OI MINHA FAMÍLIA E MEUS AMIGOS!!!
I am glad to hear that everyone seems to be active and happy, boy, do I have a lot to say today. I feel like that is just my life right now; waves of exciting weeks and waves of not-much-going-on weeks. But this one was definitely one of the more exciting ones. It has to be because on the 15th of this week, I will only have 9 months until I go home. What a crazy thought!?
So, I think that I will start with some spiritual thoughts from what I got from Zone Conference this last week. It was a great conference! The main topic seemed to be on receiving personal revelation for the work and for our lives. We learned a lot about how the morning hours make a great difference in how we will work during the day. I think that one of my favorite parts about Zone Conference was given by the Sister Mathews. She shared an experience that her daughter had while seeking for revelation for who should be her counselors in the Laurel Presidency. At the end of the story, it turned out the person who she was guided to was praying for a sign that God loved her and had confidence in her. The final comment made in the story was, "Isn't it amazing when we let the Lord run His Church" (or Mission)? This whole last week I learned a lot about accepting the Lord's will over my own and letting Him really guide His Work. I have discovered that the more willing I am to do that, I find myself having more patience, more love, and more humility during the work. It really was an inspired Conference.
|The Town of Futon Kobom (the valley that has greenery and the ocean is in the background)|
This last week, Elder Godfrey and I were spoiled by having dinner with two of the Missionary couples, the Campbells and the Thompsons. It was very nice of them to do that and the cooking was great! During those lunches, it felt like we left Africa for a little bit.
So, this last Saturday we had baptism! Her name is Gina and she is 69! Her story is very interesting. Remember a couple of weeks ago when I took the new missionaries out teaching with me? Well, we walked around for a little while trying to get a member to teach with us and to find someone to teach,. Eventually we were walking past a house of a person that we had received as a reference. The question was, a reference from who? So, go even further back when I was in Bela Vista. Remember Jacira and Manick who got baptized... well, everyone in that family is a member except their brother who lives in my current area. So I was like, "Let's go try there." So we walked over, and as I went up to the door, we learned that the brother wasn't there so I started talking to the kids and then this old lady came out and told me that this was a religious house (didn't specify which one) and that they weren't interested. I asked her what her name was and came to discover that Gina is the grandma of Jacira and Manick! So naturally, I took out the family picture that I had taken of Jacira, Manick, and family (which I had conveniently printed out) and told her how much I loved her family. She saw the picture and she was like, "My grandkids! My daughter! Elders, come on in!" We came in and we taught her. In later visits, when it was just her at home, we were thinking that she wasn't understanding what we were saying (which was true) but when we asked her to pray, she gave the most fervent and sincere prayer that I think I have had an investigator give. She gave it super quiet too. Thankfully, we have many members that live around her and were able to translate everything for us. After many weeks of teaching, she came to Church, fell in love with what she was learning and she was baptized. None of her family was able to make it to the baptism, but afterward, I took the liberty of taking a picture of her with some of her youngest grandkids. They are so funny, because they see her walking up in the distance and they come running up to her, yelling and chanting "Vo, Vo!" (Avo is grandma in Portuguese). Such an awesome family.
|Palmarejo Neighborhood (where our house is, on the left and yellow)|
More news... Ala 1, the ward that I serving in, just split up. Half of it will remain in Ala 1, the other half will make up part of the new Ala Palmarejo 2. The thing is though, that it divides my area, completely in half. So we don't know what that means specifically for Elder Godfrey and I and for the Sisters. It is rough because some of my favorite members will be going to the new ward but most of my recent converts live on the Ala 1 side. It doesn't seem like the divide was completely anticipated by the mission either, or at least not the timing of it, so... 5th area in Praia maybe? Not much would change except for new members, another new ward, half an area, and I am still secretary. I guess we shall see what will happen. Ah the suspense!
|Young father taking his kid for a walk|
Well, thanks for the emails this last week. It really makes me happy to read them and it is a great surprise to see them all here every Monday. Love you lots and talk to you soon!
Elder Brent Dorff :)