Because of time this will be shorter, and pictures will probably have to wait until next week unfortunately because the computer I am on doesn't have a spot for an SD card.
So this week I learned lots of things, and lots of things happened.
So we showed up on Christmas eve at the house of a member, and one of her grandsons who is 12 told us as we walked in that he wanted to be baptized on Christmas day. He has been coming to church for a long time, but never had parental permission, but they had been praying and fasting, especially his grandmother who is the relief society president, and had received permission, so we had a long review everything about the gospel lesson, and he was solid, and then the District Leader, Elder Gooch, showed up and we told him to do an interview right then, and then we called President Mathews to get special permission (because normally the interview has to happen the week before) and he gave it!
So Christmas day we got up, and went to the beach and Giovanny was baptized. He was saying how he wants to work in Gods office now that he has given himself as a present to Christ, and is super excited. He will receive the Aaronic Priesthood next week and will start passing the sacrament so we will have 2 people to pass instead of just 1. It was a real miracle.
Speaking of sacrament meeting, we hit a new high this last week with 52 people in sacrament meeting, and 12 of them are investigators! The struggles in this area are really different than my last where I went for 5 weeks without a single investigators in church. We dont teach very much though, which is mostly our fault, and I hope we will be able to change this week.
I am learning a lot from Elder Manga, because he is happy Always. He runs and skips and jumps (kind of figuratively) as we walk, and is a friend to everyone. I love him a ton!
This week I learned again that if we are miserable or unhappy, we just need to follow the Holy Ghost. If we are courageously following the Holy Ghost, we can know with a surety that we are okay.
I love you all.
Please have a good end of year and don't do anything stupid.
I know that the Lord also hopes that we give him a present this Christmas even if it is a little late.
Haha. I wrote 1st but never got to 2nd or 3rd. Haha. Next week maybe.
Monday, December 22, 2014
Life is good here in the very different land of Sal.
Everyone here is fantastic, and I love them all. The church has been here for about a year, and we had like 46 people in church.
We dont have any worthy melchesidic preisthood holders though, and Elder Gooch, who is in his last transfer who is from draper is the acting branch president because the branch president has been in portugual for 6 months trying to recover from something. He should be back hypothetically next month though which means that people can get interviews and callings and stuff.
Also, next month our building is suposed to get renovated. The building here is the worst or second worst one in cape verde. It is just this big open space mostly. We are excited for that.
Elder Zuniga also lives in my house, and he has been in Santo Antao for a long time (he came in right after me) and so it is awesome to hear all the updates on the sucess there.
Sal is flat. The only thing that I have to climb at all is stairs. Pretty much everyone lives in appartments. It is like Euorpe in a lot of ways. There are tourists all over, and you can rent bikes an ATVs and segways and stuff. The people in general have more money and better financial circumstances. There are a lot of people that come here and to boa vista from other islands because, although there is not any farming at all, there are tons on europeans that bring lots of money. Everything is more expensive though.
Speaking of Boa Vista, they came out for our Christmas party on Saturday, but the flight was on thursday morning, so we had 8 elders here for 2 days, and did lots of divisions, so I spent 2 days with Elder Conway who was in my last district. He came out with Elder Wallace. We found many new people.
We have 2 families that are progressing for marrage. Leila and Renny are one of them. They have been coming to church for a few weeks now, and are progressing well. Leila is stronger in the gospel than Renny. He just recently started progressing. They have 4 kids, and we are also teaching leilas mom, siblings, aunt and her family. 20 people more or less in all.
The other is Simone and Artu. They live right by the church and Simone will have their first kid in january, however Artu is still deciding what he is going to do. He is 23 and simone is 29, and so is a little less seasoned than Simone, but both are awesome! They were Mary and Joseph at the Christmas party of our branch. That was on Saturday, but we had practices all week for it. It was well attended There was tons of food and investigators.
Our mission Christmas Party was the same morning, and there was also lots of food. We had a turkey dinner, and tons of desserts and stuff. I have been sickish for 3 days because of all the food. It was in Espargos. There are 18 of us in the zone. 4 here, 4 in Boa vista, 4 elders in espargos, 4 sisters in espargos, and The Demkes who are awesome. They are helping us with our families.
Elder Manga also is awesome. He is always happy. We are still getting used to each other, and many things are changing but I am learning a ton, and I know the Lord will allow us to work miriacles as we teach and work together.
I will talk to some of you on thursday, but for the others, I will talk maybe one day.
Please dont get too caught up in the spirit of comericalism. Worldly fun ends way too fast.
Monday, December 15, 2014
This will be short unfortunately because of lack of time.
Because the airlines dont run around Christmas, transfers happened a week early.
I have now seen all 10 islands of Cape verde, and have served in 5 of them. I am now on the flat and touristy island of Sal. I will try to send pictures next week. Sal means salt, and this island is just lots of sand. I has tons of tourists, and pretty much literally no agraculture. I saw grass today for the first time from a far, and longed to go lay on it. :)
I am serving with Elder Manga who I have known for a long time. This is his last transfer. He is from Gunea Bisseu but was living in Praia when he was baptised. I am super excited. I am in the city of santa maria, which is just built around this 5 star resort. Sal has tons of beaches and stuff.
So, that is pretty much it.
I left Ribeirao Manuel good, and am super sad to have left, but I know that the Lord has good things in store here.
On sunday we had 43 people in Church, and 5 investigators. Sys brother Helton finally came to church. He has changed so much. On tuesday he was cooking and we just sat outside over a small fire and talked for like an hour and a half, and by the end he became super excited to live and try the gospel. It was amazing. He will be baptised on the 27th. Elder Wallace stayed in the area and will cary on the work.
I am working right now on diligence, and I am confident that that will bless my life.
We all have to work for many things in this life, and choosing something is one thing, but after choosing the right, we have to act with diligence. Diligence is a consistant and persistant action to achieve. I am grateful for Preach My Gospel and for this new area.
Please serve others this Christmas. Many need our help.
I love this Church and know that it is true.
Monday, December 8, 2014
Before I forget, I don't know how many of you have seen the Christmas video of the Church, christmas.mormon.org. He is the Gift.
We have been sharing it here, and we have shared it with 30 people so far, and if you live somewhere where you have a smart phone, and everyone has internet, and you think you can share it with more people before Christmas than I can here with just my flash drive it Africa, bring it on.
The video itself is less than 3 mins, but every time I see it I am filled with the Spirit, and have a greater desire to do what is right, and to give to Him what little I have.
This week at church was also fantastic. The branch is starting to pick it up, and the relief society had a great activity saturday, and so we had 50 people in church which is the highest it has been in the last 6 months since i've been here. However, the atonement is helping me keep a good perspective.
We are so indebted to Christ, that even when we acieve a little thing, we still owe everything. If we think about that it isn't hard to forgive others. There is the parabole if the man who owed his master 100000000000000 dollars, and was forgiven all, and then another that owed him 5 dollars he threw into prision. This gives us great perspective. We had 50 people in church but there are another 50,000 or more people in our area. So, we have a tooooooon more to do. Here we go. I think I am getting transfered next monday, so I have been trying to take advantage of this last little time here, and I love the area and don't want to leave more every day.
The Lord has been blessing us a ton even though we are worse some days than we were before, and I am incapable of acting in complete faith, but that is okay, because I know that I will get it before it is too late. Repent me Repent me!
We had a solid zone meeting this week. We were told that it was going to be the best training of our missions... and it wasn't. :( But it was still really really good.
We talked about the focuses of this month, and about what the member, investigator, and missionary need to feel to be converted. Desire is a big factor in all of those cases. So, study your scriptures and act in faith. count your blessings, and serve. Be good members.
We had house inspections today, which went good. It was really fast which was nice. I did tons of deep cleaning this morning, and was soooo sick of cleaning by like 12 but that's okay. Most missionarys only clean the surface, so under stuff, or in stuff, or on the sides of stuff doesn't really ever get cleaned so I did a lot of that. My arm was tired from scrubbing. We almost had an emergency because the power was out from when we woke up until like 8, but then it came back, so we were able to have water more accessable to clean. Carrying water from a tank to the sink to wash dishes is not the greatest. I am grateful for what we have though, and that we have running water which most people don't have. We don't have to go carry in water every day from farish away.
Have a good week, but more importantly, help others have a good week.
I love you all!!!!
Elder Jared Sampson
Missão Cabo Verde Praia
Praia, Ilha de Santiago
You can send an envelope with a letter or pictures or whatever for $1.10 (international postage). Or, you can send a package to this address. This is the international mail option.
2. Pouch address:
Elder Jared Sampson
Cape Verde Praia Mission
P.O. Box 30150
Salt Lake City, UT 84130
This option only allows one piece of paper, folded into thirds and taped closed. If you send an envelope, or anything other than the piece of paper, it will be returned to you. But, this just requires one stamp to get to SLC.
3. Or, you can always email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, December 1, 2014
The gospel is great!
I love you all, especially Brad and my new sister Leslie!
There was a large party we had to hide from here on the day of the wedding too, but they were worshiping a saint, instead of celebrating eternal families. :( We're working on that.
So I don't really talk that much about who we are teaching, but will mention a few today.
1. Fernando- He is the cousin of one of our strongest members, and lives in the same house as her. He is 30 or so, and his super strong cousin didn't believe that he was worth teaching. We started talking with him, and he is getting a new light. He came to church for the first time on sunday, and loved it. He was participating and stuff. Awesome.
2. Helton and Nadini- Helton is the brother of one of our other super strong members, but we also contacted him alone and not through his brothers. Nadini is his woman. We talked a lot about marrage with them this week, and he asked her and she said yes, but not until after they finish school which won't be for a while, so we explained about the power of families, and having faith and she left very much pondering about the things that we taught.
3. Eloisa- Lives with a man, and just had a baby 2 weeks ago. She now has 2 kids with another man, and 2 kids with the guy she lives with right now. She suffers from effects of not living the law of chastity, and we have been trying to help her build her faith, and yesterday finally had a the Lord delights in the chastity of women lesson, and about how if something keeps her out of the kingdom of God, that thing is not needed, no matter what the cost. She is praying and pondering and we will do so with her. We hope to help her husband understand that he can not serve 2 masters when it comes to familiy (or anything else). It was was a good lesson, she has very much been humbled.
So one great blessing that we had this week was that because of the volcano, Bruna, who was serving a mini mission, came home early, and is super excited and ready to finish her papers, and also the first thing she said is that she has realized what it is like to be a missionary and especially how hard it is when there are no members to help. Also, we had a missionary come home from her full time mission in Brazil, and she is full of fire ready to work too. She didn't want to come home, but they made her, and she is a very powerful tool in the Lord's hands and will help this branch work a ton better. Also, her boyfriend is our ward mission leader, so we are hoping for a wedding here soon. She is so on fire though, that he is seeing how much better he needs to change and how over time after the mission his habits and stuff are not as strong as they used to be. So, he is working to be more converted too.
That is the kind of relationships we need to develop. That is the relationship that we need make with everyone.
A relationship that makes both people, because of the other, have a greater desire to do what is right and follow Christ.
This is the relationship that members and missionaries have to have.
This is the relationship that couples need to have.
This is the relationship that companions need to have.
This is the relationship that family members and friends and missionaries need to have.
This is the relationship that we need to have with God, so that every time we pray or think of Him, we are elevated to a higher level of commitment to become as Christ is.
I like the words of the verse in D&C 132:7
Therefore, strengthen your brethren in all your conversation, in all your prayers, in all your exhortations, and in all your doings.
I know that this is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and that by the power of Love, we can figure it out. We can develop and stregnthen our relationships, especially in our families.
What does God do all day? He does what he can to stregnthen his family.
This week I also had the chance to ponder more about what we believe that others don't. It is such a blessing to know what we know, and to have a prophet. The things that I have learned since my youth are real blessings that others don't have. The majority of people here don't know what they believe, and so when we say stuff, they just nod and say they believe that too, but simple things like learning about who God is makes all the difference in our prayers and our families, and makes the Law of Chastity make sense. It was a blessing to be able to teach people with more clarity the importance of families because we know who God is.
I love you all, and wish I had more time.
Please do better to do right.
I promise I will.