Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Bird on the String

February 28, 2011

Family (and friends)! I love you so much!

I just thought I'd mix things up and say that first. :) But it's true

OK. What a great week. Winter is over! (Not that it ever began here.) But I'm officially darker than some Caboverdians. Not that that's too hard. But don't worry, I still get called 'branca' plenty. But it's gotten hot! And it will keep getting hotter until around...September. :) Woo-hoo. But I've discovered that if we help people wash their clothes we can cool off a little since they don't have hot water and the wind sprays the water all over the place.

Let's see: Sister Turnbow and I found this great fruit store and bought some yellow plums. They were weird. They tasted like plums(ish) but were yellow. And little. We also found some good kiwis and little oranges. I wanted some peppers but they were really expensive.

We have a nice river running through our area. There's a big hole up in Inferno and a pipe broke. People are there for 18 hours a day, filling buckets of water, but there's still a huge runoff coming down the dirt road all the way past our house. We took a picture with a pig who was bathing in the gross, muddy water.

Speaking of animals, we've seen a lot of cute puppies. (Cabo Verde really doesn't need more dogs.) And I found a teeny tiny kitty that was SO adorable. The animals are only cute (and rabies-less) when they're small.

And speaking of small animals, we had another very interesting lesson. We were teaching a woman who had found us the week before and set a time for us. She was a little...drunk. We think. And there were two other men there that were under the influence of some substance. So we were sticking close to the door, but during the lesson we heard this weird squeaking sound from under the bed. I'm not sure if I expected a mouse or a toy, but all the sudden a man pulls on this length of string and a tiny bird hops out--attached to the line. The man then starts to throw the bird into the air and pull it back to entertain a poor, crying child. The boy continues to cry so the man just chucks the bird at him!

OK. So I'm pretty sure I spend all my time telling you the out-of-the-ordinary things and I forget the normal missionary stuff (or is it the other way around?). So here's a little bit about our District: We have the secretaries, the APs, our district leader and us. And we're all American except for our DL Elder Rodrigues, who is from Brazil and is awesome. We have a great district--they work hard and are super funny Elders (and we're pretty cool too). District meetings are great. I learn a ton from them every week.

So I learned that a 15-year-old boy who only speaks Creole can break your heart. We started teaching this boy Ailton a couple weeks ago and he's amazing! It seemed so random when we met him, but we taught him and things were going great and then he didn't come to church. We came back and he said he was so sorry and we taught him and he was reading the Book of Mormon and then he didn't come to church. And here, after two Sundays, we technically are supposed to drop him. Man. I never realized just how heartbreaking the mission is. That's only one example, but I really love that little guy. Anyway, I hope we still see him.

We did have a cool experience though: We contacted a woman Saturday night and she said we could teach her Sunday, but only in the morning. We told her we couldn't because we had church, but she could come to church with us. Miracles do happen: She came to church. She stayed the whole time. The members actually helped her and talked to her! It was great.

I had my first Zone Activity!! Woo-hoo. We went to Tarrafal. It's an area where only Elders work on the North side of the island. And just so you know, you can cross the whole (biggest) island in approximately one hour and 40 minutes. And while that's not really very long, when you're shoved into a 'yasse'--a weird, smallish van--with all the missionaries from Praia (both zones went) it's not a very enjoyable ride. Especially since the roads are just nauseating switchbacks up a mountain for 60 minutes. But don't worry, we all made it.

And Tarrafal is beautiful!! It's a lot cleaner and smaller than Praia and greener! It doesn't feel like Africa. I would have guessed Central America. But it's awesome. We walked through this super long cave/tunnel and everyone hit their heads and then we hung out on a black sands beach.

But it's amazing. The water is clear and incredible and the sand isn't covered in garbage and there are palm trees! Oh. And I touched the Atlantic Ocean! And held a tiny crab. And saw a really big, ugly crab. I wish I could send pictures, but it would be better if you just saved up your money and came to visit. :)

We also helped some guys pull in this gigantic net of fish. Literally, gigantic. It was huge. And fish still smell bad, but fishing is much more exciting that way.

I can't wait to see a picture of Marty! Which I'm sure I'll be receiving any day now...

Is the Spring Fling scheduled for Cabo Verde? I know some great China stores and African markets that the aunts could find some real deals at! And some of the products may or may not have been made in America!

Well, I hope everyone is doing great! I hope I remembered everything. You do realize that I do missionary work too, right? OK, I better tell you about one lesson: Isa and Zezito--I love them. They came to church again and we marked a baptism date and I love them! They have some financial problems (like everyone) and Isa's a little worried about tithing, but we've had some great lessons about faith and I know they'll be blessed. But we talked a little about the gospel (faith, repentance, baptism, Holy Ghost and enduring to the end) with them and I just got really excited. I don't know, but I could definitely feel the Spirit bringing words to my mind. I didn't stumble with the language and I know it wasn't me. There's definitely an amazing amount of help that comes from the gospel--in so many different ways.

OK. I love you all! And it's almost March! Epa!

Sister Brooks

Oh, and I saw people riding donkeys up a mountain. For real.

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