Friday, August 5, 2011

Sister Brooks says...

Hello! Any guesses as to why I didn't write yesterday? Well, the power was out ALL day! Ha-ha. We woke up, started cleaning in the dark and then stayed in the dark until we went to bed. Goodness. It's been happening about every day, though, so no biggie. We just need to buy candles.

So I've been feeling a bit philosophical lately, and I have a few thoughts for you all. (Just imagine they're those stupid fortunes that you get that aren't fortunes at all like: 'It is a sunny day' or 'Confucius says: Wise man counts his chickens twice', I dunno.)

#1. Really big speakers play really loud music.

Election time again! Dad asked about the political climate. It's LOUD.

I'm ignorant enough about the politics in my own country, let alone here in Cabo Verde. But I'm pretty sure it's the Presidential elections. I know most of the candidates--Manuel Inocencio, Aristides Lima and Someone Fonseca. I'm pretty sure Inocencio is going to win because his jingle is the catchiest (and loudest) and he throws more MEGA FESTAS! As Sister Gomes would say. His jingle is constantly stuck in our heads. 'E mi, e bo, e Inocencio - homem da palavra e determinacao!'

Anyway. There are trucks driving by all day and all night blasting announcements and such and I'm going deaf. There are also giant parties in the middle of our area all the time. Oh goodness.

#2. Cockroaches are crunchy.

During our cleaning yesterday, I realized that the bigger cockroaches are, the grosser it is to kill them. Why? Because of the sound. We found a 'mega barata' (as Sister Gomes would say) and I had to be the one to kill it. And I stepped on it and it made the worst sound ever!

Like potato chips. Crunchy.

And then I thought it was dead, but a little while later, I saw it trying to turn over as I was sweeping and I had to crunch it again! I'm afraid I don't like it. I'll stick with killing chickens.

#3. Pear cobbler isn't as good as peach cobbler.


#4. A dead lizard is just as distracting as a live lizard.

So last week in District Meeting we kept hearing this weird noise and Elder Fernandes found a lizard and a paper cup in the sink. He took away the paper cup and the noise reduced to soft rustle, but when we returned to check on the lizard after the meeting, we found him with his head stuck down the drain in an attempt to escape. I tried to pull him out but he wasn't moving and we were afraid of ripping his head off. So eventually...we just left.

We returned on Saturday for our correlation meeting, entered the room and encountered a horrible STENCH. The poor little lizard had died, still stuck in the sink. And he smelled really bad. Jamanta (branch missionary leader) came in and refused to have the meeting in there because the smell was so bad. Ha-ha. Then in the hall I found another lizard and caught him and threw him outside ('Live!') so he wouldn't meet the same fate.

I don't know where all the lizards came from, but they're everywhere!! I don't know if they like the heat or they're anticipating the rainy season, but everywhere you step you can see a lizard scuttling around. They're just little guys (but not little enough to fit through the church drain) and I like 'em.

#5. Baptism's the first step.

Okay, technically third (after faith and repentance), but the point is, with the new emphasis on baptisms in the mission, I've been...'kicking against the pricks', I suppose. People have such a problem with commitment and enduring to the end here, that I was a little resistant to the focus of baptism. I know that's our purpose, but I was still thinking about the fact that we focus so much on baptism until we forget the true purpose of inviting them to come unto Christ (for the rest of their lives!). But this week, it's clicked.

Our focus is baptism because that makes everything else possible.

Yes, they still need to be integrated into the branch so that they can have help staying firm, but we teach them what they need to know, prepare them, so they can start making covenants with their Heavenly Father.

This past week we found a woman with three young sons. We'd been going to her house for quite a while to teach her nephew but then we could never find him at home and the last time, we were walking up the stairs and I thought 'We're not leaving this house until we teach someone' and she answered the door and just looked happy to see us. We came in, taught a sort of scattered lesson about the restoration and the plan of salvation because she told us her husband just passed away but she also had tons of doubts about with is the right path in this life.

Then we returned to finish the plan of salvation and her sons sat in with us too (ages 16, 12 and 5). She told us that the youngest says his dad isn't dead, but just sleeping. Oh what an incredible thing to tell her that she WILL see her husband again and they WILL see their father again. I feel the Spirit so strongly just writing this. My purpose is to help this family do all they can so that one day they can be sealed together forever with their husband and father.

And baptism is the first part of that path.

I love this work. I know that this is the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I love you all. Keep us in your prayers. I'll try to be more informative about the area and the people next week.


Sister Brooks

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