Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Wonderful Christmastime

Much like Paul McCartney once sang, this year we we could say this past week were were 'simply having a wonderful Christmas time'. While the emphasis in this statement could likely be more focused on the 'simply' part, it was still a very memorable and happy Christmas week for us :)

Our week started out with a division with the Zone Leaders, I had the opportunity to go out with Elder Willes, in which our primary purpose was to do a baptismal interview for our investigator, Mariozinho, who we had marked for baptism on the 26th. Elder Mason and I had struggled to find him in the days past, and as such,  I was kinda panicking to see if we could find him or not. I was absolutely STOKED when, after teaching a lesson, Elder Willes and I ran into him, and we were like, 'HEY, your baptism is this week, you gotta do an interview, letsssss'a'goooo ' but in traditional form, Mariozinho had something else he had to do at that moment, but we marked to find him at 6pm, right before our Ward's Christmas Party at 7. By the time 6pm came around, he was nowhere to be found, and while we waited and waited, he never came, so we hoped to see him at the Christmas party, and though we waited and waited, he never showed. We concluded that, if he didn't show up, it likely meant that he wasn't ready for his baptism at this point in time, so we kinda put him off for now. 

As for our Christmas Party, I'd have to say it was probably my favorite part of the week. It was kind of funny, because, in classic Cape Verdean fashion, it didn't start til WAY later, and by the time we had showed up, Elder Mason and Elder Rodrigues, who were on a division, had been singing hymns with those who showed up on time for like at least an hour. 
By the time we got it started, not everything went as was planned, but it was nice. There were some videos showed, some testimonies given, and some more hymns sung, but the real highlight came after the spiritual part. Our ward had organized what they called a 'troca de prenda', or gift exchange, in which members of the Elders Quorum had to get presents for a specific person in the Relief Society, and vice versa. I got the name of a member in our ward who I think is like over 70, she's super old, and suuuuper sweet, like she always shakes our hands for at least 20 seconds every time we see her. We didn't really have a whole lot to give, so I gave her this dollar store item I had gotten in a package of a pink bunny with a battery powered fan on its head. Merry Christmas for her I guess :) hahaha. The fun part about it though, was they did it like a chain, where one member would get up, and describe who they had, and the congregation had to guess who it was, and man, it was hilarious. Some of the descriptions they used were classic. I especially loved it when they described the person as white, and the person would get up to get it, and they were distinctively not white :P or when a member would get their spouse, and would describe the person as 'the girl I love the most in the whole world' or cute stuff like that. It was hilarious. I got a present from our Relief Society President, Samila, who is one of my favorite members here, and she described me as having 'fine hair and being really good at Creole' and everyone guessed that it was me. It was a pretty great present too, being the only Christmas present I got before Christmas; I can now say I get to join the illustrious club of those who say they only got socks for Christmas, because that's what I got :) 

Our other highlight from the week was Christmas Eve, as that's the real celebration that they had here in Cova Figueira. One of their traditions is they always hold a 'ceia', or like big supper, but the only problem is, is that their tradition is that they always have their ceias at like midnight. We had been going around asking members what they had planned for Christmas, and ALL of them went off about their ceias and all the food they would have, and I think every one of them invited us to come. It was much to our dismay, when they answered to us that it would be happening at midnight :P thankfully though, because our members love us, we had a couple of families that were very kind to accommodate to us, and they had their ceias a little bit earlier, so that we could get home when we needed too. Some of the food we ate included bacalhau, a Portuguese dish that lots of Portuguese people eat, or so I'm told. We also got lobster, and maybe a little bit of good pork too (shhhhh). It was such a good dinner, and while it wasn't a whole lot like the regular Christmas Eve's I'm used to, it was a really good one :)

On Christmas, to be honest, not a whole lot happened. We were going around expecting to find families together and celebrating and having fun, but instead, everyone was just doing their usual stuff. We did get to eat a reaaaaaaally good Christmas lunch at our other family's house, where we got to eat more bacalhau, but this time it had black olives with it. I like black olives a lot. We did get to go around a bit and wish people merry Christmas, but a large part of our day went towards figuring out problems with Skype, and getting to Skype our families, which was the best Christmas present of all!!! It was definitely the bomb. 
With moving forward now, we're really stoked to be having the baptism of our investigators Kahtia and Fabio this week. We had the Primary Presentation in our ward yesterday, and Fabio got up to give a talk, but when he was stumbling on what to say, a couple of kids started to giggle at him, and he had a momentous struggle which resulted in him crying and sitting down next to our bishop. Poor kid didn't sing the rest of the presentation, but it was kinda cute how he just had a little breakdown. He got over it pretty darn quick too, which was good. 
So, it's been a good week for us, and I hope all y'all out there had an incredible Christmas. My only major sadness from this week I guess was the fact I got a major Star Wars spoiler fed to me by my dad, but even though it's caused for such trauma on my life, somehow I'm working on forgiving him. 
Love y'all! 
Elder Massey

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