Friday, May 13, 2011

Stinkin' Agency

Dearest Family Members and Friends,

We've had some more lessons driving the Hiace (I've been spelling it Yasse) and I have actually done some legitimate steet driving--in Africa! Those bumpy, cobblestoned streets I loved so much when I first got here just keep getting better!

I've completely recovered from THE GRIPE (and I will continue to refer to it as the Flu, because I refuse to accept the idea that the Iron Age - of my stomach - has come to an end). I was out all Saturday and most of Sunday, but then I was able to rest all week in the office.

We've still been teaching Titinho. We had to postpone his baptism date because of some Saturday ward missionary trainings, but he's still doing great. He's already keeping practically all the commandments and he's just great. We just hope he'll be able to make lots of friends in the branch to keep him active! He's so great to teach because he listens, understands us, and remembers what we teach!

Speaking of remembering: Evandro, our wonderful, nutty friend (who the other Sisters are still teaching) was actually at home for an appointment and remembered everything about Joseph Smith and the other lessons that we/they have taught! It's a miracle. I can't wait til I get home and tell everyone more stories about Evandro. He's possibly my favorite person in Cape Verde.

Our other lessons are less fun. The other day we taught a woman and invited her to pray about Joseph Smith. She said no. She understood well, taught us about the great apostasy but said she had no intention of switching religions. She said she wouldn't pray. I was a little dumbstruck and asked her if she wanted to know the truth. She said no. It's one of those things that makes no sense at all, and I don't really know what else we could have done. Bummer.

Today we played ping-pong at the church with Elder Adams and the other secretaries. That was pretty fun. Not one of the things I thought I'd be doing on my mission/in Africa.

Sister Laimana and I also went on a little hike this morning. There's a little mountain right in our area that I've wanted to hike for a while so we got up and hiked up to the top. It was super steep and took us a little while, but the funny part was that all the way up we were passing homes and people who were just starting an average Friday. People here are so much tougher than we are in America.

Anyway, we got all the way to the top and discovered that there was a little field-ish up there; unfortunately, it was private property. There were a bunch of signs saying that they were building a country club up there.

Right overlooking Inferno. Location, location, location.

Yeah, so we hiked up and then we had to hike back down, but we couldn't find a path and ended up in Palmarejo which is really far away and I slid into thorns and then we walked over and played ping-pong.

P-days are the best!

Well, I'm not really brimming with stories this week. Our lessons have been few in number and mostly with people who aren't progressing any time soon. I'm a little worried that I'm going to come home with many stories about incredible people who did everything and progressed and the gospel changed their lives but then...nothing. They gave up before baptism (or after). I guess that's the hard thing. Our District Leader was telling us that there are three factors with helping people progress towards changing their lives: 1) Your words in teaching them the lesson. 2) How well you help them understand your words and the lesson. 3) Their agency.

I'm very grateful for our agency, but I have developed a habit of saying 'Dang agency' when people have the first two ducks in a row but won't line up the third. Maybe I shouldn't say that as a missionary though. Sorry.

Oh yeah. The reason that I was thinking about this is because I found out that my sweet little Marcia no longer believes our message is true but says she believes the Catholic church is true (which she has always told us never made any sense at all) because of the hard time she's gotten from her parents and grandmother. AGH.

Anyway, mission life is good. The Book of Mormon is and always will be true. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only church upon the earth and acts with power and authority from God. And we have a living prophet today who teaches the pure gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I know this life is hard. I know that sometimes we think we have a good reason to not do what we know is right. I know we have stinkin' agency, but it's still never too late to decide to follow our Savior no matter what comes our way!

Okay. I love you all. Have a wonderful day!


Sister Brooks

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