What a cool week I had! I loved my lessons, the opportunities that we had to serve and help many people, and the love that I've felt coming from the Lord. He's truly got a soft spot for missionary work, and I had a sort of revelation: Pure missionary work is pure service. It's how Christ did it and it's how we should too. With that in mind, missionary work becomes almost more... tangible to me. It's not just teaching and finding and baptizing (all good things, to be sure)--it's living what we know, transmitting the love of God, and doing what He would do were He here. It was a cool little epiphany. Also, this is to say that the work won't end in 8 months (the time that I have left according to my wonderful and annoying friend, Elder Wilhelm) but will continue throughout my life. I love Elder Wilhelm. He's a wonderful missionary with a lot of talent, diligence, and love. He truly looks on the Angolan people with a heart full of desire to help. I'm learning so much with him. We got out there this week, knocked doors, did street contacts and found a ton of people. This area needs to grow and has so much potential. I'm loving it.
Another highlight of the week: We went to an orphanage and taught some kids English, played with them, and showed them a little love. It was really sweet, but kind of sad. It showed me that kids are SO resilient. They take any hit that life throws at them with a smile. They don't know how to be sad. They just play, smile, and don't notice things like a lack of clean clothes, a parental figure, etc. It was really touching and kind of hard to see. Heather, you would have loved it. The idea of being a philanthropist is growing on me.
4 people have now accepted baptismal dates and we're hoping to see a total of 8 by the end of next week. These people are truly preparing themselves. We talked with two younger guys this week named Alex and Adilson and they just... Got it. They understood why a Restoration was so necessary. They came to church, have been reading, and really enjoy sitting with us. It was really cool. I explained the Gospel of Jesus Christ as being the best possible thing we could have in our lives to be happy. They seemed to really like that idea and are excited to take the necessary steps to fill their lives with good things and blessings in place of things that don't last, that aren't real, and that leave them feeling empty.
What else? Halloween came and went. No one here really cares much. I heard something about a hurricane in New York? What happened? And the Presidential Race... What's up? Mom, you said you'd send a package with the Reedys. I would love some Root Beer. =) (Or Mountain Dew...) I'm kidding (mostly) but I would really like another tape, maybe. To listen to in my mini-tape player. If it's not too much trouble. Other than that, I think I'm fine. I'm content with what I have.
I sure love you guys. I'm happy to be doing this work and hope that you're all finding fulfillment in your lives. =)
Elder Cody R. Eckman