Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Learned alot this week

Oi Family and Friends,

This week was an interesting one. We started off the week with a family night with Claudio, Tania, and Juelma. That was pretty fun, left a little message and played agua na cara, haha they really liked it. Tuesday I had a leadership meeting that was really good by President and Sister Merrill. Really helped me learn about leadership in the church, and really how Christ leads. A training that I will forever use the rest of my life in the church as I have callings and such. 

But also sad news on Tuesday, I found out that Sebastiao, me and Elder Cafferty's way awesome investigator, his daughter that we gave a blessing had died. Way Sad. I called him, and made sure other branch members called him. He told me that the moments before she passed away, she said that she wanted the Elders who gave her the blessing to be at her burial. 

So on Saturday, we went to the Cemiterio de Alto Cruzes. And man, did it hit me hard, walking through that cemiterio. I've never really walked through one before, I know I've probably have, I can't remember though. But the rows and rows and rows of tombstones and dead people. Dating back all the way to the 1850s until these days. Grata was getting buried near the back, and we got back there just in time as they were just starting to lower the coffin into the ground. Africans, are very emotional people, especially about death. As the coffin was going into the ground and beginning to get buried, her Mom, Celeste, and other people were going berserk. Crying screaming, sobbing, etc. its a very vivid memory to me. Alot of people crying, while others were singing hymns and African spirituals. She was buried, the tombstone was made and was covered and covered and covered in flowers. 

Sebastiao, after came up to us 4 missionaries as well as some of the awesome members of the branch, one by one he shook our hands, and gave us a hug, and in choked up tears, said thank you for coming in English. I almost lost it. I love that man. After the cemiterio we went back to his house for the obito, where we talked and had some food. There were tons of people there but pretty much Sebastiao spent all of his time with us and talking with us. Goes to show what's most important to him. He did have plans to go to America and work, but he has changed those plans, and is retiring in November 2015 and then giving the rest of his life to Christ. He is one of the greatest men I will ever know. I feel like one of the reasons I came to Angola was because of him. He just needs to get married first and then he can continue his journey to baptism, priesthood, temple, etc. 

I'm staying in contact with him for the rest of my life, in this world and the world to come. That was the thing that impacted me the most this week. Reason why is because while I was at that burial, I wasn't sad, I was only sad for the pain people were feeling, but overall, I was feeling the spirit so strong throughout the entire thing. I am so grateful to my Father in Heaven for the knowledge I have of the Plan of Salvation. Death is hard, but it's not the end. Our Savior made sure of that. This experience sincerely strengthened my testimony of the Plan of Salvation because I saw it in action. 

But overall our area is going good, and has a really good future with some new investigators and baptismal dates. Yesterday I gave Marinete´s kids baptismal interviews and that was a marathon. Especially when I was filling out there fichas, they didn't know how to spell there own names? Really. So I had to redo their fichas this morning. But it's all done. 

Pretty much Pdays is nothing special. We study, we clean, we go shopping, we have lunch, we do internet, and then we just chill until our appointment at night. Nothing exciting. But that's way awesome about BYU, way cool. Everyone keep going strong, love you all, and keep building your testimonies every day and become converted to this great work. Love you all!


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