Monday, January 20, 2014

Sunscreen, Sweat, and Jaca

January 20, 2013

Wow. This past week was a race and we got a ton of work done. New vibes, new people... even a new culture!

The transfer was sick (Note: Sick is a good thing, for the older generation). I don't know what I wrote to you all about it but I'm opening this area as a Zone Leader. We take care of two areas, so it gets pretty interesting. The two wards are pretty small so it's easy to go from one area to the other.  I wrote down a few things in my planner to let you all know what's going on.  It might feel like a list but it's all good.

My companion is Elder W. Ferreira.  He's super legit.  He's the humblest dude I've ever met and teaches with power.  He has a grand knowledge of the bible so he teaches really well.  He's from Londrina and was adopted by the President of his branch 6 months before the mission because his biological family doesn't support him. But the dude is awesome. He doesn't want to go home so he's helping me to take advantage of my mission and to make the best of it.

This ward is full of young men who are all best friends. They're cool and just about all of them are 16 years old so it lets us baptize their friends who are the same age(we can't baptize children anymore unless they've gone to church for 3 months). They like the Elders a lot and love to go on splits with us. Some of them got pretty sad when the others were transferred because they used to play soccer with them (something we can't do...) But they have a lot of friends who are just waiting for us to baptize them.

The members are really great here. Both wards are super strong and have about 120 members per ward. Right when we got here the young men were waiting to take us to our house. Then the next day we didn't have lunch and we were walking home to eat something and met some members in the street and they gave us lunch. I'm in Zion. Everywhere we go we meet members. There are a ton of people here who have been baptized but haven't been active for a while. We know that with inactives there is a mine of baptisms.

I bought jaca here after being in the cold interior for 6 months.  Click here for information about jaca

The weather is freaking hot here! The sun is strong here and I have to put sunscreen on every day/two times a day. I sweat a ton and our house is full of mosquitoes.  I bought a repellent machine so we're good now.  I started to get a heat rash after a couple of days. My skin is just not used to the heat, but it's getting under control now.

My Zone has sisters and 4 elders... just like the last 6 months in Caruaru... I like it, and we as leaders don't have to deal with the slackers. Sisters are good.

Since we are opening our area, the Assistants came and helped us out for a couple of days. I think we did 70 contacts and invited 17 people to be baptized. We marked 4 for baptism. I think we hurt our area a bit haha. It's fun to work with the assistants. I noticed that when I'm teaching with someone who teaches well, I teach way better. It just flows and is more interesting. When I was with our American assistant, Elder Flemming, I was inspired to work on my Portuguese more. I think I've gotten comfortable with it and stopped working on learning new words. People here think I'm from the south of Brasil. It's sweet.

Sunday we baptized a kid who was marked by the other Elders. Lago, 15 years old. The kid is gold and was super ready to get baptized. The young mens friend. He'll stay firm. It was great to see his friend from the ward baptize him, super spiritual, it reminded me of the baptism of Christ when he was baptized by his cousin , John.  It must have been a moment happier than what we think. The Bible doesn't give a lot of details.

Last night was the best. We were walking around with a couple of young men looking for someone to teach and they lead us to the the house of their friend, João. We taught him the Restoration and taught it well. The Spirit was there and João cried. So did one of the young men. We marked him for this Sunday. He was really happy to accept baptism and his friends were too. I'd forgotten how it is when someone really accepts the message and wants to change. My last area was hard but, the Lord is blessing us a lot in this area with a lot of help from members too. I think it's because we were both really obedient in our other areas even though we were in really hard areas. Ferreira came from an area that's just Assembly of God. Those people don't like us.

Well, I'm really happy and grateful to be in this area. I feel really humbled to be able to work here with these people. They really are helping us out... which is good because we are super lost! haha. I've also learned to trust in the spirit/my authority more and just invite people with boldness. It's working as of now, haha.

Well, love you all and I pray for you all individually. I don't think I've given more worth to my family than I am giving now that I'm on my mission. It's amazing. The restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ happened and the world needs to know!

Elder Dallin Stephen Carroll

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