So this week was tough.
Pday/Monday we went to the mall to get me a watch since my Gshock broke and Elder Amaral wanted to get some things too. We went to the mall closest to the temple. The temple is literally right across the street from the mall so it was cool to walk to the top floor of the mall and see the temple from there. It just seems to shine in comparison to everything around it. It really is the House of the Lord. We saw that they were doing some maintainence on the roof too. It's always cool to see what happens behind the scenes. We ate Subway at the mall to get a little taste of home and then we left. We got on the bus and went. A half hour through the trip I realized that we passed our stop and that we were in the middle of nowhere. Whoops. This bus was driving in mud and huge lake puddles since it has been raining so much here. At one point the bottom of the bus hit the ground and I thought we were stuck. But these Mercedes buses are tanks! I swear there were like 100 people on this bus and everyone was stressed out. I hate stress. We reached this terminal and got back home by asking our way around. On the mission we learn things.
Tuesday we woke up, had district meeting and walked a super long way for lunch. Then we had to study for 4 hours when we got back because my companion is green and the President makes us. By the end of the study you lose all excitement cause it's dark and at night everyone is eating dinner. So we made a visit with Maria and Kelly to see how the marriage is going with Maria and to encourage Kelly to get her family to church.
Wednesday all we did was try to chase down all the references we got at the ward conference. It rained all day and we had zero success. We went to all the houses, called the numbers, and nobody was home or everyone was busy. There were even some names on the list we got that were repeated. It was super depressing and we ended up not teaching any lessons that day. We got back and just talked with Bishop about life. He kind of encouraged us and said it just happens. You have days that are just disappointing. We were soaking wet and just waiting for the next day to come for us to make it right.
Thursday swings by and I wake up with a terrible fever and other symptoms that I'd rather not talk about. We still went to lunch. We planned on going there, to a marked appointment with Galileio, and back home for the rest of the day. Lunch seemed to just drag and Galileio wasn't home. I really wanted to teach him because he needs to progress! We went home and I slept for literally the whole day and took the medicine I got in the MTC for the fever I had there. I even slept the whole night too. But thanks to a priesthood blessing I woke up the next day without the fever but with some of "those" symptoms.
Friday we ended up teaching our baptism from this Sunday, Valeria, and it was a better day. Everything went smoothly with her. She has a really firm friend base in the church. Her neighbors/friends are Fabiana and Mariana, so that whole big strong family is helping her along and encouraging her. I'm finding out that there really are elect people out there just waiting for the gospel and the Lord really does put them in your path. Other people you kind of try to force it and it never feels quite right because they don't accept it right off the bat. Then they deny the gospel and you just have to move on. It's the cycle of the life of a missionary. You get some great people to teach and you boot the bad ones. And then there's others that you just baptize and that makes your teaching group smaller too. But we will take baptism over anything!
Saturday was different. The beginning of the day we walked all over town with the DL doing baptism interviews for the 2 areas in our house. It's always fun to go to other areas and compare the different environments. Our interview with Valeria passed and we were ready to baptize on Sunday! O copo das confederações(soccer tournament) is going on right now and Brasil played Japan. Everyone kept telling us that it would be impossible to meet with people because everyone would be watching the game. Turned out to be true. There were no people in the streets and you could just see in every house you passed by a TV with the game on. People are literally crazy about soccer here. It's sweet! We went to the church to meet with our ward mission leader because a lot of guys went there to watch the game and have a BBQ. We waited there for him a bit because everyone said he was gonna be there. We waited, ate some meat, waited, watched some of the game... and he didn't show. We called him and he was at his house saying that he wasn't planning on going to the church. Dang it! We totally wasted time waiting for him and we had to hike up the huge mountain hill to get to his house. We met with him and told him what happened with our list of references and he was as disappointed as we were. We even tried to reach these people later in the week but it just didn't work out.
Sunday was good. Always good to relax on a Sunday. Mmmmm....
Little success with the investigators at church but the day was a good one. In the last part of the sacrament meeting we we were told by Elinaldo, the Ward Mission Leader, that we had to teach the Gospel Principles class because the teacher wasn't there. It was super sudden and we were not ready at all. The class was going to be about gifts of the spirit, which is something missionaries don't ever teach about. It would have been difficult but Silvio, a member of the bishopric showed up and told us that he had prepared a lesson already. Load off our backs! It was a great lesson and it was great for the non members the way that he taught it. A kid in the ward who's planning on serving a mission´s mom showed up. Non member. We talked to her and she seems interested and free of impediments. We'll go teach her this week and hopefully she'll get baptized by her son! That would be sweet.
So after church everyone was saying goodbye, hugging, and taking pics with Felipe cause he thought he was getting transferred. He has 5 months here and thought it was impossible for him to stay. Well it's not! When we got the news of the transfers he wasn't transferred. Now he's gonna go to church next Sunday with cara de bunda al awkward, like hey I'm still here... I'm glad he's staying. We're good buds. After this great day of goodbyes was over we got everyone together for the baptism of Valeria. It was great. A lot of people came to support and her son was there to watch. He's 5. I have a feeling she's gonna be a good strong member of the ward. Went back to the house to study because we didn't have time in the morning and after we went to eat at Painho's house. When we got there everyone thought that me and Felipe were getting transferred and had already spread the word to our friends in the ward. So we had to call them back and tell them we weren't transferred. People were crying and everything. Good to know I'll be missed when I leave, haha.
Welp. That's a week in the life of Elder Carroll. This week was a bit different but we'll improve on the work this next week. I think the Lord gives us trials to wake us up sometimes. At times we can do better and the Lord gives us trials to make us realise there needs to be a change. He makes us evaluate ourselves so we're consistently growing. I've already made the decision that this next week is going to be a week of hard work and organization. We don't have any baptisms marked for this week, but next week when you read my email, I'm almost certain that there will be one to talk about.
Love you family. Hope all is well in GA. Mom, hope the poison ivy goes away. Yes, I wear my retainer. annndd yeah.
Love Elder Dallin Stephen Carroll