This week was cool I guess. I brought my journal with me to write ya'll cause I feel like I forget a ton of good stuff when I'm writing my emails.
So pday was cool. We went to this shopping mall called Riomar. It's the biggest mall in the north east of Brasil. It is freaking gigantic. It has it's own city bus that drops the people off at the door. I've decided that as a missionary, going to the mall is weird. You stick out like a sore thumb. You see a bunch of stuff that you want to buy but really don't have the use for it. And then there's the movie theater where you see the posters of the movies that are coming out but you don't really have any reason to be excited because you can't see them until you get back. It's just weird. Whenever we go to a big attraction in the city on pday, we always see other elders there. It ends up being a little missionary reunion. I don't think I will be going to any mall anytime soon, unless I really need something that they don't have in my area. On the way back there was so much traffic it wasn't even funny. There were at least 100 people on our bus and we were standing the whole time. We got back home and ate at Painho's house. Day closed.
Tuesday we had district meeting in Olinda and studied. At night we had another FHE with that family with the daughter who has been struggling with her testimony. I prepared a message , because when you go to these family nights, you never know if someone's going to dump the message on you. But luckily, mom prepared something so all I had to do was testify. It was a great FHE, and a great message. It's always great to talk about eternal families, and the spirit is always felt. And family nights are also great because we always get free dinner. Score.
Wednesday we had a surprise meeting with President. We found out Tuesday night, so we had to hop on the bus again to get back to Olinda. It was a surprisingly really short meeting and ended with everyone getting interviewed by President Lanius. In my interview he said I was awesome. Somehow I feel like he says that to everyone, but it still made me feel good. haha. After the meeting we tried really hard to meet with people in our teaching group but it was impossible because nobody was home. I don't understand how everyone in our teaching group wasn't home on a Wednesday. We even tried to chase down some of the references that we got from the young men in the ward. Nothing happened with that because young men don't give addresses, just names. And when they do put addresses it's impossible to find the house because the numbers here are COOKOO. So we went to see if we could visit Kelly, a less active recent convert. She wasn't home so we ended up talking to her son, Henrique who hasn't been going to church and needs to receive the priesthood. We're good buds so I threatened him that I would punch him in the face if he didn't go. We laughed and he said he would but the problem is that he didn't. The whole time we were talking the neighbors dog kept biting my leg. I REALLY wanted to kick it but Henrique's neighbor was right there. So we left and went to grab something to eat. I was eating my burger, almost done, and this random dude comes off the street and asks me for a piece of my burger... I was like what?? So I gave the dude my burger kind of hesitantly, he grabs it and walks back to the street without saying thank you. Me and Amaral just looked at each other like what just happened. We got a good laugh out of it. Good times. After eating we found the kid we marked for baptism, Thomas, and brought him to the church to interview him. He's thirteen and is one of those kids you look at and just know is gonna turn out to be a bad apple unless someone intervenes. Good thing we met him. We taught him everything in the baptismal interview questions so he was ready to get interviewed.
Thursday was about the same deal. Going to the houses of the people we've been teaching without any luck. So we started knocking doors. Always the last resort. We talked to this guy from the assembly who didn't have any teeth. It's really hard to talk to people from the assembly because they are basically brainwashed. And it didn't help that this guy was crazy either. Tough luck. Then I remembered this lady that went to church the other Sunday who is the daughter of this lady in the ward. She's not working and is supposedly interested in making a change in her life. So we went there and she wasn't home. We'll teach her this week. We went back home after that to rest a bit. I whipped out the area book and looked for some names from the previous missionaries who have passed through here. I found a few and we headed out. It's kind of fun to find people without ever seeing them before. It's a surprise when the name you found's face isn't what you picture in your head. We found this kid named Jão Vitor. 17 years old. When we found his house, his friend was way nice and let us in right away. ´´make yourselves at home!``...yeah. So When we got in the house there were like 10 people in there and it was kind of awkward at first. But then we got to talking and everyone kind of just focused on us and our message. It was pretty cool. We taught the first lesson. It went really well and everyone felt it. Turns out Jâõ Vitor had surgery on his brain and can't remember what the missionaries taught him before so that was interesting. His Baptist friend, Stefano was way interested even though he's Baptist. He knew a lot of stuff about the Bible and it was easy to teach him. Everyone said they would pray/come to church. Nobody came to church this Sunday so we'll see if they prayed this week. After that we went to this other FHE super far from our house. Where these people live, all the people in the ward say it's dangerous. People are scared of their own shadow here. I literally scare Felipe at night just getting up to get a drink of water. He just about cries every time. Anyways. We get there and do the message and everything, and then the family starts talking about a hacker running off to Russia... something about Obama?? It was one of those conversations I didn't have the vocab for so I didn't get the whole thing, but I kind of want to know what happened!
Saturday we did a split with the dl so he could help us with the girls that need to be confirmed. The Mom likes us when we go there but we always hear things about her during the week about how she doesn't like the church... stuff like that. So me and the DL went to the house and talked to the girls hoping the mom would be home. She wasn't there so we just told them to go to church and left. This family is complicated. The mom always says she's going to be home but she never is, so it's hard to get a hold of her! The Oldest girl went to church without the girls that needed to be confirmed and she decided she didn't want to get baptized right now. Nothing we can do but wait. But we have to confirm these 3 sisters.
Sunday we were supposed to baptize but we found out Thomas lived in Bondade so we had to pass him over to the other elders in our house. We basically just gave them a free baptism haha. We really needed the baptism for our area, but as long as somebody's baptizing, I'm happy.
So this next week we really need to find new people to teach. So in your prayers, please pray for this to happen! I'm feeling ready for a transfer. I've been here for 6 months and I need a change. That's usually the amount people get in their first area so we'll see what happens. Either way vou trabalhar ate o po! Love you family! Have a fun time in Utah. Dad.... play tons of golf for me!
Love you all!
Elder Dallin Stephen Carroll