March 24, 2014
This week was different. But different is good on a mission where everything is the same every day of your life.
So this week we had Zone Conference and Temple day. Talk about some mad bus riding and spiritual revamping. So Wednesday was temple day. To get there we have to take a bus, a train, and another bus. So we left like 2 hours early. There was so much traffic it wasn't even funny. We were dying with our suits and the waves of people getting on and off the metro and buses. I think I've made the decision that I will never live in a big city because I just get antsy with this public transportation... imagine Japan. Mercy.... The whole time I just think, "stoptouchingmestoptouchingmestoptouchingme". It's amazing the types of people you see on this public transportation. There are always tons of people on the buses and metros selling gum and candy, giving speeches about their products trying to make the Mentos gum look better than it really is.... and it's always Mentos gum. Every time. I think I've heard every possible advertisement/scam that could be made up about this gum. When you get off the metro everyone runs to get a seat on the bus and you've got to get aggressive and throw some elbows. But usually we end up standing on the bus and sweating like nobody's business. So after this 2 hour journey of sweaty people-watching, you finally get to enter the temple grounds. You would not believe the contrast. The temple is literally perfect. You enter and everything from the city just stops. It's like you're in a bubble. No noise, fresh air, mango trees... It's paradise. And everyone is nice and polite. It really is heaven on earth and something like that could not be achieved if it wasn't a holy place. We got there and greeted some other missionaries who were there and went to the session. We were changing and there were 10 minutes left until the session and the temple worker said the session had closed because it was full. We died inside. We left, ate and I called President to see if we could get into the later session. But usually we can't because there wouldn't be enough time for us to leave and end pday at 6 o'clock. But he let us go in and we enjoyed the session. It was awesome. I wish we could go more often but we only go every 3 months. So we take advantage of it.
The next day we took the bus to go to Zone conference. President talked about how we are scared to mark baptisms because we are scared that our leaders will get mad if the baptism falls through. It's because we baptize more people than we mark. One Elder said that our mission is a mission of miracles and President said, "No, this mission is a mission of fear". He kind of burned us a bit and there were some Elders who presented some pretty wacky ideas but president shut everyone down and said we have to change the way we mark people for baptism. It's always like that in Zone conference. You always have those Elders who think they know what they're doing and say just some off-the-wall stuff to try to give ideas. My companion and I were just laughing the whole time. President gave a great spiritual talk and the Assistants did practices. Three missionaries from the zone were chosen to do a practice in front of everyone. It was good because there were tons of scenarios and tons of useful scriptures that were used to teach the "investigators". Elder Flemming (Assistant) called me like 2 days before to warn me that I would sing "Come Follow Me. So I sang the first verse myself and a choir of elders sang the rest. It turned out really good.
The two families we found last week are progressing but a little bit slower than we thought. Marriage is a really weird thing to bring up to people who aren't married. We are two young men telling adults with children that they need to get married. But we feel like both of the couples took it really well and agreed with everything we said to them.
Edinete and Flavio:
Edinete has wanted to get married for a long time, but Flavio thinks that if they get married they will split up after a couple years because that's what happened with their friends. We read "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" with them and everything made perfect sense. That's because God wrote it. So we left them off with the challenge for them to talk about it because it's a commandment of God. They agreed, but Flavio is less firm on baptism than the rest of the family.
Antonio and Cristiane:
We pretty much did the same exact thing, but said some different stuff because of the Spirit. They said that they want to build the rest of their house before getting married. huh?? We told them that money wouldn't be a problem and that we would take care of everything. Then we figured out that they didn't understand the Restoration. So we had to teach the restoration all over again to make them understand because Antonio was still asking us why there are so many churches. When we talked about James 1:5, he just lit up. He got super happy that he could actually talk to God to find out which church is Christ's church on the earth. The lesson was great. We said all the right things. Before the lesson I was just dead. Super tired. 8:00 and I wasn't even thinking/speaking straight. But the Lord helped us once again and we taught a powerful lesson.
So we'll see what happens this week with these two families. We have to baptize the parents to baptize the kids too, so really pray that everything goes through. Love the Gospel, and my mission. It's hard, but it's good too. Love you all! Pray for these families please!
Happy Birthday Ashton!
Good luck in the field Landon!
Elder Dallin Stephen Carroll