Hello, Family. Well, another week has come and gone and, as always, it went way too fast. The obvious highlight of the week was our trip to Mindelo!! So, that's where I'll start.
Wednesday we had enough time to visit a less-active after lunch then we ran home, grabbed our bags and got a taxi to the airport. We then got to sit on some chairs for a few hours since it's Cabo Verde and they kept delaying our flight. But we eventually got on the plane and to the island of Sao Vicente! (In the airport I was really excited because I wanted to buy something from a vending machine with escudos, but when we tried it didn't work--they only accepted Euros. :( Also, we got to watch some Mickey Mouse Christmas movies...I'm pretty sure those are approved by the missionary manual...) The flight was about half an hour and they handed out water and butterscotch candies. How fun.
Well, we got to Mindelo and the Jorge (the missionaries' taxi driver) picked us up at the airport and took us to the chapel where Sister Walker and I had a very touching reuniting with Sister Turnbow. And that was awesome. Then I got to go out for a couple of hours and visit some of the Sisters' recent-converts and investigators. Mindelo's much bigger than Sal, but still cleaner and calmer than Praia--from what I saw.
Oh man. And guess what! I had my first hot shower in almost a year. That's right. It was very bizarre and slightly depressing when we had to leave that behind.
The conference itself was more or less...amazing. Elder Causse from the seventy spoke to us and basically the whole thing was just him telling us what he felt that we needed to know and answering questions. It was so good. It was also...in English! Ha-ha. There are only two missionaries in both zones that don't understand English so President just had their companions translate for them and since Elder Causse's from France he just spoke English. (Yeah...I know that didn't really make sense, but you get what I'm trying to say.)
But it was awesome. I wish I had time to tell you everything I learned, but I don't. I should have brought my notes. We talked a LOT about building Zion. At one point we went over the number of members that there are in the Mindelo District, the number of Melch. Priesthood holders and how many we need to have a stake. Not many. We have more than enough members; we just need a few more worthy men. And Sister Walker and I both know we have TONS of men here that are ready to receive the Priesthood, or be invited to do what they need to do to become worthy to receive it. We're also teaching some amazing young men right now too. Anyway, it was just really interesting and exciting.
We also taught a lot about charity and as Elder Causse asked us about the people we meet and teach every day I think he was impressed how easy it is to love the people here. He spoke a bit about how sometimes it's very difficult to love people right away and you have to serve them for two years to find that love...but here, it's not hard at all. The people automatically love you and it's really not hard to love them back. He spoke about the Atonement and about applying the Christ's grace in our lives now--not just after we've died. He also spoke about living a consecrated life.
It was just amazing. President and Sister Oliveira spoke to us, too and I just love being a missionary. It's absolutely ridiculous how lucky we are as missionaries.
Speaking of being missionaries...we are not. Ha-ha. Here in Sal, everyone refers to Elders and Sisters as the Missionaries and the Sisters. Seriously. Sometimes people will ask us to tell the 'missionaries' something and they always pray for 'the missionaries and the sisters'. Gosh. We get a good laugh out of it.
It was a little bit sad saying good-bye to Mindelo, though. There were a lot of missionaries there that I haven't seen in a while and it was super fun seeing them. There were also missionaries that I had never seen (since I've spent my whole life in Praia) and it was nice to meet them. But I had to say good-bye to Sister Turnbow. Most likely I won't see here before she goes home since she and Sister Walker leave in December.
But we did say good-bye and by Thursday night we were already back in Sal. And life is good.
We made brownies for the Young Women's activity on Saturday and the Young Women's president asked us to be there and we got to be taught how to make a Tarte de Limao! It was like watching a cooking show. And now I have the recipe. We also got to be surrounded by the absolutely insane young women, which is always fun. Man, they're nuts. But I like 'em.
Cicita finally took his earrings out. Ha-ha. We've been teaching him since I'm been here and he knows it's true, but for some reason he's just been on the fence about baptism and he kept saying it was just too hard to take out his earrings. Well, we came back from Mindelo and for some reason his earrings were out and he told us he was ready to be baptized and that 'for sure' he's going to baptize this weekend. Awesome.
Also...that's about it. I really liked one thing that Elder Causse said--I think he was quoting Pres. Eyring (I'll paraphrase): 'Assume the Lord has touched those to whom you are sent--approach them with happy optimism.'
Not the easiest thing in the world, but I'm all about being happily optimistic. :)
I love you all! Have a Happy Birthday David, today and a Happy Birthday, Amy, on Saturday!
Com muito amor e carinho,