Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Up and Down

Disclaimer: I had a whole list of things to write about (from this week and last) but I left my planner at home. Oops. And I've been a missionary way too long to live without my planner. So hopefully I can remember most of the things.

It sounds like there were some fun Valentine's activities. We were quite uncreative, but we did help a member make a giant batch of ice cream for the young single adults Valentine's Day party. (We also had to go buy her a new gas tank which she didn't think we would be able to carry, but Sister Laimana and I are buff.)

Okay, so I don't remember what I wrote last week, but I know it wasn't much. So I took off from Sal on Monday and we had a layover in Praia. So the Elders picked me and Elder Brandao from the airport and me and about ten elders piled into the Hiace (good ol' Hiace) and we went to....SEGUNDA'S!!! That's right. I had a delicious bife de vaca and Fanta laranja during my layover. I'm pretty sure Segunda missed me. And apparently she's being taught by the Elders and came to church!!

Then we stopped by the office (talk about blast from the past) and the assistants had to make a last minute flight and guess who still remembers TACV's phone number? And guess who they made make the reservation? Goodness. Haha.

Anyway, then off to Fogo and I met up with Sister Laimana. Sister Beus and Sister Chidester are also serving in Fogo, but down below in Sao Filipe and we live in the same house. I'm not sure why I'm surprised that I got put into another house with four sisters. Haha. But they're cool.

Um...the week was great. Every house in Fogo has a member--active, inactive, excommunicated, who knows--but remarkable, I'm pretty sure every house also has someone who's completely prepared to accept the gospel. Fogo is tiny and there's a companionship of Elders with whom we share our area, so we see them all the time and we have to make sure we don't teach the same people. The other day the Elders told us they had seen one of our investigators and marked a date of baptism with him. Haha. Look at us, working together.

The funny thing is that my 'nightmare' is realized about twelve times a day. There are so many less actives. After we ask people in contacts if they talked to the missionaries before we also ask them if they've been baptized. And seriously, 25% of the time the answer is yes. Ha.

But I love it. It’s small, but way more populated and busy than Sal--though still a whole lot more calm than Praia. Sister Vicente/Samila is in my branch and I've gotten to teach with her and meet her family. Awesome. There are a lot of other people who I already love as well. Lu is a young woman who helps us teach a lot and she's crazy, but an awesome missionary. She's also teaching everyone that my name is Sister Blooks.

We only had about two investigators at the beginning of the week. One is in Praia getting her jaw unwired shut (seriously) and the other got baptized on Saturday. Bruno is amazing. Sister Laimana said that he'd been taught by Elders in the past (like everyone) and he got an answer and then just progressed like crazy. He accepted every commandment because he knew he needed to be baptized. He's awesome. Apparently he's one of the best soccer player's in Fogo and he has a pretty awesome mohawk.

There's also a recent convert named Betinho who had kind of the same story. He got an answer after dozens of missionaries had taught him, stopped drinking and the sisters baptized him a couple weeks ago. He's in a wheelchair and we go with him to church in a taxi. He said he could push himself up and down the hill but his old wheelchair wouldn't make it.

Speaking of hills, that's what Fogo is. It's just one big volcano and you're either hiking up it or hiking down it. Everyone told me that but I didn't really believe it. It's true. The church is at the very top and our house is at the very bottom. We spend our days going up and down between the two and if you forget anything it's generally not worth the time it will take to go down and up again. Haha.

Also, the accent here is nuts. It's almost like the equivalent of a Southern accent. Samila had already told me that Fogo krioulu sounds like singing, but they also seem to have almost an American accent. It's odd. Instead of felicidade being felici-dAWd, it's more like felici-DADdy. I like it a lot.

I also don't need a jacket anymore because it's hot. We'll get a good heat wave before we go home.

We taught the young women how to make lemon squares--FoodNetwork style--on Saturday. They had fun doing it, but when we (magically) pulled out the finished product for them to taste their faces were priceless. Apparently lemon squares are an American taste. Gosh. We just stood there and watched as they nibbled and poked at it. Sister Laimana swore to never teach them anything again. Haha. But we took the other pan to our after baptism party and the people there liked it. (Plus we told Samila that she had to tell everyone it was the best thing she'd ever eaten and I think that helped.)

I can't think of anything else. I'm missing my Sal friends, but Cabo Verde is pretty much full of amazing people which ever island you're on, so it'll just multiply the pain when I have to leave all of them.

Our fun story for the week--well there's quite a few--Sister Laimana and I seem to attract journal moments. We started teaching this boy named Helio. His friend who gave us the reference told us he robs people. We thought it was pretty funny, but one night we went to pass by his house, walked up and saw him talking with a couple other young men on the dark street and Lu was like, 'Let's get out of here.' So we just walked away. Haha. Then we came back to the same area a little bit later and there were about four guys positioned on each corner of this little block. Of course we're both paranoid after what happened in Praia so we chose another street to take (even though the first kid, with a bandana over his face, told us, 'Nhos podi passa dexcontra.' You can go by without worrying--since we're Sisters). Then Sunday night, we were by Samila's house in the same area and her mom told us not to go that way because there were some gang fights going on. Haha. It's just because of carnival. All the police are down regulating that and so the grupos go a little nuts. But Fogo is super safe.

But the people LOVE Americans. Especially two American girls walking around. I really hope people on BYU campus are going to tell me that I'm very beautiful and that they love me so much every day.

Okay. That's all I've got. Hopefully I didn't miss too much. Love you all! I'll try and send pictures next week. Fogo is awesome. The beaches have perfectly black sand. It's cool.

Okay, love you lots,

Sister Brooks

I forgot another great story! We went to a member Patrick's house. He's nineteen or so and we were going to ask him for references. Well he wasn't home and so we went up to a little group of kids playing soccer and asked them if they knew where he was (that works in Cabo Verde). One of them jumped up and said he knew where Patrick was and ran into a school next door. Sister Laimana asked if it was the high school...nope. The boy came out with another little boy...named Patrick. We invited him to come to church. Then ran away before any teacher asked why we were pulling kids out of school to hear the gospel. Haha.

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