Monday, November 24, 2014

Livin' on the wrong island

Dear Earthly and Spiritual Family,

So yesterday, the volcano on fogo started errupting.  My dream was to be there when that happened, but unfortunately, I am a bit far away, but from here you can see smoke comming out.  All the missionaries there are good, and the people too.  A few had a literal emergency transfer, but the magma is moving slowly, and isn't super dangerous at this point.

So this last week was great.

We lost a few days because of a medical trip to praia and zone conference, but we were still blessed, especially with new people to teach.

Zone Conference this week was amazing.

We talked about first the importance of developing the relationships within the branch with the Branch President and Ward mission leader, and then the members.  We do this following a pattern that can be used whenever there are relationship or other problems.  That is:
1. Love Them
2. Serve Them
3. Teach them the Doctrine

There is a big thing that goes on here where people think that we just need more activities and that will help people come to church and stuff, but activities never converted anyone.  Doctrines, simply taught out of Love will change hearts.

We also talked about the power of talking with people about the gospel, and the ablility that we have to feel the spirit and show and develop faith as we talk with everyone fearlessly about the gospel.  Many do not want to hear it, but if we do it out of Love, it will all be okay.

-One thing that happened this week is that I felt prompted to talk with a family of adventists of the 7th day, or whatever they are called in english.  Normaly we avoid that because they just want to fight, but we were able to share the restoration with them in the middle of all of their attacks.  We walked in and the dad said, Let me go get my sword (the bible).  Listening to their doctrines makes me so grateful for the gospel where we aren't making frantic attempts to interpret the bible alone.  We invited them to read the book of mormon and pray about it, and were told by the Dad that the book of mormon isn't a blessing, as he got more and more irritated as the visit went on, but we never acted really in a way to fight or without a sincere and loving desire to share the greatest blessing that we have.  We were told that because we worship and sanctify on sunday instead of saturday (this doctrine is especially difficult in portuguese where the word for Saturday and Sabath are the same, so in Portugues it reads, Remember the Sabath, to keep it holy, and also means remember the saturday to keep it holy), we weren't candidates for salvation, but thats okay.  Some of the things just made me laugh a little actually.  I hope one day their 15 year old son will obtain a copy of the book of mormon and read it.

Also in zone conference we talked about one of our focuses for right now, which is concecration.   That is, leaving behind everything that isn't 100% complaiance to the laws of God, with not just avoiding commiting sin, but also avoiding not ommiting the things of perfecting.  I recieve more corage to act in accordance with the knowledge I have of what is right, even when it is very hard to do so, and many times it is very hard.

What a blessing it will be to have Brad and Leslie's marrage tomorrow.  I am so excited for them, and althought it will be a bit sad that I can't be there, it is a greater blessing to show my devotion to the Lord, and for my absance to act as a reminder to all of you of how special it is to have the temple of God here on the earth and that families can be forever.
For Thanksgiving, I hope that we can all show our thankfulness acting instead of just making lists.

I know that this is the Lord's work, and he well help us be like Christ.

Elder Sampson

It has been Said about President Monson that he is the Prophet and has so much faith because he "does what the rest of us just think about doing"
I hope too that we can all be more like him, and when we know something right that we must do, that we can more frequently do it.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Rougin' in in Africa

Dear Everyone,

I have attached a picture because I think in some casses many still think I am Roughin´ it in Africa.  That is the case in a few minor ways, but since I left my first area in Fogo that was roughing it a decenter bit, Life is pretty good.

I love being a missionary.  It is so amazing.  I hope that everyone can serve a mission.  If you don´t believe me, start doing it with all come an addict too.

This last week we worked hard, and even though some days we felt like we were going to "grow a foot or two" before we found someone else that was home, we were really blessed with an eternal perspective.  I want to share with you some of the stuff that President Mathews shared with me about that love, explained using the law of consecration.

President Hinckley described what happens to the heart of every missionary who commits his or her life and work to the Lord when he talked about his own missionary experiences. It was early in his mission, and he was discouraged. The work was hard, and the people were not receptive. However, there came a time when discouragement turned to commitment. For him, the beginning was a letter from his father in which he read: “Dear Gordon, I have your letter. … I have only one suggestion: Forget yourself and go to work.” In describing what happened next, he said: “I got on my knees in that little bedroom … and made a pledge that I would try to give myself unto the Lord.

“The whole world changed. The fog lifted. The sun began to shine in my life. I had a new interest. I saw the beauty of this land. I saw the greatness of the people. … Everything that has happened to me since that’s been good I can trace to that decision made in that little house” (in Mike Cannon, “Missionary Theme Was Pervasive during Visit of President Hinckley,” Church News, Sept. 9, 1995, 4).

Elder D Todd Christofferson
As the Savior demonstrated, the consecrated life is a pure life. While Jesus is the only one to have led a sinless life, those who come unto Him and take His yoke upon them have claim on His grace, which will make them as He is, guiltless and spotless. With deep love the Lord encourages us in these words: “Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day” (3 Nephi 27:20).

Consecration therefore means repentance. Stubbornness, rebellion, and rationalization must be abandoned, and in their place submission, a desire for correction, and acceptance of all that the Lord may require. This is what King Benjamin called putting off the natural man, yielding to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and becoming “a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord” (Mosiah 3:19). Such a one is promised the enduring presence of the Holy Spirit, a promise remembered and renewed each time a repentant soul partakes of the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper (see D&C 20:77, 79).

Right now we are teaching and trying to find many new people.  The focus of this month is planning, finding, and church attendance.  What blessings.  We were blessed to get back in contact with two people this week who can very soon be strong members of the curch.  The are both very smart and will have to learn to rely on faith better, but they are awesome.  Their names are Felis and Djú.  Dju was trying to get a competitive job in Praia, and didn´t get it but because of the spiritual growth that he made before we lost contact for 3 weeks, he was able to realize that the Lord has a different plan for him instead of being angry or frustrated.  The other plan clearly is that he needs to be home and have time to get to know the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

Felis also has been taught in the past, but we had a good restart visit with him, where we just skipped all the mish mosh and went straight to the baptismal invite.  He has good questions like Why does God have a chosen people, and why did he tell people to destroy other people and all of their innocent animals too (2 Kings).

The problem now is that we have investigators committing to do things sincerely.  The have a real desire to do it, and the spirit testifies, but that something always comes up.  They need to keep being strong when we aren´t there, especially Sunday morning.  Next week on the wedding day is a huge party in all of the north part of the island.  I hate Catholic Saints.  It is not okay to drink and break numerous other commandments and the say that it was done in the name of God.  It will be a trial for many many people.  Please pray for those whose faith is on the boarder, that they man make the right choice.

Another blessing this week was this morning.  We played frisbee.  It was soooooo good.  I miss frisbee and running for hours and stuff.  It was awesome.  Elder Wallace is the best out of us at soccer, and you can tell, but when we play frisbee, there is someone else that knows what he is doing :)  .

Well, it is really hard to type on this old crappy keyboard at this new cyber that we are at today in Praia, so I takes way longer and I have to type like a two year old pounds piano keys, but that doesn´t diminish my love for all of you.

Elder Sampson

Monday, November 10, 2014


Dear Everyone,

this is what I asked for for Birthday and Christmas, and here is an example of how to do it, using the example of my dear sister Summie.  She Chose
Mosiah 17-
9-10. And Abinadi said unto him:  I say unto you, I will not recall the words which I have spoken unto you concerning this people, for they are true and that ye may know of their surety I have suffered myself that i have fallen into your hands.
Yea and I will suffer even until death and I will not recall my words, and they shall standas a testimony against you.  And if ye slay me ye will shed innocent blood and this shall also stand as a testimony against you at the last day.

18:9-- Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those than stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life --

Nephi said and my father dwelt in a tent.  if we dwell in a tent for a long time, we can feel like Lehi did. If we Stand up for what is right and dont recall our words, and if we morn with those that mourn and have experiences, we can understand what it means to do that too.  That is the thing I would love for Christmas.  Is to hear about how a scripture that you picked has come to mean something to you.  I know that this experiences will stregnthen your testimony of the truth, and diminish your doubts of falsehoods.

This last week was great.  We still had no one in Church, and we are really struggling, but I am learning and working on getting a fire lit within me that seems to have been lost after a long while of many dificulties.~

One thing I learned this week is the power of repentance to animate and motivate us.  The most powerful thing in a lesson is when someone makes the decision to truely repent.  When they accept to change and live a gospel principle, or truely be baptised.  That is powerful.  That is because on of the fruits of repentance is the spirit in more abundance.  It doesnt matter what we are passing through, repentance will always bring the spirit, and if it is true repentance, will always animate us and give us fire to do what is right.

This last week we have been trying harder to achieve our goals, and the standard of excelence, which are goals set for certain things every week like 10 investigators in sacrament meeting, and 12 lessons taught with members present, and 10 new references recieved and contacted and stuff like that.  It is not easy usually to achieve these things, but I am learning better how to be motivated and work to achieve goals.  To go the extra mile and stuff.

As part of our mission plan, this month we are focusing on teaching the 4th part of the 3rd lesson, the commandments (helping people repent), revelation through church attendance, and the chapters on planning and using time wisely, and on finding people.  That is a great blessing and are things that we really need this week and that are inspired.  Please pray that we may be able to more abundantly apply to our max these principles so that we can have success.

Oh also, transferes were yesterday, and we didnt get a call, so Elder Wallace and I are together for another transfer.  It is going to be good.  I love him and am ready to win.

We also had stake conference yesterday which was broadcasted from Praia to our branch here, which was great.  The stake is really focusing on self reliance, so there were some good talks on that.
I know the church is true, and that the Cabo Verde, Praia mission is the best mission in the church.

Elder Sampson

Monday, November 3, 2014

Happy Birthday Summer

Dear Family and Others,

Happy Birthday to the best Codê in the world.  (That is what they call the last kid in a family here)
So for my imidiate familiy, for Christmas this year, and for my birthday I want something from you.

 The Following
Choose in a spirit of prayer a scripture.
Study and ponder about this scripture every day until christmas.  This will probably have to include memorizing it.
Ask yourself repeatedly What does this scriputre mean to me?
When we skype at Christmas, share with me how that scripture has come to have a profound and lasting meaning to you, and what that meaning is.

So this week was an excitingish one.

I was a bit sick during the week but am mostly better.

I made some delicious fluffy dinner rolls to break our fasts with too.  See picture attached.
This week we worked hard to have people at church, and still didn't have anyone.  We need to work harder I guess.  We have the potential to have a lot of people there.

This last week we had a good experience working with some less-ish actives named Ady and Monica.  They were married and then were baptised, and they are in and out of activity, but we started working with them to help some investigators, and it has been great for both of them.

We are helping the members to do what is right, especially in working with us with references.  One thing we did was with a member named Bruna who is preparing to serve a mission.  We taught her and then she put down 14 names on paper of people that she wants to share the gospel with.  Then we talked to her about how it is her responsibility to work with those people to help them get all the way to conversion.  In the past when we get references from people, they just sort of gave us names, and now we are really buckling down to get the members to do their part.  I know that the Lord is ready to bless us as soon as we do our part.

I love monkeys.  This one's name is New Baby.  See attached photo.

This week I understood a bit more of the importance of repentance.  Most of us have had times in our lives where we were on fire to work and to do the Lord's will to fulfil all righeousness, but Satan works a lot to stop us.  The key to overcoming this is repentance.  A full and lasting repentance lights and feeds our fire.  We can all have a happier life, and a heart more full when we repent.  I know that repentance is a process that we must live always.  It is a process ot the heart and not of the mouth.  I am greatful for the blessing of repentance in my life.

Elder Sampson