Thursday, June 26, 2014

Worst Week catch up

 June 12, 2014
            Since I lost my journal, it’s been really hard for me to stay caught up with my entries.  I guess that proves how easy it is to loose a good habit. A couple of days ago we had a zone training meeting where we focused on how to teach people rather than merely teaching lessons.  Then we had the opportunity to put that into practice while teaching a lesson on the plan of salvation.  That lesson turned into a 2 hours lesson that was really difficult.  The guy was a spiritist and couldn’t understand the concept of resurrection.
            Yesterday was a great day because we got to teach this 11 year old kid who really wants to learn.  His uncle is in the young men’s presidency and he has a cousin serving a mission, but his Mom is not very supportive.  She did agree to go to church with her son if he liked it (which he did!)
            I went on splits with one of the zone leaders, Elder Gali. He gave me feedback afterwards and basically gave me a little compliment and then pretty much chewed me out the rest of my teaching.  In the beginning of my mission, I would have been really irritated by this, but I have learned to just accept the advice and move on.  I worry a little bit about how Levi will handle this type of situation, because it is really hard to not want to fight with guys like this.  I also got chewed out because my apartment was messy.  We have been waiting to clean it when we move which has been delayed for the past two weeks.  Unfortunately, the rationalization meant that the tiny apartment got pretty dirty.  When Elder Gali saw the mess, he basically threw a hissy fit and chewed me out even more.  We started cleaning and I felt super ashamed of myself that I had let the house get so dirty.  I felt truly sorry.  Once everything was clean, I felt a weight being lifted and was happy again. So our house is super clean right now and we will have to do it again when we get the final word that we can move.  Repentance is a good thing.
            Today is the opening game of the World cup and we didn’t even leave our house because of the concern about safety during all of the parties and rioting.  There were more fireworks today than there were on New Years!  It’s crazy how CRAZY people are about soccer.  Seriously, the only time that Brazilians are patriotic is when there is soccer involved. 

June 13, 2014
            So today was a downer.  Well, it had a good share of its ups and downs.  Fortunately we planed the day really well so that we still had a couple of people to teach after most of our plans fell through.  We had some really great lessons with E. and he is helping us work with a family that is trying to overcome some serious problems.  That family is challenging for us.
            In another lesson we learned how challenging it is trying to reactivate a sister who never really was active in the first place.  She doesn’t have, nor probably ever did have, a testimony about anything.  Her little 8 year old daughter really wanted to be baptized this week but the mom said no and doesn’t want to bring her daughter to church anymore.  It was really heartbreaking for me to hear this little girl’s sincere testimony and desire be silenced by her mother.
June 14, 2014
            I got to do my first interview of the transfer. It is always fun to interview people because they’re the best investigators who actually have the desire to change and be baptized.  Anyways, we had a bunch of investigators decide that they didn’t want to be taught anymore…worst part of being a missionary.

June 15, 2014
            Our little 11 year old superstar took his whole family to church today and really liked it (though he was not super crazy about Primary) He told us afterwards that it was just a bunch of little kids.  Thankfully, he liked the rest of church and said that he will come back.  We had another investigator and his family come to church today too.  He is struggling with the word of wisdom but has gone two days without smoking. The coolest thing happened today, Ev. our recent convert, was called to be the ward mission leader.  He was feeling insecure, but we talked with him and he seems super excited about it.  It’s going to be really nice because he literally  is our next door neighbor.  

June 16, 2014
            We ate breakfast with the Bishop, exercised with his son Bruno, did our studies and emailed, ate lunch with the Bishop, learned a little bit of guitar in his house, went to the chapel and watched Frozen in English.  (I had the revelation that all Disney princesses are home schooled which explains a lot.) We taught a few lessons in the afternoon and then we returned to the Bishop’s house for dinner.  I think that the likes us : )
             One of our families is struggling to overcome addictions which is really hard for me to know how to handle.  I am praying really hard to know what to do.

June 17, 2014
            Yet another day stuck in the house during a Brazil game.  It is Brazil vs. Mexico.  I am taking advantage of the extra time to write and rest.  I think that I will write  a few letters!  Our house is still really clean and we are still waiting to move.

June 18, 2014
            I gave the training in the district meeting this week on The Book of Mormon.  I think that it went pretty well.  I tried to focus on how we could help other people become “hungry” to read the book.  To illustrate this, I had everyone describe their favorite food in such a way that you would make your companion hunger for the food. It turned out well and everyone thought I was creative, except it wasn’t my idea.  Elder Da Hora gave me the same training in Bom Jardim!  Not very creative, hugh?
            We had a lesson with one of our familys about the Law of Chastity, during our lesson with them, the mailman interrupted the lesson and he was a member for 20 years.  He saw us teaching so he bore his testimony of our message and then left.  It was super weird, but actually helped us a lot.
            I saw a super old car that I have never seen before, a 73 Puma GTF.  It is unusual to see little old sportscars here.

 June 19, 2014
            Man, having appointments fall through must be some requirement to being a missionary.  But we invited a bunch of people to a stake party tomorrow night, arranged rides for our investigators, etc.  Sadly, we can’t go.  Well, we can go, but President Souza doesn’t want us to go because he doesn’t want it turning into a party for the missionaries. He really doesn’t want any fun for the missionaries.  Actually, I think that he doesn’t trust the missionaries because this mission was a MESS when he got here and he doesn’t want to let things get out of hand. It is his very last week as President, and then we get a new president.  I have no idea what is going to change, but everyone says that there are Huge changes with a new president.

June 20, 2014
            Ev., our new ward mission leader, loved the party!  Sadly, we didn’t go, but it was worth it. The party was some kind of cultural dance festival or something like that. Every one thought that it was hilarious because there was one dance that everyone does in couples, but Ev. managed to do it with his two daughters!  Also, our investigator went and liked the activity and his kids had fun too.
            Once again, almost all of our appointments fell through, but we kept on pushing on and because we sacrificed our night of “fun”, we managed to find a super cool family.  Some time ago we contacted this 15 year old skater/surfer kid who turns out to be an atheist (which really means that he is just trying to be different.)  anyways we went to his house and talked with his older brother for a long time.  His brother is really interested in teaching him some more and wants to help his younger brother listen to our message. 

June 21, 2014
            Well today was probably the worst day of my mission other than the day that I found out that my Dad has cancer.  All of our appointments fell through as usual and then we had to drop teaching our best family that we were preparing for baptism because of some very serious problems.  It’s on a scale that us missionaries can’t deal with and it was really sad for everyone.  It made Elder L. and I really think. A lot.  But, what can you do?  Just keep going.

June 22, 2014
            So we passed by the houses of 6 different investigators to remind them about church and not a single one went.  We had luck when one showed up that we did not remind, but then he kept sneaking out during the services to take a smoke. Funny thing is that he did not want to bring his cigarettes into the Lord’s house so he hid them outside. I went out and talked with him while he was sitting on the sidewalk in between meetings.  I asked him why he smokes and he told me that he “wants” to.  It is true of the people in my mission that they don’t do anything that they don’t want to do either good or bad. I talked to this investigator about Jesus Christ and how he had to suffer for our sins even though he really didn’t want to.  On the contrary, he begged His Father that the bitter cup might be taken away, but in the end he did the Father’s will and drank the bitter cup so that we might all be forgiven through the power of the atonement.  This illustrated the importance of obedience and putting aside our selfish desires.  I asked my investigator if he understood how important it is that we obey God’s commandments. He said he understood, but then right after taking the sacrament he snuck out again to take another smoke.  That pretty much sums up how effective my week was.

June 23, 2014
            I hope that you got the pictures of our new house that we FINALLY moved into.  We have a little elbow room now and it is much nicer that the tiny cramped place we were in.  (Don’t worry, I left it very clean.), There is another game for Brasil tonight, soooo I'm going to sleep. Big time. I'm really tired, and I think that it'll be nice to take a day off and relax. Also it's p-day, so we can afford to take time to relax! I just want you guys to know that you might not even recognize me by the time that I finish my mission because it's only been a year, but I'm already way different. I've learned a ton, and I can't even begin to imagine what the next year of my mission is going to bring me. Can you believe that I'm already at the year mark? Is it taking forever for you guys, or is it passing quickly? It's a combination of the two for me.
These apartments all look alike to me!

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