Sunday, September 7, 2014

A Tiring Week

September 1, 2014

This week was probably the most tiring week of my life.

So we started off the week by playing futebol again. President only wants us to play for an hour, but during that hour we basically kill ourselves in the hot sun. So we already start off the week without energy. Not the best idea, but soccer is fun so we put everything on the scale and decide that it's worth it. Tuesday we did an exchange with the Elders that live in our house. It's good that way because we don't have to sleep in a different house haha. I went out with Elder Johnson to see how things were going with his teaching skills and his techniques. We taught some of my investigators and did some contacts. I realized that he's just a little nervous and needed to calm down a bit haha. In my experience I have seen that there are some missionaries that don't really emit confidence... that's something that affects the peoples' learning, and the way they feel about the missionaries. We taught a couple of really good lessons and when we got home we did the feedback. He told me that he really liked working with me and he felt better about the way the lessons went while he was with me.He said he learned a lot. It was good to know that I could teach with my example as we taught. I gave him one piece of advice: RELAX. If we relax and think were the man, the Spirit is more likely to be with us as we teach and our language skills improve.

From Wednesday to Friday, President assigned us to go to a small city an hour away called Águas Belas to see if we could start a branch or a group there. There's a 70 who lives in Recife who has in-laws there that have been to church and could be baptized in the near future. His wife's parents are already members but all the kids aren't. We stayed at the parents house for 3 days and it was weird. I felt like I was a missionary, but I was part of a family at the same time because Irmã Lucy just cooked for us the whole time and we would sit at the table as a "family".... que trunkeza.... I think there are 6 kids and they're all married and have kids. Talk about a gold mine. President wanted us to just teach a lot to to see the quality of the people in the city. We thought about talking to people in the road to be able to talk with more people but we decided that it would be more efficient if we knocked doors. So we knocked and knocked and knocked and knocked. It was funny because the people had never seen the missionaries, let alone someone as white as me. Everybody stared and snickered and pointed. We found some really prepared people as we saw that the Lord was guiding our steps to the people who had been waiting for the restored gospel for a long time. We talked with a woman who had been praying to find a place to congregate that would bring peace to her soul. We found another woman who said that she was depressed and was Catholic but didn't believe in a lot of things there because it's obvious in the Bible that the Catholic church is false. She said the night we knocked on her door she was really down and didn't know what to do. The Restoration was perfect for her. After we talked about the church in Christ's time she asked us where that church went, and that the Lord would have to put everything back for us to enjoy all the blessings that he has in store. She's dying to go to church even though it's an hour away.

Something cool about Águas Belas is that the city is divided into two parts. One half is normal people and the other half is Native Americans. I don't really know why there's a division, but I think it might actually be an Indian reserve for the Fulnio tribe. We were knocking the doors on this one road when we came across a simple looking house with a beautiful white horse in the side yard. So we knocked it and this big, friendly looking guy came out. We started talking to him about the horse and then he mentioned that he was Indian. We got curious and asked a ton of questions since he was a pretty open guy. They have their own language but everyone speaks Portuguese. They believe in God as a creator and source of good but they aren't Christian. They believe that there is a spirit within everyone which persuades us to do good(the light of Christ) We also discovered that we were knocking on the dividing line of the city haha. But the guy was cool. Normal, jeans/tshirt/baseball cap. Also, the tribe takes 3 months out of the year, starting with September to separate the men and women to stay abstinent, and they let go of their addictions for 3 months. Ouricuri is the name of the 3 month festival. They have events too like beauty pageants(Indian style) prayer circles and dances I think. Anyone can enter the first night, but after it's just Indians. Nobody knows what goes on in there! haha. But we asked the guy if he knew where his ancestors were from. He said no. So naturally we whipped out the Book Of Mormon and explained everything. He was really interested and curious about the message. We gave it to him and he said he would read it with pleasure. I read him the passage about the Light of Christ in Moroni 7. We had always wanted to teach a Lamanite about the Book Of Mormon and we did! We told him how we were trying to put a church in the city and he said it would be a good idea to unite the people since the Book Of Mormon talks about Christ and Indians at the same time haha. The city is predominately Catholic and Indian so I guess his rational makes sense. We said a prayer to close it up and when we were about to start one of his friends showed up, saw us and said something to our friend in their language. I'm assuming he said, "what are they doing here??"  because our friend told him to chill and that were friends haha. We said the prayer and left. Good times.

From what we saw, a couple of missionaries could have success there because there are a lot of people with curiosity and a will to get to know the church. There are also some inactive members there who are willing to come back. There is potential there. We're going to call president about the trip today to see what he thinks.

We talked with Jeferson a couple times this week and he said he loved church and when we invited him to be baptized, he said YES. Boom. Even though we weren't able to make real progress with the people in Ágaus Belas, the Lord blessed us with indirect fruits of our labors. He lives with his mom in the sister's area but wants to live with his dad on the weekends just to go to church here. What do you know? He said the church here is closer to his dad's house than the church there is to his mom's house. We'll take it. But the sisters will have to teach him during  the week for us to baptize him here.... FREE BAPTISM haha. It looks like the kid has had a hard life and needs something good in his life. We're here to cater to his needs.

Well I'm out of time. Hope y'all have a good week and stay on the straight and narrow! Tcheau! Love you!

Elder Dallin Stephen Carroll

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