Thursday, July 31, 2014

Keep it Up (July 14, 2014)

Dear Everyone,

Thank you so much for you prayers for me and my comp.  I literally have felt them during this week.  I had no doubt that when I showed up here that I would find that you have been praying for us becuase the Spirit told me that you were.  Thank you.  Please don´t stop.  Please realize that the Lord answers prayers, and that He is answering right now.  Please take this opportunity to learn to pray more fervently, knowing that He is responding and helping according to your faith.  Thank you.

So this week was pretty good.

One of our investigators, Sónia, finally came to church!  She said afterward that it was the best day of her life.  We had talked to her last week about why she hasn´t been coming to church, and she said that she is always sleeping and so never comes to church, because church starts at 9 and she gets up at like 9:30 every day, and we didn´t believe that it was something so simple that was keeping her from coming to church, so we talked about repentance and that she can repent by coming to church in the future, and one way to show the Lord her desire to repent is to get up earlier every day, so she got up at 8 every day this last week, and then showed up to church super early which was stellar, and... Had the best day of her life.  The Church is True.   `nuf said.

So on another day this week we had a super powerful experience.  We had marked to go out and teach with a preist in the branch, and as we were walking we ran into another member who decided to go teach with us too.  We went out to the area, and started passing our appointments, but weren´t teaching anything.  We ended up at the work (construction work) of a member and an investigator, and the investigator left, but we stayed with the member and were just sitting there and everyone was joking around and stuff, and not doing missionary work.  And I kept thinking:  well, I´m here in Cape Verde to teach the gospel.  I can chill with people in America, but I am here to be a missionary, so I finally told everyone that we were leaving, and so all 5 of us, Me, My comp, and 3 members, started walking, and everyone else was all joking around and not really focused in the work, and (my voice has been almost gone all week, but it´s life!) I managed to sing a little bit of called to serve, and that helped everyone pay attention to the work of the Lord, and the we went off the side of the road, and we said a prayer, and started going to really teach and the spirit was with us.  We taught one lesson, and it was inspired, and then we followed the spirit to another house, even though we knew that the person wasn´t home, and the spirit said to sing a hymn, so we sang a hymn for the persons dad, and he started to cry, and the spirit was super strong, then we went to try to find someone else, and it was getting late, and it takes 45 mins to walk home, and so if we don´t get lucky and find a car to take us, we have to leave at like 8:35 to get home, but as it hit about 8:40 and we were walking home, full of the spirit, I recieved a revelation of things that were to come.  Through the Holy Ghost I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that we would find a car to get home faster.  It came super powerfully, and I was so confident that it was true because I knew that it came from the Holy Ghost.  Right after this, the Spirit prompted us to enter the house of someone we could never find during the last 6 weeks, and so, knowing that we would get a car home, we were able to follow the spirit and enter, and re-establish contact with these people that are not progressing super well.  Right after we left the visit there, we got a car to take us home, and were able to follow the spirit, and make a big difference in the lives of people, and fulfil all of the mission rules and commandments.

I testify that when we follow the Spirit, the Spirit will show us the way to make miracles happen while following the commandments, and rules that have been justly set.
I know that this is the True Church.

We were also blessed with a miracle yesterday in finding a man who is a strong member who lives far from our area, but passes it every day that is able to help with the needs of a specific investigator.  It was a real blessing and miracle.

Last thing.
So we hold a night of miracles every monday night at the house of one of our members.  We talk about miricles from the scriptures, from our lives, and how we will make miracles happen in our lives during the next week.  I invite everyone for FHE to hold a night of miracles, and to talk about how they happen, and what you can do to make miracles happen in your life and in the life of other people.

Elder Sampson

Monday, July 21, 2014

It was the best of times, it was the best of times, even though it isn't always easy!

Dear Everyone,

I have the greatest mother that has ever lived.  Thank you so much for teaching me and being an example to me of charity, and gratitude, and patience, and peace, and of living the gospel!

So this week was interesting and good and stuff.  Unfortunately because of time, this will be briefer.
So this week I was able to see real progress.  We have been making progress, but when I got here we were at nothing, and so it has been hard to see the slow progress that has been made, but this week, we have gotten so far that I really can see the difference that is being made here.  Things are getting better with my comp, and with our investigators, and with the area, and with the branch.

Thank you for your prayers in my behalf.  I felt them again this week.  It is a different but good feeling to know by the spirit during the week that people are praying for you.  Thank you for your faith.
So this week Sónia is getting baptised.  It has been a grand journey that is starting with her.  She is really becoming converted.  The last thing this branch and the church need are some flakey recent converts, and sometimes, especially here where it is so easy to baptise, missionaries baptise people that aren´t really ready and solid, but Sónia is really changing and she will be a great help the the Lord´s work, especially in this branch.

This week there have been a bunch of parties in our areas, and we have walked a ton ton ton ton ton.  On the bright side, I am loosing some of the fat that comes from eating cape verdian food that is all cooked with lots of oil every day.  I hope this week will be better.  I have faith that it will.  I am ready to act in accordance with that faith to win this week, and to make a difference.

This week´s spiritual though is about making a difference.
When we have desires to make a difference, the Lord will help us when:
It is something just.
We want it to glorify Him, and not ourselves.
We are willing to act.

So, think about how you want to make a difference and go for it.  Life is about making a difference.  Be it Big or Small.

Love you all!!!

Elder Sampson

Also, attached is a picture of me and my comp!
Editor's note:  Sorry -- I couldn't get this picture to copy :/

Monday, July 7, 2014

Week of Struggles, but as always, Love and Patience Win!!!

So this week...  Was a week a little bit different.

The first sweet think that happened is that President Mathews came out and we had interviews, so I got to talk to him.  A lot of things changed, but not that much actually did change. Sort of hard to describe.  Haha.  The interview was great, and it was great to just talk to him about missionary work.
Also this week we had a grand lesson with a less active, where we ended up talking about the Atonement.  Every time we are there, his mom herds some chickens that are outside into the house for the night so they can be protected from the dogs and stuff outside.  Some of them enter easily, but others have to be chased down to get them into the safety of the house for the night.  While we were there we compared this to the gospel and the atonement to help José.  The door is always open for José to enter into the safety of Christ´s church.  Because of Christ it doesn´t matter how many times that he comes in and then goes out, the door will always be open for him to come into the safety of the house.  The Lord loves him, and just like his mom was helping the chickens enter, God sent us, the missionaries, to help him enter again into the safety of Christ´s fold.  It was a great example for me of the Love that our Savior has for us in all things.  I hope and pray that José can come back and be the strong member that he was that this branch needs.

So, also this week were some comp learning experiences.  There were a lot of things that happened that you all don´t really need to know about leading up to the point where (not because of worthiness issues but because of other issues), my comp almost got sent home, and I was fasting and praying for him, and doing every type of service that I could think of for him, and trying to help him understand that I love him, and a lot of super hard stuff, that I never would have gotten even close to encountering without the Lord.  I fell like I don´t have terrible patience, but this week I got to demonstrate even more than I have at any other point in my life.  Anyways, it was decided that he was going home, and I asked for one more day to try to figure stuff out, and the said no, and then with the help of another Elder, we managed to get some stuff figured out so that my comp wasn´t going home, and we could keep working together.  It was a true answer to my prayers because I know he didn´t want to go home really, and that it would put a downward turn on his life.  I am so grateful that we are still serving together, even though it is still rough, I am learning a lot and have the opertunity to change and change and change and change to become more like Chirst and to use the atonement in my life.  In the middle of all of this, at the hardest part, I was praying, and was filled with the Spirit in a way that nothing could make me unhappy, and that I was led to do the stuff that I needed.  I was litterally lifted up from misery to the most perfect happiness that I have experienced here in a way that no power of Satan or man could affect me (or effect me?). 
So, Pray for my comp and for me!

The Gospel of Christ and the Atonement of Christ are useless without Repentance.  Repentance=Change.  We. HAVE. TO. CHANGE.  Just doing stuff doesn´t work.  We have to be changed to recieve eternal life.
I know this is the Lords Church and I am so Grateful for the Atonement.
I know I have weaknesses, but I have no doubt that the Lord has forgiven me as I change and forgive others.

Elder Sampson