MAN ON A MISSION: Going door to door in the line of work is not an easy job. Doing it as a missionary for the Mormons is especially hard, Brockton’s Norberto Teixeira said, with many people shutting the door in response.
“We’re doing God’s will,” said Teixeira, 24, a Cape Verdean national who until November 2014 will be a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Arcadia, Calif. “Sometimes it is kind of hard. People may not want to listen. But it’s their choice to listen or not. We understand that.”
To serve his church, Teixeira said he is willing to forgo much over the next two years. Missionaries fund their own missions and are not paid for their services, but receive room and board, he said. They serve wherever they are assigned by the church’s headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah.
A typical day starts at 6:30 a.m. and ends at 10:30 p.m., he said, and consists of knocking on doors or meeting people in the street or other public places. Contact with relatives is limited to letters and occasional phone calls. Teixeira said he will miss his close family life, but they understand.
“My mother and father are very proud of me, they know it’s the best decision I’ll make in my life,” Teixeira said.
His Brockton family is from the island of Fogo in Cape Verde and immigrated to the city five years ago. Since that time, Teixeira worked as a dishwasher in the kitchens of Bridgewater State University. He said friends assumed he was going to be a priest when he told them of his missionary work. But, he said: “I’ll only be a missionary for two years. I definitely plan on getting married.”
His family had a hand in creating congregations in their homeland, he said. When visiting a neighboring island in Cape Verde, Teixeira’s father was converted by Mormon missionaries and brought the mission to Fogo, where his family was also converted. They held church meetings in their home, and 20 years later, there are five congregations on Fogo, he said.
Teixeira’s brother served as a missionary in Portugal in the early 2000s. He said all these things helped fuel his desire to become a missionary. But there are also other things he wants to do in life, he said.
“Since I was little, I’ve dreamed of becoming an airline pilot, so when I’m done doing missionary work, I’ll go to college and do that,” he said. “My other dream was to become a missionary. I’m doing that now, and it is one of the best things I’ve done in my life.”
SACRED HEART STUDENT’S SPEECH WINS: Hannah Wisniewski of Kingston, a junior at Sacred Heart High School in Kingston, has won local and district top honors in the VFW Voice of Democracy speech competition, which is open to more than 51,000 high school students nationally each year. As a local winner, she was awarded $700 from the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and after capturing top honors at the district level, won a matching check for a total of $1,400.
She will compete in the state finals for the right to represent Massachusetts at the nationals in Washington, D.C. Prizes there range from $1,000 to $16,000 scholarships, with the top finisher netting a $30,000 scholarship.
Wisniewski is part of the Sacred Heart speech and debate team, which historically does well in competitions, school officials said. At a December tournament at George Mason University in Virginia, Sacred Heart sophomore Adam Tomasi of Kingston compiled a record of nine wins and a single loss that got him to the finals, where he won the top spot, beating out a field of 104 debaters in all.
CALL FOR ARTISTS: Habitat for Humanity of Greater Plymouth is seeking artists, or those with a creative bent, to participate in its annual celebration on May 3 at the Pinehills Golf Club in Plymouth.
Artists will choose an item from Habitat’s ReStore at 72 Main St., Carver, and create a work of art using it. Habitat volunteers will be at the store to register participants every Saturday in January, and on Jan. 11 and 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Artists are asked to finish their work by March 17. For information, visit www.hfhplymouth.org.
BC HIGH BESTOWS HONORS: Three area men have been awarded the St. Ignatius Medal from Boston College High School, the highest honor given to graduates who have displayed high moral character and service to the community, school officials said.
They are William H. Sullivan of Canton, class of 1950; John MacKinnon of Hingham, class of 1958; and William Driscoll of Milton, class of 2001.