Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Letters from 29 December 2014 and 5 January 2015

Minha família e meus amigos!                                                     December 29, 2014

Can you believe that it is the last Monday of 2014? Where did this year go? You realize that the year that I spend entirely out on the mission is almost over? The thought scares/excites/astonishes me. The other day I made the connection that after this next group of missionaries go home, it is me that is next. I still remember not knowing what was going on that first night in Praia before I went to Fogo.  Although my time here is shortening day by day, I still have plenty of time to make a difference here in Calheta and I'm working. This week was a good week even though it was a crazy one with Christmas and it's many "activities."
First of all, the preparations for this Christmas were absolutely crazy. As we were out proselyting, someone had hooked up some huge amps and was blasting an electric guitar redition of Silent Night. Needless to say, it wasn't silent. But I will admit that I liked it just because I don't get to enjoy 24/7 Christmas music on the radio. We also had a nice visit from President and Sister Mathews so that they could get to know Elder Veitch. They were on Sal for the Christmas party when he got here so he never got his welcome interview. It was fun to see them and, of course, great to talk to them about what is happening in this part of the mission.
Christmas Day! Besides the awesome time talking to the parents, the nieces, the nephews, the siblings, and the in-laws that I love so much (and also the random Cape Verdean kids that apparently wanted to talk to them too) we had a good day. The day started off normal enough, studying and all, and then we went to our investigator Guta's house where we shared a nice little Christmas message.  She then came out with cakes, pizza, Vinto (really good soda), and other things. It was like a little brunch on our way over to our lunch with Elder Wallace and Elder Gunther. There we ate mash potatos, fried chicken strips, bread (of course), gravy (thank you Elder Wallace's christmas package), and more Vinto and Pinapple Fanta. It was good and then I enjoyed, like I said, talking to my family and then going back home to teach. When we got back home, we contacted a lot of people that we had received from the super activity and also had the chance to share with some less actives the message of Christ. It was a good day, and I can say that my Christmas was more about Christ than it had been the Christmas before.
Guta's brunch
It was funny actually, because on the 26th, I actually felt fine about my family. I mean I wasn't trunky because of the phone call. It was, like Elder Veitch said, relaxing and encouraging. The rest of this week was full of a lot of work which honestly, we were very, VERY blessed to have had such a good end of the week. Because of 2 investigators (J and D) who both can't be baptized yet because of an external conflict (marriage and lack of permission), we were able to teach 6 lessons just to women. And I would say that a majority of them are excited and searching for the truth. Their contribution was incredible and we are so grateful. We hope though that this week, less members will go to Praia for stake meeting so that they can help build their branch :)
I know that Christ is my Savior and that this is His Gospel: to come unto the world to fulfill the will of the Father. I have been given the opportunity to live His Gospel and help others to accept it too.
I love you and I hope that you all have a good week. Please make decisions to start the year off good. I already have expectations for the year as it brings the greatest miracles of the mission and also entering the status of "RM". Oh, weird thought. Mom and Dad, don't get trunky!
 I told Elder Veitch that I loved this dog because he was super lazy and then he asked me if we could name him Veitch. So, here is a pic of Veitch with Elder Veitch

Oi minha família e meus amigos!                                        January 5, 2015

This last week was, of course, crazy with all the activities of New Years but HAPPY NEW YEARS to all of you! I think that I already freaked out enough to you all last week in terms to what this new year will bring, but let's just not think about that. Also, it blows my mind that McKell is already 12 years old. I mean the thought of that happening while I was out on my mission has passed through my mind before but actually hearing that she went to the temple, that blew my mind. I wonder if I will recognize any of the those kids that I once knew so well :)
Carrying spent crops on their heads to feed their animals
This week definitely was interesting in that we spent the first part of the week strengthening our members and investigators for the "activities" and then the second part of the week trying to find them again. Needless to say, it was a lot of work with a little less success but we still saw some great miracles. And also had some funny stories. We have this one investigator that understands what we say, except when we are reading from the scriptures. So this week, I decided to read with him 3 Nephi 13:31-33, which is about not worrying about what you will eat, drink, or wear because the Lord will look after you, but rather search for the kingdom of God first. Well, when we said that, he  said, "Yes, we must trust in God. But if I don't eat or drink and only focus on God then eventually, like in 2 days, I will be too weak to even think about God." We then had a 20 minute discussion about what that scripture was actually trying to say. It was funny, because we had an investigator with us, (who is waiting to get married so he can be baptized (such a boss), even try to explain it to him. After we ended the visit, we were walking away and our investigator just looked at me and was like, "That was ridiculous." We just started laughing so hard. He is beginning to understand how stressful and funny missionary work is sometimes.
During our Christmas call, Brent mentioned how animals are slaughtered and hung up on poles. People then bring machetes and cut off what they want to buy for food. I asked him to send a picture of this. So he took a picture of this butcher's stand. He said it was late in the day so only the heads were left but yeah....you get the idea! Run little piggy, RUN!!
Elder Veitch is doing good these days. He almost has 3 weeks in the field and speaks already better than I did in like my 4-5 transfer. He teaches by the Spirit and we work well together. For New Years we went all out making french fries and enjoying lime jello (thank you Mom) and also a Dan Cake which is like a giant Ding Dong. It was a good missionary way to enjoy the New Year. 
Well, that I think is all for this week, I love you a lot and have a great first week back at/starting school!

Elder Brent Dorff :)


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