waiting lines...

How does one say good-bye
to the kindness,
the colors,
the children,
and smiles
of Cabo Verde?

How does one say Thank You
for the Faith,
the patience,
the hope,

and charity, 
of these Pioneers?
How does one
ever sing the same,
think the same,

drink water from a tap,
or feel or pray the same...
as before?

It cannot be done.

We are humbled and thankful,
that Heavenly Father allowed us
to hear their prayers.
feel their hugs, witness their tears,
 soak in their sways and songs.

We cannot forget their smiles
clean from the waters of Baptism

 their testimonies; their fervant faith.

Our suitcases are packed,
We fly to the main island today.
We have swept Sal island sand from our floors for the last time,
We've gently folded the hugs, tears, notes, and 
crocheted remembrances in our bags
along with so many, many memories in our hearts.

We will see our family in a few days!!!  
Our hearts are so full of Thanksgiving at that thought and we can't wait
to hear and see and smell and feel Home!
We will meet four new grandchildren and hug them for the first time
(making 28 grandchildren that we have missed like crazy for two years.)
Their moms and dads have blessed us many times over with 
their emails and prayers.  More than they know. What a time to rejoice!

******* We will only say So Long, 
but not good-bye.
This life is the short one.
The next one is for Eternity.
So many Cabo Verdianos wait in line to get water...

If anyone can come help give 'Living Water'

--Please come--

those lines are even longer...

You don't need to know alot,
you just need to open your heart and love alot.

The rest is given to you in the very moment...

I promise.

Christmas Choir in Santa Maria - 2013

6:30 pm last night.  The choir members came on time!
Everyone was so excited for the Christmas Program!
Looking like a real choir.  My blouse looks better on D'Luz.
The choir is saved!  I will take photos and man the lights!
With new shoes and his smile, Adilson is ready!
Ready to begin!  Kinda hoping for an audience...that would be such a special bonus!

The choir began!

A Scripture read, a Christmas Hymn, and then a 2-3 min.
video ...continued over and over until all 7 Scriptures,
hymns  and videos were given to honor our Savior's Birth and Life.

And with the Opening Carol, the audience trickled in.
They came!
Andy, our kind apartment guard came!
Atou's brother came!
Alberto's friends came!
Three investigators of the sisters came!
A tall young man the elders are teaching came!
Elder and Sister Smart came from Espargos!
A newly (this morning) young elder returned from his mission
in Brasil and his family lives here now.  He came as a last minute surprise
to all of us, and will be such a blessing here!
Our Bread lady came!!
Afterwards, she was very quiet, and asked if she could
make an offering to help us with the church.
We explained that none of our leaders are paid.
We all serve because we love our Savior.
That the offerings paid in our Church are to help those in need.  
We explained the process briefly for Fatima,  that
in our little group the offerings could be paid on the 1st Sunday of the month.

Even the children seemed reflective during the videos, scriptures, and Carols.

When Mariama sang Silent Night every heart felt those words.
We cut the cakes in smaller pieces!  No one noticed...and all were fed.
Everyone stayed and visited for quite some time.
Gildo and Samira came with their beautiful family!
He is the man who came up to us on a bicycle shortly after we arrived in Santa Maria.
We have been in their home many times.  He has brought us fish, we have taken
them the Scriptures. Last night, they all came! 


Seems to me, Heavenly Father always puts bows on the endings!


  Gave my talk this morning, walked and talked like a normal person
throughout the day...our last day on Sal.
We set up the chairs, Gerson's TV,
and the elders and sisters helped finish taping our 'official' choir programs.

This evening, I put a tablecloth under the cakes on the table,
arranged the blue napkins
hoping people would come,

We welcomed everyone

I turned the lights on and off at the right times, except for once
and shooed the dogs out the best I could during the program.
It was a great day.  A blessed ending.

And we shared handshakes and high fives and hugs and when Samira cried,
I was composed and tried to be gracious, oh how I love these good people.


It wasn't until we got home that I had to take some time out.
I sat down and cried and cried.



In September, Grandpa resoled his shoes from the giant holes on the bottom.  
Yesterday morning, he polished both pair, thinking to wear one pair home 
and leave the other for someone here.  

Last night, we went to Institute class. 
I really love how these kids pour and ponder over the scriptures. 

After the greetings, before the Opening song, 
I asked if everyone was coming Saturday at 6 pm for our final choir practice 
and if they are excited to share the program on Sunday Evening!!!

I saw a question in Adilson's eyes as the others replied, "Sim!" (Yes!)
I asked him about that, hoping that he didn't have to work...
 and he quietly said he could explain later.

Adilson did a great job of teaching the lesson, Jacob 5, 
about The House of Israel and the Olive Tree Allegory.  
He was baptized 2 months ago.

After the Closing Song and Prayer, 
We found out why Adilson had been reticent to respond.
He lives in a non-secure space.  
Someone had robbed most everything he owned.
"I cannot get shoes for four more days," he said sadly. 
"I cannot be ready for the choir."
He was so sad, because singing is something very special here.
(For some reason, he thought he needed shoes to sing!)

Grandpa remembered the polished shoes
and immediately took off one of his shoes, asking Adilson to try it on.
They wear the exact same size!
I think we all smiled all the way home.

Heavenly Father even notices polished shoes.


as vezes, nos nao temos palavras

Sister Tatasha, Primary President in Boa Vista made a little
cardboard reminder for each child.  It says: 'I am a Child of God', 
and she wants each little one to know that it is true.  
Years back, Albert had to flee Liberia during the war to protect his life.
He wanted to show us a book that he has.  The missionaries are teaching him.
I had to step outside to take the photo of him and his Book of Mormon 
as there is only a couple of feet of floor on two sides of his mattress.  
It is his home for now.
But, talk about gracious.  He invited us in and was so thoughtful.

We were on our way to visit Octavio when we heard a fellow say, "Elder!"
We stopped to visit with TChidi Aduruao, a kind man from Nigeria.
"I have a question for you." he said.  "Tell me who Moroni is.
I attended a meeting when I was in Fogo and I want to know more about your church."
His world of work is the small table of shoe shining and repairing equipment
on the table in front.  But, like all of us, his thoughts and dreams and questions
are deep and searching and he wants to understand life.
He wrote down his name and number for us.
Sister Aguirra, a sweet Brasilian sister, asked her companion to take a photo of us together.
This was the day before her mission was completed and we felt her deep emotion.
It is very difficult to think of leaving people whom you love and serve.

"But", I told her, "Your Momma can't WAIT to get you home!
She probably has flan in the fridge and pastels in the frying pan already!"
I shared with her what my mother always told me:
Half way  back home on the plane, you will shed tears for missing those you are leaving.
Then halfway to home you will shed tears of Joy for those you are returning to!
Momma knows.  She has been on many missions and is on one now.

Life is like that.

I will not forget the many calls, visits, and interviews.
The patient and kind way of my companion.
His smile wrinkles are sun-tanned in!

Tonight, we made some popcorn to take to family home evening at Tia's home.
So many people were there.  Tia had made a feast.  After, the Opening Song, Prayer,
and Spiritual Message...our group leader, Jacinto, asked us to come up in front of the room.
The Family Home Evening was really a surprise going away party for us!
They presented us with a Cabo Verdiano flag that everyone signed and with two
Cabo Verdiano Soccer shirts which, of course, we put on, right over our clothes immediately!
These beautiful people.  Oh My! 

We have practiced every Saturday from 6-7 pm for a month now.  Our little choir is ready.
The men will wear white shirts and blue ties.  The women will wear white blouses and blue flowers.
The sisters and I will bake cakes on Saturday for after the program.
Mariama will sing, "Silent Night" as the last solo after which everyone will sing "Noite Feliz"
(I better get a good night's rest, or I will drown.)
We have taken out invitations:
 7 pm - December 15th - Christmas Program at the Church
and we are ready!


Joy To The World!

We have not seen Christmas yet...
(I think I saw a small decorated tree inside the bank as we passed)  
But we have felt Christmas.  

Vera couldn't attend church for the last two years.  Her working hours are around the clock with little time off but when she called to say she was at home, we were so happy to visit. Her gratitude for our visit and her tears showed us how much she missed being with her brothers and sisters at church. That was Saturday.  We visited about the reality of our Heavenly Father, and how faith is a means of change, not merely a belief.  The three of of decided to fast on Sunday, that somehow her work situation would change so she could participate.  Endless hours of work and the $350 a month can feed the body, but not the soul.

She just shared her news!  Monday, her supervisor told her that she would now have less hours at work as a member of their family needed some of her hours.  She smiled with us at the Joy of such a blessing.  A direct answer to her prayers.  She will meet us at 15 mins. before 8 pm Tuesday and we will take her to Institute to meet the other youth.  She can now come to choir practice and participate in our special Christmas Program on the 15th of December!  Heavenly Father is so good.

Domingas is preparing to go to the Temple with her husband!

Adilson gave his very 1st talk!
(no worries...I know photos are not taken during church)
After church, I asked Adilson to stand here again,
and he was so happy when we gave him this photo.

Lerideu and Paulo got their mission calls to Brasil!
Nuno received his call to our last mission, Porto Alegre, Brasil!!!

Paulino who has been there serving for a year now, is also thrilled.

When they call or email us with their JOY...we experience it too.

Gerson at one of his beginning walking practices.  
He has great faith and he will walk again someday.

                     YES, WE CAN FEEL CHRISTMAS!!!


We love these great people!

We just returned from visiting the Boa Vista Branch.  They are amazing and growing fast! 
Seminary class in Espargos.  We love visiting these classes!
Some of our Seminary students here in Santa Maria.  I love how intent the students are in
understanding the scriptures.  I looked around me and  I couldn't resist taking this photo memory.
Like collecting smooth stones, or a colorful leaf,
I simply must put some of these important moments in my 'pocket' to take home with me.
Cleaning up records, dividing branches, and helping train willing young minds are time consuming, but important.
We really admire this young Esmael from Espargos.  He comes in the evenings after school to help in his calling!
I will always be amazed at the inspirations and directions given.
This is a training of two new secretaries in the Boa Vista Branch, Jorge Paulo Te and Jidiel Kenedy Rocha.  Like many times before, a name and password account must first be taught and a simple review of a computer before the training can proceed.  Yet, in faith,
these young people go forth and learn their part and bless other lives along the way.
Trainings and then Interviews.  We love these young people who want to make good decisions
and change their lives to become valuable to their families, neighbors, church, community, and country.
Brand New Elder's Quorum!
Do we really know who we are and what we have?
Do we know we have the power to act, and not merely react?
Do we know that we can help others through the Power of the Priesthood
and bless their lives FOREVER?!

(I went with Lizzy to visit a family after our Primary Training, but when I returned to the church,
I sat in the back and listened to some of Grandpa's message.)



Thoughts along the way...

We ride in a hiace (Yahz) between towns.  
The vans will never leave on a timed schedule.  
When a van is full...the van will go. Not a second sooner.
Generally--we visit with the other travelers, who also plan, sleep, read, wait,
sometimes, we coax the wind into open windows and just think.

The world is so much with us.  
Our little computer shouts storms, politics, and such at us.

It would be easy to worry, feel a bit over-whelmed, confused, 
depressed by the news (which really is as old as the world).  
Oh! To cover our anxieties over the decisions and difficulties
 of people and governments in an attempt
to escape the world by wrapping up in a blanket, 
locking all the doors, reading a good book
 to the accompaniment of classical music 
and the smell of creamy hot chocolate or carob comfort 
(absolutely froth/bouncing seven tiny marshmellows)!  
But, as nice as that is in the evenings after a hard day of work...
it is even better to know 
that the world is right on schedule and that things will all work out.

I remind myself of this truth: 
As bad as the world gets...that is also how good it is getting!  
Opposition in all things really does mean opposition in all things.  YEA!  
And we get to choose what and which to think about.  
Things are getting better and people are becoming magnificent!  
Youth have bright eyes that come with strength and resolve

Being on a full-time mission gives us a great perspective, 
(very much like the mission of being full-time parents) 
in that we see Miracles regularly.  This work couldn't happen without them. 
We see things happen that can't.  
We witness ruined lives becoming vibrant and hopeful again.  
People who are bound by decisions and addictions becoming free
 through a faith that surpasseth understanding.  
Shadow people becoming great leaders 
with compassion to search out and serve others.  
We know their names and their faces, we learn of their dreams and fears, 
their strengths and weaknesses, their trials and triumphs, 
and we are amazed at their humility, and teach-ability.

More and more it becomes clear why we must each come unto Christ 
with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. 
No wonder we must become as a child, accepting our Father's will 
instead of expecting our own.  
To reach for His plan first, placing our own aside 
to become an heir to what He has prepared for those who wait on Him.  

I remember standing at the end of the high diving board at Ephraim's city pool.  
I can almost smell the chlorine of the water that I stared at; 
the water that I wanted so much to dive into.  
As I stood there...it came to me 
that unless I abandoned my fear, and actually dove in, 
I would never feel what it was like to swim to the surface of victory.  
I think life is like that.  
We must make our goals 
without turning around or climbing back down.
It's in the doing that we really understand the how and why.
And it works!

There are so many people that are looking for truth.  
So many good hearts longing to know why we are on earth, 
where did we come from, why are we here,
and where are we going after this life?  
With all that is going on in the world, 
the answers to those questions are also going on...
boldly, nobly, reaching every climb, and making hearts light.

What a great time to be on the Earth...
what a perfect time to dive right in!
(with patience of course, the van must be full!)


sweet moments

45 years ago today, this handsome young man invited me on our first date,
                              and he is taking me out to dinner tonight to celebrate!

Each week has many highlight moments.  I must remember a few from this week.


We met in a small cement room.  We were visiting Karl, Vanda and their 7 year old daughter Larisa.  Kaisse was there as well.  He is a bright young man, a cousin to the family.   Jacinto was there.  He is the leader of the 'group' here in Santa Maria.  Oh, and Jerson came, and the missionaries came, and a member girl came in the middle of the visit, and so we ended up with 12 of us in the small standing room only room.  We shared our message and the Spirit was so sweet.  They are happy to have more scriptures to read.  They want us to tell them more.  They came to our choir practice Sat. night and then to Church on Sunday.

We were getting supplies from the boat dock last Wed. at 11 am.  Turns out after a few trips and getting home about midnight, we finally got the cargo on Thursday.  It all depends on when they decide to unload the boat!   On one of our trips, we met a fellow on the hiace  (yas) (the van transports) from England who was interested in our message and wants to hear more about it this week in his apartment.

We were walking home from installing the new sister missionaries' washing machine when we saw a mother in the doorway of their home holding a baby girl who was giggling as her father would run toward her and then back up and run toward her again.  They were so cute with the baby.  We had to stop and meet Olavo and Evanilda and their little Gizele.  They invited us to visit with them the next evening and after the first lesson, they invited us back again.  They were so kind in thanking us for The Book of Mormon.  In fact, they asked us to come collect them for choir practice and they were so happy to participate.  We will visit again this Thursday.

Yesterday, Mariama called early.  "I need your help" she said.  Then the phone went dead.  We never know when we have power or when the phone will work just right.  We hurried to her apt. to see what it was she needed.  She was all ready for Church.  "I got up early," she said.  "I have been ready for 2 hours already. But, I need your help.  I want to pay my tithing today and you must show me how to write it on the form."

Atou saw me when we were returning from a visit and she hurried across the street (as fast as one can bustle across a cobblestone street carrying her jolly large self and a baby on her back).  She pulled a man with her who she introduced us to as her brother.  She told him that I am a "Gud (Goo-ed) woo-man"  They are from Senegal.  They told us that they hope we will come to their home for dinner one day when we can come.  Out of respect for their safety, we do not teach Muslim people just now, but we can sure be their friends and I just really like Atou.
She makes me want to be a Goo-ed Woo-man!

My knee had an attitude this week.  But, I was reading in Alma and saw my struggle as very insignificent, and then with our prayers and thoughts with the people in the Philippines this week...there was no time to worry about a slight limp of a couple of days.  But, Jacinto brought some salve for me to rub on it just to be thoughtful.  I really love good people.  Like the young missionaries who will take boxes out of our arms or ask how they can help us.

Tears washed over me when we learned that all of the missionaries in the Philippines have been found safe after the monster storm.  I know they will provide much love, comfort, and help to so many who are struggling right now.

We laughed during our little 'group' activity this week as the Institute students put on a play about the Tree of Life!  It was so well done...and of course was funny in parts where they added their own personalities.
Yesterday, Elder Benedict asked the leader of the 'group' who would be giving the Sunday School lesson as it was time to begin.  Our leader got a funny look on his face as he had totally forgotten--he thought a minute and then said, "Do you know Elder Benedict?  He will give it!"  (note to selves:) we must reinforce preparation again.
But, you have to smile and nod meanwhile.

To be in a cement home, sitting on a bed or bucket, in an everything-bedroom, frontroom, kitchen- room, and bow our heads with beautiful people who thank Heavenly Father for sending us to their home with an important message is always a tender moment for us.  There really are no words for some of the sweet moments when we feel the great love our Father has for His children.   


Love to Learn!

We visited a home in Santa Maria and the grandma kept reminding her grand-daughter
to keep practicing her letters.  It brought back so many home-work memories.
The desire to learn, unlocks light.
We had Family Home Evening with a family in Boa Vista.
Without electricity in their home,
the candle and cell phone made a soft glow.

Something sweet happens when a child reads.
We all discover something that we need to know.
We love attending the Seminary and Institute classes.
The teachers come prepared and ask great questions,
thus, the classes turn into discussions and most everyone participates.
Do Teachers understand how valuable they are when
they love their students and love sharing their subject?
True Teaching is not pushing information into a student,
 but pulling it out.

P.S.  There are many new things to learn on a mission.  This week we are setting up 2 apts. One for the sister missionaries and one for a new couple that will be coming to this island in a week!  Getting electricity and water hooked up here is quite an experience as well.  Grandpa has been getting information and filling out paperwork to help make our 'group' into a branch and our island and Boa Vista into a District.  We are starting Activity nights once a week, adding a Seminary class in the mornings, and starting a choir practice on Saturdays to prepare a Christmas Concert.  Sister Oliveira gave us blue ties for the men and we are making blue fabric flowers for the women. Of course, the best part of our work is talking to people on the street and in their homes. 

We had a sweet experience.  One day we were walking down the street and began visiting with a young woman who said that her sister is a member of our church.  Two days later a fellow from Espargos called and told us about a young woman who lives here, and sure enough, it was about the sister of the young woman that we had met earlier.  We already had the information and had an appointment to see her.  When we arrived, she got really teary and gave me a big hug.  She said she has missed the church so much.  During the sweet visit, she brought out her baptism picture from long ago and told us about 'her' missionary.  We just 'happen' to know him very well from our time in Fogo.  We took a photo of her with her family to Tadeu, (her missionary) when we went to Fogo to visit.  We asked him if he would write a letter back and just two days ago we took the letter to her and what joy she felt again.  
In his letter, he encouraged her to be true to what she knew... 
as I watched her read his words, my heart was tender. 

Oftimes the best learning of all is remembering.
We do that when we listen to good teachers and leaders, parents, family, friends, 
scriptures, and especially the still small voice inside of us. 

I am Thankful for so many Great Teachers in my Life.


A Fun Fogo Fireside Visit!

We just got back home from a wonderful visit to Fogo.
We saw well over 200 of our friends there, 

before, during, and after 2 firesides.
One fireside in Cova Figueira and one in Sao Filipe.
Our message was about the importance 

of living up to our Privileges and our Potential,
and how very blessed we are 

to be able to make and keep sacred covenants.

It was wonderful fun to see so many friends!
We had time to make a few home visits as well.

We came home with more beautiful memories, but less luggage...
Hopefully, the airlines will find our suitcase sometime this week?!
(We kinda need our iron, our clothes, and this n' thats!)

Just before we went to the airport this morning,
we walked down to the beautiful black sand beach.
On Fogo, the sand is a sparkly Ebony color.  

On Boa Vista and Sal, the sands are varied linen-light Ecru colors.
The Sands are 
absolutely Striking.  Really, incredibly Beautiful. 

Each experience on a mission is as varied as the Sands.
And each one is our favorite!


Mariama's Special Days!

Mariama was baptized Saturday and confirmed yesterday.  She asked Grandpa to 

perform those special ordinances for her.  It was a very special Sat. and Sunday.
One we will not forget and we all felt her Joy!  She gave a talk in Sacrament meeting
and told of the Greatness of our Forgiving and Loving Father in Heaven.
She said we must all have faith and courage to keep the commandments.
She asked me to translate her English into Portuguese for the congregation.
(What experiences we have been blessed with and how humble it makes us when we receive
Heavenly help to do this Missionary work.)

Mariama has been sending me her (incredible) life story
 as she writes her memories, usually a paragraph at a time.
She says she must share this with her daughter and her people someday,
so they will see the Love of our God in taking care of us and showing Himself to us.

There is a scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 18: 13-18 
that best describes how we felt when Mariama shared her testimony with us,
early this morning, when we received the following email from her.
I want to say thanks to God Almighty and for our Lord Jésus Christ who came to this world to save our sins . I also thank God for our prophet Joseph Smith to instole thé Church of latter days saints ,i also believe in thé living prophet. I want express my feeling about my baptism, how i feel, and how greatful i Will always be with sister and elder Benedict, it has been à long time for me searching for church were i CAN find peace and thé way to lead me to my Heavenly Father, now that i find thé way in thé church of Jésus christ of latter days saints and am baptisé i feel gréât and compleat and i also feel pure with my life. I ask my Heavenly Father in Jésus name to continue to guide in his ways, as i am stronge also in m'y heart to keep his comandment for ever and ever till m'y days are pass away.To be continue

She ends every email with the words 'To be continue' Pure truth!  Life is Good!


You must meet Mariam!

We first met 'Mariam' when she was sitting in our courtyard with her cousin 
who is the guard for this apartment building. 
He is very kind to us and we enjoy visiting with him. 
He introduced us to her and she immediately wanted to know 
more about our church.

She is from Sierra Leone, Africa, where she grew up in a Muslim home 
until the age of 9 years when her parents separated. 
Shortly after, she lived with another family 
so she would help with their children and cleaning. 
She learned about Christianity in this home.

The things she has experienced in her life due to war, family, 
broken family, evil, death, destruction, goodness and love,
is amazing all in one lifetime.     

Her voice is wonderful to listen to, as is her heart.
"God start to show himself to me during war." 
She told us: "I don't always go to church 
but I don't joke with my prayers in my heart." 

She told us that she has tried everything the world has to offer too many times 
and it didn't work.  It did not bring her happiness.  
Would we please help her know "how to come closer to God"
We told her that we can show her how to receive her own answers
because Heavenly Father will not lie 
and she assured us that she would pray to know
if what we are saying is true.
That was a Monday eve.  She asked us to come to her home on Wed.
"Maybe I will get my answer tonight," 
she said as we were leaving for an appointment, 
"God don't waste time with me!"

Wednesday evening found us teaching
the Gospel to her in English, the language of her country.  
(so fun for us...although we have to reach for some English words now) 
She had a dream and said, "Yes, this is true".
She uses my scriptures and reads everyday.

When we arrive for our visits in her home, 
she is usually out on the deck of her apt. waiting. 
She was mopping the floor when we arrived for our first visit.
She had washed everything in her apt. and thrown her cigarettes away.
"I was thinking last night that I must quit smoking to be clean."
During that visit she took all the alcohol and coffee 
from her cupboards to the trash.  

She was waiting for us Sunday morning a couple of weeks ago 
by the tree below our apt. She wanted to attend Church. 
I translated the best I could during the meetings 
and she was very touched by the things she heard and felt
as people shared their testimonies.

She read 1st and 2nd Nephi in 4 days and asks great questions.

We love teaching people who have read the Bible.  People who are 
searching for Truth and have real questions are especially fun to share with.

I was concerned about just how to tell her about Modesty. 
This is a very warm country 
and modesty is not a natural part of anyone's thoughts...
but the moment we brought up the subject, 
up she jumped and ran to her closet,
and brought out her new shirts.  "I know, I know!" she said.
"I know I must dress betta to be clean. 
Yesterday I knew I must dress betta"

The 3 of us watched the Sunday morning session of  General Conference 
in our apt. on our computer.
She wanted to hear a real Prophet speak and she was  thrilled.
We showed her the Churches website after conference 
and she wanted to see if the Church of Jesus Christ is in her country.  
We pulled it up and YES!  There were also videos about her country.
We watched a short video of one of the humanitarian wheelchair projects there.
During part of it, she stood up! "This is my tribe, this is my home!"
She was filled with joy when she saw the streets she knew in the film.

She wants to know how she fits into the House of Israel and Abraham's promise.

Her questions are sincere from her reading.  
"What does it mean that they crucified their God?"  

From 3rd Nephi 17:  
"What does it mean when the people asked Him to 'tarry' a little longer"
Did they want him to stay overnight?
She is writing her story.  I am humbled as I read it.
She set fruit in front of us for our visit.
Last night was our fourth lesson and she glowed.
"It was difficult to quit smoking for three days", she said
"but everyday I am saving money now...
I tell my friends that I could not be the same person.  If they will not try to
understand what I am reading, they will have to go from my house, because this is my house.
I am happy...everyday I am more happy...I know it is true."

This is a very special week for all of us.
We will walk to the ocean for her Baptism this Saturday.
Her cousin, our guard and friend, will bring his family too.
He sees her smile and he wants to know more.