Week 20: Especially the Elephants

Dear Family and Friends,

First off, Happy Father´s Day DAD! Thanks for always being there for me and supporting me in my decisions and throughout all my life. You are such a great example to me of dedication, hard work, and humility. I love you!

Also... Happy Birthday to my beautiful sister Kristy! You started the trend of playing lacrosee in the family but I kinda of killed that one, but I did continue the trend of serving a mission. I´m so greatful for your decision to serve and it really did help me decide to serve as well, and I am so greatful that I did. Love you!
And last but definitely not least, Happy Birthday Tasi! Your the best semi-adopted sister that I´ve ever had! I really don´t know what I would have done my first year of college without you. You were always there to support me when I didn´t feel like I had anyone else. You are always there when I need a laugh and to just loosen up a bit. I love you!

Sorry that everyone had to read those, but I think they sound better together, instead of in personal emails. I dont know. I like it. SO yeah. OVer it.

Okay so this week was CRAZY! But also super depressing, but I still love my mission. We started off the week great, but my foot had been hurting, but i thought i could just walk it off... haha bad idea. it just got worse, to the point that i was limping and could hardly walk. so then we spent two days in the house applying ice and such. Ooops. my bad. But my foot is all better now and I haven´t had any more problems. 
The rest of the week is where it goes real bad. So obviously we didnt have any lessons those two days, but also the day after we only had one. We walked for 5 hours without sitting. A miracle that my foot survived that! Saturday was better, but then sunday was a bomb. Man! We didnt have any investigators at church. Bummer. Then we only had one lesson, our english class, which only had a few kids and one member. Last weeek was much more successful. So we also walked for 4 hours without sitting on Sunday. Not to mention it´s pretty dang hot. I love sweat. haha

Me with my Hurt Foot
The one thing that brings more light into my day is freshquinhas or sorvette. Its like a creamy popsicle in a little plastic bag thing that you bite off the corner and suck out the stuff. super good. I´ll learn how to make them for you guys. Yum...

On Saturday, we went to the baptism of one of my old investigators before I got transfered, Vacé. It was actually pretty funny because they had to baptize her like 5 times because they couldn´t get her all the way under the water! Whoops! But she´s awesome. Love her.

Okay so it was sister corbetts birthday on sunday so I made a cake and it was delicious! But the candles melt really fast here so by the time we got them all lit there was wax ALL over the cake and we didnt even sing. Just took pictures of her blowing out the candles while they lasted haha super funny.

Sister Corbett's Birthday Cake
Then today we went to lunch at probably the fanciest restaurant in porto novo. so good. we got a steak and cod. super delicious. Food here is so cheap! it was only like ten american dollars for each plate. and it was like a perfect portion. oh how i love cabo verde.

Lunch at the Fancy Restaurant
One funny thing about living here. No matter where you go people stare at you! haha the cabo verdeans stare at you because your white, and the white people stare at you because... well who really knows! haha I dont know if i´ll ever get used to it.

Okay so we also discovered that the apartment below us is where the owner stores all the food for his grocery store and they bring in new shippments every sunday. And every sunday our house becomes infested with massive baratas (cockroaches if you dont remember) Its so nasty! So we have this killing spray in our house and we decided to try it out. So there was one that crawled under the over so we sprayed under that oven and it went crazy! It was running all over the place and then it ran into my bedroom! We have the funniest video. But we couldn´t find it so we ended up searhcing the room in the dark with a flashlight because the light is burnt out and we never found it! Then sister Corbett decided to take a shower and all i hear is her screaming so loud. Turns out there was another barata in the shower and it crawled out right next to her foot. So we tried to kill that one, but it crawled by the window so we shut the window, and it got stuck! But it was still alive so we just tried to open and close the window till we thought it fell out. Super crazy. We ended up bleaching the floor that night till midnight because we were so grossed out.
View from Our Window
The next morning we woke up with another barata in out kitchen. Killed it. Then found the other one in the middle of my room still freaking out. Kill it. I still hate baratas.

Okay so the subject line is for stephanie. becuase i know she loves elephants. go look up Ether 9:19. Its great. 
Okay so for the spiritual part of this forever long letter is about a part in doctrine and covenants. In section 81 verse 5 it says, `wherefore, be faithful; stand in the office which I have appointed unto you; succor the weak, life up the hands that hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.` I found it interesting that it says hands and knees, two things that we use to pray. I may have been walking a lot this week, but every night I find myself on my knees with the hands together pleading with the Lord. This is when I have found the most strength,as I ask my Heavenly Father to help me find the energy to stand up and walk another day. This is also our calling, to lift the hands and stregthen the knees. I know that the Lord has placed people in our path who were on their hands and knees praying for help. I am so blessed to be a servant of the Lord to lift these people into the light, to bring an answer to their prayer. I love my mission, it may not be easy, but it is definitely worth it when you see the lives changing.

I love you guys! Till next week,

Sister Kohlert 


Week 19: Baratas, Mice and the Barco

Well do I have some stories for you! I wish I had pictures of some of them too. But words will have to suffice for some. So white washing is fun. and hard. I dont think i have ever been so tired in my entire life every night. but I guess that means we´re working hard. Man. I dont know how i wake up every morning with energy. A gift from God. 

Speaking of gifts, yesterday we found a huge cockroach in our house! We killed it after letting out some squeels. Then when we came back that night there were two more! So huge and nasty! Sister Corbett screamed right when we walked in and I thought there was a robber in the house or something! Scared me so bad. But baratas (cockraoches) are always super gross to kill. so we killed them after screeming a lot and huddling in the corner when they moved. They move fast! Freak! So we got over that and threw them out the window after we m~smashed them real good with a chaco.
But thats not the end... This morning, I was going to grab a skirt out of my suitcase and something moved. Freaked me out. Not gonna lie. Wasnt sure if it was a cockroach, but I was kind of scared it would be a centipede. Luckily it wasnt either of those. After removing a few things and it moving some more, we discovered it was a mouse! Ah! So gross! Must have just spent the night in my suitcase. thats chill. yup definitely cleaning all my clothes again. But we didnt know how to get it out of the house, so we ended up closing the suit case and putting a sheet around it because we cvouldnt zip it up, and carrying it into the stairwell of the building and the removing the sheet and it jumped right out and basically fell down the stair well than we let it out when it got to the bottom. So yeah... the things that happen in Cabo Verde. Love it. 
Then today, we went to Sao Vicente (different island) to go to the bdoctors for sister corbett, and we.... almost missed the only boat back today. Ah! It was crazy! So we were kind of stupid and thought we could eat lunch in like 20 minutes and then head over... but 40 minutes later we ran to the cais (dock thing) and the lady wouldnt let us buy tickets because it was leaving... so we thought we were screwed and would have to stay the night and take the next boat tomorrow morning. We ran to ask someone else, and ended up running to the boat to see if they would lower the ramp again so we could get on. At first they were like yes no yes no! ah! They let us on! What! Stopped the whole boat and then they found out we hadnt paid... oops. but luckily they still let us get one and we just paid once we were sitting down. super crazy. Man, the Lord takes care of his missionaries. It was a miracle.

And this week we found out that one of our investigrs used tobe a cocaine addict. And dealer. and he servfed in prision for 3 months. and he stole a car. hahaa that was an interesting lesson. But he has been clean for a year and a half now, but he drinks and smokes, but he has such a strong desire to change and follow Christ. He reads and STUDIES the scriptures everyday. What a boss. He´s a character. 

Okay one last thing, we learned the power of prayer this week. We were VERY short on investigators. like we had 3. So we were just preaying a lot to find people. and man did we! We found so may people who were ready to hear our message. One time, we said a prayer and the next people we contacted, 3 girls, took us to their house and we had the first lesson with them and commited them to baptism. It was a huge blessing. We had been walking for 4 hours straight. and to just have that one lesson, it just strengthen my testimony of prayer and God´s love for all of us. Amazing.~

I love my mission. I love this island. I love this people. And I love all of you! Keep sharing the gospel. The missionaries need you. Never let a impression from the spirit pass. Talk to new people in church. We all have the need to feel loved, whoever we may be, whatever we may look like

I love you guys!
Sister Kohlert


Week 18: Transfers

Okay! First thing: HAPPY 15th BIRTHDAY TYLER! I LOVE YOU! Thanks for being a boss brother. Keep up the haircut because I need to see it in person.
So for transfers... this is what happened:
Sister Johnson went to Praia to be a sister training leader.
I am staying here in Santo Antão, but...the elders were removed and so they split my area in half and gave half to the sisters, and we have half and the elders area.
My new companion is Sister Corbett, from Washington DC.She has 3 transfers left and was the sister training leader in Praia.

Sister Corbett and I
Oh, and I am growning out my hair! So if in the pictures it doesnt look super great. Its the best I can to so deal with it. haha they can cut hair pretty good here so it shouldnt look too messed.

So this week was full of some crazy stuff!

First of all, we cried a lot. We had to say goodbye to our investigators in the other part of our area that the sister will have, and it was just about the sadest thing. We got really close with the couple that is working towards marriage and the woman, Irene, has wanted to get baptized for years. We thought at least one of us would be there for the wedding and baptism, but now we are both out of that area. When we broke the news to Irene, she bawled her eyes out with us. They better still get married, and Seirgio, the man, is going to stop drinking. They can do it. Its just so hard to leave them when they really need our support.

One of the stories that I wanted to tell last week, but didn't have time was about one of the people who got baptized, Rosi. The one with the baby in the picture(I think I sent one). Her and her brother, also got baptized, were doubting whether or not they should get baptized because their mom pointed out that their godparents would not approve. But Rosi bore her testimony to her mom and it was so precious. She told about how before we starting teaching her, she was having a really hard time in life, but we brought light and joy into her life. The spirit was so strong. We were all almost crying, but we all managed to keep it in. When we asked the mom if she had seen changes in her children, she couldnt say anything or she would have started crying. It was amazing. Then at the baptism, Rosi bore her testimony and it was just as amazing. She is a precious soul. The last lesson we had with her, she asked us to share a scripture that would touch her heart. Oh! I just love her! The people here are amazing. I am so blessed to serve in a place where the people are so receptive to the spirit and are willing to change their lives. 

One thing that is great about transfers is that you just can't help but bear your testimony with your whole heart when you know that it will be the last change you get with these people. I cannot stress the importance of the Book of Mormon enough. Read everyday. Do not fault. Read with your heart. Feel the words of these prophets of God. This book changes lives. I have seen it. You can tell who is reading and who isn´t. READ THE BOOK OF MORMON! It will change your heart. It has changed mine and continues to do so everyday. Today, I challenge all of you to read the Book of Mormon by the end of the year. You can do it! Read with real intent, mark your scriptures, take notes, and pray. End your reading with a prayer, and before you end, sit and wait for a minute or two. Answers will come to those who sincerily seek.

I love you all!
Sister Kohlert

Week 17: Ponte do Sol

Dear Family,

Sorry we went to Ponte Do Sol today, so we don't have much time for internet. Only like 30 minutes. We had some amazing experiences this week, but I dont have time to write them, but next week, I will use all the time to write you guys! Sorry. But here´s some pictures! Love you all so much! Next week is transfers, so you´ll be hearing what happens next week!!! Maybe I'll get transfered to Ponte Do Dol. my dream place.

Til next week,
Sister Kohlert