Monday, November 10, 2014

3 weeks of letters--Bad, bad mom...not keeping up!

Oi minha família e meus amigos!                                     November 10, 2014

This was another nice week here in the sunny, hot but finally getting-a-little-cooler, Calheta. Well, first news first. Another transfer wave has passed by and both Elder Conway and I are staying for one more transfer which is great because we still have a lot to accomplish before we leave this place. So, I start transfer 13. It is weird, because literally tomorrow, the sister missionaries that were in the MTC with me are going home to their families. It is such a weird thought, mostly because it reminds me that I am in my last 6 months. Already 75% of my mission has passed by. Where did it go!
This week was kind of interesting in that we found a couple of really promising families. Literally, one lady stopped us as we were passing by and asked us why we had never stopped to talk to her and her family. So needless to say, we did then and there. They are a good family. The parents have 13 years together married and 4 smart kids. We need to help the whole famliy participate more but we believe that they are feeling the Spirit, especially as some of them are already praying and reading in the scriptures.
Yesterday was also Stake Conference. Because we are on the other side of the island, they thought it was a better idea to broadcast it over the Internet to us, instead of going and watching it there in Praia. It was a great idea, until we missed like 20 minutes due to technical problems. Such is life :)
This week we also got talked to by our Zone Leaders about the focuses of the month. It turned out to probably be my last time to see Elder Paredes here on the mission, seeing that he only has 3 months left and was just transfered to Boa Vista. It was a good idea that we took a "family photo" (with Elder McKissick, my mission "dad", Elder Paredes, my mission "step-dad", and Elder Conway, my mission "step-son." Sadly Elder Gonçalves and Elder Conduanhe weren't there). But the nice thing is that we will all be in Utah after the mission, so there is no doubt that we will see each other again. 
Besides that, life is pretty normal.
This week we are going to work a lot on strengthening the faith of the members of the branch and from there, hopefully gain their help in strengthening the faith of our investigators. Members are so key to having success in missionary work. Honestly, without that support, it is possible to baptize people but it is much easier for people to overcome doubts or fears with the help of a friend. Isn't that just kind of a life principle?
I love you all and I hope that you have a great week. Dad I am glad to hear that you made it back home safe! Talk to you soon!

Elder Dorff
Oi minha família e meus amigos!                                        November 3, 2014

November! Can you believe that literally I have been on this island for a year? It was literally last week, a year ago, that I transferred from Fogo to Praia. I didn't even realize that until just now. Crazy.
It looks like it was a fun week for the pirates, gorillas, golfers, mermaids, hunters, cowboys, vampires, Supermans, witches, and Indiana Jones-es. I bet everyone was full of candy and hopefully not all the candy has already been eaten. Sadly, Cape Verdeans haven't  seen the glory of Halloween so there wasn't really any celebrations that way. But of course, November 1st is All Saint's Day so because of that there were a lot of parties and activities that night. In fact, there was an all night party with blasting music right outside our house. It was just funny. Normally, because of the time of year, the 1st is also the annual day to eat corn, but because of a lack of rain, it looks like we will have to wait till December. It is starting to cool off though. Yes!
Hey, Mark and Cami, I still, if possible, would like a photo of your families in front of the Temple. Mostly because the pictures I have of your families are super outdated. Actually, Evaly yours too is outdated.
This week was a great week as the work here in Calheta is going along. It was a pretty normal week teaching wise, except with the fact that we had some interesting things happen. We were stopped many times by people asking to teach them a little bit about the Church and why it exists. I love that when that happens because you already know they are willing to learn. We had some of the best lessons that we have had together this last week and I can say that one of them was one of my favorites of the mission.
I like Elder Conway.This last week was week 11 of his training which means that he was Senior Companion for the week and was incharge of planning and teaching. It was awesome. He did a great job and I am perfectly confident that he would be able to train a new missionary if he has the opportunity. Since being with him, I have learned a bunch about Wrestling (did you know that was a sport? Kiddin') since he was a big time wrestler there in AZ. He is 2 years younger than me, which is weird because the last time I trained someone, he was 6 years older than me. The conversations we have are random, about anything and everything and he is just funny. He likes to laugh which is great. Neither one of us wants to leave Calheta next week. We hope that we can stay together so we can help the great people we taught this last week prepare for baptism.
One of the  locals
Well, I love you lots and take care. I guess we shall see what happens next week, if there is a change or not. Te amo!

 Elder Brent Dorff

Oi minha família e meus amigos!                                             October 27, 2014

So just so you know that I will still be taking my P-days on Monday, I am writing today. In reality, what happened last week was a freak accident because the manager of the Internet Café had a death in the family, so it was closed until later in the day. Such is life here in Cape Verde. Reality is, since last Monday, we've known someone who has died every single day this last week!!! (I think today we have broken the record). Because of that, our message about the Plan of Salvation has touched and helped console some broken hearts. Hopefully, they will understand their part in this plan.
There were other reasons why I was abnormally late writing home this week. On Tuesday, I went on a division with the Zone Leaders, and I went off to the literal interior of the island to a city called Assomada. There I was reunited with an old companion of mine, Elder Paredes and we spent the whole day teaching his investigators and remembering our time in Mosteiros. We also had some time to talk a little about our current plans and work in Calheta. It was fun to teach with him. It felt like I was in my 2 or 3 transfer again, except now I know the language and how to teach and how to help people find answers to their doubts. The next day, we switched back and went hard at work so it didn't work out to email.
Then on Thursday, we went to do District Meeting in the other Elder's chapel, which meant that there was no time to Internet that day and then that left us with Friday, in which I almost didn't get to email again but I squeezed in 20 minutes to send out something short. But I really enjoyed doing email in the middle of the week, it was kind of fun.
So, the work here in Calheta is going well. We have found some really cool new people who are now preparing for baptism. At the same time the Branch is realizing that if they want to grow, its going to take a lot of work on everyone's part, so Home Teaching and teaching with the missionaries are growing to become the focuses of the Branch. Hopefully that will mean that the number of progressing investigators will increase here soon.
Branch President's son playing on his
Daddy' drumset
Speaking of hope, Elder Conway found a really good talk about hope by President Uchtdorf (which by the way, everyone here thinks that we are cousins). One thing that I liked that he said was "even in the worst of times, to move forward and put faith and hope into acction, not just worrying or wishful thinking,...and have confidence that present circumstances will give way to future blessings." I firmly believe that is true, and because of that I am working on developing this Christ like attribute even further. Thanks for all the love and prayers you send me and my companion and in behalf of our investigators. Just one more thing, right now Cape Verde hasn't had rain to support the corn crops, which is a major problem because that is what a lot of people live off of financially. Just keep them in your prayers. Thanks. Well , love you all! Safe travels, good luck with school, and talk to you soon!

Elder Brent Dorff