Tuesday, 12 July 2016
"Nobody knows what the future holds; and it's bad enough just getting old" once sang Ezra Koenig
This week was fu because we had quite the contrast in views of missionary-life, based on different missionaries we had with us over the course of the week.
Being as this past week was the first of the transfer, it meant two things: there were missionaries going home, and others coming in, and they needed places to stay. At the beginning of the week, we got to house Elder Pauli and Elder Cruz for a couple days til they went home on Wednesday night. It was fun to talk to them a bit, about experiences they'd had, things they'd learned (or taught) companions, they showed us stuff they were both leaving behind and taking home, along with other things. It sorta put into perspective for me just how short missionary life really is; for so long, you go through so many different experiences and learn so much, and then one day, it's just over. So many of those little things don't matter any more, and become left behind, sorta like the joggers I inherited from Elder Cruz :) this week helped me realize how much I need to live mission life up with the time that I have, and not let one day go by without learning something or gaining something. One day, it's gunna be over, and in a flash.
On the other side of things, we also had the opportunity to house an incoming missionary, Elder Gomes, who went off to serve with Elder Bullock in Mindelo. We got to go out and work with him for two different days, Saturday and Sunday, and it was so funny to me some of the questions he asked or things he wanted to know. Makes me remember back when I came in, and wanted to know everything. Blows my mind now to think about how long ago that really was. Nothing in the mission is learned in one second or another, but over time it just grows and grows, until you reach a point where you can't remember what life was like without this knowledge or these experiences. It was also fun to hear the excitement Elder Gomes had to be a missionary; he always included in his prayers his thankfulness to Heavenly Father for being able to serve the Cape Verdean people, and for the incredible work we get to do. Sometimes, being in the same routine every day, I feel like I kinda lose sight of that importance, or just take it for granted. I loved having Elder Gomes give me a little more thankfulness for my opportunity to serve. IT was also funny to me, as we went out to teach, he would ask, "so, what are we going to teach today?" with a smile on his face, and Elder Neville and I would kinda chuckle, and just respond, "well, we're gunna teach the gospel!". I thought it was kinda funny :) It's been really cool for me to see such a drastic comparison this past week.
As for the actual work in our area, we had a really successful week! I think one of our main highlights was a new family we found this week, which came from a reference we got from the sisters. We met up with the woman whose number we received, Dilma, and when we got to her house, met her cousin, and her 'niece' (technically her cousin's daughter, but like, I think that's a niece, right?), and the cool part about the lessons was, when we walked in, everybody in the room was down to listen, the TV was turned off, and we got to teach all of them. We had just come from a lesson where the guy we taught understood little to none of our Portuguese, since he only spoke Creole, so it was a huge blessing to teach a lesson where not only everyone wanted to listen, but actually understood what we taught! By the end of the lesson, all three of them agreed to read and pray, and they asked for more Book of Mormons for their house, so they could each read their own. We're going back tonight to teach them again. They're so cool.
Another highlight that came from this week was working with Adiley. Since he received the Aaronic Priesthood the week prior, he became an eligible member to teach with us! We marked with him to come out and teach with us during the week, and then again on Sunday. Since Sunday came and we had Elder Gomes with us as well, it was sorta weird when we started to teach, cuz we were 4 guys in white shirts and ties walking around, so we decided to do a division and get more stuff done. I got to walk with Adiley for a bit, while Elder Neville went off with Elder Gomes. It was fun cuz I got to talk with Adiley a little bit not in just a missionary-to-investigator sorta way, or missionary-to-recent-convert, but just as his friend. He had questions about how he could serve a mission, what kinda stuff he should study, it was really fun :) we went and taught a couple lessons, he took me to his cousins house who we taught, as well as a short lesson with an older investigator, Nelito, where Adiley asked a question that really helped the lesson progress. It was so cool for me to watch him testify and teach what few things he knows, with his whole heart. The kid's a boss, I love him to death.
I guess now, looking ahead, I just gotta "go to the 18th hole", like Ezra says. Can't get too trunky yet!