Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas and New Years

Before I forget:

Dear Everyone.  I love you all.  Please, I don´t really need much.  I would love to hear from you and get letters, and maybe envelopes and stuff with maybe a tie (actually, I do need ties to give to people that don´t have one and need one to get the priesthood) or other small stuff, but I don´t need food or worldly things.  Pictures are fantastic if you want to send something.  A CD of church music of any kind is also good.  These are just ideas if you really really really want to send something.  Yeah.  So, that.  Maybe a story or experience that you had or that we had together. Thanks!
So this last week was good.

This week we got a lot of new investigators and got our dates marked for baptism back up to 10.  Now we just need to get rid of the people in our inventory through baptism, and helping people to stay strong.  That is the struggle is keeping people strong in the gospel.  We are working hard to ensure that things go well in that aspect.  Yesterday church only had 29 people though, so we have a lot to do.

Christmas we did a lot of good missionary work, and then skyped home for a nice talk with family!  Yay family!  Yay technology.  It´s funny when skype from africa to america works way better than it ever did from Brad´s mission home.  Irony.

So the rest of the week, we had district meeting and made pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and pizza which was incredible.  Thank you Aunt Diane!  That was pretty much it.  It has been a pretty unnormal eventing week.

Oh Congrats to Mike on the whole marriage thing.

So some investigator updates.
Joakina and her 4 kids:  So they didn´t show up at church because the other people that Joakina works with got fired so now she has to work twice a day every day, including sundays.  We are praying with their family to find a way to get sundays off, or at least to start with sunday mornings off.  Who in the world eats at a resturant sunday morning?  They have a date marked for the 18th.  Lets Go!!!
Joakin is different that Joakina.  He is the guy who owns our new church building we are moving into (right now our church is a 20 min drive from us, and more than an hour for some people.  It is being moved to a bigger building right next to our house).  He is sweet.  Turns out he talked to missionaries like 6 months ago and already knows the church is true.  He is also marked for baptism on the 18th.  We taught last night, him and his sister who is here visiting for the holidays becasue normally she lives in other places, because she works for the UN doing peace keeping.  She just pretty much walks into countries and yells at everyone that isn´t doing what they are supposed to be doing and aren´t being peaceful.  She also speaks fluent english (joakin speaks too but not as well) and is the first Catholic I have met here that actually has any idea whatsoever what she believes.
Hodielson (h is silent) is Kéven´s brother (he was baptized a few weeks ago and is a super studd) and he is being baptized this week.  Yeah.  Sweet.  I love baptisms.
That will be all for now. Next week I will talk about some more people.
So thought for the week.
Faith=Desire to do the will of the Lord in the Face of Opposition.  When temptations come, if we have enough faith, we win, if not, we lose.Yay Faith.  So, develop more faith, by using the faith you already have.  When your body says, time to sleep, not read scriptures, give your self a battle cry and win!  Then the next time it will be a bit easier.  When the spirit says, help your neighbor, Follow, AND YOUR FAITH WILL GROW!!!!!!  Wahoooooo!!!
So, in the end, it is all about winning.  The world says, it´s not whether you win or lose, it´s how you play the game.  But actually, the truth is, IT IS ALL ABOUT WINNING.  When you lose, fix whatever happened to lose, and win the next time.  That is repentance.We can´t have eternal salvation without winning more times the next day than we did the day before, every day of our lives.
Love you all,
Elder Sampson

Monday, December 23, 2013

Feliz Natal

Dear Tudo,

Merry Christmas.

I will start with a Christmas message that I learned mostly at our Mission Party. 
So we have a lot of stuff.  We have food and family and bodies and houses and everything, but everything we have is from God.  If He wanted, He could take everything from us, just like Job.  There is only one thing that we really have that He can´t take from us. That is our Agency.  In this time of Christmas, and all year, we have so much, and the only thing that we are capible of giving back is the only thing we really have.  Our Agency.  Our choice to put God first.  Our Choice to do the hard stuff and get on our knees frequently, to study the Book of Mormon, to serve those who can´t give back, who are hard to serve.  To try and apply all the principles that Christ taught us.  The only thing we can really give is our hearts, to become completely, tools in the Lord´s hands.  God, if He hadn´t said otherwise, could take our agency and make us do everything to be happy.  This won´t happen, so why not use our agency to choose to let Him do the same thing with our lives.  Let go of the illusion of control and give this Christmas, your heart.
This will be Brief.
This week we didn´t have enough time to work.  We worked monday and tuesday, Wednesday we went to Sao Vicente for the Christmas party.  That was sweet.  It was pouring during the 45 min boat ride, and we were outside under a canopy with some drunks.  Fun.  We chilled with some other missionaries, and stuff until the next morning of the Party.  We had some great spiritual messages from President Oliveria and Pres Monson (video) and ate some great food (lots) and went out in our districts and sang to random people on the street and then came back and reported. It was all around fantastic.  So fantastic that we missed our boat and had to go back the next morning which threw stuff off a little.  So President goes to a Christmas party in every zone.  There is never a meeting with everyone from the mission at the same place.  There is a good chance I will never meet some of the missionaries I am with for 22 months. 

After a lot of time of straight traveling with no food or water, Keven was baptized, then we crashed.  He is a studd. I love him.  The ocean was a bit calmer. 

The next day we had a sweet district meeting (Which was sweet.  My district is the best litterally because we are super tight and work together instead of just kind of being in the same area.  We set some great goals for this transfer) and stuff but lost the whole day as we went to our branch Christmas party which was sweet and had soooooo much food.

Sunday I ate something weird and had a bit of upset stomach, but we ate at the one super strong families house, the Pasquinhas.  Everyone in our branch has been a member for like 6 months or less, except them.  (Used to be) President Pasquinha served a mission back in 94-96 and knows Brother Wright who talked to us before we showed up here.  I asked him about Elder Oaks when he came out and he showed me a picture of him with Elder Oaks and said that Brother Wright took the picture.  Small world.  Anyways, it was incredible.  Maybe my favorite meal the entire time here.  It was awesome. 

Yeah, so that is pretty much it. 
Oh Yeah, Joakina and her 4 kids were supposed to be baptized this week but they didn´t show up at church.  Pray for them.  They should be baptized next week.
Elder Jensen knows what is really up now, and has a very very hard choice to make so pray for him really hard.

Thank you to Aunt Diane.  I got the package.  I am so excited to have pumpkin Chocolate chip cookies.  They are my favorite and you can´t really get any of that stuff here, especially chocolate chips.  Awesome.

Well, I will talk to those of you who live at my house on Wednesday at 11, but those who don´t,
Merry Christmas!  See Spiritual Thought at the Top Again.
Yeah, so that is pretty much it.

Kéven and Otaniel and Us at the Baptism
Me in the middle of the ocean in the middle of a large storm with a bunch of Drunks!

Elder Sampson
Oh, and on the boat coming back (waves were terrible but that isn´t related to anything) I talked with these two cruse ship film makers from Hungary on a German Cruise ship that was stopped in Sao Vicente.  It was sweet.  My favore question was "So do you have any books you would suggest to learn more about this kind of stuff?"  Yes.  Yes I do.
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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Late (coming on Tuesday instead of Monday)

So yesterday I was traveling all day and so I couldn't email.  I am still not to my new area.  All 4 of us in Cova Figueira left.  Elder Jensen is going to Mindelo where I am email right now but he wont be here for a bit longer.  His head is worse, but they have the best hospital here, so he will see a doctor in the next week, and if he will either get better or will have to go home which is very difficult for him.  Going home early is one of the hardest things for any missionary, and he already did it once and then came back after a year and a half.  Please continue to pray for him.  

I got transfered from the Southern Most area to the northern most area.  I am going to the island of Santo Antão which is the biggest island here but it only has 6 missionaries.  Also as of today, all of the islands have missionaries.  Last transfer Maio opened, and today São Nicolou (Sawou Nichole-ahw) 

I am super excited to serve and my companion Is great, but more about him next week.  We are going right now to buy a ticket for the fastferry which will take me from here to my island.  I left Fogo yesterday, Chilled in Praia a lot at the airport all day, then flew at like 11 to São Vicente and slept at the Zone Leaders house. Sweet.  I also got the two packages, one with Christmas stuff from family, and the other one form Grandma and Grandpa Low.  Thank You!  I had some problems getting them on the air plane and I had to pay almost 3000 escudos (33 dollars) to get them here.  That is okay though.

Congrats To Grandma and Grandpa on their Mission Call!!!

The Temple is sweet.  I challange everyone who is able to attend the temple twice this week, the first time pondering what you need to do to Come unto Christ more, and the second time pondering how you will do it.  If you can´t make it to the temple twice though, try to ponder about these things throughout the week.

I think we are going to buy a boat ticket now so I can go to my area.  We have 4 baptisms this week which will be sweet.

I Love You All!

Elder Sampson

Monday, December 2, 2013

No Comp Week Explained

So, first of I am going to explain the whole companion thing this week.
So Elder Jensen left to praia monday to see a doctor.  I stayed with the other two elders in cova figueira, Elder halblieb and Elder Pires.  I tried to do divisions throughout the week but all of the people who were supposed to walk with me wouldn´t show up and wouldn´t answer their phones.  It taught nothing in my área until thrusday.
Thursday was thanksgiving.  We ate the normal spaghetti with canned fish, and had no special food.  Thats okay though.  The person that was supposed to walk with me at least when it got time to go, bailed on me but at least this time he went and found someone that could walk with me that doesn´t have a phone (there are only about 5 options becaue they have to be a melchesidic preisthood holder and cant be working and stuff like that).  I worked my área with him all Thursday, and got another member all of Friday.  In those two days I taught as much as last week all together.  The Lord knew the desires of my heart and blessed me a lot.  I marked a bunch of dates for baptism, and started on two marrages so that these people can get baptized which is sweet.  Saturday I went on a split with Elder Pires becase Elder Jensen came back and someone had to stay with him. He is no better.  The doctor said that he has a bad sinus infection and that is causing the headeches, but he is still the exact same.  Probably he will stay in throughout all of this week again, which makes life very hard for me trying to work this área.  Church was an inprovement.  We had 80 people there which we can start to build on.  I also did a training with the ward missionaries and started teaching them how to teach the missionary lessons so that they can start to teach after baptism.  We had to leave church early because Elder Jensen is dying, so right now, it sort of feels like I am trying to pull the work in the área through a very small tube, and it is taking everything I can to just keep the área moving a little bit. Sunday is Transfers and I will have a new companion and hopefully I will be able to work.  The Lord has taught me so much though during this transfer.  I just want to work.  So, to sumarize, Elder Jensen isn´t better, and I am still pretty much working alone, it is just a lot harder now because I have to find someone to stay with him and to work with me.  I have a million appointments, but I don´t know how many of them I will actually be able to get to.
This week was a grand adventure though.  Missionary life is great but interesting right now.  Vamos ver o que vai acontecer.

This week I had a great experience with some crazy people.  A lot of the old people are a little rediculous.  One lady that will be baptized next week just always responds, "Sim Senhor" "Palavras de Deus" "Seguir Deus" and stuff (Yes Sir, Words of God, Follow God). 

Today we played soccer again.  It is lots of fun, and a lot of people here are really good.  Elder Halblieb played for AF, Elder Martinez played for some touring competitive legue, and the natives are really good, but probably not as good as they think they are.
Well, Love You All.
Hope All Stays Well At Home!
Elder Sampson