Monday, February 24, 2014

Ward Mission Leader to the Rescue

And I thought Mom's haircuts were short!
Day 228 February 23, 2014

The week in review:


P-day was pretty uneventful.  We cleaned the house (more like, I cleaned the house…).  We bought a bunch of groceries including a lot of fruit at the fair.  We watched The Croods (?), and I got a haircut.  Our Ward Mission Leader, Erivan cut our hair for us and after that he did some visits with us.  We were visiting with L. and Erivan ended up explaining why it is so important to stick around for all of the three hours of church.  He did this by sharing his first experience in church and how it affected him.  It was a horrible story about walking into gospel essentials for the first time and having a kid throw yogurt all over him. But, he decided to stick around and he had a great experience in sacrament meeting.  That lesson turned out to be very effective because L. stayed for the entire three hours of church on Sunday!

This cute puppy's name is Mel(honey).  She belongs to the members who own the internet cafe where we email on P-days. 
Mel is a great part of my p-day!


We had our weekly planning session and it went well until companionship inventory.  We ended up arguing when we gave each other “advice” on what the other could do better.  We were both pretty rude to each other. Elder F. was upset with me for emailing three minutes longer than the allotted time. Anyway, it ended up not being the best scenario.  But he is right and I will do better next week.  A cool thing happened at the end of the day.  We only had 10 minutes to do some contacting and we decided to walk down a specific road.  I thought it would be a good idea to say a prayer to help us find someone quickly and it worked!  We only had one contact, but that was E.  He is often away with his business, so it was unusual to catch him at home.  He was just getting ready to leave on a business trip.  He accepted a Book of Mormon, said that he would read it, and wanted us to return!

Elder C. and I, he is a great missionary!
My Brazilian trainer.

Today was Zone Conference, and it was pretty far away. I have never been so claustrophobic in my life as I was in that bus ride to the conference.  We has our entire zone in the bus AND other people.  Anyways, we got there and conference was good.  It was also very long.  We learned a lot about obedience, but all-in-all President Souza was pretty happy with the condition of the mission.  We didn’t get back until 7:40, so we ended up only teaching one lesson to our ward mission leader’s nephews. They have baptismal date set for March 9th.


We had our weekly meeting with our ward mission leader.  I am so glad to have an awesome WML.  He is the best leader you could basically ask for.  I can’t think of any improvements that he could make to be any better.  We’re working with him a lot on how we can get members involved in the work.  Our lunch appointment fell through, so we ate with him.  He offered us some kind of pepper. He was all like, “be careful! This pepper is a destroyer!”  (It doesn’t make sense in English).  Do you know what it was?  REGULAR black pepper!  Haha.  I guess that they just don’t have too much of that around here.


We taught 15-year-old D. again and she has read everything that we asked her too. She even reread Alma 32 three times.  She is really a great investigator.  We held a family night that night and I. came.  She made a lot of friends and she actually leaned over and whispered during the message, “All of this is for me?”  Our WML is really inspired because it was perfect.


The only day of the week when we didn’t bother our WML.  Nothing super interesting happened but we did a lot of contacting and found 11 new investigators.  They seem a little flakey, but I think that some of them have potential.


Church was really good!  One of our investigators that we stopped teaching came back to church!  Also, L. brought her cousin with her to visit, and he is pretty interested.  We left to visit people after lunch with Erivan.  I am definitely a lot happier this week than last week.  Erivan is helping both Elder F. and I grow a ton.  We’re going to keep on working hard this next week.  I am starting to get the hang of things.  What a difference a good leader makes!

So this is the 3-week mark that I'm here in Bom Jardim, and I have to say that it's not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Everyone always talked about Bom Jardim in a bad way, but I still haven't gotten mugged.... yet..... Haha, I guess that the missionary schedule is the exact opposite from the 'dangerous' times here. Anyways, one of the things that I think is protecting us here is our obedience. We are making sure to take extra precaution to follow ALL of the rules, no matter how small they are. We can really see the blessings come from being EXACTLY obedient. A lot of times people think of commandments as 'rules' or things that are there just to drag us down, but I can testify that that is not the case with God. Every single commandment is here to bless us. In the Doctrine and Covenants, we can learn:

D&C 120:20-21
20 There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated.
21 And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.

I know that these things are true. I have seen it time and time again in my life and I'm just now starting to realize the real importance of it.   I don't remember exactly how to explain it, but it is like we are soldiers in a war. If a soldier receives orders from his general, he should follow them. If he follows them, he is faithful to his general. If he doesn't, he is labeled as a traitor. When we receive orders from God, the same principle applies. If follow God's orders, we show that we are faithful to Him. If we really want to follow Christ's example, we have to follow His commandments. The problem is that we have pride. We think that we are better than the rules. We begin to think that we don't need to do something because we know better. This manner of thinking is prevalent in The Book of Mormon and The Bible. Every time that God's people followed his orders, they prospered. When they prospered, they began to become prideful and trust in themselves rather than God. Then they fall because of their own weakness as mortal men. They only begin to prosper again when they come to rely on the Lord once again. I can say that I am guilty of falling into this vicious cycle on more than one occasion. This is my goal for this week, month, year, mission, life.... Who knows, maybe I'll never leave this cycle. However it is all that we can do to rely on God and trust in the direction that we receive from Him. Anyways, this week was a huge improvement BECAUSE we started to change something in ourselves to trust more in the Lord than in our own strength. We should all strive to do the same to continue being blessed by God. I hope that everyone has a great week and that we can all learn something new with every coming day! 

~Elder Colvin

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