May 20, 2013
This week has been pretty tough. Training is way different because you have to talk a ton. It's made my Portuguese even better though so that's good! This letter isn't going to be super great because I didn't write down anything to write to y'all. This week we were really just trying to find new people to teach because our teaching group has just been exhausted and we've already baptized everyone but, we are working a lot with the members to try to find new ones. We got some references last week and this week that we've been trying to contact and teach. We've almost contacted every one of them but haven't had many chances to teach because everyone is "busy"....
We got a reference from Bondade, the other companionship that lives in our house. They met him by doing contacts. They ran into this member on the street from Sao Paulo who just moved here and they asked him if he had anyone we could teach and he said, "Yeah, I'm living with this guy who would be interested." He said he would get baptized for sure. When we found this out we were pretty excited. We went there and taught the dude. We taught the whole first lesson and there was even another guy there listening in. But when we got to the baptism part he said he had already been baptized. So when that happened, the dude from Sao Paulo started interrupting and saying that this is the only church of Jesus Christ and just interrupting and speaking really loud and driving to spirit away. I realized this guy was a little bit crazy and needed to be calmed down because he wasn't even letting the investigator say what he needed to say. I kind of had to take the floor and level it out. We ended up leaving the read and pray challenge and talked about the authority to baptize because once he knows that this church is true, he knows that the priesthood is needed to perform all ordinances and that he needs to get baptized again with the right authority. We'll see what happens with him. It's in the hands of the Lord and the Holy Ghost.
This week we've kinda just been walking around and trying to find people to teach. I started asking myself why aren't people ever home and why is it that when we make an appointment, it always falls through. People just lack commitment here. We started tracting a little bit but seriously every time we went into someone's house, we either found out that they aren't married legally, or that they are an inactive member. Literally more often than not! Makes it hard to baptize to say the least. My companion and I are fasting for new people to teach. We did find some random people this week but the majority don't have that much interest or potential. We went to get Acaii while we were discouraged and had nothing to do, and decided we should just teach a quick lesson to the lady at the counter. She's not married legally, but has interest. She said she would go to church, but she never did. Another person we tried to teach was a little strange because when we talked about sin, she said she didn't sin and just lived a normal life. I realized there was something wrong. We taught her what sin was and everything. She laughed randomly and she couldn't pay attention. I don't know, it just seemed like she was sick in the head so we stopped teaching her, because if you don't know wrong from right you can't be baptized.
OH! I just remembered something weird. One day we were coming back home to talk to the bishop to see if he had anyone we could teach, and he told us there was going to be a wedding in the church. We all walked there and waited for about an hour for the bride and groom to show up. They were supposed to be there when we got there. Turns out being late doesn't really matter here, even when it's your own wedding, haha. They got there eventually and like 15 people showed up. Get this... the wedding wasn't in the chapel... it was in the Bishop's office. We crammed 15 people into that tiny room and held a wedding. Elder Silva and I were sitting super close to the bride and groom. I didn't even know them!! The groom was sitting facing the Bishop's desk and I was sitting looking at the groom at a right angle. I saw everything super up close and it was a little awkward. Just super different. People were talking and joking during the wedding, and the Bishop even took the opportunity to invite everyone to the ward conference in the middle of it. It was cool. He talked about eternal families and the family proclamation to the world and challenged them to be married in the temple. The groom isn't a member so he directed everything towards him and told him to meet with us. Then the bishop proceeded to name all the people in the audience who weren't married in the temple that needed to step up their game. Nothing is out of bounds here! You can say whatever you want without it being awkward! Man..funny stuff. The next day was different too. We usually have lunch in a member's house but the member we were going to eat with was going to the wedding lunch and she brought us with here. We don't even know the people who got married and we were dragged over there, haha. I even gave a message at the end about eternal families, faith, and hope. It was good.
We went to a less active person's house to give a message and try to reactivate her.... My old companion, Ferreira and I used to always go to her house when I didn't understand anything and I would just sit there and try to not look like an idiot. We went back this week for the first time since then and I understood her! Imagine that. Progression. It's hard to monitor language progression but it happens. I asked her to tell me her story since I can understand now. She said she served a mission and I got all surprised She said she already told me this and I said I wasn't understanding her before. We kind of just laughed. Good to see how I've progressed through these 6 months.
Well I can't think of anything super important or cool to write about now. But that's amazing how much it rained there! Papa said it was the worst storm he's ever seen. That's crazy because he's probably seen a lot of storms. But it's starting to hit the rain season here for sure. Every day seems like it pours for a couple hours. Creeks overflow and bridges get covered with water. It's all over the news. Sounds like we're all experiencing the same weather!
Well I will close this letter up now. Hope all is well. Crazy that y'all are ending school already and Landon's about to graduate. Unreal. Time flies. Love you all and have a good week!
Elder Dallin Carroll
The photos in this post were taken from various Facebook pages that I pulled from Dallin's Brazilian friends. Thanks for taking pictures of my boy!