Tuesday, 12 July 2016
Working for the Weekend
This week rocked. Though it didn't start out that way.
On Tuesday, mission leadership council was going on, which meant we had to pull our usual 'we don't exist' routine, and shut ourselves up inside our office and crush away at work. Afterwards, we had planned with our investigator, Baka, to meet up at his house and walk to one of the chapels together for his baptismal interview. Since Baka has a biiiiit of an unadmitted drinking problem, we wanted to use the baptismal interview as an opportunity to learn and understand what it really is to prepare for baptism. Since we had started teaching him, he has changed incredibly, and has stopped drinking almost entirely (as far as we can tell), as the only evidence we have is we can smell alcohol on his breath here and there. On the way to his interview, we could smell it pretty strongly, but he didn't seem to be impeded by it. After his interview, our zone leader, Elder Leyton, told us that, because of the alcohol he could smell, he didn't pass the interview, and we'd have to work with him a little more. Since then, we've been able to help Baka out a lot in putting things into perspective. I think he understands now exactly WHY he's supposed to stop drinking completely. The other day, he opened up to us and said, "you know, this is the third time you've moved my date ahead. I just want to get baptized now." and we could tell he was bummed, but Adiley, who was with us, told him, "man, if I were you, I'd see it as a privilege to get more time to prepare! It just means that when you make a covenant with God, it'll be even more special!", and at the end of the lesson, Baka thanked Adiley for what he said. It was so boss. We're working with him for the 23rd now, and it's looking really good. Things are really starting to fall into place with him.
During the week, work was a bit tough for us, because for some reason, it seemed like we had no time at all. We would get out into our area, teach one or two lessons, and walk home without much else happening. It was kinda frustrating, because even our contacting was suffering, like we were hardly talking to anyone on the street because we were constantly in a rush to get places. When Thursday came around, we had Zone Meeting, and the zone leaders told us how we need to do our best just to be outside of our house and to have our 'line in the water' as best we could. Elder Neville and I knew we had to do some adjusting to the goal they set, but we knew we could do better as well. As the weekend came, we did just that.
Over the course of Saturday and Sunday, we did everything we could to be out and working, and doing so blessed us a ton. On Saturday, we crushed it by teaching 7 lessons, 5 with investigators, which is something I haven't done in this area for a very long time, if at all! We were super blessed to find some boss new investigators, one was even a 17 year old kid, named Doriva, who stopped us on the street and asked us where church was at, because his friend invited him and he wanted to go. When we sat and talked with him, he told us, "hey, I wanna hear about Joseph Smith!" and we were basically like, "well kid, today's your lucky day" hahaha. He was boss. We just saw the Lord's hand in our work as we went out and did everything we could to talk to people and teach. It was fun :)
On Sunday, church rocked because our frequency jumped like 20 people, we went from 68 to 89 in a week! It's amazing how much more fun and happy sacrament meeting feels when you've got tons of people there with you :) we also got Baka and Belarmino to stay all 3 hours, something that normally doesn't happen, and it made a BIG difference too. Last night we went and taught Belarmino, and asked him how he was feeling about his baptismal date for the 30th. For the first time ever, he was like, "yeah, I'm feeling good about it", and I was kinda taken aback. I was like, "wait, so you mean you feel like you'll be prepared?" and he responded, "yeah, I do." It was so hard for me to keep calm because I wanted to scream! It was nothing short of a miracle.
As we worked on Sunday, we saw tons of other blessings too. Yesterday was the final of the EuroCup for soccer, and in the final was France vs. Portugal, and being as Cape Verde has a lot of ties to Portugal, everyone was VERY excited. We had members and investigators tell us that, Sunday after 6pm, it was gunna get tough to find or teach people, but we had no problem at all. We ended up teaching another 6 lessons, totaling 11 investigator lessons on the weekend. It was hilarious because while we were teaching a lesson, I could hear lots of people outside shouting here and there, and I wanted to know what was going on in the game, so when we got out, we planned a route that would take us by one of the millions of bars in our area, so we could get a peak at the score, and on our way up to one, the whole city erupted into shouting and screaming, and drunks started piling out of bars, jumping around, slamming and kicking doors, general euphoria and such. Turns out Portugal had scored in extra time. It was equally rewarding when, outside another investigator's house, we heard the city erupt a second time, confirming a Portugal win. It was entertaining for me, because it reminded me of home with pretty well every Team Canada game :)
One other highlight from the week, Elder Neville found a scorpion while we were out walking at night. It was super random, and once he found it, everyone around us converged on it. A couple of tipsy-er guys came over and corralled it, and picked it up, trying to put it into a bottle. It was really funny, I sorta regret not holding it by the stinger too! How cool of a picture would that be? I honestly didn't believe that scorpions existed here, so that was a first for me :)
That's been my week :) It's been a blast.