Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Feliz segunda-feira!

We had a fun missionary experience this week. We were teaching with a member who recently returned from his mission in Mozambique. It was roughly 7:30 PM and all of our lessons had fallen through for the evening. He told us of a night on his mission where the same thing happened; he and his companion prayed and were lead to a family of six or eight that were eventually baptized. So we put it to the test. We prayed and then turned around and started ringing the buzzers of the apartment building right behind us. The top floor answered and we explained we were missionaries and asked if we could share our message. The voice said yes and so we headed up, and when the voice answered the door, it was a young woman named Lara who we had actually been trying to find all week. She came to church but left before we could get her contact information we didn´t know how we were going to find her again. I´m sure she was just as surprised to see us as we were to see her. But there she was, inviting us in to share the message of the Restoration. And what was even greater was her house was full of friends, who all sat in with us. The power of prayer.

Well, I hope you all have a great week. Love you!
Sister Hanzel

Attending Women´s Conference at the chapel in Achada Santa Antonio

Making cous couse with the Sisters who live just up the street

Saturday, September 26, 2015

The One Where Chickens Sleep in Trees

Hey Ya´ll,
Nothing really crazy happened this week. Thusday and Friday I was on Divisions with one of our Sister Training Leaders Sister Johnson. She´s from Alabama and played college basketball, plus she´s a really good missionary and teacher. We had a lot of fun. While we were walking and talking in the street, I asked her what was her favorite thing about serving in Cabo Verde, she said that Sister Matthews (our Mission President´s wife) had once said that Cabo Verde was like our missionary group´s secret, you can´t really picture life on these islands unless you´ve lived it. I thought that was kind of a fun thought. It´s so true. This week I literally watched chickens climb trees and nest in the top. We also had days this week where lessons were impossible because of soccer games on the radio  - and if there´s not a soccer game on the media, there´s a soccer game going on in the street. I saw the cutest little toddler play goalie this week in the street and yell commands to his team between two cinder blocks, he couldn´t have been older than three.

Sometimes the secret of the Cabo Verde mission is being able to serve with força on little sleep. We were teaching a lesson this week and after giving my part about when Jesus Christ was on the earth and how he established his church, I thought to myself about my Portuguese, `Wow, that went really well today!` until I caught my companion´s quizzical eye and realized I had just taught the same lesson we taught them the day before. Whoops! Sometimes the lessons just blend together, but luckily the couple we were teaching didn´t seem to mind and a little review never hurt anyone!

Yesterday for P-Day we had a Sister´s hike and climbed to the top of Mount Vermelho behind our area. You could see all of Praia from the top, it was quite the view.

Until next week, fica fixe!
Sister Hanzel

Sisters' hike to top of Mt. Vermelho

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

It´s a Razzle Dazzle Day

Well one thing is for certain, you can´t beat the heat here in Praia, oh mama it is hot! But I love the people here and the area can´t be beat either, so I´ll sweat my insides out preaching the gospel and love it.

I am still getting to know our members and area this week. There´s quite a lot of space to cover. It´s both overwhelming and exciting, there are just so many apartment buildings to knock and people to contact. I love the investigators we already have and we have the ability to find so many more. Now if only we could get them to come to church - it´s air conditioned in the chapel, it´s fine if I throw that in the list of reasons they should come, right?
Dona Maria Pia Lighthouse
This morning we went and visited the oldest lighthouse in Cabo Verde for a district activity. It´s lighthouse Dona Maria Pia, built in 1880, and it reminded me of visiting lighthouses in Oregon. It also reminded me of Elder Boyd K. Packer´s talk about the importance of the lower light of a lighthouse and how with two lights boats can align themselves to safely arrive in the harbor. He said, 

“There is in our hymnbook a very old and seldom-sung hymn that has very special meaning to me.

Brightly beams our Father’s mercy
From his lighthouse evermore,
But to us he gives the keeping
Of the lights along the shore.

Let the lower lights be burning;
Send a gleam across the wave.
Some poor fainting, struggling seaman
You may rescue, you may save.

Dark the night of sin has settled;
Loud the angry billows roar.
Eager eyes are watching, longing,
For the lights along the shore.

Trim your feeble lamp, my brother;
Some poor sailor, tempest-tossed,
Trying now to make the harbor,
In the darkness may be lost.”

We will all make mistakes and feel lost at times in this life, but if we continue forward, never doubting our faith or God´s plan, we can always find that light to `guide us safely home` - that was another talk by President Monson, and I bet studying those two talks together would be a great study block. Before the mission I had no idea how anyone studied the scriptures for more than an hour, but now I wish I had more time!
I also wish I had more email but for this week, that´s all folks!

Have a Razzle Dazzle Day (you can bet I sang that at the top of the lighthouse, along with `Candle on the Water`).
Sister Hanzel

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Cidadela, Praia

My new companion, Sister Cerqueira

Oh my goodness, I cannot even tell you how in love I am with this new area. Sister Cerqueira is just darling and Cidadela has so much potential.

I am once again being called Sister Turner. Haha. This is another area in which she served and I´m receiving the confused faces all over again. 

My new apartment is so little and cute. It´s just Sister Cerqueira and I who live there and I like just having two sisters, probably because I love Sister Cerqueira. It´s two bedrooms plus the bathroom so our kitchen is also our study room which makes it hard not to just snack all day long. But I love it, it´s bright, located in the center of our area, and it´s easy to clean.... blessings. 
My new apartment

Sister Cerqueira is a doll. I love this girl! As I said last week, she´s from Portugal so she can help me with Portuguese (whoop whoop!) but she speaks perfect English. She´s been out for one more transfer than I have but two in the field because she was only in the Brazil MTC for two weeks (her MTC companion was my mission mamma Sister Friaça). Both Sister Cerqueira and I have birthday´s in the beginning of October and so we have decked out our apartment with Happy Birthday banners and such and we´ll just celebrate all month long! She´s also a foodie so we´re going to be best friends, and we´re also in deep trouble with that fridge in eyesight at all times and so many good pastry shops in the heart of Praia.
We both have October birthdays

Praia has literally everything. I walked into the grocery store here and didn´t know where to start. There´s fruit lojas (shops) and makeup lojas and paper lojas (happy day) and everything in between. We´re also right on the ocean. I can´t see the Atlantic from my apartment but I can see it when we´re out in our area and in the mornings.... boardwalk runs!!! Yes, we can run right on the edge of the island and stare at the ocean the entire time. It´s heavenly until about 1 PM when you´re drenched in sweat and breathing in more water than air, but besides the heat and humidity Praia is the place to be. We are also only a ten minute walk away from the mission office, so if we need more Livro de Mormons or hand sanitizer, it´s just a few minutes away.

Running by the ocean
Even though Praia is only an hour Hiace (Yas) ride away, I feel like it´s a completely different island. I feel like the people here are more eager and willing to talk to us which makes contacting and finding new investigators fun. People in Praia also speak Portuguese more than in Assomada, which is a blessing because I can actually talk to people. How cool is that (insert question mark here because I can´t find it on this keyboard), I can talk with people in Portuguese! Getting to know members (we´re Palmarejo ward 2) and investigators this week were so much fun because I could actually get to know them. We´ve also traded Assomada´s cockroaches for Praia´s flies and mosquitos, my legs are constantly itchy from bites. One morning this week I was washing my face in the bathroom and felt a tingle on my ankle, I thought it was just another mosquito bite so I let it be until I finished washing my face... only to look down and see a giant cockroach the size of a golf ball on my ankle. That was really fun.

Well I hope you all just love your air conditioning, and have a great week!
Sister Hanzel

Praia Zone