Hello, hello, hello!
Well, I'm afraid my pictures are going to be pretty lame compared to the ones I received! CONGRATULATIONS E PARABENS JOHN AND MYSTIE! Yes, I'm sorry I'm going to be missing it, but I'm super, super excited for both of you! Send me some peanuts and cracker jacks. (Not really--unless the cracker jacks have a cool toy at the bottom.)
How did you propose, John?!
Well, let's see what happened this week...we hit our eight month mark/six months in AFRICA! So we celebrated by decorating brownies and bringing them to the office. We've discovered that the key to staying sane when your investigators do nothing and you can't get the passport for the missionary who was supposed to leave in April--is to celebrate everything. But also, it was pretty cool to think that six months ago we had no idea about anything. Cabo Verde was new and different and super strange. But now, it's seriously like home. And for me, who has yet to be transferred, I'm pretty sure the Terra Branca house might actually be in my name. :) The Elders were teasing me that leaving this area would probably be like leaving home again. It's true. I'm going to miss these people like crazy if I ever leave.
Well, we just got back from our Zone/Office activity. We went to Tarrafal again. Another long, crowded (awesome) Hiace ride and a very difficult game of ultimate frisbee (because of the soft sand and my extreme lack of fitness) and then another hike through the long tunnels to the black sand beach. We attempted a sand castle that turned into a turtle, got really sandy and then ate PB&J's.
Also, Elder Ryan pulled out a bag of mini Teddy Grahams that he received in a package. I think I got a little teary-eyed. That's when you know I've been eating 'Kritz' crackers (vs. genuine Ritz crackers) for too long. Ha-ha. But you have to admit: Teddy Grahams are the world's best travel food. I don't think I ever went on a cross country trip without them. Anyway...(now you see the cause of my lack of fitness).
Tarrafal was beautiful. I'm afraid the longer I'm here, the more certain I am that there isn't a cooler place in the world. The people are just so amazing. As we drove through Assomada we saw a man that we sat next to in the Hiace our last Zone activity and he got so excited and started waving and running after the Hiace to say hi to us. I love it!
Other things I love: there's a little construction site near our house and for some reason there's something that looks like a big cinderblock bath tub/well filled with water, but one fairly hot day we walked past it and there was a little boy, just jumping and swimming in the water. He looked like he was having the time of his life and for some reason I thought it was really funny because to me, it didn't look like a swimming pool, but to a young boy on a hot day: kel li propi.
So Titinho made me laugh the other day (I chose to laugh instead of smack him upside the head). He'd been a little lazy in his reading lately, so we made a goal with him to read a chapter a day. This kid is so smart. If he reads something, he remembers it, but he's horrible at trying to cover up when he hasn't read much. So after a very successful few days (a chapter read every day) we returned again and asked him where he read. Well, it had been four days so he told us he'd read 1 Nefi 19-23. We would have been very happy, but guess what! 1 Nefi only has 22 chapters. Ha-ha. He looked a little sheepish and I had to try really hard not to laugh. I can't be too mad at him. He's doing really well for a 17 year old and only member of his family--plus finals in school. Though we still had to talk to him about studying the LdM.
We've had some other really good and really frustration lessons this week. About 80% of our investigators need to get married before they can be baptized. Anildo and Sofia are bums which has been really hard. They both know it’s true and are doing everything else--their kids are adorable and actually enjoy church--but they don't want to get married! Anildo mostly. Sometimes I really don't get the thought processes concerning marriage here. Beto also needs to get married and he really would get married tomorrow and baptized the next day if he could, he's amazing. But his 'wife'...not so much. She wants to move to America. Blah. I'm so sick of people wanting to move to America (or wanting me to marry them so they can move to America).
But! We do have one investigator who really wants to get married. And I'm pretty sure her 'husband' couldn't say no if he wanted to. It was amazing. Her name's Carla and she knows a lot about the church. Her sister and daughter are less-active members and we're also teaching another of her daughters. She sat down with us and told us that she knows it's all true. She just needs to get married. Two months ago, her mom passed away and she realized that if she died tomorrow, she would have no excuses for God because she knew the truth and just didn't do what she needed to do. The only problem: they have next to no money and her 'husband' is from Guinea-Bissau and they need to get some papers...I don't know. But we're going to find any way to help out we can.
Also, we had an awesome lesson with Beto. It's amazing talking with him. I want him to be able to marry and baptize too badly! We sit in his little yard, on cinderblocks with his woman cooking dinner over an open fire, and he pretty much teaching us. We give the topic and he'll expound on it (in Krioulu). The other day he was telling us that he knows Joseph Smith was so important because we all need a prophet to receive revelation so we can follow God better. He's amazing. Goodness. These are the people that I get to spend my afternoons with--how lucky am I?
Well, I'm about to run out of time, but congrats again to John and Mystie. I love you all and I hope everything is super well! Sorry I didn't really answer any questions that anyone asked. My thoughts are a bit scattered (and I haven't had access to a bathroom all day...). Thank you for everything! I love you!