Tuesday, 12 July 2016
In The Summertime
Much like the intro to the song by the Rural Alberta Advantage, the weekend here in Praia was pretty simple and quiet, in large part to a music festival going on at the beach (again), called 'Badja ku Sol', meaning, more or less, dance with the sun, in Creole. I think over Saturday and Sunday together, we taught a combined 3 lessons with investigators. But, I guess that's what you get in the summertime here :P
We've had a really good, hardworking week in our area, which has been fun, though it didn't come without it's hiccups, as evidenced in our weekend where the only dancing done was the shuffle of our feet through the dirt trying to find people at home.
One cool thing from this week was our progress we had with our investigator, Baka. On Tuesday, we went to teach him, and we talked to him about the importance of keeping commandments, and the blessings that come with them. We taught about a few commandments in specific, and at the end, as a final note, we talked with him about his baptismal date. Since he hadn't come to church the week before, we didn't feel that he would be ready for his July 2nd baptismal date, so we told him we felt it would be best if we moved it forward to July 9th, so he would have more time to prepare, and we could cover the remaining material to make sure he was all ready to go. He told us, "Elders, I don't want to get baptized on the 9th, that's too far away for me. I'm committed to being baptized on the 2nd". Not surprisingly, we were kinda taken aback by that, and used it as an opportunity to explain to him the level of preparedness necessary for him to make a covenant like baptism with God, to which he accepted a date for the 9th. However, for us, he suddenly gained potential we had never seen in him before, with an actual desire to be baptized. It was really cool. Throughout the week, as we focused on him, we saw his willingness to leave past sins behind (while still working on a few), and his knowledge in the gospel increase. While we aren't 100% positive he'll be ready for this week, we feel that he has a lot of potential and the possibility of his baptism is likely. We've just gotta get him to show up for a baptismal interview :P hahaha.
About halfway through the week we got hit with unexpected craziness. One morning while in the shower, Elder Neville told me he'd just talked on the phone with the Assistants, and that we had to get a ticket home for a missionary waiting for his visa serving in Praia. Not only did that throw our entire morning outta place, when we went to go pick up the missionary, no replacement in the form of a mini missionary had come yet, meaning his companion, Elder McMullin, would have to stay with us while a new companion for him was sorted out. What we thought would take a couple of hours to sort out ended up taking more than 2 days, meaning Elder McMullin got to hang out with us for that time. It was a lot of fun for me, mostly because Elder McMullin and I are bros, but also because we arranged for us to go on a division in his area, Bela Vista, where I served for a transfer, while Elder Neville worked with Kenny in our area. It was fun for me to get to walk around and see the changes that have happened in 6 months there, one of which is a burger and shwarma place right by the Bela Vista Elders' house. Of course, that isn't a luxury I could've had while I was there, they just had to wait to put it in after I left. However, after a few plans fell through, Elder McMullin ended up getting a mini missionary to serve with him, and he got back to focusing on his area. He told us while he was with us, "I feel like a kid when your dad takes you to work in the office, and you just sit there and do nothing while your dad works away". It was good fun :)
One final highlight from the week was church on Sunday, when we had 3 new investigators come to church for the first time. Last week, I talked about how we started to teach a woman named Dilma, and while we taught her this week, she expressed to us that, with her current work schedule, it would be difficult for her to come to church with us at 8:30am on Sundays. However, her (sorta) niece, expressed real interest in coming, and after we knocked on their door at 8am and woke them up, Dilma's niece, Telma, showed up at church with her cousins, Dilma's daughters, all on their own! They came and sat down on the bench behind me at church, and our 2nd counselor in the bishopric, Nunu, who was sitting up front, leaned to the side and gave me a sorta funny smile. It was boss, because after sacrament meeting, we got our two Young Women's leaders involved, and they whisked them off to Young Women's with them. It was a boss tender mercy for sure.
It seems to me that Praia is getting hotter every day. We have two fans running almost every night, with a window open, and we're still sweating. Some houses are worse to teach in than others, because some, you sit down, and realize that for the next 20-45 minutes, you're gunna be strugglin'. Not that the temperature here is really all that hotter than home, it's just so constant and thick. Summertime has got us sweatin'.
One last highlight: for Canada Day on Friday, Sister Mathews made banana bread for our monthly housing and finance meeting. Not your most exciting way to celebrate Canada Day, but I'll take free banana bread any day. I also wore my Maple Leaf socks to the meeting, which everybody but President were fans of. I just think President was jealous because of how cool Canada is, and my socks :)