Sunday, August 24, 2014

Still Working Hard

August 24, 2014

Well family how was your week? Mine was great. We baptized again. Garanhuns is still a mystery to me but that's what makes it so wonderful. The mission is only an adventure when you're completely lost, following your companion through a city that you can't even navigate yourself through. But I've met some great people here. The members are great and really love the missionaries. We're like Gods here without speaking sac-religiously... this week was a little bit warmer. It would be as we know as "perfect fall weather" in Georgia. There are a lot of hills in our area so my legs feel like they're waking up from staying on flat ground for 7 months. My body is thanking me. I've also had to switch up my teaching style. I did an exchange with an elder in Bom Conhcelho(an area that's like an hour away from ours and is full of 18th generation Catholics.) and he used to be Zone Leader too. He said the people are so simple here that they barely understand anything we teach them. We just have to kind of hope they understand and go to church and feel the spirit, and THAT is how it's done (hot rod quote)... The Exchange was sweet. I made friends with a dude from Rio de Janeiro who likes the same types of music I like. Elder Conceição is super legit and knows how to talk with the people. I felt intimidated even as his leader. But we made a great team that day.

Oh and for Pday we played soccer with the district.. I realised how horribly out of shape I am. I ran for about 10 minutes and was dying. Also, here we are at high elevation so the air is pretty thin. Kind of like Utah. It was funny because it reminded me of church ball. There are usually a few kids who know how to play and a lot who don't. So even though everyone is Brasilian, there were a few who were just hacking at the ball the whole time. I wasn't terrible, but I wasn't that great either. We had fun and ended the day dead.

This week we did a service project at a small school. We helped to rebocar (put cement on) the brick walls and we leveled out the ground on the outside by putting hundreds of wheel-barrels of Georgia red clay on the ground around the school. It was a lot of work, but the result was great. The teachers of the school were making food for us the whole time without us even knowing. It was great. People here have to offer food or coffee to guests, if they don't they're being impolite. We worked with a member named Jorge who is from São Paulo, but served his mission here and married a girl he met here. He wasn't a fubeca, just to let y'all know. But he's like the missionaries' best friend. He said he's going to try to talk to all the teachers for us so that we can teach them all. For now we're preaching the Gospel by being charitable. It's great because we don't even have to open our mouths.

Our highlight this week was a girl named Fernanda. She's 16 and is the friend of a family that Elder Ramos just baptized in the area. The Elders already taught her family, but her mom doesn't want anything to do with us. But Fernanda got really excited about the gospel and received a real testimony right away. She had a rough past and the gospel brought hope to her for sure. She wanted to feel clean and pure and was looking for something true. We taught her about how we can literally be born again and God will forget all of our mistakes. It's amazing being a part of the introduction to the gospel in some one's life. We could see the light in her eyes every time we taught her about the truth. I could feel the gospel working to relieve her of all the heavy burdens she had in her life, weighing her down. This is the joy the gospel brings. We baptized her yesterday and her mom was there. The ward supported her and is ready to help her out. She has a strong desire to help people to know the truth too, so we think she will go on a mission.

So I'm in Recife right now.... again. I had a doctor's appointment. Dad knows why. But while we were in the mission office I got a package! Woo! Candy to share with the guys at home. Thanks mom, you're the best! Also, Elder Ramos and I were asked to talk with President about something important. He told us that he wanted us to go to a neighboring city by Garanhuns that doesn't have the church yet to see if we can start a group/branch there. There's an Area Seventy that lives there who will have us stay in his house for a few days to see if we can start something with the referrals he has for us, and see how the city reacts to the gospel in general. It will be an adventure for sure!

All in all, I can say this week that my faith in Christ has grown. Just like in all the weeks I've had on my mission. It's amazing to see where Christ can put you when you trust in him and give him your all. He's my Savior and helps me a lot with my imperfections and defects. This week I came to appreciate Moroni 7 more than I ever have. Anything that affects the work of the Lord negatively is not of God.

Now we will go to Garanhuns to take care of our little Peruvian missionary from the furthest away area who just got 4 wisdom teeth out.... Goodbye!

Love you all....
Elder Dallin Stephen Carroll

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