Love. It is ALL about love, isnt it? Man, I love you guys. I just swam through your emails. Sounds like you have had a blast of a time on the east coast! Whoppee! Give big hugs to each other and all the cousins for me. Thanks for being the best family in the universe. I cant tell you how fortifying your words are each week. And your prayers. Thank you!!
1. A Portuguese youth is sitting on a concrete siding. We recognize him as David, an interesting, friendly atheist with whom we had a long conversation about 7 weeks ago. "Hey David!" (he is smoking), "Oh Hey, look, I know I'm sinning right now, but don't worry about it, I mean, I already believe in God now." WHAT!? We just BEAMED at him and sat down on either side and let him tell us about how he kind of just decided to have faith and how much happier he is now. He still doesn't want a church. But seriously it was maybe the happiest moment of my mission so far. He kind of reminds me of a Portuguese Aaron McMurray.
2. Sister Radvansky and I arrive at the house of an old woman (in Loule, where I stayed Tues through Thurs). Her daughter in law is there, so I start a conversation with her. "What's your name?" "Welcome" "Oh thanks, what's your name?" "Welcome" "...Oh, thanks!, um, what's your name?" "WELCOME!" "Oh! cool name." Her name is Bem Vinda. That means welcome. Ha!
3. Two pasty white girls walking towards the bridge on one of those delightful mornings where its not yet raining but its like water droplets are just suspended in the air, you know? (This week was mercifully cooler than the last few. I swear, you guys, when it's over 100 degrees and humid it's, like, SO HOT.) Anyway. They see a group of Cabo Verdians hanging out. Zeca emerges and comes to shake our hands. I love how he's not ashamed to be associated with these two white ladies who represent Jesus. We taught him the law of chastity and the 10 commandments this week on some stairs by the church and he just really understood. But then he didnt show up at church yesterday. Pray for him! His baptism is stilly scheduled for Saturday.
4. This thought has been reverberating around my brain lately: HAPPINESS IS POWERFUL. I seriously believe that. When we are doing what we need to do to be happy, we just have a kind of magical splendor that is contagious and empowering. Probably its just a gift of God. Definitely. But its powerful.
5. Sisters Hill and Radvansky only have one cd in their house and its EFY hits from 1987 to 1991. There is this song that is totally trying to by Phil Collinsy and its about the good samaritan and basically has one line. "Do likewise my friend" that repeats over and over and over and Sister Radvansky would sing throughout the day "they robbed and they beat him.... and left him for dead" in this scratchy wispy voice. And in the back ground theres this synthesizer greatness. Cant explain. just try to look it up. its probably called "do likewise my friend." ha!!
6. So a while back this beautiful lady stopped US on the street and wanted to meet with us. But then some things happened and we kind of lost track of her. Unrelatedly, we met a youth in the street who said we could pass by sometime because his mom likes this kind of thing. But then we kinda lost track of him too. But then the other day we ran into them TOGETHER and they are mom and son. Gina and Elho. We taught Gina the first lesson yesterday and she is the absolute most pure hearted, golden investigator I have yet met. Like, during the first lesson in her tiny bedroom house, she was just crying and happy and saying how much she has always loved God and how she was baptized by the waters and now God is opening another door for her, through the Irmas. Like, it was the first lesson and I was already thinking to myself how much she is going to LOVE the temple. She is just pure. The spirit was there in abundance. Droves. Honeycomb sunrays of warmth and yesness. It was a really amazing lesson. God is so good.
7. Sister Warburton, while eating "chocopillows", which are basically nutella filled bursts of amazing breakfast cereal, "This tastes like what I'm going to crave when I'm pregnant."
8. Carla the mom came to chruch with Carla the daughter and Daniel the son!! She liked it. Wooo! Things are HAPPENING in Lagos, you guys. And its because you are praying for them. This week Sister Warburton was like, Hey, you gotta help me have faith with the parents of this fam because I am beginning to doubt they want it. And I was like, Hey, my Dad said in his email last week that he is praying for Carla and Amandio and their family. And I know my family is. And that's powerful. Then the mom came to church. You guys rock.
9. I had a really special morning one day this week when I just really felt that the Savior was CLOSE. He is close to us. He loves us. He knows our hearts. He is a real being, on whom we can rely. He is our brother, teacher, redeemer, and friend.
All the love in the universe of me.
Sister Anne LaMyrl Sandholtz