Saturday, June 21, 2014

Letter dated 16 June 2014--About sacrifice, World Cup fans..and goats?

Oi minha família e meus amigos!

So I love how some of you have started the countdown for me. Yes, yesterday I hit 13 months in the mission, which means that I only get 11 months more of the best work in the world! It's weird, but not as weird for the people who "die" next week (we lose 8 missionaries and a mission president and his wife at the end of next week). So, as you can imagine the mission is preparing for the change. 
This week was a good week in the mission field. It was a week of landlord battling, house closures, and just normal work in the office. Right now, I am at war with one of the other secretaries, because he was born and raised to not like BYU. We are always messing with each other about BYU. Just a little entertainment for the work day.
This last week was interesting in Bela Vista, mostly because there were so many parties. You would think that because Cape Verde was disqualified from the World Cup (they had a player with a red card play) that they wouldn't be as into watching it. Oh forget that. Everyone, their Praia dog, and their goat are watching the games! And with a game starting every 3 hours, it is making it a little harder to teach (imagine it is the same in other countries). Everyone seems to be a fan of Brazil or Portugal or Argentina or Italy or they are part of the "Team Africa must win" movement. I catch a little bit of the action as I pass from house to house. To add the craziness, everyone is having parties where some people are getting a little hammered. That was basically my teaching experience for the week. 
Although, we were really blessed to have found a couple of new investigators this last week. We have many more investigators with baptismal dates and that are progressing towards baptism. The biggest obstacle seems to be going to church. Our church is a solid 20 minute walk away from our area, which wouldn't be a big problem except that in Bela Vista, water only enters the town on Sunday morning. That means, everyone is fetching water, washing clothes/dishes, cleaning their houses, taking showers, and storing water for the next week, all right before Church. The members here make a huge sacrifice every week, as they go to other towns for water on other days, or leave to pick up water at like 4:30 Sunday morning, so they don't have to miss a minute of church at 9. Talk about sacrifice... I was thinking about it the other day and I realized that that is the reason why the members who have had more time in the church have such great faith; because of their great sacrifices, they know that God will bless them in times of need, so they act more with their faith. I liked how Joseph Smith said (not a direct quotation) that when something is of God, and it is true, it requires some sort of sacrifice to keep it. When we have that conviction that this Gospel is true, we will also have the willingness to sacrifice all of we have to defend it, preach it, and stand for it. But, in the end it isn't much of a sacrifice, because we always receive more than we give. That's what I want to help more people here understand. (Looking back at what I wrote, my focus switched a lot. Reminds me how visits go, but they always link back to helping the person come closer to Christ).
Ivandro's baptism
Well, I think that is about it. Evandro, my office friend, just got moved into the soon to be opened Cape Verde Distribution Office so I don't get to see very much of him any more. Good thing we got a few pictures before he was moved. I have attached the photo of Ivandro, a recent convert, with this letter, seeing that I forgot my camera last week. Also, a couple that I was working with in Achada Grande, but then moved out of my area, was married and baptized this last week. Here is the photo of the happy couple.
Also I figured that a nice Harrison Ford look-alike photo with a Brazilian Elder's vest would be kind of fun to send home too. Love you all a lot and I will talk to you soon!

-Elder Brent Dorff

P.S. McKell is going into Junior High! What!? What happened to the little girl that I used to tell paint stories too?

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