Sunday, August 24, 2014

The ghetto of the ghetto

August 9, 2014
Well this week has flown by!  I forgot to write because I have been so tired.  We have been working super hard, and we are baptizing every week in this transfer so far.  V. is going to be baptized tomorrow! We have also found a bunch of couples to teach this week and some old investigators who have finally decided to get married.  The work is going super super well. 
Unfortunately, President Bonini is not happy with us.  We had our first conference with him and I don’t even know what to say.  Think about an army general and you will be able to picture him.  He doesn’t seem to care too much about his missionaries.  He doesn’t show love for his missionaries.  But, he is still new to the mission field and I know that no matter what, I  will keep on working and keeping the mission rules even if he starts making ridiculous ones.  He basically told us that he is not too bothered about sending missionaries home, meaning he will send missionaries home with little remorse for he tiniest infractions.
I just keep telling myself that it will all work out and I will just keep on getting better and better at preaching the gospel independent of who my leader is. That is what I am here to do.  This week went a lot better for me. I am learning to think about things before doing something stupid. 

August 13, 2014
            Where to begin…So the owner’s of our apartment continued to fight with us last week.  They  called us names, denounced the name of the church, and wanted to evict Elder Moleiro and me because they said that we are too noisy.  They have been complaining about the noise the missionaries make for almost a year now with every single missionary who has ever passed through.  “A lot of noise” is scraping a chair across the floor.  They were calling us fags and liars.
            Anyway, yesterday I got an emergency transfer.  Other than the landlords, I have no idea what the problem was.  I have been working harder, being obedient, being more diligent, and baptizing more.  Uggh.  It is very frustrating.  On top of that I was demoted and sent to Sigueira er Jatoba!  This is one of the most ghetto parts of the mission.  I already served in Bom Jardim, and Jatoba is the ghetto part of Bom Jardim.  So it’s basically the ghetto of the ghetto. This was the first area that Elder Moleiro served it and he loved it!  So I am going to keep and open mind and try not to be too bummed about my situation.

August 14, 2014 
            My new companion is Elder Benitez and he is from Virginia.  He has been on his mission for 10 months, he is the district leader and my senior companion.  Yup, that’s right.  My new comp is a really nice guy. He is very quiet, struggles with the language. He talks really slowly and very softly and the language barrier is preventing him from being able to follow through completely.  But he has a nice spirit about him and I like him. Today was kindof sad because all but 1 visit fell through.  Thankfully, I have learned how to talk with everyone, so I ended up contacting a ton of people all day long.  Afterwards, we finally taught a lesson at 8:00 pm to the dad of one of our investigators.  This particular family is trying to overcome some serious addictions.  It is such a great experience to work with these people and see the changes that the gospel brings in their lives.
            I finally have time to write in my journal and that really makes me happy.  Tomorrow I will go on divisions with Elder D. My new apartment is actually super nice for a missionary apartment.

I have my own personal bathroom...which is I love because it is clean!
There is no hot water in the apartment so they have this electric heater attached to the shower head to make the water a little warmer than cold.

Notice how there are no cupboards or storage anywhere in the house.
Division.  Elder Rodger on the right is a country boy from North Carolina!
August 16, 2014
            I have never been on a crazier division in my mission.  I got to know Elder D. a little bit better.  He is super weird but we got along just great…probably because most people think that I am super weird.  We knocked on this door from a contact that he make a while back and out of nowhere this street dog starts guarding the house and threatening to attack us.  So that ended that contact.  Then we went to this kid‘s house where the Elders have been teaching forever.  Elder D. and the kid were mostly just messing around and the kid kept burping in Elder D.’s face.  Don’t ask me why…it was ridiculous.  Well then Elder D. ended up vomiting because of the smell.  It was hilarious.  Then after that successful lesson, we walked around doing contacts. Elder D. decided to contact this man sitting on the sidewalk.  He told us that he held 5 different top secret jobs…okay, weird.  He invited us into his home and we sat down to talk some more.  He seemed really smart at first, but during the conversation he asked us several times if we thought that he was weird…okay that WAS weird, but of course we said, no.  Well it wasn’t much longer into the conversation that I got the impression that this guy is a psychopath.  Fortunately, nothing happened and I am not planning on going back there.  So during the day I was bless to not get bitten, thrown up on, or murdered. What an adventure. I did get to climb a coconut tree and grab two coconuts.  That was fun.
Elder D. and I.
            My companion has been focusing a lot on reactivation and working with recent converts.  It seems to be going really well but I am a little frustrated with being junior companion because I don’t know how to help him without offending him or stepping on his toes.  I want to help him, but I am not sure how.

August 17, 2014
            I had my first sacrament meeting in Jatoba. It was actually pretty good.  Everyone complains about this area, but so far I am loving it!  The members here are great.  They are super funny and always feed us well.  I have always known that the people of Ceara are generous, but her in Jatoba it is almost ridiculous.  I love it!  I am just going to keep working my hardest and try to not get discouraged by the circumstances.

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