Tuesday, September 2, 2014

"Emergency Choir"

August 27, 2014
         Well today we had our district meeting and we found out that Presidente Bonini called an “emergency choir” to sing a musical number TOMORROW. Boa Sorte!  So of course I was called to help and we had to go all the way to Aldeota to practice.  Unfortunately we had planned a split with the Elders from Caninde (this little city that is really far away.) They are staying in our house overnight.  They are Elder Bradley and Elder Pereira. Anyways, we were going to double time on divisions, but this choir thing threw the whole thing off. Also the other Elders ATE ALL OF MY FOOD AGAIN!  So the four of us went without lunch.  We managed to figure something out for Elder Pereira and Elder Bradley, but Elder Benitez and I went without. So we showed up at the practice at about 2:30, hungry.  The sisters who were organizing it didn’t show up until 3, and then Sister Allen ended up accompanying it so they didn’t even NEED me.  They had me organize the Elder’s singing apparently thinking that I actually have musical abilities.  Anyway, we didn’t get done until 5:30 and we were starving.  Shoot me. Well, I ended up buying Burger King for Elder Benitez and me using personal funds. We didn’t get back to our area until about 8:00.  We managed to do a short split and teach a couple of lessons.  I got to teach a mom who is coming back to church and her two sons. I was Elder Pereira’s companion for his first lesson in the field. It went super well. The other elders went to teach our recent convert and they said that he has changed and is completely open and happy to hear the message.  This is going to be a great transfer!

August 28, 2014
          WOW.  We had a conference with Elder Masagardi (one of the 70’s) and it was really really good. We learned a lot and I also realized how much I have learned in the past year and 2 months.  It is really incredible how far I have come.  Specifically, these past two months have been vital in helping me to be more mature, and become a real man.  Haha..I still have not “arrived”, but I have made significant progress.  I kind of shock myself now and then with how much I have changed for the better.  It is probably because I only had two choices when I got demoted, get all depressed and complain about it, or choose to be happy and learn from it.  You know me, I never like to be mopey about my problems.
          Anyways, during the conference I got pretty emotional thinking about Dad and how he is my hero and about all of the things that he has done to sacrifice his time to help me.  I thought about all of the love that I had for Dad and then I thought about the Savior and how much more he has done for me and how much he loves me.  It was a pretty emotional time for me.
         The rest of the conference was good.  Our small 13-man choir made Elder Masagardi cry (from the spirit, not the sound.) Elder Masagardi interviewed elder Benitez. He was the last of the missionaries chosen, so it took a while to get out of there. I was left alone with Presidente Bonini and we basically got to have our own little interview.  I told him how I had some hard feelings about being demoted initially, but how much I appreciate my new companion and my new area.  I told him how great the members are there and all about our baptisms on date.  It seemed like we were really connecting and having a great little mini interview until the President called me by a completely different name….He doesn’t even know my name….well….hummm.  Oh well. I really could care less about where he puts me, how he puts me there and with whom he puts me, because now I feel like I can really face any problem and work it out. 

August 30. 2014
         Wow, we found a LOT of less active members today.  We weren’t even planning on it, but they were popping up out of nowhere!  We can just walk down the street and someone will say, “Oh, I was baptized in that church!”  The work that we have done with these people has been so productive that we are going to focus mostly on reactivation.  In fact we have 6 people preparing for baptism right now because we are working with less active members of their families.

August 31, 2014
          The family that I taught with Elder Pereira came back to church today.  The mom wants to learn how to stay strong in the church.  She brought one of her cousins with her! E. also came to church.  He really liked it and asked us to come to his house and explain what Fasting was. He is already received his answer to his prayers about the Book of Mormon and he set a baptismal date for September 13th! 

September 1, 2014
I've already seen what Uncle Mark describes in my mission politics especially in the upper levels of missionary leadership and I've already decided to not let it bother me because the people who worry about cliques and the like generally don't make it too far being good and honest people in the long run. I think that president is also trying to do away with that now too because he's not letting his assistants mess with the transfers like they used to.  The assistants pretty much used to call all the shots. My old district leader just got done telling me that I should just keep working because I have a clean conscience and I can't change anything, so that's what I'll do. I don't want to make anyone's life like hell, so I'm not going to take part of the snitch game, instead I'm going to resolve my own problems as best I can. I think that that's a better way. 
I had a really good p-day today because I was able to spend some time emailing my family. I learned a lot from the emails that my parents sent to me and this is one of the few times in my mission where I have come away from an email session having learned a lot about how to handle my situation.  The situation is actually getting a little more annoying because someone is spreading the rumor that I got transferred because I kissed a girl. That is about the worst thing that you can say about a missionary and it just really irritates me that someone higher up than me is trying to completely destroy my reputation. About the only thing that I can do about that is just keep on working hard and try to not let it get to me...but it does.

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