Monday, October 28, 2013

Room for More

October 28, 2013

Dear Family, friends and fellow folk,
You may have noticed that these letters are a little better than they used to be.  I started writing them out and then just typing them so it takes less time and they are a lot better focused and not spread over random stuff.
I am preparing stuff to send home but I need to know what kinds of pictures and videos and stuff that people want from Africa.  I am planning on sending home a jump drive of stuff that can be uploaded to the blog for all to see.

So I got letters this week.  Most of the letters from family were from a long while ago.  Jeff sent one on the 10th and it showed up here on the 16 and I got it on the 25th or so.  It takes about 6-10 days to get here and then after that I just have to wait for someone to bring them from praia during transfers or when someone comes to the island for whatever reason.  I can send stuff home pretty easy, but the mail here doesn´t send from cova figueria until the box is full so I will wait to send stuff until we go to sao filipe.

This week in Cape Verde was about 7 days long.  Tranfer calls came last night and pretty much no one on Fogo got transfered.  There are 26 missionaries here, 2 got switched but are still on the island and one elder and one sister left the island.  Everyone I see on a regular basis is still in the exact same place.  We had Cake and Icecream to kill the transfer (See attached pictuers).  Was good.  Elder Jensen is addicted to the cake.  

This week was a bit rough. We had 3 days in a row that we didn´t teach any lessons and then the next day after that we only taught 1 lesson.  We had 3 lessons yesterday though and also got 8 new references which will help.  We have access now to a new area because we found out that there is a car that can bring people from there to church so we will start working there this week too.  We are dropping a lot of investigators.  Pretty much we are just sifting through the people that won´t do stuff to find those who will.  

We got a call thursday morning that the assistants wanted everyone on fogo to have a baptism this week, and so we found people that could potentially get baptized, and unfortunately ours didn´t work out, but we had 2 baptisms here on saturday not in our branch.
We only had one investigator in church this sunday.  He came with his friends and has been going to seminary and to church activities.  We won´t have any baptisms this week but hopefully will have 2 or 3 next week.

So this week I have to spiritual thought and challenges
1. Read and ponder the words to the Hymn, Sweet hour of Prayer, then apply the things that the spirit tells you to do to imporve your prayers.
2. The second is about the sacriment.  Every week we take the sacriment should be able to feel the same joy as we did the day of our baptisms, however, this can only happen if every week we are preparing for the sacriment and trying to change ourselves to be more worthy.  Every week the sacriment should cause us to want to re-committ ourselves to be more like Jesus Christ.  This isn´t a Gospel where we just sort of go about doing our daily thinsg and baybe at nigh pray and say sorry for the things that we did wrong and then repent every day until we take the sacriment and then when we take the sacriment, everyhint we missed saying sorry for is okay.  The puropse and the way we can have the same joy of baptism every week is by trying our best and working at imporving and rearranging our lives to be more like Jesus Christ.  Then, and only then, do we really use the atonement though the sacriment.

So this week the water was out for about 8 days and finally came back on, but we conserved it better and still had a tiny bit of water coming out when the water came back on so it was better.  It was just a lot harder to wash dishes and stuff and we had to bucket shower.

Storys of the week:
1. So we had to fill the baptisimal font by hand which was fun because the water is out in the chapel.  My traps are sore still a little. Lots of buckets of water carried.  Check.
2. So we were in a lesson and elder jensen got attacked by a centipiede and I saved his life.  It was about 6 inches long, and we stomped on it and it wouldn´t die and so we burned its head.  They are very poisionous but that is the only one so far I have seen.

Elder Sampson
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Sunday, October 27, 2013



Mon, Oct 21, 2013 at 9:58 AM

Sweet Sunset or sunrise.  I don´t remember which.  Nature is sweet here.


Monday, October 21, 2013

This Week

This Week
1 message

Mon, Oct 21, 2013 at 10:29 AM

So first off, the picture I attached is of Elder Jensen on the ladder that I talk about at the end.  
And the other one I may have already sent.
Hello Everyone, and Happy Birthday to the Greatest Father on Earth!
Thank you so much for everything, but especially for making me do hard stuff.  I am sorry for all the times I complained and stuff, but I am glad that you taught me to do stuff the better way.  It turns out a lot of missionaries show up to be missionaries but not to do missionary work all the time.  Simple stuff like cooking and cleaning I put more of an effort into thanks to all the things that you taught me.  I was cleaning the bathroom today and was thinking about how you made me clean stuff the right way and that our toilet hadn´t been really cleaned until today for months just because no one really does the deep cleaning.  All the priciples of hard work that you taught me show up here and I am way more motivated to work hard all the time.  I know I would be way worse of a missionary if it weren´t for all that you taught me and I see and remember things you taught me every day.  thank you and I love you.

So this week was pretty interesting.  We had some nice meetings with our branch mission leader and the one branch missionary that whowed up.  We planned for them to walk with us throughout the wee which was pretty good and we planned to visit less actives with them.  Less actives are a problem here.  I don´t remember if I already said this, but we have about 2700 members here in Fogo and just over 1000 are active which is still enough to make a stake, but we are trying to prepare more people to be solid, especially preisthood holders.  We lack and solid generations of families because pretty much everyone here is a convert.  The only real non-converts are the branch president´s childeren who are sweet.  One of the counselors in our branch presidency is inactive so we are trying to work on that.  Ther was also a excommunication problem in sao filipe with a person stealing tithing money.  It is things like that that keep us from having a stake here now, but in the next few months we will have one here.  People just need to work on continuing to be converted after baptism, as we all do.  The work is good though!

This week we had zone leaders with us on wednesday.  Elder Martinez was with us which was good.  We learned a lot about teaching people and not lessons and showing people how the gospel will help them with their individual needs.  We marked a couple of baptism dates and also started on a marrage.  Most people here aren´t married so that has to happen before they can be baptized.  This family, the man is less active and the lady is a non-member.  I hope that turns out well.  We might possibly have 1 or 2 other marriages to start on this coming week as well.

We had branch conference yesterday and some of the lessons were on member missionary work so we are starting to get more support form all of the members, nut just sometimes the ward missionaries.  Djoy who is a less active (pronounced Joy.  J makes a cghuh sound more or less so dj together makes an english J sound like j in Joy) who was called to teach gospel principles.  We helped him prepare his lesson on Obedience and it went really well.  We only had one investigator at church and we had 3 less actives show up.  We are working more on emphasising the importance of church and getting people to bring their friends to church instead of us making our rounds every sunday inviting everyone to church right before it starts.  Its nice that we do that, but it isn´t that effectice.

This week I started talking to everyone more (not that I didn´t talke before but I approach tons of people on the street)  Elder Jensen doesn´t really like to do that but once I approach and start out he is good to talk with them and then we teach whatever gospel principle and try to sit down with them and have a short lesson or mark for another day.  We found some new investigators through this and got a baptisimal daye marked.  There are so many people to teach we are emphasising the importance of work in recieving blessings of the gospel and dropping people that aren´t trying sooner.  Almost everyone here will sit down and talk to you.  Everyone believes in God and Jesus Christ and that they re important because they have been taught that for forever, but they don´t most of them know why or how.  

We currently have one investigator that is doing super well.  Her name is Christina.  She is 14 and lives with her aunt who is super catholic.  We had taught her once before like three weeks ago and then went back to teach her brother and he wasn´t there but she invited us in and we started teaching her.  We first taught the plan of salvation because both of her parents died of illnesses.  We taught the restoration the second lesson which went great and she told us she wasnts to serve a mission.  She is getting baptized the 2nd of November.  She was the only investigator at church snday which is a problem, but with the help of the members this will get better.  Every time we show up at her door she walks up normal, and when she sees it is us, her face lights up and it is incredible.  On days we don´t teach much it turns the day around when we teach her because she actually cares a ton about what we say.  She is going to be the only member in her family which is usually a bad idea because people go inactive, but we make an exception expecially with the young women because that is the strongest part of our branch.  I am also excited for when she can do temple work for her parents.  We didn´t thing that we could get permission for her to be baptized, but we prayed for a miricle and I fasted and we got it!

Mostly I just want to work.  We are trying to work harder every day, especially me.  Most other elders and sisters look foreward to p-day, and I enjoy p-day, and it is great to write and hear from you all, but I also love missionary work.

I still haven´t heard much of conference.  hopefully this week thoough.  The bit I have heard is great.  I am finding more potions of things to use in our house and with food.  When missionaries are compacent it seems like we have way less then we actually have access too. I also did some deep cleaning today that I don´t think many missionaries know how to or like to do which is a problem if stuff hasent been done for months super well.  I am also using my resources to work out, like pushing a huge matress back and forth accross the floor in our appartment.  Haha.

So funny story of the week.  Our appartment has a door to get to the staircase and a door to get into our room, and I acidently locked the keys in our room so that we were stuck in the stairs between the two locked doors.  Whoops.  We finally got to the outside and then we can just easily climb to our balcony to get in which is unlocked, but it is bad to show people it is easy to get in because someone might steal our stuff, so we had to get a ladder and climb up and in to get the keys.  Twas fun.  Hence the pictuer of elder Jensen on a ladder outside our balcony.

Everyone who reads this is challenged to talk to the missionaries or Ward mission leader and find out what they can do to help!


Elder Sampson

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Monday, October 14, 2013

Questions & Answers

How long were you without water last week?  About a week.
Do you have big storage tanks (or little ones) in your apartment?  We have a tank on top of our house which is bigger than most, and then bottles full in our kitchen when that runs out.  We also have a tank to use inside to flush the toilet every so often and possibly shower.  The water went out on like thursday, we still had a bit of water coming out of the taps until monday, and then no water at all until friday except what we had in bottles and stuff in our house. It was okay though.  It makes you appeiciate water more when you have that. That will continue to happen pretty frequently throughtout my mission.
Where do you have zone conferences?  In the church?  Zone Conference was in the chapel of the bigger of the two chapels in Sao Filipe.  We had lunch there in one of the classrooms and stuff.
How often does President Olivera visit?  Not that often.  He is usually at zone conference, but the last two times he wasnt there so we were lucky to see him this last zone conference.
Where do you email?  How long can you spend on the computer?  We have an hour at an internet cafe which is pretty much just a cement box with computers and a printer.
Can you use Facebook?  Probably next summer.  We are also supposed to get ipads.
Are you able to eat a super large lunch?  No, lunch is usually smaller than a typical dinner at home.  We don´t have a ton and then maybe eat a snack when we get home. I eat probably less than half of what I ate at home.  Its good though.  I´m not starving.  I don´t have an all you can eat feast at all, but I have enough.
What about carrying around snacks to eat around dinner time? No. I have no where to put them and that would require carying around water too which is heavy.  And, snacks are not that cheap and don´t fit super well into our monthly budget.
  Are you eating mostly rice and fish?  We eat a lot of spagetti and stuff.  Rice too.  We have super low quality canned tuna and that is pretty much the only meat we have.  We bought a chichen the other day and broiled it but it had super little meat and wasn´t that good and we just ate it plain because we didn´t have time to make something else.  We eat really simple meals because we can´t get a ton, and also aren´t super skilled at making food!
  Do you think you might get transferred? 
I don´t know. Probably not. but maybe it could really go either way.  Prices of moving missionaries aren´t really taken into account when transfers come. Like any other mission, missionaries go where they need to go as directed by the Lord through the mission president.  I could stay here, move to a different area on Fogo, or go to another island.  If I had to guess though it would be one of the first two.

Life is Good

Dear Familiy and Friends,
Just to clear up the worries it sounds like you all are having,
Everything is good here.  We have very little compared to what you are used to having but we have plenty. The mission and the Lord won´t allow us not to be able to survive and thrive so that we can´t do the missionary work.  We have enough of everything here to be able to do the work that we are here to do. We have food, water, shelter, etc... enough to have energy to work hard and to be safe and everything else we need.  I learn a lot more from not having stuff then from having stuff.  There is an annalogy that goes that we lived with our father before this life, and then we were born in to the mission.  I was born to Elder Jensen, I am his first born son, and then we are here on the mission to be tested etc... and after we will recieve all our father hath (things in america) when we go home to the celestial kingdoom.  This is actually a very regularly used thing.  It is normal to talk about where a missionary was born, and his father, who his sons are and the phrase He Died In Chao Bom or other such things are very normal.  My Grandfather is Elder Curtis, the father of my Dad.  If I have a different companion for the second half of my traning (two transfers) he will be my step-dad.  i have a godfather, and everything.
This week was good.  We are dropping most of our investigators and trying to work better with the members to find people who actually want to do stuff to help themselves instead of people who run from us.  I are also working on getting lots of less actives back to prepare this area and zone to eventually get a stake.  
I still haven´t heard conference in english.  We watched two sessions in church this last weekend.  We were supposed to watch today but the person who has keys to the church computers we will use to watch on left.
I am not sending pictures again because the computer I am on is really old and requires me to unplug the mouse to get to the place I can plug in the card because my converter is really big.  I will try to get on a better computer next week.
My good friend Joaozinho left for Praia today to go to school there.  I am going to miss him.  He is the only one here that speaks good english.  A lot of people know a tiny bit but barely any.  He is a super sweet guy.  He just turned 21 and will hopefully be going on a mission after he finishes school.  I am going to miss him.  
I think I am going to hand write pictures and then take a picture of them and send them home and people can type them up and put them on the blog and stuff because I am out of time again.  Actually, Looks like I have a tiny bit more time than I though but barely.
So, a typical day here:
Get up at 6:30.  Excercise hopefully, find something for breakfast, and so forth and get ready.  If the Branch President´s wife comes by in the morning we can buy bread which is like biscuits.  There are like ten she puts in the bag and the bag is 100 escudos which is like a dollar 25 or so.  We get like 18000 escudos a month which is like 220 dollars or so.
8 is personal study
9 is companionship
10 is my first 12 weeks in the field training stuff
11 is language study
12 we go out for an hour.  Usually just try and contact people for other appointments because most people don´t like to talk to us at that hour.
1-3 Lunch.  We chill, make some food, usually like pasta.  They have tomato sauce and mayo and Catchup (forgot how to spell that.  probably with a K) that we bought while we were in sao filipe and so we maybe make a sauce, maybe something different.  Rice and beans.  Tuna sometimes.  Occasionally we have chicken but not much.  Never beef which is sad because you can´t really get that here and what you can find usually isn´t safe.  We don´t have the magical costco canned beef.  That stuff is amazing.  The last 30 mins we are supposed to read the book of mormon together as companions but that doesn´t always happen because of other things we are doing during lunch.  We need to have more drive during lunch to get things done.
3-9 or 9:30 depending on if we are in a lesson, we go out and teach and contact and stuff.  Our area is decently easy to walk around on.  We have a lot less up and down hill than the other companionship here.  I went on splitts all day this week with Elder Peries who is a native adn doesn´t speak english which was great because I learned a lot.  Their area is like hiking the Y multiple times a day.  It is super steep and destroys shoes.
9-10:30 maybe make a snack, etc... Get ready for bed.  
It´s an adventure every day.  The days go by pretty fast.  Especially if we teach a lot and aren`t hiking all over and really tired.

Things are good here.  ´MEIRCA.
Everyone Realize The Many things you have, aren´t nearly how important as you think they are most of them.

Elder Sampson

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

2 Month Mark

2 Month Mark

Sorry about no email yesterday.  The power went out part way through and then we had to get back to Cova Figueira.  I am finishing this really quick now.

Today is my two month mark. That´s nice.  It seems like I haven´t been out that long.  The transfer is half over today as well.  We will see what happens to me in three weeks.

This last week was a blast.  We got water back on Friday afternoon which makes life so much easier.  Be grateful that when you need a drink or need to shower you can turn on a tap or a shower that is clean, and has controlable temperature, and is always there because we dont always have that here.  That is one thing that makes living here so much more fun.  It is more of an adventure when that happens.

So major things of this last week.
We had Zone Conference on thursday in Sao Filipe.  There are 13 pairs of missionaries in our zone and so I got to meet all of them.  It was a good day except I didnt understand much of what was happening because the room is super echoy (most are here) and so all the portuguese I would normally understand which is enough to know what is going on, I didnt understand because it was really quiet and echoy.  Thats okay though.  The spirit was still strong and we learned a ton.  President Oliveria is fantastic.  We stayed in sao filipe that night and I went on splits with one of the elders who is in Congresso which is the top half of sao filipe.  We did some shopping for stuff we cant get in cova figueira the next morning and then came back and taught the rest of the night.
My body still isnt perfectly adjusted to african food and the fact that I only eat breakfast, and then lunch and dont eat again for hours but I am getting more close to adjusting completely.
Sunday was normal church.  The internet is really slow and so they download conference and we will watch one session next week for church. The rest we have to get and watch on our own.  We are trying to get us some english video to watch but I dont know if that will work.  We got the english and portuguese audio yesterday so we will try to watch during lunch and stuff over the next two weeks or so.  
We didnt have any investigators at church on sunday. :(  That is bad and we are working to try to help people.  Our goal is 11 people baptized and 11 people non active rescued by the end of the year.  It is going to take a lot to get that to happen.  
There is so much to learn and so much to work on it is good I have 2 years because I have forever to go.  
Yesterday the internet was off here so we had to go to sao filipe again to email.
I am almost out of time, so sorry for this short letter.

I Love You All.
Send me a letter or email if you are my friend.
Elder Sampson

Monday, October 7, 2013


I´m not going to send pictures this week.  Sorry.

Here are some things I would like as able.

1. Recipies.  You can just email them and I can pay to print them.  We have somewhat limited resources but pretty much anything basic we can do.  just send lots.  breads, dinners.  snacks. pretty much anything. Pancakes, etc...  Healthy isn´t that important.  We only need ways to make food because we have not that much as of right now and the same stuff gets old.  Also the tomato sauce here is like tomato paste.  Can dad send me a way to make that taste more like american tomato sauce, like the kind he makes?

2. work out plan from bro chun that I never got, and if he can, small descriptions of what things are.  I am trying to get back into shape but have limited resources.  I need to know things I can do with almost nothing.  (chairs, bed, plastic bags full of stuff, etc...)

3. Things that would be great to send:
Hymn Books
Small thing of garlic salt, or how to make garlic salt.  We have garlic (the whole thing) and we have salt.  I would love garlic salt.
Costco canned beef.  Beef Beef Beef.  We only really have chicken here.  Nothing is even beef flavored.  Raman is all chicken, etc...
Just the Cheese from Mac and Cheese.  We have pasta, but no cheese here at all.  That would be great.
A pocket knife with tons of stuff on it.
Muffin Mix (blueberry)
Brownie Mix
Other Mixes. 
     We have water and stuff.  All the basic stuff you have to add to things to make any standard mix. 
I didn´t get the mail.  There was pretty much none.  If the Zone leaders forget to bring stuff from Praia, it probably won´t show up. The next time I can probably get stuff is at transfers 3 weeks from today. 
Glad to hear about the stuff you are doing but don´t have time to respond.

Elder Sampson
Also 2 jump drives.  Sorry this was more of a needy email and not a nice conversation one :(