So I've completed my first week in my first new area. And while I do miss my home of seven months, I'm loving it here in Branch 2 of Praia. Our new area includes Fazenda (home of Sucupira, right across from our house), Vila Nova, Safen, Plateau and Lem Cachorro! Mostly we hang out in Vila Nova where all our investigators are but the building where we meet for church is in Fazenda. The area was cleaned so both Sister Gomes and I are new and get lost very frequently, but luckily we can usually find our way to one member's house or another and they point us in the right direction.
We have some pretty amazing investigators with pretty huge problems. But, believe it or not, I'd rather worry about helping my investigators stop using drugs, getting permission from their parents to baptize or learning how to read than whose visa is expiring in the next 45 to 90 days. Nah, but this is a pretty awesome area. It's more city-ish than Terra Branca so there are always people to talk to.
Let's see...Sister Gomes is awesome. Probably the nicest person I've ever met. I'm either going to end our transfer being a better person or going crazy. She's so nice! But I still like her. She's from Portugal and in her fourth transfer. Technically, I'm senior companion but I'm considering passing the title over to her since she's already twice the missionary I am.
Saturday, we had an awesome assignment given to us. All the missionaries in Praia got together with the Priesthood of Branch 1 and we were given long lists of the (inactive) membership of Praia 1. Then we split up and tried to do a census of sorts, seeing if people still lived in the area, etc. The only problem is that the addresses consisted of: 'Praia, Ilha de Santiago' or if you were lucky 'Terra Branca, Praia, Ilha de Santiago.' So it was more or less a treasure hunt without a map, but after 7 months in Praia, Sister Gomes and I were able to find a few people--mostly people I'd never met and wouldn't have had a clue they were members. Gosh. If only every member here were active. But it was actually really fun. We thought asking the older people who just sit outside their houses all day would help us find people, but what really worked was going to the inactive that we did know--they gave us a whole list of people I'd never met who were supposedly members. Anyway.
Then my first Sunday in Branch 2 (which was actually my second Sunday since my very first Sunday in Cabo Verde was in that Branch) was great! I got asked to give a talk about the Word of Wisdom right before Sacrament meeting and...it wasn't horrible. My first impromptu Portuguese talk of my mission. It's a lot harder to tell personal stories in Portuguese, but Sister Gomes said she understood everything (though like I said, she's very nice).
Branch 2 is a LOT smaller than Branch 1. There's about forty or fifty people in Sacrament Meeting. I like it. I'm really excited.
I don't really have any funny stories for you this week; we don't have any water but we have plenty of cockroaches. And the house in general is pretty disgusting. Oh yeah! And talk about bizarre. I spent my very first nights in Cape Verde in this house. Monday and Tuesday I kept having flashbacks to that week. That seems so extremely long ago.
The work is good. It's hard, sort of starting from scratch, but it's good. We have one young man Danilson who is my new favorite person. He's going to be baptized in a couple weeks and he's just cute! I'm sure I'm not allowed to say that but he's just really cheerful and shy but an incredible kid. And then there's Edelweis! I met her in my first transfer. She was a reference from Sheila who I taught in Branch 1. And she's great, but her mom is very against baptism. Agh. Anyway, we have a lot of work to do.
And so do you! Hope everything's going well with preparations for John and Mystie. Thanks for your letters and support. I love you all!
P.S. The streets are lined with donut ladies and sandwich ladies in this area. Ah. Life is good.