Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Mission Marathon

Hello from the mountains of Assomada!

Week two here in Cabo Verde was full of highs and lows. It's like my dad's email said, every morning you wake up and have a moment of remembering where you are and what you are doing. "It's 6:30, I'm on a mission, I'm halfway around the world in Cape Verde, alright... time to run!"

Every morning my companion and I run. Right as we leave our apartment we are greeted with a "Bom Dia!" by the women who sweep the streets. As I've been adjusting to the area and the culture and mission life, I can't help but compare a mission with a marathon. Just like running, on a mission you improve one day, one lap at a time. It's a lot of hard work, but the finish line is so worth it. 

When I first started training for the Big Cottonwood Half Marathon last year, I could barely run a quarter of a mile. I remember thinking that running wasn't for me, it was never going to get easier, and my half marathon goal was too big to be realistic.
But running was for me, it did get easier, and crossing the finish line last September was the best feeling ever!

And so, I have plastered the walls of my apartment with many running quotes and others as reminders that the beginning is always a challenge, but it gets easier, and then becomes fun! And our greatest accomplishments begin with our greatest challenges. So it's time to work hard!

This week my companion, Sister Friaca and I taught some great lessons. We taught a girl named Melanie on her birthday.  When we found out she was lacking a cake, we quickly ran to the nearest "loja" and purchased a mix. She chose orange flavored and it was the best orange cake I've ever had. We taught while it baked and then had a birthday celebration.
All of us gals on Melanie's birthday, Melanie is the one next to me
Portuguese is still a huge challenge for me because..... the people of Assomada don't speak Portuguese! They speak Creole, and are all pumped to help me learn. They always ask me, "Do you speak Creole?" and when I say no they all say, "It's easy! I'll teach you." And then they say something I don't understand and I try to repeat it and they laugh and obviously a lot of progress is being made. But, this week at "Noite Familiar" with Lucia (our mom in the branch) I taught the lesson all by myself, in Portuguese! I taught of the people of King Benjamin and how we can relate their enthusiasm for the words of King Benjamin to our attitude about the up-coming General Conference. We then taught her family how to play "Ninja", which I have a feeling will be a very popular game on the mission.

Playing Ninja with Lucia and her family
We also had "Noite Familiar" with Vera and her family this week. I love Vera and her family. We watched the sun set over the plateaus of Assomada on her roof while her family cooked dinner (also on the roof). It was gorgeous! Pictures do not do justice but I will attach one anyway. Off to the far left of the picture is the island of Fogo. We played "Ninja" with them as well on the roof. Epic. 

Have a happy week!

Sister Hanzel

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