Saturday, June 21, 2014

Working through the World Cup

 Dallin is with his mission President and wife

June 17, 2014

So as you all can imagine, this week was a little nuts because of the world cup. Let me tell you what it's like.

On Thursday we had to stay at home the whole day because of the opening of the cup and the Brasil game. The roads are all decorated with streamers and Brasil flags are EVERYWHERE. Every clothing store is selling Brasil jerseys(from Paraguay because they're fake) but we are living in a world of yellow and green. We were walking in the street the other day(like we do every day) and a dude coming towards us grabbed the Brasil emblem on the jersey he was wearing, kissed it and pointed at us.... dude, you're awesome. People think that just because I'm white that I wont root for Brasil. Quite the contrary. Everyone is obsessed with Neymar(the star player for Brasil). EVERYONE. Especially the girls. We knocked on this one girls door and she said she couldn't talk to us because she was watching Neymar. Idolatry is a common practice here. People are painting their houses to make them look like Brasil flags. The roads are painted yellow and green and EVERYONE is always wearing the Brasil jersey. These people are maniacs! It's awesome. Usually on the street there are little stands where you can buy hot dogs and tapiocas,,, but now there are firework stands. When we were at home waiting for the Brasil game to pass, every time Brasil scored it sounded like there was a war going on outside. Everyone screaming, yelling, running around, chest bumping, shooting off fireworks (the big illegal ones, not the puny ones we use in Georgia)..... President wanted us to study during the Brasil games but we discovered that there was no way to even concentrate. I just grabbed my camera and filmed all the reactions to all the goals. There's a pavilion right outside our apartment where they put a huge TV for everyone to watch so we knew every time when Brasil scored. We have to plan around the Brasil games. Sometimes my companion forgets when he's trying to mark an appointment with someone and the investigator and I always say, "Nope, Brasil is playing that day...."  It's frustrating but what are you gonna do? How would we possibly talk to people during the game. We wouldn't!  The people are saying that there's no way that Brasil will win this cup. Everyone's saying that either Germany or Holland is going to take the cup.

Alrighty, let's talk about the work of the Lord. This week was relatively good. Do y'all remember that missionary Elder Ribeiro? The one who's box I lost? Well he was one of the elders who helped to close the area before we opened it back up again. There was supposed to be a wedding/baptism right when we got here but he lost the papers and the money for it so it was postponed. It's an old lady who's daughter is a member.... we got the feeling that they didn't want the missionaries to help out with stuff after the losing of the papers so we just let the case be. This week the wedding and the baptism happened.... so we baptized! Wooo! Let me tell you that it was the most organized thing I've ever seen(sarcasm) The wedding was at 7 and the people started showing up at 630..... The baptismal font was being filled up when we got there and after about an hour I noticed that the water wasn't rising. The pump was on! It was filling up and getting pumped at the same time. Then they came up to me before the wedding and said they forgot to plan music for when Josefa walked down the isle with her husband.... So I sang, Come Thou Fount again while they walked down the isle, haha. During the wedding we were running around the church looking for baptismal clothing because they didn't think that through either. I think I've developed a new motto/slogan.... "The missionaries have to be responsible because nobody else is".... I mean it's been a while since the daughter knew that Josefa was gonna get married/baptized and basically planned everything when they got to the church.... I don't understand...... What matters is that she's married and baptized now so everything is good.

This week is the wedding of our wonderful family. We're tying to make it really nice.  We've already warned all the organizations and leaders so everyone already has a role to play. We have to sit down with Bishop to see how the program is going to be since he's done this before. Edinete wants everyone to be there. We're worried about the wedding papers because apparently the place that does the wedding stuff is real picky about the birth certificates and identities.... has to be perfectly legible. The certificates we gave them were old but could be read and the identities were copied but the copies weren't that great. We gave them to a member who works there and speeds up the process for all the couples that the missionaries give him. We haven't gotten a phone call yet so pray that it works out.

Monday is transfers. We've been here together for about 6 months. There's really no way both of us are going to stay. I have mixed feelings about this area. The members and people are amazing but it seems like we've hit a dead end in the work. We literally have to look for doors to knock on and the members are asleep. The plan is before next transfer is to wake the members up. I gave a talk on Sunday about conversion and the what it has to do with our desire to do the Lord's work. It was a great talk and I feel like the members really felt it. Conversion is super important. If we're not converted, how will we have the desire to do what's right? How will we lose the desire to do what's wrong?? It's like a brick wall we have to break through. The conversion wall. The only way to break it is serving, scripture study, and prayer. That's the ONLY WAY. It's so simple but human laziness makes it way more complicated than it needs to be. Think of how lazy we are. Now think of this. Laziness is not a trait from God.... so the Saviour was the most engaged, least lazy person on the face of the planet. He was PERFECT. He was always serving, and never let laziness trip him up. It's amazing to think about our imperfections, and imagine a being who doesn't have them. Incredible.

Well that's enough. I hope y'all are enjoying the World Cup, because we sure are enjoying the culture. Pray hard, and do work. 

Elder Dallin Stephen Carroll

PS I'll send more pictures of the streets next week, I promise!

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