Monday, July 27, 2015

Moving out on the Kriola

Dear Everyone,

By the grace of God, I was permitted to stay until Friday in Sao Nicolau, which was a huge blessing.  I think graced is really the only word that describes the blessing I recieved to serve a few more days there.  During those days we saw the continuation of many miracles.

One of those was with our group leader, who has been discovering the loneliness of leadership coupled with being on a secluded island with no help and no trainings or anything.  He was ready to be done. We went to talk to him to try to help him out, and he was bad.  He wouldnt pray with us or read with us.  He stood up in the middle a few times to walk out and we told him to sit down.  We were not overbearing, but felt multiple times that he needed to stay so that we could help him.  We kept him in the church by force 2 different times.  He was mostly lethargic and didnt really struggle much.  We tryed everything we could think of to help him, until Kevin showed up.  Kevin passed through something similar last week, and they had some things that needed to be resolved.  We sang a hymn standing in the stairs, then got Kevin and our group leader together, and we got them talking.  The spirit took over, and our group leader felt the companionship of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  He said the closing prayer, and is doing much better.   I am so grateful for the power of the atonement and the holy Ghost.

I took a beautiful boat ride that was pretty miserable but I didnt get too sick.  It was about 2 hours long to get to mindelo.

I am serving, like I said last week, with Elder Adams.  I have known him pretty well for a while.  He is black, but is from Lehi.  His dad moved to orem while he was out here though, so we will be going home to the same city.  He has been out around 19 months, so he teaches well.  It is great having a black comp.  We had someone complain about how the preisthood was withheld from blacks for a while, and it is very difficult for me to testify of that, but he bore a powerful testimony and the man stopped talking about it.  haha.  He has a super strong love for the prophets and apostles.  It is contagious.  It is going to be super good for me to serve with him.

It is really weird serving somewhere where there are funtioning organizations and stuff.  Where the church is not dependent on the missionaries for survival.  It was weird to just make normal comments in Elders Quorum.  Actually, having Elders Quorum was a bit weird.  It was only Elders.  Not even Elders and young men.  And there were a decent amount of people there.  We had 107 people at church.  That is a bit higher than our goal of 17 in Sao Nicolau for this week.  haha.  Actually, 3 hours of church was a suprise too.  I forgot that church is usually 3 hours instead of just 2.  Lots of new things going on.

Our area is really small.  Lots of people, but a very small area.  I am starting to get to know people.  We are in need of some new investigators though.  We are working on that.  We are walking too much right now and teaching not enough.  Life is always better when you teach a lot.  So, we are doing better with that.

The members here are really good too.  Most of the members dont live in our area, but the ward mission leader does, and he helps alot.  His name is Helton and has been a member for about 9 months.  He teaches a lot with us.

We were supposed to have a baptism on last saturday, but that had to be put off until the 8th.  So as far as baptising soon, we have some way to go.  But, we are marking some good people for baptism and stuff.

One important thing I learned this past week is about the importance of being God-minded and not man-minded.  Everyone has different talents and abilities.  The hand can not say that they dont need the foot because they are not a hand.  We are all part of the body of Christ´s church.  So.  Dont judge others because they have fortes in different areas than you.

Thank you for your prayers and support!

Elder Sampson

Monday, July 20, 2015

I've seen rotisary chicken, but rotisary pig... Now that's new!

Dear Everyone,

I just wanted to wish happy birthday to the best mother on the planet!!!

This week there was a giant fair here to celebrate the coming of her birthday.  There were animals and things to sell, and food, and lots and lots of people.  It was super fun, except we didnt have time to go take a look, although we did cut through it a few times.  One highlight was a large rod about 10 feet long with a whole roasted pig on it.  Beautiful.

This week was full of miracles.

One of those was with Kevin, who has been strugging a lot recently.  We went to talk to him yesterday, (actually to talk to his brother, but he was gone and kevin was there) and we sang a hymn and prayed and then had no idea what to do.  At all.  Kevin was super lethargic.  He said he just feels mentally sick all the time.  Everything is going bad, not just gospel stuff.  We prayed and begged God that he put words into our mouths.   The only impression was, wherever you go, make sure that you go with your companion as one.  So we went, and over about an hour, there was a huge transformation in him that could not be caused by anything except for a miracle.  He walked out of his house with us on his way to visit the widows and the fatherless, to show the Love of Jesus Christ.
Elder Barrus and I are finally teaching super well together.  It really started yesterday morning.  We were excited too, because the afternoon passed and we recieved no phone call, then in the early evening, President Mathews called and transfered me.  You can´t do that.  :(

But!  huge blessing.  For whatever reason, I have to stay here until Friday, so I get another half a week to live on this fountain of miracles.

I am going to Mindelo which is where the second of the stakes was made.  Big city.  I will have about 4 weeks of mission time in the big city with a ward and fully funtioning organizations.  It will be a blast.  I will be serving with Elder Adams, who I know really well.  He is from Lehi.  I am super excited.  I will still be in the same zone, so if zone conference is early next month, I may be able to see Elder Barrus before I get transfered out.

The Lord answers our prayers and our fasts.  He gives us what we need.
Last week we found a lady who has been, unbeknognst to us (is that a word?), reading the book of mormon for a while.  Her 4 year old daughter has a strange desease, and she has been reading and praying to show God that she wants his help.  She hasnt felt like she has recieved any yet though.  We got to testify that God has heard her prayers.  The Book of Mormon also gave her many answers.  I fasted to prepare for the blessing we were going to give her daughter.  We went over and talked about the plan of salvation first, and then she asked us, How does the baptism thing work.  We started to teach and testify, and then President Mathews interupted our teaching, so Elder Barrus left to the hall, and I taught about a new birth through baptism, then we switched, and not knowing what I had taught, he taught about how it is a promise with God, then I walked back in, not knowing even what was happening exactly, and invited her to be baptised because it felt right.  She accepted, and in her prayer prommised God that if He will pull her though this trial of her daughter, she will keep all his Commandments and be baptised.  She is going to Mindelo this week to see some better doctors.  Pray for her.  Her name is Laricia.  I dont remember her daughters name.  The fasting also payed off, as Elder Barrus was inspired to profer a blessing of healing to her daughter, and then we gave her a blessing of comfort.

I am so grateful for this work and Prayer and Fasting, and the Holy Preisthood that I have been blessed to hold.
Please, please, please do not undervalue the power of the Holy Ghost and the Resored Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I love you all,

Elder Sampson

Monday, July 13, 2015

Whatever Floats Your Boat

Dear everyone,

This last week was a great blessing.  We were trying hard to teach at least 20 lessons to investigators, which we didnt achieve, but there were still tons of good things happening.  We started off our day today trying to make up for it teaching some other lessons.  That is one thing that I am trying super hard to get closer to mastering this week.  Achieving goals.  It does no good if you make a goal and then dont try to achieve it.  And if you make a goal, and dont achieve it, and there is nothing to help you do better next time, then there is no point either.  But, if you act diferently to achieve a goal, and rely on the Lord, then you make progress.  As President Mathews says, you need three things, and if you have these three things, you can achieve everything the Lord wants you to.

1. Good Planning
2. Faith
3. Hard Work

When you find that you arent achieving, that means that there is something lacking in one of those three spots.

Goals.  Important.  Very Important.

If we dont learn to make and achieve goals, we can get to the end of our lives and look back and see that we achieved very little of our full potential.

We are children of God.  We have devine potential.  Goals help us get that!

So this week we broke the reacord for the most investigators in church in 1 week in the last long time.  3.  With 15 people in total which was a huge blessing.  We only had 9 last week, so that is 6 more.  Given, last week was the 5th of July (independence day) and there was a massive party that stole away some members, but it is still a huge blessing to have ourselves and 13 others at church.

One of those is Brother Antunes´s son, IsaĆ­as (Isaiah).  He is 12 and loves the gospel already.  He ate the leahona we gave him, and started the book of mormon.  He is going to be a great preisthood holder one day.
Another Huge blessing is that we got into the exgroup leader´s house this week.  It has been a long time since that has happened.  They accepted to let us have family night with them tonight, so I made a cake.  We will go over in an hour or so.  The Lord is really blessing us here, even though the work still is very arduous.

I love you all and know that this work is true.  I know that Jesus is the Christ and that he lives.  He really and truely lives.  By the power of the Holy Ghost, and through sincere study and prayer, you can know that too.

Elder Sampson

Monday, July 6, 2015

What a Wonderful Week