is possible for Cape Verdeans to shut off the Internet on an entire Island because that is what happened on Monday. Don't ask why or how because I don't know but it was a bummer nevertheless. Tuesday, we did District Leader divisions so we couldn't use Internet. Today, we went to the library and the power went out and so we waited for a little while and eventually power returned. What a blessing. But I am good and well.
Donkey with a Zebra shirt on (Protects them from Mosquitos)
Well, I have a lot to talk about so let's get started. This last week we had a baptism! Her name is Stacy and she is 16 years old. I think her baptism was a true witness of the power of member missionary work. We found her through Patrick, a recent convert of 8-9ish months, and then we started teaching her. We then started bringing Patrick, Joãozinho, and Fidel (another teen member) to the lessons and through them, she came to church. She received a testimony pretty quickly of the gospel but it took the help of some friends to get her to come to church. Now she is doing the same for someone else who will hopefully be baptized in the weeks to come. I am really happy for her and it was great to see her family support her in the decision.
Baptism of Stacy (Fidel baptized her, her mom Tá and brother Lineson
So, last week was Zone Conference and it was so good. We had a lot of training on many different things but I think that the overall lesson of the day was that God has a way for every person and every area to come unto Him. We just need to pray, fast, and work to discover what is His will. I think that it is the same for our lives. He knows all of us personally and He knows what we need to go through in our lives. Our lives are hard at some times but trials are there to help us grow and to come unto Him. I am realizing that here more than ever. Oh, and about the whole scripture game thing. My comp lied to me to scare me into memorizing all the scriptures... I am mad at him about that but grateful at the same time because I was ready for any scripture that President or the APs asked me to say. Now I just need to remember them for next zone conference.
Missionaries from my MTC District (Elder Ernst, Sister Bradford and Sister Webb)
Well, I hope that everyone is doing good. I got a lot of emails this week which was awesome! I will do my best in answering all of them today. Oh, and to answer the question about General Conference, we will watch it (in Portuguese) this week in the Church. Someone will download it onto a flashdrive and we will watch it on the TV we have. Maybe we will use the projector. Either way I am sad that I have had to wait another week but I am excited for this weekend!
Love you all! Tchao!
Elder Brent Dorff :)
Found your birthday scrawled on a wall in Feijoal