October 7, 2013
Wooooo! One more week in the books. This was a long one with low numbers but we learned a lot as a companionship and set a bunch of new goals for our work.
Pday was cool I guess. We went to the center of the city to see the huge feira(it's a festival with tons of vendors selling everything you could possibly imagine). I bought 2 leather cowboy hats to send to the family. They're Brazilian styled hats. Round.. kinda like a helmet. But they're cool. And they were cheap! I tried to by something with my card and it didn't work. I was with Elder José. After that we figured out we didn't have a phone with us so it was impossible to find our actual companions, haha. We went to the bridge they would have to use to leave and waited for them to pass. haha, mission life. We ate some acai and left to watch the Restoration with Daiane and Daniela, the girls from the contact we made last week. When we got there they sat us down and told us they had talked with their pastor and didn't want to receive our message anymore. They did it in a weird way, like they didn't want us to stop teaching them. We tried to show them the restoration DVD but it didn't work so we ended up bearing testimony and leaving. We have a strong impression to go back and challenge them again because we didn't ask them what the pastor said to them. It caught us off guard. We went a lot this week to see if we could talk to them but they weren't home. One day.
Tuesday was district meeting. I set up a training about the spirit, and how we need it to keep us excited. If we lose the spirit, we lose our purpose for being here, and teaching from our own knowledge without the spirit won't do anything to convert the investigator. I asked everyone individually, "Do you know that this is the church of Christ? Then why don't you do more?" I learned this from Elder Moore, don't want to take the credit haha. Everyone takes the question like a punch in the face. It's great. Gets 'em motivated. After that we knocked a ton of doors with little success, and evaluated a service project we are going to do. This lady has a water tank on her house that wasn't properly supported. The concrete below is breaking and if the tank falls it will go through her whole house and then neighbor´s house will flood. This lady was a reference from Marivaldo, from the ward. She's a little bit crazy. She has a daughter with 11 years and her husband just ran out on her. Needs the gospel bad. While we were teaching her it was hard to talk. She's one of those people who will talk the whole day if you let them. Elder Bochi was trying to tell me in the lesson that we should just teach until the apostasy because she was just not learning. He wrote a note to me on his planner but I didn't see it so the lesson just dragged on, haha. Woops.
The next day we did a lot of contacts. We found this really super duper old guy. 97 years old and still walking and talking and thinking. Impressive. His son, Edilson was super cool. He's a mototaxista, Motorcycle taxi driver. He had some sweet questions about the bible I had never thought of. Like when Christ told the Apostles that John the Baptist was Elias. A prophet who had already died. It was cool. He told us he doesn't have religion because none of the ones he's visited have everything he's looking for. That's because he hasn't visited the Church of Jesus Christ. Super baptizable. It's been a while since we've baptized. It's getting annoying. There are just a lot of people here who just flake out after saying they'll commit to something. I guess it's normal. We've been trying to put a list together of incomplete families, and kids who were presented in the church but were not baptized. I'm hoping it'll be a baptism gold mine. Erasmo told us he did it on his missiona and he baptized a ton. We went to this guy from the bishopric's house, David, to try to get the list. When we got there he was installing a new oven with this worker guy. He didn't have the list but we got the worker guy's(Duda) address to teach him. He's David's wife's sister's husband.
So the next day we went to visit him. It took FOREVER to find the dudes house. I almost died in the sun looking for it. This area is turning into a desert cause summer is close. We found the dude's house after talking with a drunk guy who speaks with the devil. Duda is super legit. We just kind of introduced ourselves and talked for a bit. He told us that the day we met him, he was wanting to run out on his wife. He said he quit smoking, and drinking in one day so when he wants to do something he does it. But when we walked in and talked to him something told him to not run out. He said he would go to general conference so we took his word because he's very "opinionated". I did 2 a baptismal interviews that day for the zone leaders, a boy and a girl. They were super cool and super ready to be baptized. The little 8 year old girl chose me to baptize her which was cool. She was funny. Good for the zone leaders!! It had been 2 transfers that Elder Vargas did not baptize. Poor guy.
Conference is like the super bowl for missionaries. Full of new teaching material and it kinda just pumps you up. As well as calling you to repentance at the same time. I have to admit, I have some mad severe ADHD when it comes to listening to things in Portuguese but it was still super powerful and the speakers just hit all the right points. As a missionary, you realize that nobody is perfect, and everyone needs help with something. We all have to take the words from conference and apply them. And help other people apply them too! Between the sessions we baptized the two kids. It was great because there were tons of people in the church to support. When I practiced how the baptism is with the little girl(Emily) she cried. She knew what she was doing when she was baptized, which is rare to find even within adults. All the missionaries who were there sang i believe in Christ, and it was just a great, happy experience. We invited at least 10 people to go to conference and nobody showed up. Including Duda. It made me think of what people are missing when they don't go to conference. The prophet and the apostles of the Savior speak to us 2 times a year and the people just brush it off like it's nothing. We are truly blessed to be members of the church. I'll have to get the Liahona in English to understand everything so I can share all this new stuff! 80,000 missionaries for crying out loud! That's 30,000 more missionaries than we had last year. The Lord is truly hastening his work and were all part of it! Man. Conference is sick. As a missionary, there's really no way not to get super trunky when you're watching conference. They talk about family so much! Cause is so important. Love my family! Well I guess that's all for this week. Love you all and miss you. Christ lives.
Elder Dallin Carroll