Tuesday, February 10, 2015

January 19th & 26th, 2015--hard work and a Stake split

Oi minha família e meus amigos!                                             January 19, 2015

Look, I am back from the dead! It really wasn't that I didn't want to contact you, but P-day just doesn't always work out as we expect. I honestly don't know what to tell you because these last 2 weeks were so different from each other. I will just pull out a couple of the highlights. First of all, there were some transfers that happened here in the Zone (I'm still here, don't worry) to where we were knocked down to one Zone Leader and with that, more responsibility has been put on the District Leaders to help out. It has been good as I feel like we are all depending more on the Lord for the help and guidance for our missionaries. This last week I went on division with my ZL, Elder Nymeyer and I went with him to his area for a division (seeing that he is with a mini missionary and can't leave his companion in his area). It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot about the Mission's goal to focusing on the incredible message of the Restoration, specifically the First Vision and the Book of Mormon. I plan on giving a training on it tomorrow and I hope that it turns out good. This last week I gave a training about how prayer, scripture study, and church attendance give people opportunities to have spiritual experiences, so that the Spirit can help them in the process of conversion. There were a lot of comments that I really liked and I felt good about how it went.
This last P-day was interviews with President Mathews, which, of course, was great. We went over the time given, mostly talking about Calheta and how to continue growth of the area and Branch. We focused a lot on wanting the members and investigators to become spiritually self-sufficent. It was a good way to start a week. We also found 11 new investigators, including a couple of families, that we are looking forward to helping them prepare.
So, we almost had someone get baptized this last week but he ran into some problems. He and his girlfriend were going to get married and then baptized, but then she didn't want to get baptized and started working at a local bar which makes her work during Church. He decided to end the relationship and kick her out. But, the problem is that she isn't from this country and she has literally no family here. She arrived here when she was less than a year old and was just left here. So, she literally has no one. So he decided that was too harsh. So now they are working on marriage again. But, she doesn't have her birth certificate and for the Cape Verdean Registry, you have to have that for an international marriage so she had to contact her aunt to try and get the document for her. Well, now they are waiting for documents. It is kind of a rough situation but he is only growing stronger. His name is J and he is 21 years old. He has such a strong testimony and has already gone out teaching with us like 20 times. It is literally because of him we are able to teach so many of the single women we are teaching. We are so grateful for him and his loyalty to his testimony.
So, to answer your questions about the slaughtering of animals.... The animals we mostly see slaughtered on the streets are cows and pigs. You can literally hear the pigs squealing in the morning. Then they shave them with a razor and cut them up to sell to people. Not the most sanitary way of selling meat but yeah... it is definitely memorable. I haven't eaten goat yet, mostly because, it hasn't ever been an option.
HElder Djoorf (my name in one of my investigator's phones)
Oi minha família e meus amigos!                                                  January 25, 2015

So, can I just say that it is crazy that the month of January is already almost over. It is weird because the end of the transfer falls on the 1st of Feb, and so in my head I was thinking that I still had forever with Elder Veitch. I still think I do, and boy do I hope, but I guess we shall see.
I am glad to hear that it was a such a good week for all of you. It was for us too as much happened, as it seems to always be on the 5th week of the transfer. First thing that happened, that actually was normal to the weekly craziness, was District Meeting. This week we talked about the Restoration a lot. As missionaries we learn that this message is literally for everyone on the earth. But the thing is, that is not always how people see that initially, and so we have been focusing more on the power of the First Vision, and how if we know that experience happened (through a testimony of the Book of Mormon), we will change our lives. It was one of my favorite trainings. We learned together about the many truths about Heavenly Father and Christ that were restored through that vision. I challenge you all to look at a picture of the Restoration, read Joseph Smith History, and come up with a list of restored truths that were lost from the world.
We also ended up doing kind of a different division with Ribeirão Manuel, in that Elder Veitch went with Elder Wallace in RM and Elder Gunther came here with me. It was a lot of fun because Elder Gunther is only one transfer younger than me so our teaching styles are a little bit more similar. It was a good division and the purposes of it were fulfilled. I am proud of the missionaries of the district.
So something else crazy happened this week. We are no longer part of the Praia Stake here in Calheta. The stake split into the Stake of Praia and the District of Assomada, which means that all the wards on this side of the islands are once again branches and all of the leaderships (branch presidencies) were reorganized. We still have the same Branch President, but we have a new 1st Counselor.  So, with the new focus on wanting the District to turn into a stake looks like there will be more missionary work to have to happen. Which is great, especially since we had more investigators go to the conference in Assomada than we have gotten to go to Church the whole rest of this transfer.
The work is going well and I am loving it as much as ever. People keep reminding me that I am getting older, and I just tell them to stop getting themselves trunky for how much time they have. Love you all and talk to you soon!

Tchão, com muito amor!
Elder Brent Dorff

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