Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Lovin my new life!

So a TON happened this week!!! I'm going really great and we almost always have something to do here. Let's just say that the past week and a half have probably been the craziest that I've had on my mission! I still don’t know why I was transferred.  The only thing that I can think of was that I made noise in our apartment like would be normal for four young men who all got along with each other and were living in a small place. Also, the owner gets mad if you step too hard. Both me and Elder M. got emergency transferred and demoted. It bothered me at first especially when my new companion told me that he was told I was a “problem” missionary…WHAT????   Yeah, I'm cool now, and I'm loving my new area, and to tell you the truth, it's really nice being junior! I have a bunch of free time to write in my journal and stuff. I also have a bunch of opportunities to help other elders during district meeting, and my new zone already respects me. I did find out this week that I may have been transferred to this area because the other elder before me was breaking the rules, getting on facebook, talking with his fiancé, etc.  It is similar to the time that I was transferred to Bom Jardim because of the elder getting in trouble with a sister in the ward.  But it doesn’t really matter why I am here and I know that I will never be told the real reason, that is just the way it works in this mission.

August 19, 2014
            Oh my gosh…the craziest thing happened tonight.  We were finishing up our day and we stopped to talk with a member family who was recently sealed in the temple.  As we were talking, this guy stopped his car and asked us, “Can you give me a blessing?”  Okay that was a little weird.  He parked his car, got out, and lets just say it was obvious that he wasn’t completely sober. I thought, well this should be interesting.  He was telling us about this life and how he’s never been looking for God before, but when he saw us, God touched his heart so that he would stop the car and talk with us.  He literally asked us, “I don’t know if you can, but can you baptize me?”  Well that was kind-of weird huh?  When I asked him what he wanted most from God before the blessing, he said he wanted to repent and change his life.  Okay…I gave him a blessing and basically called him to repentance and showed the love and mercy of God to him at the same time.  It was an amazing experience for me and for him.  He was so grateful for the blessing that he kissed our heads and hugged us and everything.  He absolutely, sincerely loved us (and that is a unique experience here.)  Then we got to talking to him a little bit more about his life.  He told us that he had 12 cars and 8 houses and how none of that brought him such peace and happiness that he felt when he was blessed.  Wait up…12 cars? 8 houses? ..in the ghetto of the ghetto?  What exactly does this guy do? Little Sketchy right?  He insisted on giving us a ride home, which was not far away.  I hesitated, but then I am not senior companion so I don’t have to make the decisions anymore…and we rode home with him. It was one of the most memorable rides of my entire life.  Elder B. snuck a peek in the trunk and saw a TON of cash…hum. When we got to our house, he wanted to come in, but we explained the rules and said good night to him.  It was CRAZY!  We gave him the address of the church and our meeting schedule, but our mission president said that we better not talk to him again because it would cause problems for the church to be associating with the mob. That’s too bad, I liked him J!  At least I have a friend in the mafia.

August 22, 2014
            One of the really annoying rules in this area is that we have to drink mineral water because the tap water is known for not being clean and causing health problems.  The only problem is that it is super expensive and hard to find 20 liter jugs of water. 
Anyways, today we woke up at 5 in the morning for a wedding!  We are super excited for this event because the mother and the son are going to be baptized tomorrow!  The father is still trying to decide if he will be baptized.  Hopefully tomorrow will be a good experience for him.

A great week for baptism!
August 23, 2014
(side note: This annoying cat keeps getting into our garage and pooping all over the place.  It really stinks and I am getting super sick of cleaning it up. I need Grandpa Kendal to come down here and take care of my cat problem!)
            On the bright side of things, M. and V. were baptized today.  All of the elders in our ward wore white to the baptism.  Just to give you an idea of what Mormon standard time is here in Brazil, the meeting was set for 6 pm.  The elders arrived 5 minutes early, the bishop was on time, and the baptism started at 7 pm. But, many people in the ward supported us and we had cake and snacks at the end, so it was all good to me.

August 24, 2014
            Today was a really good day. We had 2 less active FAMILIES come back to church and several other struggling families that we visited this week, came to church too.  Our chapel was full.  Other than that, we had a super fun visit with some recent converts.  We talked about the millennium and dating…weird.  It was something else.  I am loving this area, the members are awesome.  They feed us very well and we have many people to teach.  Everything is going great. Elder B. is doing a lot better and we are teaching really well together. Elder B. told me that he had been told that I was a problem elder.  Ugghhh…apparently I have a reputation.  But he did say that he doesn’t know why people think that because he really loves working with me.  Maybe he is just being nice, but honestly I can’t think of one way that I have been a problem .  I follow all the rules, I work hard, I baptize a lot, I am happy, I get along with my companions, I have the spirit with me….For me, things couldn’t be any better!

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