Tuesday, May 22, 2012

There Is A Special Joy In Teaching Families

So my companion, Elder Fernandes is incredible! I cannot emphasize how amazing of a time we’re having. He’s super clean and extremely patient. Elder Fernandes is from Achada Grande, Praia, and he lives with his mom and his two older brothers. He’s very young on the mission, and he’ll reach his year mark in September. Together we’re so focused on the work, and we’re both putting our heads together to see what we can do to turn this zone around. He’s so incredibly easy to get along with. Sometimes we chat the whole way from appointment to appointment, while other times we just walk in silence. Everything is so well balance, which it creates all the room to focus on the investigators, and the work along with our personal, spiritual growth.  

Last week was Crazy… On Monday, P day, we went to play soccer with all the elders in Mindelo. Elder Josephson is the zone leader in the Mindelo South Zone, and I get to see him every Monday now.  We’re really good friends. We had a great time playing soccer, and I hope that I can get a little more control of the ball as time goes on…ha-ha. I play terribly!! but so does everyone else. We just laugh the whole time.

Then we left our house at 10:00p to catch our 11:00p flight to Praia with Elder Josephson and Elder Cruz dos Santos from Brazil. We stayed at Elder Hills house, who is now the zone leader of Praia. We had a great training that was focused on how to teach whole families and that we need to look for them now more than individuals. We learned about how to train our missionaries to do so, as well. The spirit was very strong. Indeed, we all learned a lot and spent the evening talking about it and waiting for our 6AM flight the next morning. Over those three days, Fernandes, Cruz dos Santos, Josephson, and I developed a really strong bond, and we talked about everything after the training. We’re excited to work together in Mindelo. The day of our flight back, we had to wake up at 4am to be at the airport at 5am. We were so exhausted when we got back, and we still had to work all that day, but all is good!

The rest of last week we prepared this 17 year old guy for baptism named Elio. He was extremely organized, and he completed his appointments every time and read the book of Mormon every day. His baptism was super spiritual, and he wants to serve a mission. He was able to stand up to his friends that made fun of him for wanting to follow Jesus Christ. It was truly a great joy to meet with him every day and see how eager he wanted to be baptized. He lives with his grandmother as his mom lives in France. He’s waiting to receive papers to go there to live with her. In the meantime, he just has a humble job as a carpenter.

As I mentioned before, we’re focusing now on teaching entire families, as opposed to individuals, and we have a few that are especially promising. Right now, we’re teaching Claudino. He’s a less active that is starting to reactivate, and he has a wife who is not a member of the church. We were able to sit down with them on Saturday and teach them the plan of happiness and how it involves families. The wife named Rizeth looked very interested in the counsel that the gospel can provide for her little girl.

The other family is a man named Valdevino and his wife Margarida. Valdevino is another inactive member who lives with Margarida, but is not married. We watched the film of Joseph Smith, and they promised that they’ll go to Church next week. Margarida is very interested as well and is already doing family prayer with her daughter and Valdevino every day. We gave them a copy of the Family Proclamation, and she read it all in one day. There is a special joy that comes from teaching whole families, as opposed to just individuals. It’s especially what the church here in Mindelo needs.

We’ll be going to Santo Antao today, which is another island. We’ll be doing divisions there with the elders to see what we can do to better help them out. They say Santo Antao is really pretty and is the hottest island in the country, hotter than Fogo. We will see about that.

Elder Cuestas

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