Sunday, October 6, 2013

Happy Birthday in Brazil

September 30, 2013

Alrighty familia,
This week was a boatload of goodies. Pday was a bust. All we did was watch the movie about the man who found the Book of Mormon in the trash can without a cover. It's pretty great. He was a minister for another church and started preaching from it because he knew it was true but he didn't know what it was. He was kicked out of the church he was preaching in and eventually he found the missionaries and was baptized like 20 years later. It's a great example of how powerful the book is, even when you don't know what you are reading! The rest of the day I prepared my training for the district meeting. It was about acompanhamento. I really don't know what that word would be in English (to monitor) but it was about how we have to stay in contact with the investigators who are marked for baptism every day so that nothing can help trip them up. It was really important this week because the zone had a ton of marked baptisms and we've had terrible numbers for the past 2 weeks. On Tuesday when I gave the training it was pretty short and to the point. I used pmg (?) and kind of burned the missionaries a bit. But sometimes you have to burn to wake them up. I talked about how it is super easy to teach and to mark people for baptism, but when it comes to the baptism itself, Satan gets in the way. He waits until the very last second to trip people up and put little thoughts in their heads. He's evil! But that's what acompanhamento is for.

This week was full of just kicking people to the curb, the people that Elder Doyel and I gave too many chances and needed to let go since the start. There are just too many people who don't care about their lives. Idk (I don't know) , it's kind of hard for me to understand how people can believe in everything you're telling them, but don't do anything to gain the blessings. It sounds really good when they hear it but when it comes to acting and practicing real faith, they just fall. It's a real shame to let people go but we need to do it to give other people who will progress a chance. It's the missionary cycle of get and let go. So we've been doing a lot of contacts this week, lots of door knocking. We actually found a few good people.

Junior and Jean;

They're 2 young men who play soccer at their school. They both play goalie so it was fun to joke about that is better. They assured us that they have the same amount of time to play during the games. Caio went with us and made friends with them. The ward really needs young men. There's only one that prepares the sacrament every Sunday. That's Caio. He's a boss. We're trying to find him some friends. Jean and Junior both said that the Restoration totally makes sense and that when they receive their answer from God about the Book Of Mormon they will get baptized. Done, haha. They didn't go to church even though they said they would. We'll try to fix that this week.

Anderson and Ianca.

They are a married couple with a 2 year old daughter. On the first visit Anderson said that his family was in need of the Word of God, so we gave it to him. It was hard to get a hold of him after our first visit but we finally got to visit them again and his wife was there this time. We taught the restoration and challenged them to be baptized. They said yes but didn't go to church so we have to move their baptismal date back. During the lesson it was great. It just showed in their faces that they were understanding and a light kind of just went off in their brains, like they were finally relieved that they found the true church of Jesus Christ. The spirit was just really strong and you could just tell they were feeling it. It was awesome.

Daiane and Daniela

So this one night we were just really not excited at all because all of our appointments had fallen through and there was one more hour left in the night. We said a prayer in the middle of the road asking for help, and for something that would excite us. After the prayer I saw this dude walking by and felt the strong impression to follow him and try to teach him. We followed him for a bit but realized he was going too fast and that it would be weird if we just chased him down to make small talk about Jesus. But we stopped following him in a place where we had already felt the impression to knock this one door. So we knocked it and we found these 2 girls who were excited to learn about the gospel. We taught them and they had some really good questions. It showed that they were paying attention and that they were actually trying to learn. They said they would go to church and our English class, but they didn't go to either. But they're good to teach because they're sponges. They will soak up information and doctrine until they sink in the waters of baptism.

MY BIRTHDAY WAS COOL. We helped the sisters in their area with finding new people. I think we spend like 4 hours knocking doors for them. We actually found some pretty sweet people. This side of Pernambuco is actually really great for doing contacts. The people either say yes or no. And when it's yes, they're super receptive. Their area is like an hour away so I spent my Birthday sleeping on buses and knocking on doors. Pretty solid. When I got back some members had asked me to go to their house that night. When we went there they all started singing "para bems" and there was a huge cake! I never even told anyone it was my birthday but it all turned out being cool. They gave me a tshirt with a bunch of random Portuguese slang from Pernabuco and Erasmo gave me a light up yo-yo. Have I told you that all the little kids in the road just play with yo-yos all day? It's this weird phase and all the convenient stores are selling tons of yo-yos here. I had that one yo-yo phase in my childhood where I collected all the cool ones that I saw and tried to do tricks so it's kind of fun to make friends with the kids in the road and amaze them with my finely tuned yo-yo skills (sarcasm). Anyways, at that little party, they asked me to sing for them so I sang Abide with Me Tis Eventide. It's a sad hymn but they wanted it so I sang it. They filmed it and said they would put it on Facebook for my mom to see so look out for that mom!

Sunday we had one investigator in the chapel. It was disappointing because we always invite a ton. But after church we had Ward Council and brought up our ideas to integrate the investigators. We're going to start having an activity every Friday with cool stuff. Stay tuned on that. But the members are cool here. Everyone served missions so they know what it's like to clean out your teaching group, so they're helping us out. We want to put some soccer in there too for the young men we're teaching. It'll be sweet. Man this week went by fast. But it was packed with stuff! Being on a mission is great. I'm learning a lot about Christ and myself. What I lack to be what he wants me to be and what I need to be to be a better missionary/person. I love this gospel and my family. Just want to make ya'll proud! Love you.

Elder Dallin Stephen Carroll

This photo was taken in the MTC in Provo back in November 2013.

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