Monday, September 29, 2014

Altidi's Baptism

Dear All,

This week was full of many learning experiences that helped me be very much ready and excited for this week!

So firstly, Altidi was baptised this week.  He is a boss.  I am so grateful to be able to know him.  He is going to be a big help to this branch., and is changing his live every day.  He is really converted to the book of mormon, and is very excited to come to conference this week.  I attached a picture of his baptism.  Unfortunately not a lot of people showed up to the baptism.  Everyone that was supposed to give talks didn't end up making it, because one was still working, and the other lost three cows, which is a ton of money if he doesn't find them.  Three cows could sustain his family for the whole year.  He was out until dark trying to find them, then sat there sunday, and then first thing this morning went out again to try to find them.  The only other member that showed up for the baptism that isn't the ward mission leader, gave a talk on baptism, and then it was announced that I would be giving a talk on the gift of the Holy Ghost, which was spontanious, but the talk turned out really good.  I talked about the miracle that happened with the deciples of Chist the day that they recieved the gift of the holy ghost on the day of penticost in Acts 2, and how all 3000 of those converts were strong forever, and that He was recieving the same gift, that we all can use if we have the faith enough!

So transfers happened yesterday.  I was pretty sure that I was staying as well as Elder Wallace, and Elder Lee.  We knew Elder Oliveira was going home because his mini-mission was over (see the other picture).  However, instead of getting a new companion in our area, Elder Lee was taken out, so now it is just us.  Our area is like a third of the biggest island in Cabo verde.  I think the only area that could potentially be bigger is the area I was in in Santo Antao.  To walk from one end of our area to the other would take probably about 4 hours or so, just from south to north.  We will be walking a ton.  I am really excited though.  We really need to work better with all of the members and stuff now that there are only Elder Wallace and I here.  Please Pray for me, and For Elder Wallace, and for us, that we can work together, and then that we can work together with the branch, and know how to best use our time and focus our efforts.  It is going to be an adventure.

Also, IT'S ALMOST GENERAL CONFERENCE!!!!!!!!!   I am so excited!  I literally can't wait.  This week is going to pass super slowly just because I can't wait for it to get here.  I hope we all can prepare.

So this weeks spiritual though is about Religion, or to tie back to God.  When we live religion, we understand that everything ties back to God, and in turn to Christ, and in turn to Christ's perfect atonement.  We can not comprihend what he felt and suffered, but every blessed time we have to suffer, we must also realize that we can't make it back without Christ and understanding his atoneing sacrifice.  It is completely nessicary.  Without suffering, we could never understand the atonement to the same level.  Suffering is atonement school.  When we give talks, when we talk with others, when we share our testimonies, all these things are tied to Christ.  If we forget Him, we have nothing to go off of.  The most powerful talks and stuff all realize that we must tie it back to Christ.
I know that the church is true, and Christ Acts Now.  This is His work.

Elder Sampson
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Monday, September 22, 2014

Of all the weeks, this was not the one


This week in the Secluded Islands under the sun was very not the greatest week of my mission, and I am hoping for an upward growth.

So, first of all, Altidi wasnt baptized.  He will be baptized this week I am praying.  We taught him every day this week.

So this week I learned a lot and did a lot of self searching.

I was blessed this week to go on a spontaneous division with Elder Heagney who is from Australia and is one of the Assistants to the President, and will be going home in 2 weeks.  He is a very good teacher of people.  We went out to find people, and ended up finding that our appointment was giving a tattoo to someone, so we went to try to find someone else only to find out through his neighbor that he had moved.  We were leaving and felt inspired to return and talk to that guy.  His is like 23 and was on facebook on his bed without a shirt on and didnt really want to let us come in, but Elder Heagney spoke through the spirit to him, getting us 5 minutes to talk to him about the restoration.

We taught, and I felt like the greenie because it was sooooo powerful, and I just felt like I didnt want to ruin it, and that I was completely overwhelmed, because we have been lacking power in our teaching recently.  We stayed 15 mins with him, and spoke his thoughts and desires to him before he expressed them.  It was an experience that will definately change the way that I teach and live.  I know that this is the true church.

I also learned this week about the power of Liahonas.  For those of you who never really understood what the liahona is, most of the world doesnt have the friend, ensign, and new era.  Actually, I saw a new era for the first time in a year and was baffled today.  I forgot they existed.  The Liahona is like those 3 compiled into one.  Anyways, I learned some many great things this week from them.  One of those was about how when we have the opportunity to teach, we can be powerful if we are motivated by live, conversion is the goal, we teach based on the doctrines of Christ, and we invite others to live gospel principles better.

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Strengthen when you put out, and Be Strengthened when you take in

So, The theme of this week is

Strengthen when you put out, and be strengthened when you take in.

That means when you do something, to make sure that you are stregnthening others, and when you revieve things, to remember to be strengthened.  It doesn´t make sense to read or study, or go to classes when you aren´t going to be stregnthened. Like wise, we must stregnthen others in every thing we do!

If you think about how much bad in the world, we deffinately have a lot to do!

We have the blessing as members of the church to do everything possible to become like Christ, and WE CAN NOT BE LIKE HIM IF WE DO NOT STREGNTHEN OTHERS.  That was his way, his ministry.  If you think about President Monson, I am sure that he has struggles and stuff, but i am sure also that the situation around him is different because just with his presence, many things change.  I don´t think anyone would knowingly do wrong to another in the presence of the prophet.

We can become the kinds of people that change everything around us because of our standards and faith.

So.... Zé didn´t come to church, but Altidi did!  So, he can be baptised this week!!!

I am sooo excited.  He is progressing and commented that he can see how much he has changed since the day that we found him.

Our branch could use some prayers though.  Please pray for it!  That is important.

Other than that, the week was pretty really rough.

We walked a lot and stuff, and taught not as much.  We did start teaching a few new good faces though.

We also had 4 whole investigators in church.  Only 6 more until we are up to par!

I feel like I don´t really have that much to say this week.   I feel like I already started with the most important thing I had to say.

The week was pretty uneventful.  Full of personal trials and stuff which is always good.  I love learning.

So, that will be it for today.

Elder Sampson

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Power We Have

Dear Family Members, Friends, and Others,

This past week was a rather normal week.  It went by really fast.
We are still struggling to baptise here mostly because it is very difficult to get people to church.  
President Mathews has established some standards of Excelence (pretty much goals for our key indicators that need to become the norm) for us though, and so we are going to have to make some big changes so we can fulfil what we need to do.
We will be working to have at the very least 10 people in church every week.  I am excited to see these big changes that will happen to achieve this.  I know we will get it though working more effectively and with the members.
This week we started a Book of Mormon study night which is great.  We do it in the house of an investigator in one of our areas.  There were only three people that showed up this week, but hopefully this coming week will be better.  One of those three was a new investigator named Já.  We were talking, and got into some inspired questions and backed them up with the scriptures.  A lot of people here are just used to using the same answer that they learned when they were little about why things are important and what they mean, but there is less of a understanding of the true and basic gospel doctrines.  So, as we talked I asked them to prove it.  They would say something, and I would say prove it, and then when they couldn't I would help them learn the truth through the scriptures.  Já, this new investigator, by the end was trying to find answers, and we left him with a copy of the book of Mormon, and showed him how to use the foot notes and the GEE (Guia de Estudo das Escrituras=The Scipture Study Guide) which we don't have in english.  It is like a mix of the index and dictionary.  For every word there is a definition, and then scriptures about it, and related words.  It is pretty awesome.  We left him with a question to answer and a fixed deterimination to find the answer to that question.  The question we left him with is What is required to repent so that you are truely forgiven?  That is a question that you all are invited to respond too.  But, if you have an answer, you'd better be able to PROVE IT.
I hope that we can all study the scriptures in a way that we study and find, seek and ponder, feast and savour.  Just reading is great but not enough after a bit.  
One of our investigators that Did finally come to chruch is Altidi.  He is about 27 or so.  He is a teacher, and will start teaching again next week when school starts here.  Last week he came to church but he got there late and was afraid to come in, so he stayed outside and helped out with some people that were carrying stuff instead.  He is awesome.  We have been working on and off with him for 3 months or so.  We contacted him on the street like my 3 week here.  He is finally progressing, and I am super excited to work with him every week.  He is working on beating alchool.  Pray for him.
So, I don't know if you remember, but we work in 2 different areas that are about 2 hours apart, and then the other elders work in the area in the middle.  Very impractical frankly.  Anyways, so we used to be working Sunday monday wednesday friday in Ribeirao Manuel, and Tuesday thursday saturday in Achada Lém, but now we have started working in Achada Lém more because the people are more receptive there.  We work there tuesday wednesday, friday and saturday.  It is a blast every day, and even though we didn't teach tons this week, I had the desire to stay out longer every night.

So, that was this uneventful week.  
It was a great week though.  I am excited for this week.

Also Some People asked about EFY.  It happens every other year.  Usually there is the north islands session and the south islands.  It isn't like in America where there are a thousand sessions.  It is a great thing though.  It is run by the members of the church.  Our branch had 2 councelors and 4 youth that went.  It was in Fogo this year.  The years that don't have EFY have a young single adult encampment.

Love You All!!!

Elder Sampson

The Spirit Brings Feelings of Love for our Brothers and Sisters

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Congrats and a Big Tree

Congratulations to Brad and Leslie!!!

I am glad that they are waiting to November 25th, 2015 to get married so I can get home in August and have a few months to get used to normal life again.  A year and a little is a long time to wait, but I am grateful for the sacrifice on their part for a poor, struggling servant of the Lord on a little african island in the middle of the ocean.

So this last week was alright.  It went by really fast.  There were a few highlights.
Oh.  And I forgot that today is tuesday.  Yesterday we had a conference with an area 70 so P day is today.  More about that later.

So today at the beginning of P day we went to the big tree.  It is a big tree.  A really big tree.  It is the biggest tree that I have ever seen.  I climbed up it a bit.  I attached 2 pictures that show part of the tree, and another with me and Elder Wallace in front of the tree.  We were there with Elder Lee and Elder (that got here today and will stay for 4 weeks, a mini missionary from tarrafal) Oliveira.  It is very hot right now.  Very hot.

So this last week no one showed up at church again.  It is very frustrating when people are sure that they will come, and then, as it sometimes feels like, lieing through their clenched teeth.  JUST KEEP YOUR WORD. IS HONESTY SO HARD!?!?!?!?!   Anyways.  That is very difficult.  The youth didn't get back from EFY too so our church frequency dropped like 10 people from 45s to 35s.  But, keep pressing forward.

So we had a conference yesterday with Elder Morreiro from the 70 who is doing a mission tour here.  It was fantastic.

We had a training from Sister Mathews about The Plan of Salvation.  “There are two types of missionaries, those who know the Plan of Salvation, and those for whom the Plan of Salvation has become the eyes through which they see the world.”  President Eyring.  She talked about Peter, who denied the Christ 3 times.  He had fear because he didn't see the world throught the plan of salvation.  However, because of this experience, he changed, and became so powerful that people hoped that just his shadow whould pass over them.  He was put into prison because of it.
We talked about the importance of families and finding and baptising families.
We also talked about the importance of real love.

Then Elder Morreiro talked to us for a looooong time.  But it was awesome.  My favorite quote that he shared was from Elder Bednar.  We preach the gospel to make the uncomfortable comfortable, and the comfortable uncomfortable.  That is true wisdom that we need to apply in every thing that we do.  We need to be powerful missionaries, to know the scriptures, and to excercise faith to act and to change ourselves.  The past was good, but we can not stay there.  It we do not get better, quickly, we will lose.  It is not the work of God that is frustrated, but the work of Man.  If we choose to not give our all to the work of the Lord, the work will not fall, but we have such a potential to change things if we do so, like king Benjamin in the last 2 verses of words of Mormon.

I am working harder.  I am giving my all now.  Please pray that I can do better than I am doing right now, and do your part to further the work.  Especially, where and to whom is applicable, using social media.

I love you all, and wish a good week to everyone.

Elder Sampson
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