Tuesday, June 30, 2015

What a week!

Dear Family and Friends,

To those who noticed, which may have only been my dear mother, it is tuesday, not monday.  Yesterday 
there was a huge party in my city.  Everyone was out on the street, and for the last week almost non stop 
there have been drummers playing in the street.  Constant noise for 8 days or so.  They just play the same 
beat of 4 seconds on loop for days.  I am happy that part is over.  There were horse races and stuff.  Way 
to much alchool, but other than that a pretty family friendly party, except that they were also technically `
worshiping` Saint Peter which is a big no no.  Everything was closed except the chinese stores, so we 
couldnt email.  I love the chinese.  The Chinese here in sao nicolau are better than in all the other islands 
because their isnt a huge seperation between them and the natives.  You dont really ever see the chinese 
and cape verdians just chatting in front of a store on any other island.  I love them.  

So, just a reminder, Please do not be materialistic.  The things you have doesnt matter nearly as much as 
who you are.  Dont let what you have get in the way of changing who you are through the atonement of 

Another thing.  Prioritys.  How far are you willing to go?  Are you willing to go the extra mile to help one 
in need.  The Lord answers our prayers.  Are you ready to go when he commands?

So this week we have been trying to keep everything from falling to the ground.  Like in high school when 
I was building a toothipick bridge.  The hardest part is getting a strong foundation.  Once it is built, it is way 
easier to get more and build higher.  Please pray for us.  We are still not solid, but if we are patient The 
Lord will do his work in his time.  There are so few people right now fighting for the right.  One of them is 
Alexandro.  On Wednesday, our group leader forgot to designate someone to teach institute, and didn't 
show up, but Alexandro jumped up to it.  He doesnt understand the scriptures super well, but he just puts 
his weaknesses behind him, and just goes for it.  What a man of faith.

He is also helping our only progressing investigator, Adilson, who has huge addiction problems.  He has 
some mental scars that come from years of bad choices and depression, and he is learning how to beat 
his addictions and to forgive.  Alexhandro is helping a ton, and he seeks to do stuff without being asked 
which is amazing.  He goes beyond the basic because of the changes that have happened in his life.

Our church was pretty normal, just without the other elders who opened tarrafal.  We dropped 2 people, f
rom 13 to 11 which is expectable because 2 left.
Tarrafal was a huge success!!!   We helped them move down on tuesday and get their house set up.  
The first sacrament meeting happened with 31 people!  They could bearly cram them into this tiny  room 
in their house.  One of the members that is less active that came was a man I rescued in one of my other 
areas who moved back here.  We are super excited.  They have the first baptism on saturday and Elder 
Barrus just fininshed his interview.  Pray for them too!!!

I know the church is true.  It is a fight.  But, Those who are with us are more those who are with them.

Elder Sampson

Monday, June 22, 2015

Another Week of the Battle

Dear All,

So this week was a battle!  We started fully taking on the other Elders area.  They move tomorrow to Tarrafal on the other side of the island to open it and we are all very excited.  They found a good house there and have some less active members that live there come up to them on the street making the first contact.  The first sacrament meeting will be there this sunday.

We got to have a few good lessons this week with our ancent branch president, who shared a bit about how he was prepared to finally come back.  He is coming super good.  He asked us for scriptures because he has pretty much forgotten how to navigate them.  He also asked for some thoughts about how to help teach his kids some important principles of the gospel.  His older son who is 14 wants to come to church too, but he is taking it slow, trying to get himself orentated before helping his family.  His family has no idea of his old filiation to the church, and he is seeking divine help to know how and when to start that converstation.  It is a blessing having him though!

I had a great experience with fasting this last week.  Two weeks ago was stake conference so we didnt fast, and last week we forgot, so we were fasting this week.  I have been studying and fasting about how to help our group leader, Hivandro, be the strong force that he needs to be.  Yesterday we showed up to church, and he had changed.  He was excited about everything, and had decided to take some steps that he had talked about but hadnt ever done.  He gave a great talk on repentance, and it was super good.  Fasting has power.  I am grateful for the resored gospel and that we can help others come unto Christ.

Elder Barrus is awesome too!  I am super grateful to be serving with him.  He pushes me and grounds me (in a good way) and puts up with me and stuff.  He really knows how to talk with God, and to seek for and follow the Spirit.  He is our district leader right now, and has started us focusing a lot on families with the goal to be working with at least 10 families before the end of the transfer, and so we have the goal to get a reference of a family every day, and contact 4 families.  The church really needs true families.  There are so few good families here in this country and so it will make all the diference in the world to establish the church more centered in the family.

I love you all!

Especially those who are part of my family.  And those who are my brothers and sisters.  Let us remember to treat everyone as they are.  Our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters of Christ!

Elder Sampson

Monday, June 15, 2015

What a great week

Time is fleeting like the dews of heaven flee from before the roaring dandilions.   or... Something like that.

This week went by really fast.

So Elder Jarvis showed up this week!  Our mission is great because you can be in the same mission as someone for 2 years and never ever see them.  I have met around half the people that are here in the mission.  We got a letter today with all the missionary birthdays this month.  I know 2 of the 9 people or so.  It was great to not only have Elder Jarvis here, but I also spent two days with him on divisions while Elder Willes showed Elder Barrus all of their area.

Miracle of the week!
The church was first opened on this island 17 years ago.  It stayed for 2 years or so and then was destroyed.  We dont know exactly why, and have tried to find out a bit, but to no avail.  The man who was the branch president back then lives in the other elders area.  When the church was put back here a year and a half ago, they went to him first, and he wanted nothing to do with the church.  6 months or so ago he threatened the Elders to call the police if they came to his house again.  This last tuesday, the Elders tracted into his 9 year old son.  They told him to go get his dad just for a min, and his dad said no, but they insisted, and so they went in and talked to this guy for a few mins, and found out by the end that he was the old branch president.  While he was branch president here, there were like 40-45 people who came every week, and was growing super well.  The Elders just took it slow with him, and checked for a testimony which he still had.  Elder Barrus went up there on saturday, and he said on his own that he would make an effort to come to church, and... He showed up!  What a miracle!  after 17 years.  The spirit got him at the right time.  He is awesome!  I was the only one who hadnt met him yet, but met him in church yesterday.  We are hoping and praying that this will be the turning point for this area.

We take the whole area tomorrow, as the elders are going to Tarrafal to open the area.  Pray for them!
We also thought we got our first media referal ever today, then it turned out that it was just one of the members who had been messing around on the church website.

When I first got here it was a struggle to teach 10 lessons a week, and this last week, we taught at least 3 lessons a day.  It has been growing slowly but steadily.  We havent seen tons of success, but we are still loving the work!

We had 1 investigator in church yesterday too! What a blessing!

The Lord is Blessing us a ton.  We have so much potential, and He is helping us to share the gospel with everyone.

I know the church is true, and that this work is true!!!

Love you all!!!

Elder Sampson

Monday, June 8, 2015

What a Wondrous Week


This week was a faith growing experience.  There are many blessings that we have, and we have to learn
 to be more dedicated to The Lords will in all times and in all things and in all places.

He Knows Best

As we pass through struggles, and dificulties and even times of great success, the best solution is to do
 our best to be like the Christ and leave the rest in His hands.  He knows what we need and what we can 
become.  He knows what we need to do and what we need to stop.  The Book of Mormon has a great power
to stregnthen our faith so that we can do that.

This week we found one of our investigators in the street.  We sat down with him right there because he 
is very difficult to find, and shared a few scriiptures with him from the Book of Mormon.  As we shared them, 
he asked us to write them down for him, and exclaimed that he never understood the book of Mormon and 
thought that it was completely different and that all people need to understand that.  What a great feeling to 
find someone who, at least to a certain extent, understands.  He felt it.  The spirit testified to him, and he 
went home and started reading for reals.  The Book of Mormon is true, and serves as a convincing power 
in these days.

It is so simple.

The World Needed A Restoration

God wanted to give it, but knew that His children would not all believe on the words of His new prophet.
He wanted to give them a way to exercise faith, and to find confidence.
What if He gave them more of the words of his forgotton prophets of old.
And, that is exactly what He did.
Let us become like little children and recieve the truth as taught from Heaven itself.

This last week I also got to talk with a few of my recent converts.  One of them, whom I havent spoken to 
since december of 2013, is my first baptism, Tony.  It was awesome to talk to him and hear about everything 
he is doing in the church, and his plans and stuff.  He is going strong, and that brought me great joy.

So yesterday were transfers.  I nor my companion were transfered.  But, our area is changing.  The area 
here is really struggling in general, and there has been a thought of opening the other big city, Tarrafal, on 
the other side of the island.  The last we heard is that it was decided that they were not going to do it 
anymore. (Last transfere they were going to send all 4 of us to open it, and then decided that it wouldn't 
work)  But, that changed, and we will take over the rest of this huge area, while Elder Willes and Elder 
Jarvis, who is coming in today to replace Elder Dos Santos, will be opening the other side of the island.  
It is going to be great.  We are all super excited.  Also, I am excited to see Elder Jarvis, because I haven't 
seen him since the day that we all showed up in this country.

The Lord Knows Best.  He gives us Power as a proof of our authority.  His work is true.  Like it says in D&C 3, 
it is not the work of God that is frustrated, but the work of men.

June, being the month of invites, is a great time for all of us to join in the work of God, inviting at least 1 soul 
to come unto Christ each day.

Elder Sampson

Monday, June 1, 2015

Missing the Pumpkin Prophet


Jared Sampson

10:24 AM (5 hours ago)
to me

Editor's Note:  So it is true that Elder Perry was always associated with a pumpkin
in our family.  His wife was being honored at BYU many years ago.  She was in the Home-
coming parade and Elder Perry was sitting in the bleachers near us.  Groups were giving
him things.  One thing he got was a pumpkin.  At the end of the parade, he said he was
going to be in Provo all day and his pumpkin would just spoil in the hot car.  He asked
Lindsey if she wanted his pumpkin.  We have a picture of the two of them together.

Today will be very short because it is a holliday, and there is only 1 computer open in the whole city.
I was sad to hear about the death of out Pumpkin Prophet, Elder L. Tom Perry.  For those who have forgotten, 
or never knew why he is our Pumpkin Prophet, years and years ago as I recall he and his wife brought us 
some pumpkins that they had recieved at a parade in provo that they didnt want.  I am greatful for the 
dedication to the Gospel that he has demonstrated.

This week was a great changing week.  I think I have learned more in this last week than most other 
weeks of my mission.  I have found many answers that I needed.

I was studying this morning about Salvation, and how, in exaltation, we will sit down with Abraham, and 
Issac, Moses and Peter, Alma and Nephi, Joseph Smith and President Monson.  I asked myself a question 
that I would like you all to ponder.  How can I ever get up to the level of these noble and great ones?  I was 
devistated as I thought about it, until I remembered what is writted on a passalong card that we give out to 
lots of people.  Faith brings Hope.  Through faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ, Even I can be changed 
enough to be put away out of my sins and weakness, to be reclothed in power.  I dont know how, because 
I cant come anywhere close on my own, but it is possible throught the Atonement of Christ, because the 
Atonement is INFINATE.  It can cover EVERYTHING and not just right now but FOREVER.

I was setting goals for what I wanted to achieve in my life so that I could make subordinate goals as to 
what I want to achieve before the end of my mission, and I wrote, Be as much as possible like Christ.  
Then I paused.  I had a feeling of a deep decision.  It would be easy to just put down, Be like Christ.  
That would be easy.  I can make progress to be like Christ and strive to be like him.  That isnt a question.  
But I knew that in deciding that I would be as much like Christ as possible, I was setting myself up for 
consistant straining and pushing.  For time that I would fail, and for the hardest thing that I will ever do.  I 
had to decide what I would do, and not just decide with my mouth or with my pen, but with my whole soul.  
I pondered about if I could do it and if it was worth it.  Then, I realized that I have made that decision before.  
There was an offer for a first estate which I kept, given before this life.  All of us knew that we would have to 
give consistant straining and pushing, that we would fall flat on our faces over and over, that it would be hard 
and at some times we would ask if it was worth it. I chose right then.  And I chose right today.  And for ever 
I will have to choose again and again and again, and each of us will likewise have to do.  Will you give your 
all to follow Christ all of the time.  Will you sacrifice and strive, pray and plead, until throught the Atonement 
of Christ you are made to sit at His right hand.  His holy right hand of glory, pierced for your transgressions?

I know that this work is true, and happiness comes through repentance and spiritual progression.

This is all true.

Elder Sampson