Friday, May 29, 2015

Who let the dogs out?

So we have a dog, and his name is Chupa. He always finds us at the beginning of the day and follows us (or rather, prances in front of us) until we go home at night. We have to find alternate and new routes so he doesn't get in fights with the other dogs (the dogs here are very territorial and Chupa often leaves his "territory" to walk with us). Without fail, he always tries to enter our investigator and member's houses. Sometimes they don't care, sometimes he's even our ticket inside! Sometimes however, he is not welcome inside, and since not everyone here has an actual front door - it's all we can do to get him to wait outside, which he always does, faithfully, until we are done. Sometimes he'll sneak in halfway through a lesson without any of us noticing and when we get up to leave he'll pop up out of the corner and give us all a heart attack, and a good laugh. The kids here all know he is our dog and love to shout, "Chupa Chupa!" When we walk by, which their parents all find hilarious. "Seesters, you have a dog?" 
Yesterday we had four investigators at church. Which I know doesn't sound all that grand, but for us that was a down right miracle. And as a missionary, it's the little things that make the worth worthwhile...
Pitot highlighted his Book of Mormon while he read.
Yuron used the calender the other sisters gave him to mark his prayer and scripture reading.
Rita came to church.
Lena and Fransisco remembered how to say, "Joseph Smith". 
It's the little things that make all the difference, which is how it should be, because it's the little things that make a difference to God as well. 
If we took that extra five minutes in the morning to get on our knees and pray.
If we read our scriptures first, before Netflix.
If we chose to sing in the ward choir instead of get in that extra hour nap.
If we read the assigned readings for Sunday School and came prepared to class (that's for you Sister King).
These things are little, but they show our faith, and the make God happy! And on a mission, they make me happy too! I'm grateful for this little bit of time where I get to better appreciate the little things that God appreciates as well.
Small things move the work forward (Alma 37:7), so when Sister Friaca and I were fist pumping because we had four investigators at church, I'm sure God was cheering as well, cheering for Rita, Maria, Maria, and Pitot separately. And one of my favorite things is watching Him bless their lives so they know He's real and He's rooting for them.
Sometimes, he sends us missionaries blessings too, like four investigators at church, to remind us that His work is real, and He's rooting for us (D&C 64:33).
So, keep doing the little things, you've got a heavenly cheer squad rooting for you, and an earthly one too. #ForeverFamilies

Sister Hanzel

Learning to make bracelets with Hakim

Language study with some of our favorite members. This is Nelida, she's super cute, and so is her little baby Kelly. That's her husband, Sandy, in the background. He served a mission in Brazil and is awesome (even though he looks scary in this picture).


Monday, May 4, 2015

Feelin' a Little Bit Cabo Verdean

I love the young women in our ward
Boa Tarde!
This week I got to experience and try a few things that make Cabo Verde well, Cabo Verde. 
While at the home of one of our favorite less actives in the branch, we taught him about the importance of coming to church, and he taught us how to make cous cous.  It's really yummy - sort of like a dense sweet bread.  I'm going to buy a "binde" (the clay pot used to make cous cous) today and try and make it at our apartment.
Ja teaching us how to make cous cous
This week I also learned how to hand wash clothes. I've noticed all the women here have really toned arms, and now I know why. Hand washing clothes is a workout! But it was great, Sister Friaca and I loved helping Nelida, one of our favorite members, wash her clothes. It was our way of saying thanks because she has been helping me with my oh so struggling Portuguese.
Washing clothes with Nelida
This morning we had to say goodbye to one of our Sisters in the Assomada house - Sister Cuelho, the Sister from Portugal, has been transferred to Praia to be a Sister Training Leader. She'll be great. She was in Assomada for almost nine months so it's about time. We threw her a parting party last night with Bolacha cake, a crown I had way too much fun decorating, a toast, and her parting words of wisdom to her posterity (us, because she trained Sister Friaca and Sister Friaca is training me). 
Well, time is short this week because of transfers, and there for my post is a little shorter; but I'm really grateful and excited I get to work with Sister Friaca in Assomada for another transfer. 
Love to you all!
Sister Hanzel

The human hoop - I try to sacrifice what I can for the people (I am glad these kids were good shots)