Monday, April 14, 2014

Be Nice to Converts

 April 14, 2014

Alrighty then. This week was tiring and difficult but we had some miracles along the way so i guess you could say it was worth it.

We've literally drained our teaching group and are trying to find new people. It's hard because it feels like we've already knocked all the doors in this area because it's so small. So now we're looking for the little alley-ways that we haven't entered yet. Needless to say, we've found the majority of the alleys and have been rejected. Our main issue is people who don't really want to commit to anything because they're lazy. Also, the Assembly of God is a big obstacle. They're really hard to teach and even harder to enter their homes. We met one assembly lady this week who said "You can go to my house any time you want to debate... I mean to talk with my husband..." I think they find joy in arguing and debating the scriptures, something that I find to be unuseful and a waste of time. Too bad my companion likes to argue.. and is pretty good at it too. 
Something funny: So there are always groups of kids, whether it be boys or girls... doesn't matter. But when we're walking in the road they always ask me what time it is. Then they get all surprised when I speak Portuguese. I don't know how many times this has happened but it's funny as heck because I say, "See? I speak Portuguese too!" haha.

This week we had the opportunity to give someone a lot of hope through the Plan of Salvation. Neumas 'daughter-in-law, Rejane just lost her dad and was just torn up. We always go to Neumas' house to see how she's doing because she is a recent convert, and Rejane has always been there but never really wanted to listen. We whipped out the Plan Of Salvation to tell her where her dad is now and what she can do to see him again(baptism). She got pretty emotional during the lesson and almost accepted the baptism invite. She said that she would think about it. We just hope she doesn't forget about the spirit she felt during the lesson. WE have to follow up with her this week.

Lately we've been preparing a kid named Ricardo for baptism. We marked him for the week of conference but he busted his head open playing soccer so it fell through. It was a disappointment but he'll be baptized this week. He's a cool kid from the interior. So he's really shy but we've opened him up a bit. His neighbors are all members and he loves soccer so he'll fit in well at church. He's 20 so maybe he'll severe a mission. But we don't like to talk about missions with investigators because it endangers the baptism because they get scared.
Neuma, our recent convert is awesome. She is truly converted and very grateful for us and the gospel. She bore her testimony yesterday. She doesn't see very well so she was scared to get up there to talk. She didn't want to fall. But I told her I would lead her up there and tell her when it was her turn because she had already told us that she wanted to bear her testimony. She was amazed that there were seats up there haha she didn't know. But when she bore her testimony it was amazing. She talked about how she was feeling lonely and rejected by the churches she was going to and knew she wasn't on the right path. She was praying a lot for God to send someone to her house. Tons of people were going to her house and inviting her to "accept Christ" but it never felt right. Then we got there and we were teaching her sons' friend without teaching her. But she felt that we were the answer to her prayer and she really wanted to talk to us. So we stopped teaching the kid in her house and she thought we would never come back so she got sad. Then we came back and said that we wanted to talk to her! She got excited and accepted everything we invited her to do. She said that she's on the right path and that this is Christs' church and that it teaches the truth. The whole time everyone in the congregation was crying... including us. It's amazing to see someone you taught be super grateful for the gospel and the service you rendered. It makes our suffering and sacrificing worth it. Because the majority of the time the converts don't really stay super active. It's really hard here to retain the activation. But it's the best thing in the world when your convert bears a sincere testimony. Everyone is really supporting her too, and that makes her feel welcome.

So this week we have the possibility of baptizing 3 people. Ricardo, a member's sister, and a reference we got from the Assistants of a kid who lives here but was going to church in Recife. Oh and the kids' family is less-active so were just gonna set spiritual fire to their house.

Missions are freaking hard. But I can say that it's worth it. It's amazing to see the Atonement working in the people's lives. It strengthens our testimonies as missionaries. Christ lives and loves EVERYONE. Make sure you're all being nice to the recent converts because some missionary worked really hard to baptize that person. Love all of you and hope y'all have a good week.

Elder Dallin Stephen Carroll

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