December 12, 2010
So is anyone else flying to Paris at 5 PM on Monday the 20th? No? WELL, I AM! Yes. We received our travel plans and it was really, really exciting. I'll probably send you a real letter and tell you what our schedule is since we get to call from the airport! Anyway. The basics are we fly directly from Salt Lake to Paris! A very long flight. Then right on a plane to Lisbon (we get to be in our district's mission before they do!) and a seven-hour layover until our flight to Cape Verde. Wow. I'm so excited. And it's only 10 days from now. Ah!
Yeah. That's pretty much the most exciting thing that happened, but I have tons to talk about this week, so here it goes.
I saw Lisa yesterday in the cafeteria! It was awesome. I heard this familiar "Excuse me, Sister" and there was Weecha! And even better, she told me about Andy's mission call!! Oh my goodness! Andy, I'm so excited for you! I hope you know that's where I wanted to go (before I realized I wanted to go to Cape Verde) so I'm really jealous and super excited! When do you leave? Agh. I hope you can talk about “Doctor Who” with people. Anyway...
Our progressive investigator is getting baptized tomorrow! And, yes, it's just pretend. But it's really exciting. Hopefully we'll get to meet "Garrett" for real before we leave. (And make sure he really is going to get baptized.)
On Saturday night we were in class and I'd just had an interview with Irmão Owen. He'd been looking at my planner and admiring my penmanship. (I don't know why.) Anyway, in class, the Portuguese tutor came in and sang with us and Irmão Owen made me show him my planner so he could see my handwriting. It was really embarrassing. Sort of. I just say that both my sisters have better handwriting than I do, so it's all right. I can't believe I just wasted time telling that story.
Mission Conference again on Sunday! I've been here for two Fast Sundays. Crazy. It was really great and there was an amazing musical number by several Elders who sang "Mary, Did You Know?" Then Sister Clegg talked quite a bit about Mary's life and it was really interesting and inspiring. We received a lot of good counsel from all the speakers.
I also got to give the closing prayer (in Portuguese) in our Sacrament meeting. Yup.
One of our Branch Presidency members was released on Sunday and even though we'll be leaving in a week, it was kind of sad. And it made me realize that I'm going to meet so many people who I'll learn to love so much and then I'll be TRANSFERRED! It's going to be hard. I don't even want to think about that dreaded day in 2012 when I'll have to leave Cabo Verde forever (or a little while at least).
We had a really cool experience on Sunday. On our temple walk, we noticed a man and his son standing just outside the fence on the sidewalk and my so-much-bolder-and-better-than-me companion suggested we share our testimony in Portuguese with them. We did (and translated it throughout) and then talked to them a little while. They asked if we could teach them a little about fasting and we did. Then we talked a little bit more and it turns out the father was out trying to help his son understand fasting and tithing and we got to help out a little bit. It was neat. And it was all through the temple fence, so it was extra cool.
Hey! We got to see the same devotional on Sunday! I absolutely loved the Christmas Devotional and I thought it was an absolutely perfect way to begin the Christmas season. I'm sorry I won't be able to be home with everyone at Christmas, but I feel so blessed (and excited) to be in Cape Verde helping people understand what's so wonderful about the birth of our Savior and what we have to look forward to! I'm so lucky!
So on Tuesday, we got to go into Babylon (aka Provo outside the MTC boundaries)! Sister Laimana just had a doctor's appointment and I actually got to sit in the waiting room of Dr. Donaldson's office where I've sat many times. I was just waiting for Mom to come in for an appointment or something. And I also learned that if you don't cut your hair for five years, it will grow three feet. Cool, right?
Our Tuesday Devotional was Elder and Sister Zwick and it was a fantastic devotional, as usual. They spoke a lot about how inadequate we can feel at times and how frightening some of our tasks can be. They shared a bit about their individual missions and their time as mission presidents. One thing I really loved is what Sister Zwick said. She said she felt completely overwhelmed as a mission president's wife and her nine-year-old son told her: "Mom, don't worry. Heavenly Father will help you." I'll just repeat that. Whatever you're going through, no matter who you are, no matter what it is: Don't worry. Heavenly Father will help you.
On Wednesday, we were hosts for new missionaries. Let that sink in. Me. Sister Brooks. Who came into the MTC and was whisked in and out of rooms and buildings with absolutely no hope of remembering how to get back to them, had a black name tag (with an orange dot) clipped on my new dress and plopped into a classroom with eleven other brand-new missionaries--she showed missionaries around on their first day.
I got to see Bishop/President Jenkins last night! It was so fun. I saw Sister Jenkins a couple Sundays ago and I'm glad I got to see them both before I leave. I love our ward and stake.
Oh, and I've been having a lot of fun playing volleyball, but I'm going to try not to break my finger like Anziano Schwinn and get stuck here for another six weeks.
We taught the Plan of Salvation in Portuguese on Thursday and it went quite a bit better than last week. It helped that our pesquisadores didn't talk too much so we didn't have to worry about not understanding them. :) No, it actually was quite a bit better.
Thank you so much for all you do! I love you all!
Ate Sexta-feira (que vem)!
Sister (Irma) Brooks