Thursday, February 20, 2014

Letter dated 17 February 2014--9 months and a branch to a ward

Olá minha família e amigos!

Vocês podem acreditar? Can you believe it? I am 9 months into the mission! That personally, blows my mind! And not only that but, last week on Valentine's day, I got my mission call to Cape Verde. It  just surprises me how fast the time is flying by. 
This week, we have been working a lot on trying to find new people to teach and who are really prepared to hear the Gospel and want to be baptized. At this point, we are working with a lot of people who aren't married but live with their spouses and have no interest in marriage or the Church. That is a big problem that we have run into. Because of that, there has been a little frustration for us but nothing that a little scripture study, church, prayer, and of course P-day soccer can't solve! 
This past week was the first Sunday at our new Church building in Achada Grande Frente. It is pretty big. Only half of it is ready so Sunday School and Priesthood and Relief Society were a little weird but was super nice to have an absolutely filled chapel for Sacrament Meeting. We had 102 people at Church and we could have had about 20 more members but when people told others about the change of location, they forgot to mention the change of time from 3 in the afternoon to 9 in the morning. It happens... but next week we hope for more to come. There were a lot of people there who haven't been to Church in years and we got to meet a lot of new people that members invited to Church with them. Also, the ward got new ward leadership so in a couple of weeks, everything should be working great. I am excited!
The work is going well. I love the mission field. I am not going to lie; this is by far the hardest thing I've ever done but literally, there is no other place that I would have rather spent these last 9 months.
Until next week, love you all and take care!~

Elder Brent Dorff :)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Letter dated 10 February 2014---Baptism and Blessings

Olá minha família e meus amigos,

This week we saw a bunch of blessings and miracles and because of that, I don't even care about the random bad luck which also happened. 
First of all, Branch Achada Grande was turned into Ward Achada Grande! For members of the Church, you know that means many more blessings and responsiblities for this area. It is so exciting! I really am feeling super happy for the members here and how the work is going to grow. Also, it just happened to be announced that we were going to become a ward, the same day as we received word that a chapel would be opened up just for our ward, next week! Which means we go from 3 in the afternoon church to 9 in the morning. Such a better situation for this area! Oh, the blessings. It is going to be so good and I am excited for the work of the rest of this transfer. Wow, the transfer is already halfway over... That blows my mind!
Another great blessing was that we had another baptism! His name is Djo (like Jo but it is Creole). He is 22 years old and his story is proof of the importance of helping members come to church, specifically those who haven't been in a long while. We met this one kid who is one of those types of members and we asked him for a reference of someone we could talk to, and he gave us Djo's name. Through Djo, we were able to reactivate Adilson (the kid), Helder Patric (another inactive), and then baptize Djo. It was super cool. Something that really helped Djo prepare for his baptism is reading in o Livro de Mórmon (the Book of Mormon). It is really interesting how that works but it is true, if someone wants to know if the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or A Igreja de Jesus Cristo dos Santos dos Últimos Dias is true, they just have to read that book and ask God if it is true. It was and is still a great part of my conversion and I would be pretty lost without the guidance of the that book and the Bible too. Scriptures aren't just books written by old guys but are literally compasses for our lives. 
So, we have this marriage (they should literally be married this or next week. Pray for this week.) and the husband got Elder Conduanhe and I matching T-shirts for a Cape Verdean soccer team. So today during soccer we wore them and we looked awesome though I can't say that my shirt helped me play better soccer. In reality, I think I played worse, but we looked cool!
To be honest, I absolutely forgot about the Olympics. I really doubt that Cape Verde has a team for the Winter Olympics, seeing that they only had 4 go to the last summer one. It's super weird to think that during the last Olympics, I was watching men's fencing with Mom and Dad, with Italy and France going at it, in the middle of the Italian Alps. Strange that was already almost 2 years ago. Somebody watch the curling for me. It is such a weird and not exciting sport but if I were to be in the Winter Olympics, I would probably choose to do that. 
Dad, I am just jealous that you could actually go swimming in the ocean. I've been by a beach for 7.5 months and don't think that the thought or desire to jump in hasn't crossed my mind. I resist, of course. But the boogie boarders in Mosteiros invited me to go with them once on a day when I forgot to wear the tag...
It's great to hear how all the missionaries are doing. Before Casey Powell went home, we were talking pretty regularly. Hey, Casey your going to have to send the first email so I have your address. I am happy to hear how Elder Bowen is doing. I keep asking Sister Montgomery (friend from BYU) if she has seen him yet.

 Well, I love you all! Have a Happy Valentines day all you love birds and family of mine. I hope to spend it at a Cape Verdean Wedding :)

Elder Dorff

Monday, February 3, 2014

Letter dated 3 February 2014--Conferences and Breakfast for Lunch

Olá família e amigos!

So how is everyone doing out there? According to the emails I received, it looks like everyone is enjoying life and everything involved in it (school, work, play, family, etc.) That's great! I am doing good too. Another week has gone by like a blink of an eye and the fact of the matter is that I am beginning to feel "oldish" in the mission. It's a good feeling to have to know that I kind of know what is going on and what I need to do in certain situations.
P-Day Soccer
Elders Jensen & Ernst
Well, like I said this past week was good though really there wasn't much that happened this week. Just the normal... trying to find people to teach, teaching people, getting yelled at by drunk people, and seeing miracles in people's lives.
Something that was really cool about this last week is how we had Stake Conference here. It was a transmission from Salt Lake for Spain, Portugal, and Cape Verde. A couple men from the Quorum of the Seventy, a sister, and Elder M. Russell Ballard talked to us and they all had the same theme of Missionary Work. In Elder Ballard's talk, he related the history of the creation of the mission in Spain and Portugal, and how eventually they split and then Cape Verde was opened as part of Portugal and then how in 2002 it was split to be it's own mission. It made me realize how young my mission is and how much work there is to do. We have 2 stakes (almost 3. I received word today that Fogo is getting a stake!!), 1 district, and like 35ish branches and wards. We are so young but the work is growing. 
The women are usually carrying something on their heads
Oh hey Mom, I wanted to tell you that I found a new investigator and his mom's name is Lorinda. When I asked her name and she said that, I got super excited (probably a little too excited) but I mean what do you expect?
 I've decided that I need to take more photos. I haven't been very good about that these last few transfers. I do have some soccer pictures and more beach (those are kind of easy to find) pictures.
The Harbor
Well, I love you all. Tomorrow is Zone Conference which means trainings, scripture game, and a super good lunch with all the missionaries of Santiago! 

Elder Dorff

P.S. Elder Jarvis and I got sick of rice and so we made pancakes, hash browns, eggs with cheese and ham, and chocolate or strawberry sauce. It was awesome and Thursday has become Breakfast for Lunch day.

Our awesome Breakfast for Lunch!