Monday, June 17, 2013

Sharing Talents

June 10, 2013

Oi meu povo!
This week was sweet. 
So the forecast for this week was just rain.  It rained literally all week. Hard. So whenever we put our clothes on the line there was no hope for them to dry... Even if we left the house with the sun out, we came back to cold wet clothes.  I've learned to just dry everything with the iron. It semi works.  We've just been wet this week and it's getting dumb haha.  It makes for some better sleep though.  I sometimes have to turn my personal fan off cause I get cold. In Recife? Weird. 
 This week was the week leading up to Ward Conference and the Bishop was getting everything ready. Bishop Lucas is great.  He's all about baptizing and there's nothing better than that for the missionaries of the ward.  At the beginning of the week we went to the mission office to fix Elder Amaral's email and get a huge box of Books of Mormon for Bishop to give to people who were gonna visit for conference.  The whole theme of the conference was that story of Christ and the people.  "If you love me feed my sheep"... All about reactivating people and sharing the gospel with people who haven't had a chance to receive it yet. So us as missionaries were just preparing ourselves to receive tons of references and new people to teach.  Mission gold!
 We taught Galileio again. This time he told us one of his friends was killed and he wanted to learn about death. What happens after we die. So of course we taught The Plan of Salvation.  It was a great lesson and he asked a lot of questions. He had trouble understanding the spirit world after we die and what happens there. How when you don't have a chance to hear the gospel in this life you will have a chance to hear it in the spirit life.  We explained how Christ went there as a spirit to teach and set up missionary work in the spirit world. During the lesson I was trying to find the word for accountable.  I was saying that he knows what we are teaching is true so God will hold him accountable according to his knowledge. I couldn't find the phrase in my mind to make it clear in Portuguese so that he could understand me!  The lesson stopped for a few secs for me to think. Amaral was trying to help me but didn't know what I was trying to think of.  It was just dumb.  I found a way around the phrase "to hold accountable" but it just didn't do justice to what I wanted to explain. The language is frustrating sometimes. The lesson went well. He's not quite progressing because he didn't go to church again, but I went home to look for the work accountable in the dictionary but there is no translation for it in Portuguese. Translating in your mind just doesn't work sometimes haha.
So many weird things happen during the week of a missionary that they're just impossible to think of. Something stupid that happened was I got a call from the mission office saying that one of our baptism forms was lacking a birth date. The problem is that nobody knows their birthday here.  It's ridiculous. Birthdays are the best!  I guess they don't celebrate them like we do. So we went to this baptism's mom and she guessed his bday and we gave it to the office. I don't know if God cares that much about the actual birth date as long as they're older than 8.  Just stupid stuff like that always happens that you have to fix.  Missionary work in the field isnt' as organized as the mission office wants it to be. Just dealing with people in general isn't organized.  Appointments fall through, people go to work, people say they're going to do things but don't... I've learned that always having a backup plan is really good because you just can't depend on people sometimes. As human beings, we are imperfect, we forget, we get tired, etc... Sometimes missionaries fail too!  IT'S LIFE.  Just got to push through and improve.
We didn't have that many lessons this week but the ones we did have were for the most part really good. We taught Maria again this week. Ancient investigator. We've been going to her house every week for my whole time in the field cause she's the mom of Mariana and Fabiana.  And they're kind of just family to her. She always said she would never  separate herself from the church but she's needed to get married to get baptized. Her goal was always for me to see her get baptized before I left. She keeps putting the whole marriage thing off, but she always wanted to. These past few weeks we've gotten really close to getting her married. Something just always happens.  It's complicated.  We just keep trying to help her.
We taught Mariana's friends this week too. New members always have a ton of references. It's sweet. Two sisters, Angelica and Valeria.  They're sweet. Like em a lot. We taught the first lesson and they were just super receptive and just took the whole thing in. Understood everything and accepted everything. It was awesome. The spirit was super strong and the mood was really light so at the end I challenged them to be baptized and they both said, "yes." We started marking up the date and everything and then we realized that Angelica wasn't married legally but was planning to. Bummer. But Valeria could still be baptized!  If everything works out well we will baptized her and Galileio next week, just got to make it happen. 
So the weekend got crazy. We partied it up with the members and there was a talent show in the church. It was hilarious. Lots of funny skits and some singing too. There was this dude from the ward who was was hosting the whole thing as a clown. The younger people loved it but all the older women were just reclamando and covering their ears. The dude kept calling people up to kind of just embarrass them in from of everybody with weird stuff like banana eating contest. I was like dang, I really hope he doesn't call me up.  I just had a feeling he would because I'm the only white person there and kind of just stand out.  Turns out... he calls me up to do a singing competition with the oldest guy from the ward.  He compared the time we've been here in Brazil. 75 years vs. 5 months. Everyone laughed. But he didn't make us sing. It was more of a yelling competition. He showed us how to do it. He went up to the audience and just yelled hahahah. I was up first. I just freaking yelled. I ran up and down the stage just to take the opportunity to be weird. It was funny. I gave Painho a turn to yell into the mic and everything. Everyone died haha. The old guy was funny too. Old people yelling is always funny. (COULD YOU HELP MY WIFE!! -insider joke with the family). Good times. 
Sunday was sweet. Tons of people showed up for the ward conference. Lots of inactives and non members. During Sacrament meeting Bishop got up and called me and Elder Amaral to the front. He said we are the only people in Agauas Compridas who can call people to repentance. And that if they wanted to learn more about the gospel that they needed to talk to us. Bishop is awesome. After church we ended up having 25 references, with addresses and everything. It was sweet. At the end of the day we baptized Caio! It was cool. Not many people showed up cause it was raining but that's alright. He had some friends come and we got a lesson out of it. 
Well... I should stop typing now. My companion is already finished and he's getting antsy. Still love him though. 
Glad I'm here, glad to be a missionary, I know that Christ's gospel is the only way to eternal life, and I love my family!
Elder Dallin Stephen Carroll

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