Thursday, November 8, 2012

Week 2 Another great week in Cape Verde!

This past weekend was our Stake Conference. Wow!  

So here is my experience with being fine-tuned in humility. On Saturday night, several members were asked to share their conversion stories. This couple who had recently been sealed in the temple were just amazing, and the spirit was so strong as they spoke. The wife spoke first and then her husband, Holden, (the brother that I mentioned before that was interpreting for me.) So, He talked about falling in love all over again with his wife and that he loves his wife and that he loves telling everyone that he loves his wife. It made the congregation laugh; he was darling. Then on a more serious note he said. “We need to humble ourselves". I about fell off my seat! Was this really coming out of this poor mans mouth? I have come to realize, through the help of my best friend Marci, and through prayer, that humility is not about money; It is about our hearts...yours and mine. We do what we can, and then we ask the Lord for His help with the rest - like we do A,B.C, and then the Lord steps in and does D,E,F, or actually he probably does D-Z!

During the week I went over and introduced myself to my neighbor. Her name is Gracinda.

She is 42 years old; a single mother with 5 children. Rejina 17- girl, Emanul 15-boy, Edu 12-boy, Jorjiana 3-girl, and the baby Jorjinho 1-boy. They are darling children. The mother was so sweet and I picked up the baby off the ground where he was crawling naked. The little girl was also naked. I wasn't sure if it was because they had no clothes or because it is very warm and humid here. So, not being able to communicate well, I called my Portuguese tutor, Jussara. (She is wonderful.) Anyway, I had her ask my neighbor if I could see the inside of her home and to ask her if she needed any food. The mother told her that she had some beans that she was cooking and some rice, but that she didn't have anything else. So then I had her tell the daughter to watch the baby while I took the mother to the store to get some food. The stores here have very few items and there frozen section is about the size of the freezer's on the top of our refrigerators -small, small, small.

By the time we finished she had 3 baskets of food with tears in her eye's. The owner of their store spoke some English and I was able to communicate that I wanted to help her get some food. He was so nice and helpful and after we had checked out he went outside and got a taxi for us. It was not that far to walk but boy was it hot and I had sweat dripping from my face. The ride only cost me about 60 cents. Then I had made arrangements to have my tutor meet me at my neighbors house later that day. Jussara spoke for me and this is what I shared with my neighbor. I told her in America that we take care of our neighbors and that we get to know them and become friends with them. The mother smiled. Then I told her that I would be living in my home for 18 months and that we are now neighbors, and that I wanted to help her. Her mother was also present at the time, along with her children. She shared with me that her source of income was her pigs; she has 3 large and 3 small. When she sells one of them off, the money has to last long enough until one of the other pigs is large enough to get a good price. So, as you can see, this could be a great challenge. Her place is so dirty. (and I don't say that in any way of judging her - she is in survival mode at the present time.)

I asked if I could help her clean up her house and teach her some cleaning techniques that I know. She smiled and hugged me and kissed my face about 5 or 6 times. 

Jussara told her about the stake conference that was on Sunday and invited her to come. I told her that I would come and get her. So, Sunday comes; it's 9:30 and conference starts at 10:00. I knocked on the door. “Ola Sister”, I said. She came to the door. Of course, no one was ready but no problem. I bought some diapers with me, so I put one on the baby and got him dressed. She was digging for some clothes in an old box. The clothes were all tiny, but I stretched the shirt and it worked. The little girl had a dress. I was sweating all over, but it didn't matter. I had a mission, and it was to get this family to the church. Then Jussara showed up just at the right time. I could see that the mother was stressed trying to find something for herself to wear. I ran to my home and grabbed some clothes. Knowing that they would fall off of her I also grabbed the safety pins. Success! I pinned the skirt, and the shirt worked, and I gave her my shoes. We made it on time and Sister McKnight had saved us some seats. The choir was singing the opening hymn. Africans sure know what volume is! They were singing with such passion and conviction. It brought me to tears. I was a sweaty mess, but that didn't matter. The mother was glued to the speakers and the expression on her face told me that she was being taught and then I began to cry. The baby hadn't eaten breakfast yet, so I took him to my house and fed him. (I just live across the street, thank goodness.)

My dear family and friends, I love my mission; I love my Savior; I love this gospel; the only true gospel upon the earth today. If you are struggling in any way - get the distractions out of your life and come unto Him and He will give you rest. I don't know how that looks for you, but for me, it is here that I find rest from the world. Being a missionary is a privilege and I am so humbled, I mean truly humbled, to be one of His servants. God loves broken things.

I thought that I would come to this mission to help others and yet I am getting help at the same time. It's wonderful. If any of you would like to do something for this family for Christmas, that would be just great and they would be so grateful. I know many of you have asked me to let you know how you can help. Well, this is just the start. And if you know me at all, there will be more to come. I miss you already but I am happy here serving the Lord.

God bless the United States of America. 
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen!

Sister Cassita/Lizzy

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