Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Week 5 & 6 - The Starfish Project

Dearest family and friends,

My eye's are filled with tears as I write to you this day. I am so very deeply humbled to serve my Savior, Jesus Christ; to be His servant. As I see the great needs of the people here in this part of the Lord's vineyard, I am filled with joy that even the smallest act of kindness or service makes such a huge difference in their lives. .They are such humble people; our brothers and sisters. I fall to my knee's each night in gratitude for this wonderful opportunity to be a missionary here.

I don't know if you have heard of the starfish story so I would like to invite you to listen to it. Then come back and enjoy my starfish story.

The Starfish Story

I found my starfish - Gracinda is her name. She is my neighbor. (I talked about her in an earlier post)
She has 5 children with another one on the way. Her first 3 children's father left for a better life in Portugal and the father of the younger 2 is George and he is Gracinda's current boyfriend and soon to be husband (if I can share with her and convert her to the importance of being married…) That seems to be a problem here. No one likes to get married. I'm not sure if it's because of the money or what.

Any way…I invited Gracinda to come to our stake conference my second week here and she came! The next week, both Gorge and Gracinda came. Then on Monday, the 19th, Sister McKnight, myself and the Elders had family home evening with her family. What a sweet tender spirit I felt as I watched the children sing with us. Then Elder Olsen asked Edu to offer the opening prayer. At first he was shy but then consented and did a great job. This sweet boy is very special to some of you who will read this, for he tells me all the time about his American friends: Brother and Sister Adams, Sister Palmer, Elder Palmer, Sister Cummings, President Holt - he loves all of you and when he talks of you his eyes light up and there is a spiritual connection for him. I am humbled to follow in your footsteps in making a difference in this boy’s life and that of his family. I love them so much.

 So I met this neighbor of mine about 4 or 5 days after I arrived and since that time until today, I have seen much of how this woman cares for her family. Her home needs some major work to make it a safe and habitable place to live. She has no running water, no toilet (yes…it is called a bucket for urine and a bag for the other which is then placed outside for the garbage truck to take away.)

They live with pigs -3 large,3 medium, 7 babies, 4 chickens, and1 rooster, along with a lizard that I saw while I was cleaning, cockroaches and other sorts of bugs. I spent 3 hours on Saturday with Gracinda and her children cleaning, washing clothes and laughing.

They probably think I'm crazy but I wanted to do what they do and learn how to use a wash board. It works!
Then we hung the clothes on the line which is across the street in an empty lot which 3 or 4 neighbors all use. It's great! Then I showed Gracinda how I clean with clorox and a-jax. She was smiling and at one point I was crying as I felt her burden being lifted and her bright smile would light up the room. She is so dear to me. It is true what people say, “I can't save or help everyone, but I can make a difference in one persons life” for I know this to be true as well… that if we just help one, each of us the world would be in a better place. I know…for I was a lost sheep and I was found..

I know that God lives and that he is a God of miracles. If you would like to participate in creating this “miracle”, my friend has organized a fundraising page at http://www.youcaring.com/help-a-neighbor/Starfish-Project/36425

I love you all. I love my children. I am so grateful for the knowledge that I have of the restored gospel and that families can be together forever. I know that the Book of Mormon has been restored for us and I love the peace that it brings as I read the words and am taught the mysteries of God through the gift of the Holy Ghost and prayer. What wonderful gifts! Oh, how I love my Savior, my Redeemer. May our Heavenly Father keep you safe and filled with peace as you put your trust in Him. I love being a missionary and I am grateful to serve my Savior.
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen

Sister Cassita

1 comment:

  1. I love this...my daughters friend is serving in Cape Verde and I love the lighthouses there, I did a search and found your blog...what a blessing to be able to serve the Lord there in such an amazing place. If you run into Elder Acord, give him a high five and tell him that your picture is now my background on my work computer...With love, Sister Stephanie Frampton Farmington, Utah you can respond to me at iluvmykids_mom@yahoo.com