The view from the top of the Prudential Building in Boston
Cabo verde, te amo
Me, Djeison and Rodrigues!
I still take flower pictures. Still
You might be thinking those were the words someone said to me, but you would be wrong. In fact, they were the words an old man said to his government ID stuck in his pocket, as he handed me and E. Rodrigues his keys, wallet and gigantic Bible. The adventures of the T!
This week has been pretty exciting! We had transfers on Wednesday, and since Elder Rodrigues never got to experience them his first day he got to spend the night with the rest of the brand-new missionaries and the Packards. And I was reunited with my old companion Elder Lopes!! We spent a day in Dorchester together and it was legit. Then that night we said goodbye to the missionaries headed home and heard them bear their final testimonies in the Massachusetts Boston mission. Each time this happens I know more of the ones going home--- makes me feel old. Which I'm still not.
We hit the ground running on Thursday and were able to see Djeison, who's going to be baptized this Sunday, and have correlation with the group leader Alberto. That meeting in and of itself was inspiring, because his vision is the same as ours and he sees the possibilities here. He doesn't have the greatest means fiscally in the world, but he and his family are spiritual giants giving everything to the Lord. He's got big plans for the portuguese in Boston, and we're hitting the yoke together.
Friday I assumed a new responsibility as a district leader, and got to fumble my way through the first meeting of the transfer. Some of the strongest missionaries are here in the city, and they make up for my lack of experience. We also found a guy going back to cape verde, Ladimir, that had always wanted to visit the church there but never got the chance. We taught him about the church and the restoration, and since hes returning to CV in a week we're going to coordinate with the missionaries there so he doesn't fall through the cracks in transit.
Saturday was miraculous. For really the first time in my mission, everything we tried or planned worked. All pieces fell into place and all the people we needed to see showed up, including one Elton who pulled up right as we were walking out of his house. We had a lesson with the family of 6 teenagers and finally the oldest son opened up to us about how he feels. That he wants to know, and that he understands this decision will affect the course of his life, and is ready to ask God if this is the right path. We left him Alma 32 to read. He came to church on the next day, Sunday, having read and prayed; he asked when he could be baptized.
Being on a mission I've learned so much about companionship. So often when we face discord with our family or friends we point the blame all directions except inward; our pride digs in and we hurt the ones we disagree with. But think of Christ. He was leading a nascent church with apostles that were adolescent in the faith and in their responsibility. They were sometimes prideful, sometimes ignorant, and often just human like we are-- imperfect. Yet the Savior chastened with love. Instead of distancing himself, he drew them closer, taught them more. He spent months removed from Jerusalem with them, unfolding the church and priesthood to them. And you can read the result in the closing books and epistles of the New Testament-- the apostles teaching with power and authority, administering and guiding the church!
So it is with our families and friends. Only increased love and hard work bring the Zion that we need. And nothing else is worth it!