Monday, October 13, 2014

Letters dated 6 October and 13 October 2014

Oi minha família e meus amigos!                                                           October 6, 2014

This week was a roller coaster as I got back into the swing of normal missionary life. So many different things happened this last week so I will try to mention all the things that happened. First to answer a couple of questions, my area, Calheta, is literally 1 minute from the beach. It's called "interior" because it is part of the Assomada Zone (which the city of Assomada really is in the middle of the island). Really it is just northern Santiago, but it is great! I feel like I have already learned a lot here. About this area, it used to be two areas but because of a shortage of missionaries, President had to combine them into one area so part of it Elder Conway knows pretty well, the other, is whitewash. It is has been fun trying to find the other Elder's investigators. We have enlisted some of the members to help up us. Because of that, we are making good relationships with them. I think that I have already met every active member of the ward. Now, I just need to find the rest of them.
This last week we had Zone Meeting in Assomada. Assomada is a lot like Praia, except it is green, less crowded, and really cool (temperature-wise). We had a good meeting where it was decided that we were going to focus this month on helping people to pray sincerely and to understand the principle of enduring to the end. That is supposed to be the big focus in our District Meetings. Looks like I will be studying that a lot in my studies. More on that on a later day. 
After Zone Meeting, I went to Ribeirão Manuel (the other area in my District) where I stayed the night and did their baptismal interview. I got to spend the whole day with Elder Wallace who came in at the same time as Elder Conway. He is doing well with learning the language and how to teach. He really is working hard. Their area was fun to walk through because of all the corn fields we walked through to get from house to house. They have the same situation as us though because there used to be two districts there too but they were reduced to one also. Looks like we are all learning how to work our large areas. 
I returned from my division, on Saturday morning and at 3 we started watching Conference. We got to watch all 5 sessions, 4 of them live (sorry I didn't feel like watching the Priesthood seesion at 11 at night). It really was a great conference. I liked so many of the talks and I took so many notes about how we can strengthen the Branch, District, Companionship, and just myself. I am excited to apply them now. I would write some things that I learned specifically but I forgot my notes (and camera) at home. But I will tell you how I felt. I felt like every talk given was given at just the right time. We have 2 investigators that are progressing very well and they both went to 3 of the 5 sessions. They heard so many talks about acting with faith and receiving personal revelation about Joseph Smith. And then with Elder Bednar's talk, it was like he was talking straight to L. I am so grateful for our inspired prophets and leaders! I felt the Spirit so strong as I heard Carlos Godoy speak from the pulpit in Portuguese. I feel like whenever I talk about the Gospel, it will have to be in the language of Portuguese because honestly I receive personal revelation more in Portuguese than I do English these days. 
Today, President Mathews and Sister Mathews came out to Calheta for interviews and a house inspection. It went well. I learned a lot about some things that I can change to be better and also I feel more excited to give my training tomorrow in District Meeting. The work in Calheta is unique, but amazing!
Thank you all for the photos this week. I felt super happy looking at those nieces and nephews of mine. Oh Mom, you should know that my package go to me on the other side of the island by the 3rd of October. I am almost 100% sure that it was because of the tracking, but now I have a problem. Do I wait till Christmas or open it now? I feel like Christmas is a long time still. No promises... But thank you for the shirts (they were needed) and cereal (so good) and everything else! I haven't opened the calendar yet but I see the first few dates on it and a big picture of Mckell's face, so I know that I am already going to love it.

 Wel,l I love you all a ton and I hope that you know that I am doing great! Don't worry to much about me because I know that Lord's hand is over me and Elder Conway and that we are just going to do so much work here!


Oi minha família e meus amigos!                                                              October 13, 2014

Ah, what a week. It was a great week and I am grateful for all the work that Elder Conway and I were able to do. It sounds like it was a fun week of traveling and being with friends.
This last week I had two more chances to go to the other Elder's area, Ribeirão Manuel. The first was on Tuesday because he had our District Meeting there. Because there was only 4 of us (2 duplas), everyone had a pretty active role in participating (no room to hide :P). We learned a lot about the importance of being diligent in our work, especially during those hard times and also about how the Lord's desire that we develop faith, hope and charity are vital to our calls as missionaries. The other reason was because I had another interview to do for the Elder's there. I had a really neat experience with him. His name is W and he is from the small island country of São Tomé. Now if you didn't know where Cape Verde was when I got my call, you really wouldn't know where this place is (I bet you will all look it up on Google).
While I was in Achada Grande, I almost baptized someone from São Tomé but he moved to a different part of Praia before he was baptized. A couple of months ago, he had moved back to São Tomé. Well ironically, W heard of the Church because of this man that I had taught. He was also taught in Praia but to try finding work, he went interior. And here I was, doing his interview. At the end of the interview, I asked him if he had any questions, and he said that he did. He lowered his head and he asked me if the Church was in São Tomé. I told him that it wasn't and I felt compelled to share Mosiah 3:20 with him, showing him the Lord's promise that the knowledge of the Savior and his Gospel will go to every nation, tribe, and people. I told him that although I didn't know when, I was confident that the Church would enter and fill São Tomé. His smile was big and we ended with a prayer. It was really cool.
We spent a lot of our time this week trying to start getting some really good people progressing. We had a big list of people that we have taught maybe once or twice, but we talked it all out and narrowed that list down to those who are really looking for an answer if this Gospel is true. We are excited to see the work progress here and we know that it will grow here. 

So this last week, we listened to all of General Conference again in English this time and I just wanted to share just some thoughts that I had ironically from Elder Godoy (one of the ones not given in English). I have to say that it was one of my favorites of the Conference. Mostly, I just liked the idea of how we need to think of what our end goal or desire is and determine what is the best series of decisions (not necessarily the easiest) to help us arrive there. I feel like that is the mentality that I need to have here in Calheta. This area has a lot of potential. It won't be easy but I am willing and excited to put forth the work and effort to help this place become a strong branch in Zion.
So let the work begin :)
I love you all and I hope that this week is a great week! Safe travels and do well on your exams! 

Elder Brent Dorff :)

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