Thursday, April 17, 2014

Pepperoni Pizza Pacifies

 April 7, 2014
       This P-day was not much fun.  I decided to be nice to Elder Packard because his back was hurting.  So I took his place with Elder Cetraro and went to the mission office to carry materials back for our zone.  That was basically ALL morning and we got back around 1:00 pm.  On the plus side, I bought Burger King for Elder Cetraro and I.  I always like to buy American food for special occasions.  This special occasion was “be-a-zone-leader-for-a-day” haha (not a very fun job BTW). In the second half of the day we emailed, bought stuff, and played Big Boggle.  It is a 5X5 Boggle.  Elder Packard is way good, but I’ll catch up to him!  I just need to refresh my English.
       We taught Al. and Ai. tonight, and they set a date for baptism on April 20th!

 April 8, 2014
       I think that our planning session went pretty well today, but we’ll see how it actually turns out during the rest of the week.  Nothing happened today out of the ordinary.  We taught, we walked, we ate, we slept.  It is getting pretty routine, unfortunately.  This means that I need to find a way to break this routine, or a way to make my own personal mark…to be myself and to teach more effectively.

April 9,2014
       Our zone training was really good today.  We talked about how to work more effectively with the members.  I learned a lot about how we should prepare the members before our lessons, and I would have tried to put that into practice, but, ALL of our members flaked out on us today.  It was really frustrating because a bunch of our other appointments fell through as well.  I don’t know if it is faulty planning, or if it’s just one of those things on a mission, but I am frustrated.  I am not a huge fan of making Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C and then have all of them fall through.  Maybe the Lord is trying to teach me to make more than three alternate plans.

April 10, 2014
       Soooo this week is starting to develop a theme, the week of frustrated plans. When our appointments with a member don’t fall through, our investigators flake out on us, and vice verse.  Anyways, we’re working hard and trying out best.  I am satisfied with my efforts, but not with the results.  We are teaching a lot of people who flake out on everything.  It’s super frustrating or as I am trying to teach Elder B.  – it’s complicated.  Today, Elder B was trying to pronounce “complicated” and in the end he just said, “it’s complicated saying complicated.”
       We did find one family who actually listens to us and applies our lessons.

April 11, 2014
       Today was another slow day in keeping with our weekly theme.  We only taught 1 recent convert and 1 investigator.  We did talk to a bunch of people and invited all of them to church.  It was all right, but we could have done a lot better.  We’ve got to make more alternative plans for next week.

April 12, 2014
       Finally, a decent day this week!  We taught a lot of really good lessons and a ton of people showed interest in our message. We taught P., Ci., B., and Br., (a family who accepted the challenge to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it).  The father of the family was very interested in finding a way to get his daughter to Washington state….hum, seems that parents here want their daughters to marry north american missionaries.  Don’t worry!

April 13, 2014
       We had a baptism planned for today, the one that fell through last week, and it fell through again this week. I think that the woman is a little scared about the actual baptism part, but she is super prepared and ready to be a member of the church.  Also, none of our other investigators came to church today despite our extra efforts to invite and encourage people.  On top of all that, our ward mission leader passed a message to our zone leaders to give to us that one of the members complained that we STINK! I have to admit that I got a little upset because I am doing everything that I can including 2 showers a day, 2 layers of deodorant twice a day, and wearing a clean shirt every day!!  Ughh.  It is impossible to walk 15 miles a day in this heat and not sweat. If a missionary does not sweat in Fortaleza, they are not working.
       So probably the most spiritual experience happened to me in a long time in fast and testimony meeting. One of the kids of the other elders´ investigators bore his testimony! He's only 9 or 10 and he went up all by himself and just said 'I know that God loves me, and I love him. I love this church.' I can't remember the last time that I cried in a testimony meeting, but I cried in this one. I have not felt such a pure and innocent love in a long time. You guys know that I'm not much of a crier as far as church goes, but it was pretty cool. 

April 14, 2014
       So this weekend kind of sucked a lot. We were kind of depressed, so we ordered pizza today for p-day. Then we got better. I know that the only thing that I can do is look for ways to improve, but even though the week was kind of bad, I can still say that I worked hard every day. I hear a lot about missionaries fubecando. It's a mormon slang term for someone who breaks the rules (fu-fumar-to smoke, be-beber-to drink, and ca-castidade-chastity, a combination of the major commandments) anyways, I get utterly revolted when I hear about missionaries slacking off and staying in the house and playing video games, and stuff like that. I want you guys to know that I am working at all times. 
       Just to finish it up, I'd like you guys to know that We're going to start working a lot with the members and try to get them more involved with the missionary work. This isn't just visiting people with the missionaries, but it's being a missionary even when the missionaries aren't there. For example, our mission president gave a training for another ward, and he said that one idea would be to have a 'missionary day' for every member in the ward to choose a day to think more like a missionary. We can find ways to invite our friends, include the church more in our casual conversations, etc. I'd like to invite you guys to do so as well. Even Dad in his pain and suffering, can still find ways to share his testimony with those around you! I love you guys, and I hope that you all have a great week!

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