Saturday, July 5, 2014

Letter dated 30 June 2014--a transfer and President Oliviera goes home


Oh my gosh, did I not tell you that this last week would be crazy? I mean really, did I not!? Well, the week was full of expected craziness and unexpected craziness.
So first of all, before President Oliveira and Sister Oliveira left, they did transfers. It is about 2 weeks earlier that normal. Well, we were just chilling out, because we knew that we weren't being transferred (Our thought process was, "We are the financial secretaries, we aren't going anywhere soon.) Well, at about 10:15pm, there was a phone call. President calls and he tells me that Elder Godfrey and I were changing houses. Just changing houses. We hung up and we looked at each other kind of confused. Then the AP's come running in and they are like, "How do you feel about being blindsighted!?" I was just like, "We are just changing houses..." and they were like, "But with the house, Bela Vista is closing and you are going to Palmarejo!" Elder Godfrey and I, were shocked. We were blindsighted indeed. So, this last week, we were "shotgunned" (when you get transferred to an area with the same companion) and "whitewashed" the other secretaries' area. Not only that but the General Mission Secretary jobs were whitewashed with a senior couple, Elder and Sister Campbell. So, yeah. Palmarejo (my 4th area here in Praia), the richest part of Praia. The area has parts where it is pretty poor but it is HUGE! At least for only working 3 hours every day, it is huge. You could fit  20 Bela Vistas inside it. It seems like it will be a good area. This last week was trying to get to know the members and trying to find people to teach. Ironically, when you whitewash, it is easy to teach, but to find people who are willing/able/at home, that is a little bit tougher, so the number of people we are teaching is still really low. We are working a lot with faith and hope so that we can help the ward grow. It is exciting.
During the process of moving out of our house, a huge group of missionaries going home came and because of that we were trapped in the AP house for 2 more nights. Elder Bruce, Elder Acord, Elder Gilbert, Elder Robinson, Elder Taulbee, and Elder Sanchez, all went home. During the time here, it was fun to hear MTC and mission stories from all of them. I had a lot of memorable conversations and also, I got some new stuff from the give away pile (like a Portugal soccer jersey which I wore to soccer today). I'll miss them and their examples.
 Elder Sanchez, Elder Bruce, me, Elder Acord, Elder Robinson, and Elder Gilbert
In addition to all the birthdays this week, I enjoyed my 1 year mark in Cape Verde and Elder Godfrey enjoyed his 1 year mark as a missionary. We are both getting "old", but we are still kicking strong. 
On Friday, it was the day to say goodbye so everyone. It was super hard with the other Elders and Sisters that went home, of course, but even harder to say goodbye to President and Sister Oliveira. It's weird to think that they is already gone but when I think of the interviews, Zone Conferences, and just the day to day interaction in the office, I think of the things I learned about being a leader. I may not be in a leadership role right now in the mission, but I feel like I have more confidence and faith in doing any calling the Lord asks. I feel like he helped ease the transition of being the housing coordinator. I am grateful, more than they will probably ever know. 
Last Day with President Oliviera
 I have already been asked to speak about missionary work in my new ward on the 27th of July. Should be a lot of fun. I actually have begun to enjoy speaking at church so getting this types of assignments don't seem to stress me out as much as they did. And I mean, I am getting a months worth notice, when last time I had less than 24 hours.
Well, we have a lot of work to do, in the office and with our area. President and Sister Mathews are here and they appear happy and energetic and ready to help the mission and church grow. This week will be the first week to be in the office with them and I am excited to see how the work will change.
Well I love you all and I am happy to hear that everyone is doing alright. Keep enjoying your summer and talk to you next week!

Elder Brent Dorff

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