Friday, 12 August 2016

California Daze

Kinda a crazy week, it's sorta weird for me to write right now, mostly because for the last 7 months, I've written from the comfort of a nice, air conditioned office. Maybe I'm just spoiled now, but it feels weird to write from a regular old cyber cafe. Guess I'll get over it, poor me.... 
Hanging out with Elder Neville from the office
I said goodbye to the office this week. I still got to drive everyone around for transfers, which was crazy! We got in the Hiace at 11am, and didn't get home til 11:30pm. There was a lot of running late, a lot of pulling people out of Hiaces, and shoving people in. I was pretty proud of myself for commanding the way I did, everybody knows me as being happy and nice, but I think a few people saw my not happy or nice side :P I did my best though, and thankfully, EVERYTHING went as planned (more or less), and the Lord put into our path some direct miracles, which was super cool. Like, we had 3 missionaries who needed to get to an island where there were no open spots on a plane, and when we got to the airport, they told  us they had just added a brand new flight the next day, and had tickets. Literal Godsend!! I was thoroughly exhausted by the end of it all.
New companion - Elder Ronces
Thursday I got to meet my new companion, Elder Ronces, who is from California. I seem to have all the luck getting Californian companions, being that he's my 5th from Cali. All my mission family too is Californian, being that my dad, Elder Stone, was from Cali, as was Elder Mason, my first son. Elder Ronces is Mexican though, and he's a really fun kid. He reminds me a lot of when I served with Elder Martinez back over a year ago. It's funny, because he's super down to talk and get to know people on the street, but his Portuguese comes out as about 75% Spanish, which works for understanding. He's got a really solid base in the language, and I have no doubt he'll pick it up quick.
This week brought a LOT of new things, new companion, new house, new area, (sorta) new ward, but it's been really fun. My new house used to be a Sister house, which used to be a Couple house before than, so it's good some good perks :) By that, I mean we have hot water, in which I took my first hot shower since January. We also have air conditioning, which is the first house I've ever set foot in on the mission that has had air conditioning.It's reaaaaaally nice to plan at night with air conditioning going :) I turn it off at night though, cuz I know it costs a toooon to run (been in the office paying bills for too long..... )
As for our area, it's different for me to work in. It's the first time on my mission where I've worked in a place that has legitimate apartment buildings, or houses that are hard to access or talk to the people inside. For a large part, my areas have been places where I can go up to the people on the street, talk to them, and teach them inside. Here, I feel we're going to have to do a lot of door knocking. I'm not a huge door knocker :P we'll see how it goes. As for the work so far, we've been working a lot on the borders, which are poorer areas where people actually are sitting outside and it's easy to talk to them. We had a few days where we had nothing to do but just go up to houses, say hi to the people inside, and then ask if we could share a message. It kinda shocked my companion that we can do that here, but it's been really fun for me :) 

I think I'll leave it at that for now. I'm really happy, and really loving the way this area and companionship is making me push to be the best me I can be. I know the Lord has me where he wants me right now :)
Love y'all!
Elder Massey, father of 2 Californians.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Gotta Get Away

I got thrown through a loop this week!

So, I had fully prepared myself these past two weeks that I would stay another transfer in the office, so I had sorta sucked it up, got my complaining out, and got focused in on work again. But, more on that in a bit. 

I got to go on a division with our Zone Leaders this week, I got to go with Elder Frei, which was funny for me, because he came in with Elder Mason, who I trained about a year ago now, and now, Elder Frei is my ZL. It was fun, because I got to go to his area, which is always fun. Everything was falling through on us, so he decided we would go into an apartment building, and start knocking. I've never been much of a door knocker, so I wasn't super pumped about it, but I went along with it. We were lucky enough to find a guy, named Joel, who was willing to let us in straight up and talk, which was super cool. It gave me a strengthened testimony of how to push for new investigators, it was good :) Elder Frei was super chill too so that was fun. 

We had marked Belarmino for baptism for the 30th, but as this week went on, it became apparent he probably wouldn't be baptized. He's mentioned to us he's going through some personal stuff right now, which we respect. Since he's more of a quiet, shy guy, rather than being open about his problems, he kept them more to himself, which is all cool. It just makes it harder for us to help. We've kept him in our prayers, and showing up for all 3 hours of church this week really helped him I think. He's super close, he just needs a little more time. He's one of my favorite investigators I've ever taught. 

We kept working with Mundinho and Nixi for marriage in September, and we've felt we're making progress. They're sorta slower movers, and are kinda hung up on the idea that marriage is a big thing (which it is). We're working on them making the baby steps they need to make this whole big thing happen. One little step goes a long way. This week, they expressed real intent when we talked about preparing for marriage and baptism in September, and said they would continue to pray about it. It's literally just this one thing that's holding them up from getting baptized! Gah! 

Another miracle we've found in our area is an older investigator we have named Ana. I'm not sure how much I've talked about her in the past, but basically, she's not an investigator we would normally teach, due to the fact that she's older, can't read, and comprehension isn't the best. However, every time we go to teach her, the Spirit is there super strong, and she is able to understand us, if not completely, then to a very good extent. She's incredible. She lost two children and two fingers on her right hand in an accident a few years back, and has been more or less lonely ever since. When we teach her, I always feel a strong confirmation that we're supposed to be there helping her. It's really so cool. This week we marked her for baptism at the end of the month of August. It's boss. 

Friday was an interesting day. President Mathews had texted us the night before saying we wold have our monthly housing and finance meeting, which normally doesn't happen til the first Friday of the month. Our meeting went all normal and was good, and afterwards, I was getting President to sign some cheques and other boring things, and we were talking a bit, and he asked me, "how are you Elder Massey? Are you happy?" to which I told him, "you know, I am happy. I've accepted I'm doing another one in the office, so it should all be good, I'm excited :)", to which President looked at me all smug-like, and told me, "weeeeell, you're not gunna stay another one" (which shocked me since I knew pretty well all of transfers) and Elder Mortensen, who was standing beside me, started to laugh, and told me they had messed with me when they gave me information about a few transfers. I told President Mathews, "well, give me my transfer call then, let's go!". He told me I would get my one wish, which was to train again. Only thing is, since I'm training, means I'll be whitewashing an area. I'm not getting transferred far, literally going back to the same ward I served in 6 months ago here in Praia, just in the other area, Terra Branca. I'm really excited about it :) 

In my office tenure coming to a close, I've learned a million things, and can't begin to list them all. My first week here I decided this was going to be a positive experience for me, and since then, it really has been :) I've loved these last 6 months, and they've been some of the happiest 6 months of my life. 

As much as I would love to write more, I've gotta stop here. Today's email time is gunna be cut short because of driving transfers. Since my next companion doesn't come in til Thursday, I've still got a few days in this area, and a few more times to drive the mission Hiace :) 

Love y'all! 
Elder Massey, the Greatest Office Elder Who Ever Lived