Well, hello everyone! It was good to hear that everyone seems to be doing well. Sounds like everyone is in full gear summer vacation mode.
This week was a week full of work and divisions. Because of our little trio (which will end when Elder Smith goes home tomorrow), we have been able to teach a bunch more lessons and talk to many more people. It has been really helpful to us in that our area is getting stronger with more promising investigators. It was a tiring week.
Probably the most exciting thing that happened this week was that we had our first baptisms here in Palmarejo! Their names are Carla (14 years old) and Gilson (25 years old). They are cousins and live in the same household. We found them through the Bishop who told us of a lady (their mom/aunt) who wanted to be baptized (and is working to be baptized this upcoming Saturday). It was funny because for a long time, only the mom was interested in going to Church and being baptized and the other two were just in the room using Facebook and watching TV, but eventually Carla came to Church where she came back asking when she could be baptized. We were shocked and so we marked a date for both Carla and her mom. That same visit Gilson came in and kind of half-accepted a date. But within the time that we had marked the date, he received and recognized his answer and they were both baptized. Not only that but Gilson received the Priesthood too and so he will baptize his aunt when she is baptized this next week. We are very grateful for the change that we saw, especially with Gilson.
I don't remember if I ever mentioned this but the other secretaries (before they had been transferred) found a dog that they thought looked cool and happy outside the office and so they decided to name that dog after me, Dorff. So now everyday when I come to the office, I get greeted by Dorff and he is always just the same happy dog. I decided to take a picture of him.
This next Sunday I am giving another talk at Church. It is basically on the same topic but I need to do a little bit of searching of how I can adapt it for the needs of this ward. This ward is in a much different situation than the any other ward I was in, just because this one struggles with like American ward problems with the Cape Verdean twist. It is interesting. I like the challenge though.
Well, sorry that this week wasn't overly exciting. Just know that I am doing well. I love the work I am doing, the ward is doing well and that this Church is true, without a doubt in my mind. Take care for the week and I will talk to you all, next week!!!
Com txeu amor (With a lot of love),
Elder Brent Dorff
Olá minha família e meus amigos, (Letter dated 28 Jul 2014)
Oh wow... I have got a bunch of news and things to talk about, but I am only going to choose a few things to talk about. This week was a lot of good work. I don't think that there was a day where I didn't come back physically tired or mentally tired or a combination of the two.
So first of all, I gave another talk in Sacrament Meeting on the same subject as I did last time. I feel like that is just kind of the case when it is a Missionary Work themed Sacrament Meeting. I did modify my talk though to match the needs of the ward. I talked more about the promise made in 1 Nephi 13:37 where it is says something along the lines that those who search to build up Zion will be blessed. I talked about how the Church is Zion (or better, a family) here for the people in Palmarejo. I then talked about missionary work in regards to less actives and non members. It turned out good, and I think that I ended up talking a little bit longer than last time. I think that I have gotten over that "being that last speaker that has to speak longer or shorter depending on the time the other two speakers left him" fear.
Also this last week, we were blessed to complete the family that we had started to baptize last week. This week Carla's mom, Isabel, was baptized. She was so happy (To our surprise she had already arrived at the Church building, dressed in the jumpsuit and was patiently waiting for us, as we arrived at her house to go to the church.) She's had a long journey for sure. She started talking to missionaries like 9 months ago. She loved and had accepted the Gospel so willingly, but was having difficulties with the commandments. Sadly, those Elders who found her were transferred and the area shut down so she was lost. But thankfully, the Bishop never forgot about her and we were able to find her again, and through much prayer and work on her part, she overcame, changed and was baptized. I am very happy for her. And the joy that she felt on Sunday was overwhelming for her. Last night when we went to her house to ask for references, we received 18 names of people to go find and teach. That is more people than we are teaching right now. The change in people is real.
Also, we were blessed in another way this week, in that we were able to help another family be reunited. Ruben, who is 11 years old, was also baptized. His parents are members, but after a little time being less active, the dad finally talked to the Bishop about having his son baptized. So the Bishop directed him to us and we taught him and prepared him. Before the baptism, Paulo, his dad, asked me if I could take a photo of them together. Before I took the photo, I told Ruben to give his dad a big hug (thinking of my baptism picture with Mark). It made me really happy, but probably not as happy as Ruben and Paulo were in that they are one step closer to becoming a together forever eternal family.
This last week we had a Zone Meeting (where all the missionaries here in Praia come together but without the Mission President). It was kind of a pick me up kind of meeting as many of the things that we talked about was the power of our callings, the importance of unity, and the promise of the Lord's help. It was good "pick me up" meeting.
One last thing happened that was pretty crazy. We were teaching a lesson and I got a phone call from the APs who said that we needed to get over to one of the missionaries apartments at that instant. So, we did and apparently it was decided to move all the suitcases, boxes, and other random stuff of the missionaries on the other islands, from this one house to another. So for 2 hours straight, I was one of 6 Elders who ran up and down 2 flights of stairs carrying super full suitcases (like abnormally large and heavy). It was a very good workout, making up for the past couple of days when it didn't work out to workout (like the play on words?).
It sounds like everything is going good at home. That is unfortunate that Mark is a little hung up with his leg. Hopefully that gets better sooner than later. But it sounds like this will be a nice little time for you Mom to get to spend some time with the Dorffs. You will have to tell everyone I said hi (well, I guess if they read this email, they will already know I said hi).
I am grateful for the work that is being done here and for the miracles that we are seeing. Thanks for all the prayers and love that you all are sending me and I hope that you feel mine reaching you! Talk to you soon!
Elder Brent Dorff