Monday, February 17, 2014

Growing up FAST ???

 Day 221
            Well this week was….frustrating.  A lot of good things happened, but not a whole lot actually happened in the way of results.  I feel like this area is in this patch of stagnant water that isn’t going anywhere.  This is frustrating because there were tons of baptisms before I arrived, and when I arrived and our numbers plummeted.  I really like this area, but I feel like I’m more of a burden than anything else.  I’ve never had an actual “experienced” senior companion before and now I’ve had two transfers in a row where I’m senior.  I still have no idea how to be even a JUNIOR missionary.  This week I found out what will be my challenge for at least this transfer (if not the entire mission) and that is my own maturity.  I am not going to say this to be prideful, but I have been blessed in a lot of ways.  I can teach well, I listen to people well, I am good at helping them, I am basically fluent in the language, and many other things that I have been blessed with.  But as good as I am at helping people with their problems, I can’t even help myself to fix the one big problem of maturity.  I recognize that it is a problem, but I have no idea how to grow up faster. I don't like it when my only option is to 'wait and gain experience.' Aghhhh! I guess that is going to be my problem to conquer and one of the main disadvantages of coming out on a mission early.
            Elder Freeman and I are definitely struggling against our own inexperience.  Anyways, I’m going to learn a lot here, even if I don’t have anyone to teach me.  Elder F. is still working on his Portuguese, but it is coming along. With any luck we’ll improve in our teaching style this week with some help from our zone leaders. 
            So some of the good things that happened this week:  We visited with a lot of people, but in particular with our recent converts.  We visited with 2 of the sweetest old ladies that I have ever met.  J. always makes food for us and has the sweetest testimony ever. She and M.C. used to be DEVOUT Catholics, but they felt that this was the true church and converted.  I think that is super cool because J. doesn’t know how to read, so she has to be taught all the lessons verbally and because of her disability she has learned to rely on the spirit.  She is very in tune with the spirit and was basically converted based on how she felt when she went to church and took the lessons.  It is really a touching story.  Now she is going to bring the rest of her family to church. 
My beautiful sweaty boy.
            This week was a LOT better as far as the snakes go. This time no one tried to flash me…Instead they just called me “beautiful” in English!  Haha. Now that we and our ward mission leaders know who the problem sisters in our ward are, we don't have anything to do with them. They actually used to be WARD MISSIONARIES. My companion said that they were super useful and helped them a ton.... oh well! It's definitely not worth the risk.
            Other than that we have our usual drunk people yelling at us in the middle of the street. I am actually starting to understand them, which I don’t know if it’s a good or a bad thing.  Seriously, I have had at least 3 members of our ward ask me “ta Americano mesmo?” Are you really an American?  Yeah, so that helps me to feel a little better about my language skills. 
            Anyway, this next week will be better.  We are fasting today to learn how to gain more experience and be more effective missionaries.  Also we are both sick with the cold that Elder Cet. passed on to us and it sucks! I am going to give it my all this week!
So the first picture is a picture of when we made crepes and we used Nutella and peanut butter!!!! It was super good!!!
This picture is a picture from the wedding of the 2nd counselor in the bishopric. He helps us out a lot as missionaries, so we were invited. They asked me to play a piece with the young women of the ward. They said that the wedding starts at 6. We show up at 5:30 to practice a little bit. Do you know what time the wedding started? 7:30. We wasted TWO hours of our time and guess what? The young women bailed on the song because they hadn't practiced and they didn't want to embarass themselves. And we were sick with this darn cold. I was more than a little bit frustrated this weekend.
I got my Valentine’s package before Valentine’s Day! Thanks! I loved it! I'm going to be making a bunch of those cookies tonight! I still have some of my old cookie mixes so my American companions are going to love me!

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