Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Last Week in Cape Verde






Eesh. Already Monday again. 

This week was great. But let me start off with last week since I didnt have much time to explain last monday. We went on over to Fogo on the boat at the end of the week. We almost all fed the fish... but we had a special training given by Pres Mathews and his wife. Wow. It was based on how we are to become desciples for life. Not just for these 18 or 24 months. It had me crying, I think eveyone thought I was going a little cray cray. 
They showed a clip from a talk Elder Holland gave at the MTC where he talks about the story of when the descipels, after Christ had died, went back to thier fishing nets. WHile they fished the Savior called to them from the shore telling them to cast the nets on the other side of the boat seeing that they hadnt had any succuss that day. As they did as told and caught a net full of fish they realized that it was Jesus who had called to them. When they got back to the beach the scriptures tell us that Christ sat Peter down and asked him, "Peter, lovest thou me more than these?". Peter responded "Yea Lord". A second time, Jesus assedar,"lovest thou me?". A bit worried Peter said, "Yea Lord; thou knowest that I love thee". For the third and final time the Master asked, "Lovest thou me?". "Peter was grieved" and replied, "Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee". "(Then) feed my sheep" Christ stated. 

Elder Holland goes on to talk about how we are like the desciples. We are called to not just serve the Lord in our calling for a few years but we promise to follow him for life. If we go back to our nets and return to our old life we will break his heart. When we choose to follow him through the waters of baptism it wasnt just for an amount of time, it was for life. And we cannot return to our nets. I was grateful for that training. It really helped me have an even great determination to continue to follow the Savior. 

This week was a challanging one. We dropped a lot of investigators this past week and went on the hunt for those who were wanting to follow the gospel of Jesus Christ. We had some great people marked during the week but we couldnt find them in their house. Wonderful contacts and references given. 

The mission has just been a great learning experience. Nothing easy but I am grateful the Lord gave me so many different ways to grow ;) Thank you all for your support and emails. It was so much fun to share the mission experiences with all of you. Hope to see you all really soon.

With much love,
SIster Goss

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Lessons Learned at Home and Abroad





Just Africans in this house #toomuchfun!!!

Mom!!!! How are you? its been a while ;) Sounds like you got the plans. I'm so excited but still focused, no worries. It sounds like you all will be heading out to Lake Powel this week. Please enjoy a little bit of the water for me mom! Man being here in Brava I think I'm going to loose some of my tan. Its always cloudy and cold here but hey, that's what a backyard is for ;) 

I love you so much mom. I have just learned so much here. How to really cook, budget, cook cheap good meals, wash clothes by hand, how to clean and function without running water, how to teach to all kinds of levels of undrstanding, how to trust in the Lord, how to work hard and diligently through hard times, and more. This all makes me so grateful to you and dad. You both learned so much together and taught us kids the things you learned. Thank you. Really mom. Even though its really different here I have used a lot of the things you and dad have taught me to work out here. It was truly a blessing to have you and dad as my partents. I can't wait to thank you more in person.

I hope the family is well and that everyone is busy with the summertime activities. I cant wait to spend more time wiht you all.  Here are some pics of brava, sis cibambi (from the congo), sis machate (my comp from mosambique) and me. 

Love you!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Life in the Clouds







Wow what a week.

I dont have much time because of some internet problems that we have been having but it has been so crazy serving here already. I don't know if the rest of the world is in festa mode right now but there are crazy parites going on for the saints this month. Lots of contacts but little lessons with investigators. 

We have a pretty large area with lots of hills and the houses are really spread out but hey, makes for some great exercise. Brava is known for its flowers and plants. We basically are so high up that we live in the clouds so there are always clouds blowing through the area, with all the plants and flowers its really quite beautiful. I'll try and get some pictures and send them next week.  

We are really trying to focus on the book of mormon because this is a small place and many fo the people here have  a hard time leaving thier comfort zone. We are hoping that the power of the words and spirit of the stories can really help these people act and do somoething a little different than what they are used to. 

There are some really great members here that really keep this branch going and it has been a great pleasure to talk and meet with them. The Sisters here are just amazing. Sister M has such a wonderful spirit about her and I know that she will really be wonderful help to the work of the Lord. She only is on her third transfer but wow, spiritually she really has it going. 

I will have some stories for next week but I hope you all are well and warm. It's so cold up in these clouds. 

Love 
Sister Goss

BRAVA INFO:

History

Brava was discovered in 1462 by the Portuguese and the first settlement was founded in 1573. The slave trade was common in Cidade Velha. In 1680, the inhabitants fled from the nearby larger island of Fogo after its volcano erupted and lava began to flow and to devastate that island. In the 17th and the 18th centuries, pirates raided the bays of the island and continued until the 19th century when whaling was common from the ships of Europe and North AmericaEmigration began as American whale ships sailed people from Brava to the northeastern part of North America, especially along the Eastern Seaboard. Most of the immigrants from Brava settled in Boston, Massachusetts, Providence, Rhode Island and New Bedford, Massachusetts.

Geography

Practically the whole island is a stratovolcano. It lies in the lee of the enormous Fogo volcano. Volcanic activity on the island has been mainly located along three sets of lineaments, which all intersect at the crest of ground that forms the highest part of the island. Brava has no documented historical eruptions, but its youthful volcanic morphology and the fact that earthquake swarms still occur indicate the potential for future eruptions.
The island's main town is Vila Nova Sintra. The island has schools, a lyceum, a gymnasia, churches, and a square (praça) in honour of the famous musician Eugénio Tavares.
All of the five villages lie north of the mountaintop, which has four main roads including Furna - Vila Nova Sintra and Fajã de Agua and south to Nossa Senhora do Monte and slightly south of the mountaintop. The two large islands north of Brava are uninhabited. The mountain valleys dominate the south, the east and the west. The north has a few valleys.
Precipitation arrives from the trade wind clouds. The island is covered with a leeward cloud so that evaporation is reduced and the vegetation is more abundant. Key inhabited places include the village of Vila Nova Sintra. The village of Furna has a commercial port.

Climate

Being highly mountainous this island has quite diverse climate. Brava island has moderate tropical climate (As according to Köppen–Geiger climate classification system) along the coast and semi-arid mild tropical climate Bsh with very balanced temperatures year round in the interior. The average annual temperature on the coast is about 23-23–25 °C (73–77 °F), decreasing to some 17–20 °C (63–68 °F) in the mountains. There can be remarkably cool weather with warmer wet season starting in June and ending in November with colder dry season starting in December and ending in May.

Demographics

Population

As of 1832, the population was estimated at 8,000.[1]

Population of Brava, Cape Verde (1940—2010)
1940[2]1950[2]1960[2]1970[2]1980[2]1990[2]2000[3]2010[4]
85287937862577566985697568045971

Economy

The main economy of the island is agricultural, related to irrigation and fishing (the island's main production). Trading and private households depend on income from Cape Verdean residents from North America. Brava never had a lot of tourism.  The island is unsuitable for beach tourism because the steep shoreline allows few beaches.

Infrastructure

The airport, inaugurated in 1992, was closed because of the strong winds. The airline service ended in 2004.
Until recently, there was a daily ferry (an ex-fishing boat) connecting Brava and Fogo. However, since January 2011, Brava can now be reached from Praia (and Fogo) almost exclusively via the passenger/cargo ferry, the Kriola. The Kriola is the first of Cabo Verde Fast Ferry's

 fleet of inter-island catamarans and connects the Sotavento islands of SantiagoFogo, and Brava. The Kriola typically leaves Furna, its home port, at 7:30 AM on days of operation and returns between 9:30 and 11 PM, depending on the day. The route is typically BRAVA-FOGO-SANTIAGO-FOGO-BRAVA, but at least one day a week it makes a BRAVA-FOGO-BRAVA run. Travel time between Brava and Fogo is approximately 0:40 and approximately 3:30 between Fogo and Santiago (Praia).
The main harbour of Brava is Furna, on the east coast of the island. Buses and taxis are common, especially when the Kriola arrives in port.
On Brava you can reach the villages by "Aluguer" bus. There is no fixed schedule, as the aluguers wait until enough passengers have come before leaving. A few taxis are available as well.

Notable residents

Brava's most famous son is the musician Eugénio Tavares; he used the traditional morna and wrote in Cape Verdean Creole. A statue dedicated to Eugénio Tavares is in the main square of Vila Nova Sintra and is encircled with a beautiful garden with trees, sunflowers, flowers, grass and other types of plants. Other notable persons include Hermano da Pina and Armando da Pina who live on the Eastern Seaboard and whose parents were from Brava and Sandra Orlando (née Fernandez das Neves).

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Fruits of Our Labors - Last Transfer

Last Leadership Council


ZL's new best friend we found walking home from zone meeting



 Childrens' Day in praia



Transfers were yesterday and I was released as STL and will now be serving my last transfer in Brava (aka Wild). Sister Machate from Mozambique will be my comp and killer (last comp)  So I'll be leaving FIre (fogo) to serve in Wild (brava). Kinda fun :) Overall I am super excited to serve there and to continue the work that the Lord  has for us. It is a lot cooler in Brava with a much higher elevation. The "city" of Brava is called Vila (Village). Its a pretty tiny island. 

Earlier this week we went to our leadership council and got some great inspiration for our zone. It is always uplifting to be together as leadership and to discuss how we can improve as a mission.  One of the big focusses was on helping people really understand that they are children of God. And showing that they have personal worth and hope for something more than what the world can give them. The First lesson of the Restoration is a way for them to really come to know that we are children of God and he wants to talk with us. He has already spoken to people in the past, He speaks to them now, and he can speak to you and me. Through the Book of Mormon and prayer we can really come to build a relationship with our Father in Heaven to know for ourselves that He and His Son live today and are guiding us through Their chosen prophets. It was a great council and zone meeting.

This week was a lot of fun. I feel like everything that we have been working for finally came all together in this last week. Progressing investigators at church, lots of people accepting dates, and the ward is just becoming more and more supportave. I feel really blessed to have spent five transfers here with these people. They are so special to me and I feel like many of them have been my family for the last seven months. What a privalage it has been.

 I can't wait for more opportunities in Brava to serve and to work for the Lord. 

With lots of love,
Sister Goss

Monday, June 1, 2015

Week Full of Blessings & The Parable of the Sower

This week went super well! 

We reached all but two of our key indicator goals this week which was just a huge blessing from the Lord. We have been stuggling a lot these past few weeks getting investigators and lessons. We kept studying to better ourselves and to keep making little changes to our work and personal habits. This went on for about 5 weeks, this week I felt like God just poured out the blessings. We recieved a lot of contacts this weeek from members and they passed by almost all of our investigators for church and are very supportive in teaching with us now. We focused a lot on training members so that we could help the work go forward with more ease and it has really been paying off. 

We taught a man who months ago called us from a distance while we were walking home one night. He asked if we would help him stop drinking because he needed to and so we marked for a day to come back and teach him. He never ended up being at home but we left a Book of Mormon for him to start reading. Turns out he had been working a lot and had been reading the Book of Mormon. When we finally found him a while later, he told us he hadn't drunk since he started reading and that he really wanted to change his life for good. He came to chruch for the first time this last week and loved it so much. He was going to go to an activity later that sunday. We are really excited for him and our testimony of the power of the Book of Mormon has really grown.

Our President said something interesting a while ago. He said we can't prove this church right or wrong with the bible, that's why we have the Book of Mormon and that's why we give it out to strangers in the streets and people we teach for the first time. It is the proof of everything. The key tool to know the truth, and the driving force to strengthen us and give us guidence. In my mind I just kept saying "Amen" "Amen" ;) Haha I love the scriptures and especially the Book of Mormon. I hope that we can all read it with purpose everyday to recieve the words that God  needs us to hear that day. 

I hope the week goes well!!! Love you all
Sis Goss


I asked for Taylor's feedback on a talk that will be used at girl's camp this next week.  I thought her response was worth sharing and I have also included a link to the talk.

It is a great one and I would recommend reading it!
Jenn

Taylor's response:

So I printed out that talk and I've been studying it a lot this week. Actually we are giving a training on the heart and personal revelation this next week all because this talk really helped us out. 

So as I was reading I was trying to keep in mind that you want to let the girls realize where thier hearts are. So I tried to remember that throughout. 

I loved the three parts he speaks about. These include all those who have accepted the gospel (all of us). The Rocky ground, Thorns, and brought forth fruit. For me I noticed the pattern of how the word is always mentioned subtly . These three grounds depend on how we accept "the word". Mom, "the word" isn't just hearing stuff in church or it being taught to you. It's personal revelation. Personal study and prayer to know, accept and act on the word is what will give these girls good ground for thier testimony, and more importantly conversion, to really take off. 

1. Rocky ground - those who like to hear talks and go to church but never really have thier own personal revelation. Just the revelation of other people. This will help thier plant grow but the roots will never grow deep or strong if they don't do thier own personal revelation activities.  He says to be "regular in it's practices". Meaningful daily scripture study and prayer is daily communication with God, and daily communication with God makes a relationship with him and having a relationship with him creates strong conversion. 

2. Thorns - these are those who get personal revelation but never really do anything with it so other things become more important and choke out the personal revelation. "We are all tempted with this" he says and then further explains that nothing should be put before you and your relationship with God.

3. The good ground  - These are those who learn to really recieve this communication and to put it into practice. These are those who learn for themselves, who act and not react, those who are strongly rooted in the gospel. Personl revelation (talking with God daily) will show you excactly where you are, where you need to be and how you need to get there. 

Mom, I know that if these girls learned, really learned how to pray and study with meaning they would have this relationship with God. They would do things by themselves because their testimony isn't based on other people, how well the teacher teeaches, but on what they have learned on thier own. If I knew this before the mission I could have been so much more prepared, more self sufficient. I could have progressed faster.  But I hope that they can learn from us old folk and make the decision early to create the relationship with God through prayer (we speak with Him) and real scripture study (He speaks with us). Can  Look in PMG for study tips.

Love you! TIme will fly these next couple weeks.....ai. 

SIs Goss 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Taylor's Favorite Lesson to teach is.........



 Pics of Choir for stake conf 




Pinha (the fruit they use to make Pina-Colada) super good with a bit of sugar on top




Well,

This week was another wonderful chance to serve the Lord. We had a lot of rough patches but the Lord is just building us up and helping us be better. 

About two months ago we started teaching A., someone really interested in getting baptized and she had come with her cousin to church one sunday and wanted to talk with us. We only got to talk with her once before she left on a trip to Praia for two months. But this week we found that she had come back. We went over and started talking, she told us that she  still had desire to be baptized and to follow this path. We asked if she had been reading and praying and she said that in her prayers the only answer that she was getting was a "yes" from the Lord. We were all filled with joy and started talking about the plan of salvation and what all of this could really mean for her. 
We talked about eternal families, returning back to our Father and becoming like Him. And really talked a lot about how each decision she makes can bring her closer to her Father in Heaven and to having eternal life with Him. 

The Plan of Salvation is probably my favorite lesson to teach. It really explains why we have commandments, why we have church, and why we need a Savior or to be baptized. It answers so many questions to the soul, especially the question of who God is.  He is our Father. He loves us. It is He who wants us to live up to our potential so that we can live in a state of happiness without end.  I know that God lives to show us his love and to help us become who we are designed to be.   We are meant to be like He is. I am so grateful for our oldest Brother who offered his life for us so that we would have the opportunity of success in this perfect plan. 

I know that A. felt the spirit of love. Because this plan is how He shows His love for us. If we follow and become better each day we will be worthy of living in His presence once again with the full and everlasting blessings of the gospel. A. a date for June and we are excited to help one another return to our Father in Heaven :)

I love you all so much. Really. I love you all a lot. I hope the week goes well and that you all continue to search for more understanding in the gospel of Jesus Christ this week. 

WIth lots of love,
Sister Goss

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Elder Kearon Visits for Stake and Zone Conference



Info about Elder Kearon http://www.gapages.com/kearop1.htm

Alright I'm sorry about my wimpy letters,

SO this week we had our zone conference, and stake conference. Wow they were great. We had the president of the area of europe Elder Kearon come to visit during those conferences. It was amazing to be around that man. On the Sat afternoon session he stood up to give his talk and instead of going to the pulpit he walked over to us (we were participating in chior) and asked if Sister Z and I  would bear our testimonies for a few min before he started his talk. With a shaky voice, I bore my testimony of how I knew we were all family. And as such we have the responsibility to help our brothers and sisters so that we can all return together to our Father in Heaven, who needs his children back with Him. Then sister Z bore hers of the power of the book of Mormon. Afterwards Elder Kearon spoke about having a testimony and to not stop there but to continue to become converted. It was  a powerful talk and I was grateful for every word and the spirit that he brought. 

The rest of the week went just as well with new investigators that are just amazing and who have the desire to change and follow Christ.

I am just so grateful for all of the things we learn and come to understand on the mission. It really changes you to be more like Christ, to be a little better every day. 

I love you all so oooo much. Have a wonderful week!

Sister Goss