Monday, 21 December 2015
Year in Review
Isn't it convenient that the Black Keys happen to have the most fitting title for a year-mark letter?
Making it one solid year on the mission caused for some definite reflection this past week, about the lessons I've learned, sometimes about lessons I've taught, experiences that I wouldn't trade the world for, and some of the absolute hardest days of my life as well. I've been extremely blessed to meet some incredible people, from the MTC all the way to the Fogo Zone I'm in today, and had better comps than I could've ever asked for. All in all, I honestly have to say that this past year has easily been the most incredible year of my life, and I have been so blessed by the Lord to have had such an incredible first year of my mission.
To celebrate hitting a year, I was lucky enough to be able to participate in the 'Year Mark Challenge', in which I got to sit down and eat a Snickers bar, a full Dan Cake, and drink a full Pear Compal. To explain a little, A Dan Cake is quite possibly the grossest, most processed cake-type thing here in Cape Verde. It's basically a very large twinkie, about 20-30cms long. I hate them. A Pear Compal is about a litre of straight pear juice, and while wonderful, is a heck of a lot of juice :P Anyways, as is tradition, I embarked on the journey, but failed to finish it. About 70% of the way through the Dan Cake I realized I really hate Dan Cakes, and I just decided to down the juice and call it quits. I laid on my bed all night in pain, it sucked :P I'm never buying a Dan Cake again.
This week was actually a really good week for us in general, like every day just seemed to go by really well, though we did work our butts off. We had a lot of success in finding both investigators and less actives to teach. We've been continually prepping up for Christmas, and it's been a lot of fun to do so. We've found a few Christmas messages we like to teach to our less actives, and at the end of some of the lessons, I'll play a Christmas song on the harmonica for these families, and the smiles we get make me SO happy :) something I'm learning about a Cape Verdean Christmas is that they really don't have much, and unlike at home, nobody really is expecting anything. They're just happy to pass time with family and friends, have fun together, maybe have some good food too. We've been asking people in our lessons what they're excited for for Christmas, and almost always, they say it's because of their families, and because of Christ, and I love it SO much.
Also this week, we worked more and more with our miracle investigator, Mariozinho, who we're planning to have the baptism of this week. We were able to have an awesome lesson with him this week, in which we taught the Word of Wisdom to him, and had a member sit in with us, who has been recently struggling with the Word of Wisdom, and when our member, Kenny, gave his testimony on the Word of Wisdom in the lesson, the power of his testimony was so strong, just because we could really feel he KNEW that it's a commandment of God that will bless us, and I know Mariozinho felt the Spirit really strongly about it too. We're looking forward this week to having a big baptism with the other Elders with something like 7 people getting baptized, so prayers will be necessary for us to have a White Christmas here in Cape Verde.
As for other weekly highlights, our other investigator working toward baptism, Kahtia, shut down her 'man' again, and it was another one of those moments in which I wanted to shout because it was just so like YES. We were teaching her, and her man Patrick happened to be in town for the day, and so I asked him, 'sooooo, are you sticking here for Christmas, or you gunna be back home, orrrrrrr..' and he responded with, 'well, maybe here, or maybe we might all do Christmas out there...' suggesting that Kahtia and her kids would go with him, to which Kahtia just looked at me and said, 'no, we'll be here for Christmas, because the ward Christmas party is on Tuesday'. I was like HECK YEAH! and I'm pretty sure Patrick didn't say a thing the rest of the lesson :P hahahaha. It was the boss.
Hoping ALL y'all out there have an interstellargatorskinboots Christmas, wherever this finds you!