Monday, June 30, 2014

Well, We Tried

So this week had some stellar stuff and some "well... that´s life" stuff.

So the more or less stuff:
We tried to find Nuno all week.  We dropped a ton of lessons every day to go to the area he lives in to try to find him, to no avail.  So, in the end he wasn´t baptised and didn´t come to church.

We also found out that the girl who was supposed to get baptised this week didn´t actually go to church last week alone and didn´t come this week.  Great.

Also, Elder Gilbert, who lived in my house, went to america, and so I was in a trio for 2 days which shafted both of them.

Also, we found out that one of our less actives who lives with another man who is not a member and they aren´t married is actually married to someone else right now.  Man, big commandment breaking.

The Good News, is that they want to live the commandment, and She is going to work this week to get divorced with this guy that lives in Portugal, and then get married to this other guy so they can live the commandments.  They didn´t come to church, but their 9 year old daughter came alone, and she is sweet!
Also good that happened this week is that we got to see President Oliveira one last time.  They came out to do house inspections 2 days before they went home, but didn´t have time, and so we just had a small zone meeting which was awesome and we talked about the future.  Pretty much all of the transfers that were supposed to happen this sunday already happened.  The only things that will change will be giving greenies comps when they come in next week.

We talked about miracles in that meeting, and the spirit was super strong.
We had a meeting with 2 of our 5 members that are active in our 2 areas, about miracles, and the spirit was super strong.  We made plans based out of Moroni 7:31 which talks about covenants and miracles.

Our plan has 3 parts:
1. Personal Worthiness to Covenants
2. Help others Make or Return to living covenants
3. Night of Miracles which will take place every week to help us talk about and see the miracles that are happening and make plans to have miracles happen.

Everyone wants to see miracles.  We just need to have enough faith to make them happen.
So, find more faith this week!!!

Elder Sampson

Monday, June 23, 2014

Where's the water?

This week was a rougher week full of scattered blessings.

First off, this week the water has been pretty much broken.  It started last week, when we ran out of water in our tank.  Right after, we called a water truck which brough us more water because our tank never refilled, which happens thursday and sunday.  The next day it was out again because our pump didn´t have power because the power was out.  Then we had water for 3 days, then our pump stopped working, it worked for 1 day, then it stopped.  We got a guy to come fix it, and it worked for 10 mins, we left, then it stopped, and we have been without water for 3 days, so he is supposed to come again at 4 today.  So, when we need water, we take a bucket on a string out to our tank, throw the bucket down into the tank and pull up water that is not drinkable, then we have to filter it by hand to drink which is about a cup of water every minuite.  It´s good though.  We learn appriciation.

This week we also did a lot of walking.  We had a lot of oppertunities to prove to the Lord that we will work hard even when life is not the greatest. In return, He has blessed us with a bunch of miracles.
On of those miracles is Nilson.  He is proof that money and worldly goods don´t bring happiness but families bring happiness.  He has been extremely miserable for the last 5 months or so after his baby and lady left him, and he suffers lots of stuff that his family doesn´t know about.  He has been invited to go to a few churches but said no, then we were passing him, and he asked if we could come to his house and help him.  We walked in, and he opened up everything.  He told us that God told him to stop us as we were passing him that day.

We also started teaching his dad who loves him a lot but is not very happy with how he has fallen into temptation and sin. His dad is 76, and has been married for 49 years which is crazy, and he immidiately accepted baptism.  It was incredible.  A true miracle.

The best thing to find here is families.  When you baptise a family, they immidiately have the help of their familiy members.  We have been blessed to find 3 men, who have big families, who have lots of desire to follow the true church, and are already married.  We are working with all of them.  They all also conveinently own cars which makes everything easier in these areas in the middle of nowhere.

The last of these three we found Saturday.  We have been teaching his son, and he is happy with the good principles his son is learning, and now wants them for himself and all of his family. Please pray for these three families, that we can be inspired what to do to help them all progress.

We are still struggling to have investigators and stuff in church, but our baptism for this week, Nuno, was at church, and so that was good.  No one else came.  We were especially sad about one of our investigators who has been progressing super well who wasn´t there.  We had a rough sunday, and then passed her house at the end of the day to find out that she wasn´t home but in Assomada at her sisters house.  Sad.  So we left, and then right after coincidently got a call from her which is a miracle in and of itself because no one ever calls us because it uses saldo (kind of like minutes) and no one will ever use saldo to call you so we never get calls.  She called us to say sorry, and to say that she was in Assomada, and that she had gone to church by herself in Assomada, and loved it!!!!!  That was a huge blessing after a very rough day of a lot of walking.

This week´s spiritual thought is about door knocking. Actually not really, but it is about following the spirit.  So I knocked my first door yesterday.  It was terrible.  I hate door knocking.  We do street contacts all the time, and that is pretty fruitful, and we will go knock on doors to ask where people live because there are no addresses, and then contact those people too, which is pretty fruitful, but knocking doors, is terrible.  I don´t know why I was prompted to do it, becasue the lady was very not happy with us, but at least now I have the clean concience that I followed the spirit, and will do what he tells me to do, especially after I am tired from walking 2 hours straight, and having no one be home at like 7 or 8 houses.  The Lord works miricles when we are obedient.  We have struggles to grow.  Man it is rough getting people to get to church, but because of all of these problems, I understand the doctrines of the sacriment and church so much better.

The church is true.  I had the oppertunity to learn a bit about another church this week through a strange experience, and it is so clear that their church is not true.  The members are still good people, but it brings me happiness to know that we have the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Elder Sampson

Monday, June 16, 2014

Follow up, POW, Kick, GOAL!!!!!

So, this week has been good.  There are a lot of people watching the world cup in Brazil all of the time, and so that has been a bit distracting and makes talking to boys and men mostly difficult in the evening.  It will go for another month or so, but at least I am not in Brazil!

This week was pretty good.

We are still conquistisising new investigators and less actives and stuff.
I don´t know if I have already mentioned this, but our mission Baptises and Rescues.  This means that just as much as we try to find new people to baptize, we also have key indicators (in weekly goals and numbers) of less actives progressing, and being rescued, which pretty much means that they come back to full activity in the church.

We found a lot of less actives this week, and started working with some of them.  One of them came to church, and brought her 9 year old daughter, which is one of the side blessings of rescuing is that people have family members that can be baptized as well.

We did a lot of walking this week and we are working to figure out how to work in both of our areas most effectively because it is about 2 hours to get from one to the other, and we live in the middle, but the areas themselves are very large, and so we are getting better at knowing people´s schedules, and trying to plan less walking and more teaching.  Walking does leave us lots of contacting to do on the way though.

So the moon has been super bright this last week, and then on Saturday night, all of the sudden it was super super dark, and we were walking home, and we got on to the main road that goes back to our house, probably 3 miles from our house, and these two guys approached us in the street and asked what we were doing there.  We cheerfully informed them that we went around telling and teaching people about Jesus Christ.  After we said that one of the two guys backed off (I learned after that Elder Pires saw a knife that he had) and then the other guy informed us that this was their territory.  I cheerfully told them that we aren´t strangers, but we live here and love it and this area is awesome.

Then I gave the guy who probably was going to rob us before a Plan of Salvation pamphlet, wished them and all of their friends that were off the side of the road a good night, and they responded cheerfully, and now we are friends instead of getting robbed, which was good because I didn´t really have much on me that could be robbed.  This just shows how God protects us, and when we proclaim that we are representatives of Jesus Christ, people change.
We are working really hard to get people to come to church here, but that is a problem because they all live super far away, so if you wouldn´t mind praying for them, that would be awesome.

This week´s spiritual thought is about Baptism.
Baptism is very important.
Christ showed us an example of baptism, and he was baptised because it is a commandment, and to get into the celestial kingdom, we need to be baptized.  One good side effect of baptism is that it clenses us of sin.
It also shows that we desire to be baptised as a proof and testimony that we desire to serve Him until the end. (Sorry, a verse in portuguese roughly translated)
In order to recieve more blessings, we have to show more willingness to follow.  We do this through baptism.  In God´s infinate wisdom, He gave us baptism, which is something that is super easy physically to do, but that symbalises many important things, and physically requires effort to do it to have an outward expression of our inward disposition to follow Him.  Everything is crafted so perfectly by a being who is Perfect.

I bear my testimony of Him, and of His Son, Jesus Christ.  He lives.

Elder Sampson

Also I attached 2 pictures.  One of me and Elder Levi which I didn´t have time to send last week, and one of a monkey because they have monkeys here and I finally decided to take a picture of one.  You can decide which photo is which.
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Monday, June 9, 2014

First Week in Assomada

Dear Everyone,

So this week was my first week in assomada (or, next to assomada).  There is a road that goes from Assomada to TarraFal that is like 15 miles, and we live on the side of it, and our area goes out for a long ways.  We have one zone, a 40 min walk from our house in the middle of nowhere, and another super long one that is an hour walk or so away in the other direction.  The other elders that live in our house work in the middle close to our house.  It makes things a little difficult, but oh well.

I am serving with Elder Pires, who is from Fogo.  He is waiting for a visa to go to brazil.  He is great, and has a lot of learning and growing to do!

We started off this last week without less actives or investigators.  We contacted a lady who turns our lives in our area and is less active, and so we started working with her and her man.  We now have 13 investigators, and 7 of which have a date for baptisms.  The Lord really blessed us this week through the members.  One of our areas has only 4 active members, and the other only 2, so we pretty much only have 6 members.  The rest live in the middle next to the church.  It is a good area.  We started teaching a man, and although he didn´t make it to church this week, 2 of his kids that we had never taught went.  They are 19 and 20, and when we went over on sunday after church the 20 year old was reading the resuration pamphlet that we had given her dad.  It was awesome.  We also found out that the Dad is already married, which never never never happens here.  Never.  That is a great miracle.  There are I think 7 of them in their family that can be baptised in the near future. That is a real blessing.

This week´s spiritual thought is about following the Holy Ghost.  When we dilligently seach to learn how to follow the Holy Ghost, and then Follow the Holy Ghost, we are blessed beyond anything we can imagine.
This Live is a time for us to prepare to meet God.
We prepare by doing His will.
We always do His will when we follow the Spirit.
When we do His will we are blessed.

It is very simple, but more difficult to do.

I Love You All, and Hope that you look for the tender mercies of the Lord this week.

Love, Elder Sampson

Attached are pictures of our Baptisms in Praia.  Antunina, Paulino and Zelito.
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Me with Elder Pires
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Me with Elder Levi (If that one sends)

Monday, June 2, 2014

Oh Man.....Miracles. Incredible

So, this week was great.

I am serving with Elder Levi who I think I said is from Mesa Arizona.  He is awesome.  He has a large desire to work, and although some of his recent comps haven´t worked that hard, he is very humble, and immidately made changes when I showed up since I am more used to doing stuff the right way.  He really knows how to explain the scriptures and is helping me make sure that I am teaching people and not marking numbers.

We started working in our area, which is so different and so awesome.  We have a strong strong ward with tons of RMs and everything is super sweet.  We are in the city so there are sooooo many people, and all the stuff that you should be able to do, like getting references easily, happen.  It took me a few days to get used to the city, and now I never want to leave.  It is just so awesome.  I showed up at church, and just went to church, instead of doing everything possible to try to make church happen without too many problems.  All of the classes and stuff were well taught, everything started on time, and everyone was super friendly and stuff.  Awesome.

We have a bunch of families progressing towards baptism, and we started doing some things and using some tools that the old elders here have neglected to help them progress.

One of these families is the family of Antunina, Paulino, and thier 14 year old son Zelito.  I love love love this family.  Antunina´s friend from work showed here the church, and she has been going for a few weeks, and then two weeks ago the husband and son started to go.  The have been married for like 6 years which is strange, but awesome!  Anyways, so we worked all week with them, and helped the son and dad learn everything, and they were baptised on Saturday.  It was amazing amazing amazing.  Also our church is awesome.  The building looks like ones in america (except it has turf not grass, and everything sorrounding it is dry and dirt).  It was incredible to help them be baptised.  On sunday, The General Primary President and Second Counselor in the general Relief society presidency, and the Europe area president, and president and sister Oliveira came to our ward, and talked about how awesome it is to have a whole familiy baptised in the church, and it was amazing!!!  I am so grateful for the miricles here.  This is soooooo incredible.

Then, Sunday night came, and we were traning a member to help out our baptism for this saturday and next saturday...  Then President Oliveira Called.

I was transfered to serve in the middle of the island in a part off the side of Asamada.  I am serving with a visa waiter, Elder Andrade who is from Fogo.  I have known him for a while. He will be going to brazil when his visa comes.  This area is on the side of a big city, and I am in a small weak branch again.  Our house is in the middle of nowhere, and our area is a 1.5 hour walk in one direction from our house, and a 2 hour walk in an other I have been told.  The have only 9 investigators right now, and they don´t seem that solid.  Anyways, so I havd a great one week in the civilazation and a strong area, and now I am here.  Yay!  It seems like a decent bit needs to be done here (clearly), so pray for me!

This week the spiritual thought is about following the spirit.  Many times we know that we should follow the spirit, but we either try too hard, and just do everything ourselves without him, or maybe following him a little, or thinking that just letting go and "winging it" is following the spirit.  But, that is not true.  The Spirit encourages to do good, brings peace to ourselves and others, and invites all to do good and serve God continually.  May we all seek to follow the spirit this week.

Elder Sampson

Also, so the area I was in is a cachabodie area which is creole that comes from english (cash or body).  My old area was rather dangerous but it was fun too.  I escaped untouched though.  Haha.  It was exciting.  No one has every gotten hurt or anything though.  Just confused youth that want watches and lose change.  The area here is the boonies that has no crime.

I am trying to send pictures, but it isn´t working because of the internet restrictions. I will try something different next week that should work.