Shoutout to three people in this email list who I saw two days ago...
(Sister-no-longer) Jenna and Darren and Carey (whom I got permission to meet with on Jenna's way home) came honking and hollering through the parking lot of the chapel in Boston where we were having a party for the portuguese group. It was the strangest and happiest reunion I've ever had.
Now we are in Dorchester! Were starting everything from scratch. The biggest benefit is having sisters with experience here, because they already know the members and the city and the T. We had a little bit of whiplash in the transition here, mostly because E. Rodrigues (my new companion and second son) and I together have a miniscule background in public transportation. Everything here is bus and train, walk and walk some more. I'm feeling for my brothers and sisters serving in brazil, except its even hotter there and they have hills.
BUT. After 5 days of confusion and transition, we're back on our feet (literally and metaphorically) and finding prepared people in Dorchester. It may have taken walking past a sign that literally said "YAHD SALE -->" for me to realize that this really is Boston. I never dreamed of living in a city, but now that we're here I'm realizing its actually aiight. Especially once you know which bus to take.
One struggle-- right now we live about an hour away from our proselyting area in Dorchester. We're in a swanky senior couples apartment, and I'm grateful for that, but the time spent in transit is killer. Probably in a month or two another senior couple will join the mission and we'll get moved closer to the orange line. Our work level will increase dramatically! But for now we will conseguir.
Some miraculous stories from this week:
On the buses we usually sit in different places so we can talk to different people, and this past week God directed someone directly into my mass-transit path. I sat down next to an Indian-looking man, but on a whim started speaking Portuguese to him, and turns out he's cape verdean! His name is Manuel, and he loves, I mean loves the church. He says its the only church in cape verde that practices true religion and actually helps people change their lives. His son was baptized in Fogo, and he wants to start coming with him to church here. I told him the group was just starting, still small, but he didn't care. He has a gargantuan smoking problem, and he says he will only get baptized once he's completely free of it. Let the addiction recovery begin!
Also--- the sisters were teaching a 14 year old boy, Djeison, who really wasn't progressing forward. Then we showed up, and they transferred him to us. Turns out he's just really shy with girls.... because he understands the restoration of the church, the gospel of Jesus Christ, and he wants to get baptized. We tried to set it for a month, but he said that was too long. So we marked a goal for the 14th!
Last, I've been reading the allegory of the olive tree in Jaco 5. And I'm struck with the investment of the Lord of the vineyard. He weeps with grief at the idea of losing the trees of the vineyard, which are the workmanship of his hands. That is the God we worship-- a God who weeps.
Love yall com todo meu coracao <3