Thursday, July 31, 2014

Just Workin

  Here is an email conversation Elder Colvin and his Dad had this week. It gives a little more insight into unique aspects of his mission:

Elder Colvin:             Wow, it sounds like your week was great! I feel really blessed to be serving in an area where people accept the gospel so easily. Well, it’s more like the people’s attitude here is ‘the word of God is good, so let’s listen’. The only problem is that just about everyone thinks that all churches are true and that they all have the word of God, etc. BUT we have the Holy Ghost on our side! ;) Still, I’m doing great, working hard, keeping on keeping on. We had another baptism this week, I’ll be sending pics in just a little bit. I’m not too stressed with the numbers game, because you just have to work and work and work and work some more. I’m learning how to talk with everyone, do a TON of contacts with my comp, and I’m losing a lot of the hesitation that just about everyone has when they’re new in the mission field. Are you guys feeling prepared for when Levi will leave? I’m glad that you guys are really showing love for people in the ward. That’s something that is seriously lacking here in Brasil, a genuine love to go out of the way for others. Everyone shares everything, but I’ve never heard of a family baking a treat for another family, or fixing problems for other people in the ward. There’s a lot of disconnection here and I don’t know how I can help.

Kyle:            Try to do as much service as a missionary that you can.  As members see the example of missionaries serving others outside of missionary work many things happen.  One, they will start to put their trust in the missionaries because they will know that the missionaries love and care about them.  Second, they will be inspired to reach out to others and serve others.  In yours and Taylor’s letters I hear almost nothing about service to others.  I think that spending several hours a week, at least, in service is as important as contacting 50 people.  The non-judgmental service of missionaries can go a long way to building the wards as well as advancing the missionary work.

Elder Colvin:              The only problem is that my new mission president isn't so hot on the idea of service projects. We tried asking him for authorization (we have to have authorization for every service project) and he straight up said “You were called to preach the gospel, not do service projects.” You know me, I love to work, and I'm dying to look for any opportunity to get out of a shirt and tie, BUT we don't have the opportunity to do planned service projects. However, we are planning a ward service project (the missionaries are planning) and we won't be able to be present. We would love to serve, seriously, Elder Moleiro is dying to do some projects, but for now we can just do some little unplanned service projects. Vai dar ceto!

This is what happened in my week:
July 21, 2014
            P-day with Elder Chaves and Elder Ferrari!  Elder Chaves and Elder Moleiro were best friends before the mission, so basically imagine Brett and Caleb hanging out for the day and that is how it went.  We practiced a little bit of boxing, took a ton of pictures, ate at Habib’s, etc.  It was weird because we could almost forget that we were missionaries.  I had to fix one of the urinals at church that flooded the bathroom, but that was the only thing that went wrong today. 
            We gave G. a picture book today so that she could look at the pictures instead of read the scriptures because her eyesight is so poor.

July 22, 2014
            Well lunch fell through again today so we went to Habib’s and ate a tone of food. I ate so much that I could barely walk.  L. decided to be baptized this week!!! The missionaries have been teaching her for months, and she is finally on track to be baptized.  It is exciting.

July 23, 2014
            Habib’s again…yeah, lunch falls through a lot in this area. It is a good thing that Habib’s is cheap.  We taught this 51 year old lady who is a 3 time karate champion.  She seemed pretty interested in our message. I am looking forward to teaching her more.  I think that it is funny imagining someone my mother’s age doing crazy martial arts stuff. 
            Our sweet Geralda thinks that she is our grandma!  She is helping us a lot with the missionary work.  She talks to everyone in the condominium where she lives. 

July 24, 2014
            We ate lunch at a member’s house today!!! Haha.  Our WML (who is also a recent convert), fed us because he felt sorry for us.  He is an EXCELLENT cook, and we were prepping ourselves for a fast, so let’s just say that I was prepared to last the whole 24 hours without even feeling hungry!  On my second plate, our WML brought out some pepper.  Oh boy, he warned me, and I knew it would be hot, but the other missionaries kept on bugging me and didn’t think that I could do it.  So, I took a generous spoonful and put it on my food.  I was almost crying, but I ate the whole plateful of food.  I suffered but I didn’t show it!
            L. is getting excited for her baptism.  Her interview is tomorrow and he baptism is Saturday.  We’re fasting for her so that everything will work out.  We are also fasting for A. and T. to help them have a desire to come back to church. 

July 25, 2014
            We feel that our fasting really helped.  We passed by L. to walk with her to church for her interview, but she had already left.  She is really showing her desire to change. 

July 26, 2014
            I haven’t talked much about the English class that I am teaching.  It is starting to pick up and it’s fun for me.  I don’t know if much will come of it from the missionairy standpoint, but I enjoy the break from my usual work.
            Our youth are working on a stake Olympics and we got to watch them play basketball….NOT one of Brasil’s strong points! Haha

July 27, 2014
            After our ward council meeting/2 hour Bishop’s monologue, we had to run home and make our own lunch because our appointment fell through again.  The other Elders never buy groceries with their money, so they keep eating all of the food that I buy.  I am starting to have to buy food using my personal funds and it is really stressful.  I find myself conflicted because now they are commanding me to make them something to eat….seriously.
            We made it back to church in time for me to baptize L. except I was in such a rush that I forgot my baptismal clothes and had to use a super-small jumpsuit!  It was pretty funny, but really uncomfortable.  Still, it all worked out.
Jump suits aren't stocked to fit North Americans.

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