Thursday, April 18, 2013

Hello USA!

April 15, 2013

Hello USA,

This week was a race.  It seems like all we did was run around with our heads cut off.  Our area is split into two towns, Aguas Compridas and Alto da Conquista.  Agaus is where we live but Alto is where we have to walk up a huge hill to get there. My calves still aren't used to it. We always have to go up and down all day to get to different appointments and when we get home at night we're just dead.  It seems like it was hotter than normal this week and this hills were steeper, haha.  We received a few references from members this week so that kept us busy.  The family that we baptized last month is already pumping out the references.  They have distant family that haven't had the chance to receive the restored gospel yet so we are going to bring it to them.  Gosh, it's so freaking hot in here.  I'm in a place called a lan house where you pay for time to use the computers and there is no air conditioning and no fans. And there are kids playing video games and yelling so I can't concentrate on what I'm typing!!

We got a reference from Fabiana this week, her sister in law.  We've already seen her a lot because she lives way close to Fabiana.  We taught her the first lesson and she didn't have any objections or anything so that was cool.  I'm beginning to start the lessons now and not just rely on my companion to start.  I'm pretty comfortable with the language now.  My companion said I'm fluent.  That really surprised me because I definitely don't feel fluent. He said you never really feel fluent so I just accepted it and I guess now I'm fluent, haha.

We've been talking to Kelly with her boyfriend these past couple of weeks. We baptized Kelly like a month ago. Her boyfriend is the hardest headed person I've ever met. First he says he's going to go to church because he receives an answer from God in a dream saying that he should, but then he doesn't act on it because he didn't feel like it.  It's too bad.  Missions are full of difficulties and disappointments.

It seems like we have so many people that could be baptized right now if they just go married and stopped living with each other.  It's a really normal thing here to just have a family without being married.  When you talk about getting the parents married, they think it's a load of besteira and they're too lazy to do it.  We just have to tell them it's a commandment from God and they look at it in a completely different way.  It's just frustrating when marriage and the law of chastity is in the way of baptism.

We did have some miracles this week despite a lot of frustrating things happening, like having a full day where nobody was home and nobody wanted to hear anything from us.  The whole last half of this week, we were chasing this baptism. We needed a miracle baptism to happen this week because none of our investigators have been to church, which is required for baptism. His name was Gulherme and he is nine years old. We found out that the previous Elders in this area tried to baptize him like 4 times.  He must be a really special person for diabo to work that hard against his baptism. They always had the OK from his mom and the date marked but he always got away somehow.  His baptism was on Sunday and we were relying on his member friends to bring him to church so that was stressful. We also tried like three days in a row to get the mom's signature but she was never home.  We got it at the last minute. We also still needed him to get interviewed because the baptism was so last minute so we had to get the District Leader here super fast.  All the while we still had to go get an investigator and bring him to church, which we had been trying to do with this particular person for at least a month but it always fell through. Elder Moore and I were super stressed and needed help! So we split up. He went to the Bishop's office and I went to the chapel to talk to the kid and fill out his baptismal form and to make sure he didn't run away. The kid had the worst ADD I've ever seen and he was bouncing off the walls. I literally had to hold him so I could get his information.  He didn't know his birthday and his name was like 10 names long.  During all this we told our ward mission leader to go get our investigator, Davi and bring him to church. Thank goodness he knew where to go.

So here comes the resolution. The district leader got here and we baptized the kid after church. Our investigator, Davi got here and he loved church and said he could feel peace. He's like 40 so there's some potential priesthood right there. The only thing that went wrong is the Bishop was busy so we couldn't confirm Gilherme that day. Oh, and Davi couldn't stay for the baptism.

Wow.  Being a missionary is hard work and mentally and physically draining but there's always something that happens that makes the work worth it. Baptism! Woo!  Another thing that makes it worth it is the members. They always have our backs and have some food to give us if we're super drained.  I know all the houses that give us food no matter what so when we're hungry and we don't have food we just go to one of those houses, Ha.  I guess were kind of freeloaders but we're also missionaries so that's OK.

All in all this was a pretty stressful week with no time to really think.  I guess I've finally hit the missionary wall that everyone talks about.  I'm grateful to be challenged because the Lord gives us these challenges so that we can grow.  I know this is the Lord's work.  He can't do it without us and we can't do it without him.  It's a kind of circle of trust I guess. The more I teach people, the more I realize that we really do have the true gospel of Jesus Christ and we're really lucky to be members.  If you look at the statistics of the people in the world and the number of members, it makes you think how lucky we really are to be members of the church.  Everyone will be a member eventually but for now there are very few to spread the gospel compared to the number of people on the earth.  There's tons of work to do!  Help the missionaries wherever you are. Give references, open your mouths!  The missionaries will be very grateful for the help and so will the Lord.

Love you all, hope you have a great week and that everything with the wedding goes smoothly.

Elder Carroll

PS Loved the emails from everyone. Sorry I can't respond to every single person because of lack of time but I love hearing from everyone! Keep 'em  coming!

1 comment:

  1. Sweet letter. I love to see the challenge settling in of a mission and the growth that will be occuring!