January 27, 2014
This week was another week of hard work and baptisms. The area is becoming more familiar and were making friends with the members.
On Pday we went to Prazeres, which is like a commercial center where there are a bunch of shops and a small feira... kind of like the one in Caruarú. We went there to replace my camera and get a fan for our house(we get a reimbursement from the mission). We went back home and slept a bit.
On Tuesday we went to Pina´s district meeting. There are 2 Districts in our zone and Pina is the furthest one away from us, but they're struggling so we went there to give them a boost. Elder Boss, the district leader there is finishing the training of another American. They're not getting a long that well so we did a division to see what was going on, and to help out their area. We did some contacts almost on the beach(we're not allowed to touch the sand). And then we met the family of a kid who's preparing to go on a mission. We marked them all for baptism. 5 people. But we found out that they didn't go to church so we're going have to mark them for a later date. It was fun to work with an American. It's been a while. We spoke English the whole time so when I woke up the next morning my brain was all scrambled. The assistants decided to do a mini conference. They called the night I was in another area to tell us they were bringing together 3 zones to talk about some changes that would take place in the mission. It was cool because I saw some friends. But the whole thing was about authority and how we need to trust in our calling. Basically just about being a daring missionary and declaring our callings. When we do this, we'll be able to invite more people to be baptized and be able to let the people feel the spirit more. President has 4 assistants now because the mission is struggling with this new requirement for baptism. We're struggling a lot to get 200 baptisms now so President is just doing everything to bring it back up. Elder Ferreira and I had to a practice in front of everyone at the meeting to show how to get a reference from a member. It was interesting but it was good too. My companion is way spiritual and way eloquent. I'm learning a lot of new ways to speak with him.
During the week we just we trying to chase people down that we had already met and if they weren't at home we would knock doors. It was tiring and hot but at the end of the week we were satisfied with our work and I think the Lord was too. We have a new goal to do 10 contacts a day. Easy. But there are a lot of missionaries who don't do it. We're also getting to know the members and earning their trust. It's not really hard to do here. You just have to be nice. One brother from the church gave us lunch on Sunday and wanted me to send to y'all that I'm eating well and that I'm eating mangos. "Very good. Beautiful, big, mangos." Those are his own words... not mine haha. He knows very little English and was just stuffing us with food. One of those lunches where you just want to escape.
We baptized 2 people on Sunday. Yonada and João. Yonada is friends with the youth in the Piedade ward. She is a great young lady and I would so she is an elect. She knows what she wants in life and is super sincere about how she feels about situations. When we taught her she said she felt as if Christ was there. That was awesome. She was baptized by a young man in the ward, Otavo. Super good kid, and likes to help out the missionaries. João we found through one of the young men in the ward. I wrote about him last time. We taught him the restoration and he wanted to be baptized and change ever since. Super good kid. 18 years. He trusts in us a lot and you can tell there is a great love there. He said that after the baptism he felt all the bad things that he had done in the past wash away. It's great to hear things like that and to be part of it. Both of them thanked us a lot for teaching them and helping them. There's nothing better in the world!
Oh and my couple in Maurírcio de Nassau got married and baptized. Elder Perreira just sent me the pics and I got really happy. It took a while to happen, and I got transferred, but I'm just glad that it happened. They're going to be great members and will stay active for sure. When y'all come and get me you can meet them!
Well.... I love being on this mission and am learning a ton every day; about the Atonement and about the love that Christ has for us. He is our Savior and Redeemer, and we owe him everything.
Love Elder Dallin Stephen Carroll