Can you believe that 2013 has already ended? For me, it is incredible that that amount of time has already past. Makes me super happy and excited for this year especially because I get to spend the entire year here on my favorite islands (yep, I like Cabo Verde more than Hawaii or Catalina) doing my favorite thing, teaching and working like missionaries do to help people come closer to Christ. It will be a good year!
So this week was... well... interesting. The first part of the week was hard because literally nobody wanted to talk to us. The parties started early New Year's Eve and then continued nonstop until the 3rd (and people had work on the 2nd!) So because of that, it was a really good opportunity to look at the people we are teaching and determine who is ready to progress and who really doesn't have any interest. We are working more closely with the Branch and we hope that we can help a couple of the people that we are working with to make the decision to be baptized for the right reason.
I wanted to share an experience that Elder Conduanhe and I had. We almost had a baptism this last week but at the last moment, his parents decided that he needed to wait one more week... maybe even a little bit longer. His name is Xandy (said like shan-dee). He is 14 years old and has been going to Church with his friends for a little while now. He told us that he wanted to be baptized and we were like, yeah, we can help you. So we taught him and helped him to prepare but the day before his interview, we were on top of his uncle's house and he said that he was having a couple of doubts about the Prophet Joseph Smith and the First Vision. So we talked to him to understand why he was having this doubt. We talked to him about the power of the Holy Ghost to testify to us of truth and and the Spirit was just so powerful. Then a question came to mind and I asked him that question. I wish I remembered the question but his response was this: "I think that God talked to Joseph Smith to help other people know the truth. He gave Joseph Smith the power and authority to do a baptism right. Also, Joseph Smith, no... God, called apostles to go and teach the work about the Gospel." I just responded, "Xandy, do you know what you just told me?" He said that he didn't. And I said, "You just told me the Church of Jesus Christ was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith." He paused for a little while and just said, "I received an answer... I can't believe it." It was super cool and we are hoping that he will continue to grow so he can show his parents that this is really what he wants in his life. One day he will be baptized.
One more thing that was super cool about the week was that I was able to finish the Book of Mormon in Portuguese for the first time ever! It was great and I have already started over. I hope to read it many more times before I leave the mission. I think that I will start tackling O Novo Testamento and Doctrina e Convênios too soon. We will see how that ends up.
So, I just wanted to make mention that I received the Elder Dorff Day package from Placentia 1st! And, yes the cookies are still good and I am still enjoying them every day! Thanks for everyone's notes. It made me really happy to read them all. Also, I got the P1 Bishopric Christmas Card and also many more letters from Carlsbad. Thanks for all the support and love. I also received the card from Grandpa for the month of December. Thanks Grandpa for the card and the other gift that you gave me! (you know what that was). I'm still waiting for my Christmas package but I have faith that it will arrive here. It may be next month but whatever. As long as it gets here, that's all that matters.
Well, love you lots and talk to you soon!
Elder Dorff :)