Monday, October 13, 2014

Coming to the End

October 13, 2014

This week was a mixture of emotions, hard work and spiritual enlightenment. As I reach the end of my mission here in Recife I cant help but to think about who I am now, who I used to be and who I want to be when I get back. I feel comfortable with the changes I've made in my conversion and I feel ready to take on normal life. But only after 2 weeks of hard work. My body is tired but I am willing to do what I need to do to help this area out with whatever I can do. I feel like I've established myself as a leader and an example to my zone and the mission. 

President wanted us to work closely with the Stake President so we can know what he wants to do with the ward and so the Stake can help it with what we say it needs. So what better way to do that than to do splits with him?? It started out a bit rough as I stayed with him and another Peruvian missionary named Elder Miranda looking for people to teach. Nobody was home! We went to about 3 houses before I remembered a lady we talked to in the street the other day. We rang the intercom and she answered and said the door was open and for us to enter. We kind of didn't know how to react so I rang it again and told her it was the missionaries. She thought we were her son! haha Imagine if we were a robber..... Anyways.... we had a great lesson with her and her son. We taught the restoration and they totally felt it. The Stake President said, "We need the members to feel this too! They need to know what this is like! If they knew, they would always help you guys out and you then the work would just hasten!".... That was really great for us and that's what we needed! So on Sunday he went to our ward and trained the priesthood as a whole so that they could get more excited about missionary work and actually want to help us. We weren't there but afterward, everyone seemed pretty pumped and ready to help us out. This is what we needed! Now we just have to mark with these men so they help us out with references and actually go out with us.

Another thing that happened this week was a Zone conference we had with President and the assistants. IT WAS GREAT. President talked a lot about the way we need to study to be able to teach our investigators better. It was really great and I actually think it was the best conference I have ever witnessed on the mission. I feel like things are starting to get good right as I'm leaving! haha bummer. But in the middle Me and Elder Oliveira trained our zone and another zone of like 25 missionaries about power and authority. It was great. I think it was the last one I will give on my mission. Thank goodness..... haha. After the meeting I had my last interview with President. It was all about the transition I'll go through when I get back. He warned me about a lot of things I can't do and some things that I have to do. Have to have a plan according to The last verse of Lucas 2. I have to study, work out, have a social life , and not go inactive. Like actively not go inactive. I have to keep learning and growing closer to God! I think all these things I already had planned in my head but it's good to put them on paper....

Alrighty so let's talk about investigators.

Michael is a kid we met in the street the week of conference. I think I forgot to write about him but he's awesome. We were walking in the street without anything to do and kind of depressed and Oliveira said that his brother Monce told him that when everything falls through that's because there's an elect waiting for you. That's what had happened. We found him going back to his house in Judo(sp?) We asked him if he had any time to talk to us and he said, "Yeah dude I love talking about religion!:  I actually did a theology class and I don't go to church because I have tons of doubts about the different doctrines".... So we talked to him on some steps in the sidewalk. It was awesome. It was a conversation, and not just another lesson. He was engaged and liking it. It feels good to find someone who's interested in what you have to say when you're having a bad day. He had already read the Book Of Mormon and decided to go to conference. He took notes the whole time. He went to one of the sessions only but the whole time he was taking notes. We found out he didn't go to the other sessions because his aunts' house caved in and she was in it! She's fine but after a week without talking to him we were able to refresh his memory about the restoration. We found him at his house finally. He's seventeen, huge, and his personality reminds me of all the Days combined. Plays a ton of instruments and likes to trade ideas. We talked about the Book Of Mormon and he had a lot of questions but understood plainly the purpose of the book. He said he would read it and pray. It was interesting because he was like, :yeah, all I have to do is read this and I'll be able to figure out if I'll be a Mormon or not.... who knows, maybe I'll be an Elder in the United States or something!"  haha It was sweet. But as we were closing up his cousin came out of the other room and started debating a bit. It was nothing serious because we were controlling the situation. His cousin had already talked to the missionaries and told us about his experience with them. He said he went to church for a bit but because of the persistence of the missionaries, he was scared away. We said sorry for that and said that's not the way we work but it's true! There are missionaries who scare people away with their excitement! He asked, ´´What would you do if someone showed up at your house presenting a book telling you to believe in it,,,, and if you believed you would have to follow??"....... I swear Satan uses people to get in the heads of the people who have the most potential to make the best change they've ever made in their life.... it happens all the time and he succeeds a lot of the times. But luckily Michael was playing his electric guitar quietly the whole time when his cousin was talking.... Sometimes the work is harder than it needs to be....

Then there's Mateus
He's our miracle boy who kinda of just fell off the face of the earth. We taught him outside his house and caught up with him. He had gone to another state for about 2 weeks. He goes to the universal church and they're giving him a bunch of responsibilities and trying to mark his baptism there too! And then the baptist church comes out of nowhere and tries to mark his baptism there too! GET THEE HENCE SATAN. But as we were talking with him about the Book Of Mormon and the ways the Spirit works he noticed that he HAD felt better in our church than any other one. And that was just an activity! He really is a special kid who knows how to deal with the things of God, and he KNOWS how he feels when God is trying to get him to do something. We told him to never forget that feeling and to beware of the ways that the adversary would try to knock him down. We read some pieces of Moroni 7 with him and talked about the difference between things of God and things from the other side. He got a good grasp on the concept so we'll be good until we talk to him on Tuesday. We marked his baptism for Oct 26... the day before I leave. LET'S GOOOOO.

Well family... it was nice to write the second to last email of my mish... Pray for me while I end so that I can end it puking. I don't want to let anyone down.... Christ lives.

Elder Dallin Stephen Carroll

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