Monday, April 25, 2011

I got called as the Branch President in Tarrafal

So transfer calls came and Elder Fonseca got transferred back to Praia. He's now serving as a Zone Leader for Santiago South.

I'm staying in Tarrafal and I got called as the Branch President. Holy heck this is going to take some serious relying on the Lord. I'm in charge of the Church in Tarrafal. This is going to be some crazy work. I'm excited and I feel honored that the Lord has confided such a calling in me. I feel like I can do this, and I'm confident that the Lord will direct me in how that I need to move this work forward with the work of my new companion.

I went to Praia this morning to drop off elder Fonseca in his new area and to pick up my new companion who came in from São Vicente. His name is Elder Coleman and he is from Layton Utah.

This will be my first American companion. We will see how it goes. We have not had much time with each other. Only a few hours, but I'm more than confident that things are going to work out just as I made them work out with Elder Fonseca. I have learned that on the mission, you can get along with every one since you have the spirit of the Lord so strong. I am excited to get him filled in on the work.

Alex came to church!!! That’s 3 times in a row. He did something that touched my heart. This is someone who does not talk about his feelings. Last Friday he put his arm around me and said that he will never forget me. He said that I was his brother and that he's grateful for all that I've done for him. I know that it was not me that helped him, but the spirit of the Lord that has trusted me to help the people here.

We have two new investigators that came to church, and one accepted a date for baptism. His name is Tony, and he’s probably one of the poorest people I’ve seen so far. He has three shirts, two shorts, and one pair of pants. He’s very humble and quick to make friends. He's showing up at all the church activities and came to church for the first time last week.

Julia is now taking the sacrament and staying free of alcohol. She is doing better than I have ever seen before. Cedrique ("Jack") is doing incredibly strong. He is one of the Sunday school teachers and is magnifying his calling very well. It is so nice to see that because he is preparing to go on a mission. Ivandro, all being good will be baptized in two weeks. Steven will be baptized at the end of this month.

I want to emphasize how happy I'm to be here. My life is amazing, and I think I can say that sharing the gospel is one of the best things to do in this life. I love this gospel, and I have seen with my very own eyes what it has done to the lives of others who have nothing.

I have come to a realization that many people long to see. I'm in heaven. I'm in paradise. These have been some of the happiest moments of my life as I forget myself and focus on how I can help other people to discover the sweetness of the spirit of the Lord. I have seen how people transform from hopeless to hopeful. Some of these people have nothing to give you. They don’t even have a chair for you to sit on in their house. Then you realize that they give you their hearts and that is more than you could ever ask for.

My life is a dream right now. My life is in the Lord’s hands as He directs me for the benefit of others. This mission has moved my life in such a way that I thank my Lord endlessly, and affirm that such a gift, I am not deserving of.

This country is incredible. These people are gold, and I have found a place in my heart that will never go away for the people of Cape Verde. I know that Christ lives, and I know that he loves us. I know that the Lord forgets none of his children, and I will spend the rest of my life thanking him for the gift he has given me as calling me to be one of his servants and special testimonies.

Elder Cuestas

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