Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Roll Away Your Stone

                                                 Maio elders - hard at work!

                                                    Maio elders - exploring the island - at the top.....
                                                    ....and from the bottom!
                                                           Cape Verde - Land of Light
'Roll away your stone, I'll roll away mine... together we can see what we will find'

I've learned a little bit about taking steps with faith, both in the lives of our investigators, and in my own life. 

As for our investigators, at least our main ones, our focus was really on getting them to understand the importance of them taking steps with faith in their own lives, that our job as missionaries isn't to make them do things, but to help them gain a desire to do things for themselves. I guess, in this way, we're asking for our investigators to become vulnerable in their relationships with us and with God, and to make the next step in their lives. Specifically, this week, that meant getting our investigators to have a real desire to actually go to church. Earlier this week, we were teaching Chano and Milsielita, more or less on the importance of keeping commandments and what that meant in their lives, when I think this desire really hit Milsielita. She was just thinking and thinking, and as I was trying to figure out how to ask them the question I wanted to get out, she more or less answered me mid-sentence, saying she knew she needed to go to church that Sunday, and even made this weird pinky promise thing with Elder Stone, which he was rather hesitant to accept. I was a really cool and also funny experience, and sure enough, on Sunday, Milsielita arrived! She's been our first investigator to show up to church since I've gotten here, so that was an incredible feeling to have. Chano would have come too, but he had a friend break down on the side of the road that morning, and had to go help him. Thankfully, since Milsielita went to church and loved it so much, Chano is now definitely dedicated to coming this next Sunday, if only just to see me play the piano and Elder Stone lead the music. Because of the Spirit Milsielita felt at church, she's able to help Chano develop that same firm desire to come to church with us too. In 'rolling away our stone' and showing our Heavenly Father we're willing to work with him, he truly is able to work wonders. 
As for Nelson, this week, we had less of an opportunity to actually meet with him, as there was a LOT going on here in Vilha for whatever reason, and he was gone a lot. He was originally marked to be baptized on the 21st, last Saturday, but since he's yet to come to church, that wasn't a possibility. He truly does have a testimony that these things are true, but he's just gotta show Heavenly Father that he's willing to work for it. We kinda sat down with him just to see what's been holding him back from coming to church, and helped him understand what he really needs to do. He's such an incredibly humble guy, and it honestly is amazing to see how faithful he is, and how prepared by our Father in Heaven he has been. He's now just gotta make that next step, and roll away his stone to our Heavenly Father.

For me, I've been working more on really trusting in my Heavenly Father as I do his work. Sometimes, it's very easy to get into a more or less rut in things, to just do the work, to just contact people on the street for a number, etc., but I've been trying to work more with my Heavenly Father to use his help to find those who are ready to accept our message. One way Elder Stone and I have been doing this, is by thinking that every contact we make will be the next person baptized here in Maio. Sometimes, this can be tough, because you'll get the occasional Catholic who just shakes his head at ya, or someone who wants to talk in English and turns out to just be really confused, but our Heavenly Father does put people in our way. Some of the coolest people we've taught have been people who have contacted us, and not us contacting them. So, with that said, I'm gunna roll away my stone to my Heavenly Father even more. 

Some funny stuff did happen this week, a certain experience stands out among others. One day, we were out searching for a guy named Jo, saying it like jjj-o, kinda like a soft 'j', if ya get my feel. We went ALL over the place trying to find where he lived, asking people if they knew him, etc., and we eventually decided to go to Chano at work, because we knew he was buddies with the guy. Chano told us EXACTLY where to go, and as we got there, we asked at the door if 'jjjj-o' was there. The lady there told us jjj-o didn't live there, which made us really confused, so we asked 'well, does Joe live here?' to which she responded, 'oh, yeah, Joe's my brother, let me go check'. Elder Stone and I just about died laughing after. It's incredible how funny Cape Verdeans can be sometimes. 

Also, this week, I gave a few new things a try. One night at Chano and Milsielita's, we were forced to eat their food, which happened to be EEL, and let me tell ya, eel freakin' rocks. It is seriously so rad. At Nelson's, a few days later, he offered us some goat's milk from his family's goat (like every family here has animals that live somewhere on the island), and as I tried it, I can honestly say it was not as good an experience as the eel. The stuff was THICK and smelled rank, but didn't taste too bad. It still wasn't an overly pleasant testing, and Elder Stone and I graciously turned down seconds of it. 

Well, that's my week for ya guys, hope you all had a swell one!!
Love ya! 
Elder Massey 

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