Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Big Tree

Nos e familia!

Where to start? This has been such a great, hard, fun, sad, exciting, frustrating, crazy and wonderful week!

Which I guess means just another week in Cabo Verde! Goodness, I love this mission.

Well, I told you about Marcia's baby, nao e? Well, she named him Mirage....Luckily the next day her grandma made her change it to Nicky. But he's still adorable. Unfortunately the doctor says she has to stay in a dark gloomy room for three months. Huh? It doesn't seem healthy. Plus, we found out that neither of her parents (Mom lives in Portugal, Dad lives in Brazil) wants her to be baptized. So we've been praying really hard and trying to figure out how to get their information to missionaries over there. But…miracle! We went over the other day and her mom was there (first time in three years) and her dad's coming to visit too! We'll be able to talk to them both (well, I hope I do--transfers are next week). But Marcia's still just as sweet as ever.

Here are my new favorite verses in the New Testament: Acts 20:7-9. :)

We met a little baby at a member's house the other day--very cute, very happy--but every time he saw me or Sister Turnbow, he started to cry! They told us he doesn't like white people....(hee hee).

That same day, we offered to help one of our members make lunch. Of course, after we 'helped' she insisted we eat with her. Well, we both took nice small portions to which she responded by taking our plates and PILING the food on. It was actually really good though. The only problem was that there was way too much hot food in a boiling hot house and I got something crunchy that almost--only almost--broke my iron stomach. And I've learned a new way to make couscous.

So last Sunday, Sister T and I were checking Ramo 3's sacrament meeting to make sure none of our investigators were in there. As we walked, we saw a man who came and asked us what he did if it was his first time there. We asked where he lived and showed him where to go. And guess what! He's in our area. We're now teaching him and his 17 year old daughter and he came to church again! Man! Sometimes the work is just too easy! Just kidding...

We also found two awesome young men who...wait for it!...came to church and...get ready!...were ready to go at 8:30 in the morning! Goodness! They're great. And luckily, the young men in our branch are pretty friendly so we think they actually liked it! They're so funny.

We finally made it through the first lesson, the Book of Mormon and the Day of the Lord with Evandro.

And he came to church for his fifth time.

We're passing by a few times extra every week to read with him. Oh man. We love Evandro. Slowly, slowly, he's learning. I can honestly say, I didn't realize how difficult it would be teaching someone with very little schooling. We think he's starting to understand Portuguese better though.

Yesterday was like Christmas at church. The gifts just kept on coming! We had seven investigators at church (and Evandro was ON TIME!). And I got to play the piano again. And I had another, different little boy come up and try to play the piano.

Sister Turnbow's birthday was awesome! Did you know, it's pretty difficult to plan a surprise party when you're with someone twenty-four hours a day? But I had Sister and Elder Adams' help and we had a great lunch and cake (which Sister Turnbow actually made herself--but I drew a castle on it and we used some Disney princess cake toppers--yup, she turned 24). It was great. I also composed 'Happy Birthday' on our phone and we had that as our ring tone on her b-day. Good times.

Okee-dokee. So, believe it or not, it was zone activity time again! This morning we all piled into a yasse again (we got window seats this time) and went to Assomada! I loved it! The town's a lot smaller and cleaner and greener (pretty much everywhere is smaller, cleaner and greener than Praia) and we went to the giant tree! Maybe you've seen pictures of this tree. It's huge.

And yes: I was the first Sister in the history of Cape Verde to climb it (yes, I'm exaggerating). But it was pretty awesome! You scale the giant tree, then there's a little space to stand, but then you have to squeeze down this hole straight into the middle of this hollow tree. There's also about an 8-10 foot drop onto the floor. And then you crawl on the ground out a hole and then you're out!

So. Put my slight fear of heights and my mild claustrophobia together and it was a great experience! :) No, it was totally awesome. I didn't really know what to do on the drop, though. Its super dark, and I missed the little knob, so I banged my knee and elbow--but it's all right. I pointed the knob out to the Elders. :)

There are also some giant spiders in the giant tree. But most of them were dead.

Okay. Those were the great, fun, exciting, crazy and wonderful moments of the week. The hard and sad and frustrating are mostly the day to day things. It's hard seeing people miserable, handing them exactly what will change their life for the better and seeing them do absolutely nothing to grab hold of the gospel. But every day we meet more people, teach more people and I know many of them will see just how important, just how wonderful the gospel will be for them and their families. Every time we find someone new to teach, I get so excited. And I know that Cabo Verde is feeling the influence of the gospel and the church here. Cape Verde already has 10 chapels! And there's a new one being built!

I love the mission so much. It's hard. The people we meet, teach and love break our hearts, but we love them all the same. I know there are people ready and waiting to have their lives changed and blessed and I'm so excited to find them! Every day we see how Heavenly Father is preparing people to hear the gospel.

And every day we see how Satan is trying to keep people from the truth.

But we all know who's going to win!

I love you all! Good luck Andy! I'm so excited for you!

Thanks a bunch for your love and support! Keep praying, reading, serving and going to church!

Sister B

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