Happy Saint Patrick's Day. I had to look up the Portuguese word for 'to pinch' again--looked it up last year too. I pinched everyone who wasn't wearing green even though it's not a real holiday here.
Beliscar = to pinch
I guess I'll start with Elvis and Zidane. Elvis is a member's younger brother (I think there are five young men in that family now that are members) and Zidane is the nephew of some recent converts. They're both super funny little guys and it was fun to teach them and see them baptized. We walked down with them to their baptismal interview which was exhausting since they both walk way faster than we do, but they had a good time playing together. Right as we got into the chapel, Elvis tells Zidane: 'Whatever they ask you, just say no.' Sister Laimana and I both looked at each other and kind of started freaking out ('Will you live the Word of Wisdom?' 'No.'). We found out Elvis' brother Alex (who baptized him) had told Elvis that before he came with us. Haha. Don't worry, they both passed.
We also got to help out with the Elders' investigator's wedding. He's been living with a member and a couple months ago they blessed their baby girl in church. Friday, they got married! A little bit out of order, but they're on the right track now. Andrade got baptized on Saturday along with his mom! That was awesome. While the Elders were teaching Andrade here in Sao Filipe, his mother was being taught in Mosteiros and they were both baptized together. His mom is quite elderly with silver gray hair. We talked to her a bit at the wedding and her Creole is awesome. Apparently she's been smoking since she was six years old (she's got to be in her 70's) but she was able to stop and was baptized with her son. It was just a really cool thing.
The wedding was pretty cool as well. They gave us a call that morning and we went over and blew up about a million balloons, attempted to make a big balloon arch and then peeled a fifty pound bag of potatoes. We missed the actually wedding, stayed behind to finish with the preparations, but we still got to eat and see the bride and groom return. It was fun until the alcohol came out (it's not a party if you're sober!) and then the missionaries just sort of huddled in a corner, finishing our food and then we left. But apparently after we left, they offered champagne to Andrade and Codei and Andrade shook up the bottle and popped it open so it all got wasted and then they threw away the rest of the alcohol! I can definitely see him as a future bishop once the stake is here in Fogo.
3The whole alcohol thing is a pretty enormous problem here in Fogo (as in all of Cabo Verde), but it's a little bit ridiculous how many members you see drinking on a daily basis. Earlier in the week we found one young man drinking in the neighborhood bar and we talked to him for a minute. It was so sad. It was really hard for me to see. He has a brother on a mission and two other semi active brothers here in Fogo, but he's stuck. We tried to get him to leave, but there wasn't really anything to do.
Friday night though, we found him again, in the same bar and we managed to get another member to take him over to his house away from the bar. I felt really grateful for that member--who recently overcame his alcohol problem--and his willingness to help. It was completely a miracle that we found him. We just happened to cross paths and we asked him if he could watch over his friend for the rest of night and he did. Heavenly Father isn't just leading us to those prepared to hear the gospel, but to all those that need our help and whose help we need.
We also had an investigator in church this week named Neida. We've been working with her for a couple weeks and Sister Laimana and I have just felt really good about her even though up until this week we haven’t really seen her making much progress. But this week she moved to a different house with her sister and it's quite a bit closer to the central concentration of members and we were able to pass by on our way to church and she was there waiting, ready to go with us. She got a good reception and enjoyed it. Later that day as she was talking to us she said that she felt really good and she'd told her sister about church and her sister said she'd like to go as well. We sort of continued with the conversation and then Neida kind of interrupted and said, 'I think this really is a true path.' It was great. We're teaching her sister Joana as well and it was definitely an impression from the Spirit to keep going back to her.
Some funny things: I forgot to tell you a couple weeks ago the Elders baptized identical twins. They're super cute but pretty mischievous--when it came time to confirm them, Elder Go confirmed the first one and then there was a pause and Elder Go called him back and asked him which one he really was. Turns out they had either switched of just gone up in the wrong order. Everyone got a good laugh out of it though. Hopefully it wasn't too irreverent.
Also, we took an apple streusel cake to District Meeting--genius and completely delicious. Sister Laimana and I are really getting the hang of gas stove and oven baking. Well, during district meeting, an extremely large quantity of ants got under the plastic wrap onto one side of the cake.
And we all still ate it.
I'm not sure if that means the cake was really good or we've just been in Africa too long.
Life is good in Cabo Verde. The gospel really does change lives--over and over again if necessary.
Love you all lots,