My companion and I are in Praia right now. We got here on Sunday afternoon, and we’ll be here until Thursday. The zone leaders counsel will be Tuesday and Wednesday.
So this will be Elder Abularachs first time here in Praia. The Lord protected us very much as the plane had some difficulty landing yesterday, perhaps because it was rather windy. The plane made a crooked landing, but with a quick correction by the pilot, he lifted the plane back up and set it down straight, and we made a safe landing.
When it comes to Airlines service, we really have nothing to complain about, as African airlines are a bit of a challenge. More often than not a flight may be delayed up to two or three hours. They’re frequently cancelled and are somewhat overpriced. The last time we were going home from Praia, we had to wait in the airport over 3 hours for our flight. Sometimes your luggage does not make it on the same flight, and you have to go back to the airport a few days later to pick it up. Also, there is no way of knowing if your flight has been delayed or cancelled. You just have to find out when you get to the airport, which costs taxi money. Oh well… on the other hand, they have only had one accident, which was over 30 years ago. The planes are well maintained, and the pilots are well trained.
Yesterday, Heavenly Father gave me the most amazing gift on my mission. As we were walking to the chapel in Praia, a really dark, tall, skinny young man ran to the middle of the street, looked at me and shouted "CUESTAS!!"
It took me 1/4 of a second to recognize who that was. I screamed "LACY!!" and ran to the middle of the street where he was and met him in a screaming hug. I almost had tears in my eyes. He was my very first convert when I was in Tarrafal. He was wearing a white shirt and tie with slacks, and he was attending the District Priesthood meeting. He had finished talking to the Mission President and had just turned in his papers for his mission. His call will arrive in 3 or 4 months. I was so happy that Lacy had remained firm in the church, worked on his papers for some 3 months and just turned them in. He’ll serve a mission. Lacy will serve a mission!!! He was so glad to see me and had tears in his eyes, too.
As we walked back to the chapel, all the male members from Tarrafal started coming out of the chapel. Batcha, Mulato, Moises, Tony, Cederique, Zeletche, Zee, and Manny all came out of the chapel. All of them rushed up to me, and in a matter of seconds, I was being hugged by 8 people at the same time. What a miracle! What a blessing! I saw the people from Tarrafal that I loved so much. Lacy, Tony, Zeletche, Batcha and Mulato have all turned in their papers to serve missions. Unbelievable! I can’t describe the joy that my heart feels to know that these people, who we worked so hard for, are all going to missions, especially Lacy!