August 19, 2013
This week flew by. Lots of cool stuff to talk about, so I hope I can get it all in here.
So for Pday we went to that huge hill that ya'll know about and at the end of the day we taught the cousins of Edson. He's a dude in the ward. These cousins are all dudes from the age of 20 to 30 and they all live in the same house. There are like 5 of them. They all do manual labor the whole day so when they come home they're super dead. But they were cool. They took the first lesson well and the Spirit was really felt. It's funny because they don't have any furniture so we sat on a couple chairs they had and they sat on the ground. It was a little story time.
Tuesday was pretty sweet. Here we teach pretty much all of our lessons with members. There are these young men, Caio and Quecio, brothers, who always go out with us. It's good to have that extra testimony to help out. Then there's Erasmo. He's the recent reactivated guy who served in Rio. He was AP there so he knows his stuff and he's really good to teach with. We taught this dude named Wellington. On Father's day(it's different here) he was playing soccer in the street with his 4 year old son and we took a pic with them and made a contact at the same time, just walking by. But he really felt the lesson. He doesn't know how to read but he was super engaged and really liked the idea that Christ's true church is on the earth today. He'll get his wife to read for him when she's home. During the lesson his son was all over the place messing with this chick they had in the house. Super distracting but we just go with the flow here.
We've also been teaching Andrea and her two sisters. They sew jeans at home like half the population in Caruaru(not an exaggeration) so we had to interrupt them from their work. They loved the first lesson but when we went back to check on their reading/praying they said they wanted to stay in the catholic church. NOOOO. We decided we should explain the Book of Mormon because they didn't read it and they got a good idea of what it's all about. We'll go back this week. Caio was with us and said that he knew her son so we'll baptize him and her at the same time.
Wednesday we went to the other chapel to have our zone meeting with President. It was cool. Those meetings are always pretty motivating and you get some different teaching techniques to mix up your lessons a bit. Our area is super far from the office so when the President comes he brings our mail because the Zone Leaders aren't able to go every week like the closer areas. I didn't have anything. It was disappointing but it's cool I guess. We were taught not to use the word, "resposta" in our lessons to describe what the Holy Ghost is like. It means answer, in English. The people will expect a miracle when you say that so we're toning it down a bit and really explaining how the spirit works. Not that we haven't done that before, but this way we'll be able to tell them that they already received their answer during the lesson and should prepare to be baptized now. There's no way to deny the spirit in a lesson. It's kind of impossible unless you're Bible bashing. We're told not to do that.
Thursday we just taught all day. We taught these kids who were playing Mario right before we got there. You know how kids get when you turn off their video games...(Landon and Easton) so we decided to make the lesson apply to Mario. We taught the gospel of Jesus Christ. Faith was the start. Repentance was when you go in the wrong tube, hitting a bad guy and having to get back on track, finding a mushroom. Baptism was a tube to another, better world with an extra life. The gift of the Holy Ghost was the star that makes you invisible. Endure to the end was the stairs that take you to the flag at the end of the level. Good thing I played a lot of Mario because these kids just ate it up.
Alright, I'm done writing about days because I don't remember what happened chronologically. I'm still teaching this English class every week and we usually do a division every day that week so I'm the only American in the room. It's pretty sweet. It's hard to teach a different language and switch from language to language but we make friends that aren't members and that's what it's all about. I've noticed that sometimes I don't realize that my companion is switching from English to Portuguese. It kind of all just registers in my mind the same way. Kinda cool. We had a non member, Tatiane, go to the class. She's 20 and she hadn't gone to church yet but she's been to 3 Family Home Evenings these past 2 weeks and she's already made a lot of friends. She's living with her Aunt because she's studying/working here in Caruaru. At the beginning of the class it was just me and Elder José teaching her. She started asking questions about the mission. Then she asked the best question ever, "What do I need to do to be baptized?" uhhhhh... It was sweet! Before she was super mole and said that she would never leave the Catholic church but she said there's something different about this religion...(the difference being that it's the true church of Jesus Christ...) But we talked about it and she asked what happens if she goes to church on Sunday and likes it so much that she wants to be baptized right then. Well then you can freaking get baptized!!!! haha. It was sweet.
So after that we went to bed, woke up and got a call from Erasmo. He said he was assaulted in the city and that he wanted us to visit him. We went there later that night and found out everything that happened. It was pretty intense how he told the story. There were 2 guys that tried to rob him and were beating him up in the road and right then the police passed by and beat up on the crooks. He said it was from God because the police don't just pass by there at 5 o'clock in the morning. He said he was feeling the impression that he was gonna get jumped the whole week. He knew it was the Holy Ghost warning him the whole week after the incident. He went to the place today to make the crooks' situation worse, because apparently here, if you don't do anything as the person who was assaulted, the guys will get out of jail faster. We gave him a blessing of comfort and health because he was pretty traumatized after.
Sunday was sweet. We had some good people in the church including Tatiane. When you have an investigator in the church you have to kind of help them out to help them receive a good first impression. There was a returning missionary speaking in Sacrament meeting so that really set the tone for everyone. It made me think of all the experiences I'll be able to share when I get back. Even though I'm not even half way done with my mission! (I have nine months/I'm pregnant). We taught the gospel principles class about tithing because the teacher wasn't there. It went well and afterwards we went to check on Tatiane. She really liked it, but she didn't understand everything. We pulled her aside to one of the classrooms and taught her the first lesson and asked her if she wanted to be baptized. She said, "yes." I got super excited. There really are people out there who are ready to receive the restored gospel. You just gotta find them! After lunch we went over to her Aunt's house to teach her everything before her baptism(that night). She was squeaky clean for the interview and was just super ready. It was the biggest miracle baptism ever. Practically fell into our hands. All we had to do was teach her. Everyone likes her so that makes it easy for her to stay active in the church.
There was a decent amount of people there to support and have a real baptism with messages and everything. It was the fastest baptism that has ever happened on my mission. We had to call the President to authorize it because usually you have to go to church twice to be baptized but she was super elect and ready so he authorized it. It was great.
Well I'm out of time. Hope everything is good with the fam. From what I know, Landon suffered the wisdom teeth ordeal, Ashton is prepping to be a real life teacher, Easton is starting guitar, and life's just grand. I love you all and pray for you every day! Thanks for the prayers on ya'lls end. It really helps out. The church is true and everyone needs to know it!
Elder Dallin Stephen Carroll
(Dallin's mom copied some photos from a facebook friend in Brazil...Thanks!!!)