Thursday, July 26, 2012

Santo Antao Island

This week was a little different as a huge part of this week was spent in the island of Santo Antao. Being the Zone Leaders here in Mindelo North, we have, as our responsibility, the island of Santo Antao. We went there this week on a three day division, and it was an incredible experience. To get there, we have to take a boat, just like going to Brava. I’m grateful that the sea between Sao Vicente and Santo Antao is a lot calmer, thus making the journey much more pleasant. The boat is much older, but much comfier because you can walk around and be outside where you can feel the wind.

So we got there, and we had district meeting with the missionaries of that island. There are 6 missionaries on the island of Santo Antao. We arrived in the city of Porto Novo and went immediately to the chapel there and met with everyone else. District meeting was pretty good. Nothing special, just district meeting (Happens every week).

The special part was going out with the Elders to the farthest point in Santo Antao to a place called Ponta do Sol. This is one of the most beautiful areas of Cape Verde. This is an area that is extremely rural with almost nothing, but people and pure nature. We went to an area of Ponta do Sol called Cuquoli (pronounced coo ko li) and took a look at the work of the Elders there.

Those two days out there were extremely spiritual, and we were able to help out the Elders a lot and give them some inspired counsel from the Lord. Next to Brava, Ponta do Sol, Santo Antao is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen in my life. It is an undiscovered paradise of greenery, mangos and nature. Santo Antao is famous for mangos, so we ate a lot of mangos this past week. Mango has become my favorite fruit, and I love anything made from mango.

We got back and continued to prepare Jocyleida and Andirson for their wedding, just two weeks away. Everything is going very well with them, and their faith is stronger than ever. We’re so proud of them. Andirson had a very special challenge this week. he was not able to work all week; thus he was unable to provide for his family. He got an offer to work on Sunday, and If he wouldn’t accept it, his family would go hungry all week. We arrived at his home and testified of miracles and the power of obedience to God’s commandments. We also said that he should go to church instead to protect his family from Satan’s temptations, especially so close to the wedding. I know it was something so difficult to understand to anyone else. Why would you go to church instead of work that day, especially if you knew that your family would go hungry, if you did not work that day? He told us that he would think about it. On Sunday, there were Andirson and his family all dressed up and coming to church. Andirson wore a white shirt and tie. My joy was so great to see the faith of this incredible man!

Now, what about that miracle?

It so happened that a member of another branch was visiting our branch that Sunday. I notified our branch president of Andirson’s situation and asked if they could help. Just a few minutes after church ended, this member that was visiting our branch walked up to Andirson and said: "Brother, I own a supermarket. Come with me right now and get some food for your family".

That is a miracle. Andirson and his family got something to eat that day and for some time.

Ana is doing very well. Despite suffering many health issues, she is strong, faithful and going to church every week.

Elder Cuestas

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