Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Week 7 & 8 - "Service" with a Capital "S"

The Lord is an amazing artist! As I have just listened to the spirit and acted, with direction from my priesthood leaders, a beautiful picture is being painted…or a wonderful story is unfolding. It feels strange to be writing this story, as I am one of God's children in this story. Oh well, here goes...

So a couple of weeks ago on a Saturday, after our weekly baptisms, (the missionaries rock here!) I was sharing with my Stake President about my “starfish”, Gracinda. I gave him a quick download of  "The Starfish Story" Then I shared with him, that she is not a member of the church but that "she is my neighbor; and in America, we take care of our neighbors." After I assessed the needs of my neighbor, (which are many,) I shared with him my vision of bringing relief to this sister and that of her family. He then said to me, “Sister Cassita, would you please teach my people how to serve one another?” I was truly humbled that he would ask me. Without hesitation, I of course said “yes”. When I got home that that evening my mind was spinning with all sorts of ways that I might accomplish this great task; first, came prayer. I have never felt like a natural “leader” and for sure, not one of this magnitude. How would I know what it would take to do this? The very next morning, everything just simply came to my mind! (At first it was too much, too quick.) So I ran some idea's past Sister McKnight and together we came up with a plan for the first phase.
 We had 14 sisters in our branch Relief Society sign up to come help. On Saturday, 8 came with their    
                                                                  "Helping Hands".

We met at the church; I thanked them for coming and for being willing to serve; then I offered a prayer and invited the spirit to be with us as we went into this sister's home. Next, we headed over to Gracinda's house. Sister McKnight had made brownies (you have to have treats, right?) and I made some punch, (real hard…just dump the packet mix in water and shake it…). Oh, we had a wonderful time - laughing and crying. I was surprised to see the shock on these sister's faces. Even though they live here on this humble island, even they were shocked to see the extremely poor conditions of this sister. It brought them to tears.

On this phase, we were just sorting through clothes. At the end of Gracinda's bed is a very large TV box that was full of clothes. Most of them were holey and stained, but we just started sorting. There was also a large bag full of clothes and when I lifted it up, cockroaches went squirming! It was awesome!!! Gracinda and I looked at each other and just started laughing; To see the sister’s faces and to watch them jump back. It didn't faze me at all.

I was doing some cleaning under the bed and came upon a machete. I pulled it out from under the bed and the sister just started to laugh
I found out that Gracinda uses it on a pig when they are out of meat. (No, there is no Wilber here from the movie " Charlotte’s Web".)

 Life is hard here, but I can see how the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is changing the lives of the people and how our loving Savior is blessing them and this Land with His Light. Oh, how I love being a missionary! My life is forever changed and God is teaching me how to be a leader.

I love Him and my Savoir with all of my heart.I know that God lives and that He loves each and every child on the face of His world… you and me. My prayer for all who will read this is that you will know that you are loved. If you don't know this, please pray to your Heavenly Father, in humble prayer and with fasting. I promise that He will answer your prayers. I don't know in what way, but He will. Then, when you know that you are loved, go and share that love with someone in need. He has asked us to “feed His sheep”, and to “consider the lilies of the field”. He will feed those who trust him. We are all God's children. My testimony is strengthened as I serve my brother's and sister's here in Cape Verde. I am grateful for my Savior and the love he offers me.

Sister Cassita

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