Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Another week

November 2, 2014
            Today was another depressing day at church because yet again, none of our investigators came to church.  The main reason is because it is “the day of the dead” here.  It is not super huge in Brasil, but everyone does like to use the holiday to travel to visit family and pay respects to their dead relatives in the cemeteries.  After church, we passed by a less-active member’s house because he asked us to translate a document into English for his cousin.  The member actually studies English and knows a lot, but got stumped on some formal terms.  I have to admit that it was actually quite hard for me to do even though I know both languages.  The whole experience gave me a stronger testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith and his gift of translation of the Book of Mormon. 
            Ward council meeting was interesting because they discussed the ward budget and it really shocked me how little money this ward has to operate on.
My comp is the only one who has more than a year to go! And his usually chilling spot is just sitting in the hammock playing guitar.
November 3, 2014
            We went to Centro for p-day (against my wishes) and wasted a ton of time.  I ended up enjoying it though because we got our money, and I bought a new messenger bag. We spent so much time that I didn’t have any time to write letters or play the guitar.  I limit myself very strictly to playing guitar only during our allotted free time, so if I use up all of my free time doing other things, then, no guitar.  We did get to visit with C. and she explained that she missed her baptismal interview because she didn’t feel ready to make the commitment of baptism.  We will visit more with her tomorrow to figure things out.
November 4, 2014
            C. set a new date for baptism of November 29.  She wants to make sure that she is really able to live the standards of the church before baptism.  She is very sincere and making progress all the time, so hopefully she can continue. We also found a very cool less active man who was very good to us.  He treated us to just about everything that he had and wants us to come back and teach him.  We have a companionship goal to make contact (as in visiting) 10 men every day.  We are almost reaching our goal, but it does chew up time.  The men are very hard to contact because they are working, but that is what we need in our ward.  It does help us to get to know more people in our ward. 
November 5, 2014
            We passed by A. today and she is still working on quitting coffee.  It is hard for her and for many Brasilieros, but she said that she would buy Cevada and replace it ASAP.  She still is pretty excited about the gospel and we love working with her. 
            We had a great meeting with our ward secretary who is acting as our temporary ward mission leader.  It was probably one of the most productive church meetings that I have ever been to.  It looks like we are finally going to get the help we need to organize the members and put them to work helping us.  Our new WML gave us a good pep talk and boosted our faith. Now I feel super pumped to work harder and I hope that everything will work out as he outlined.
November 9, 2014
            Our week went well after our meeting with our WML.  We found a lot of people to teach.  Many of them literally said, “I want to be baptized”.  The only problem is that most of them work on Sundays and cannot attend church.  Seriously, out of all the commandments, keeping the Sabbath day holy is actually the hardest one for people to obey.  So this week we were super pumped for church because we had more than 18 of our investigators say that they would come to church for sure. We even had members help us to check up on investigators…then, no one came. Ughhh, it is hard to stay excited for the work when this happens week after week.  Yesterday we helped one of our investigators move and we got super filthy ad worn out.  She promised that she would come to church today. Promises really don’t mean a whole lot to people here in Fortaleza. 
            We did have a good class on missionary work in Elder’s quorum where we were able to get the few elders there excited to help us.  We had another small blessing after church when we were able to get a ride in the bed of a pick up truck to our lunch appointment.  There were 13 other people in the truck…a tight fit, and not very safe, but totally worth it!
            I am really excited for p-day because I am totally wiped out: physically because of the move on Saturday, spiritually because of the disappointments and lack of progress, and emotionally because Elder Yarrington is struggling emotionally and needs extra support from me.  He tends to get stressed out, emotional, and take things way to seriously.  Yeah, in other words he reminds me of me when I first started my mission.  I can see a lot of the same types of thinking that I used to have in him so that makes it a lot easier to try to help him.  Because I understand him, I am able to help him or at least try to help him so that he doesn’t have to learn the hard way like I did.  I actually have changed a lot on my mission, mainly about the taking things super seriously. I've developed a lot of patience and be a lot more grown up while at the same time being sensitive to people. I'm not quite so emotional or easily offended like I used to be.
          So I got my Christmas package and I am not ashamed to say that I have already eaten a good part of the candy therein. Yes. Haha, I also realized this week that here in Brasil, people start celebrating Christmas as early as November 2! Like Christmas trees and everything! It's weird seeing Christmas trees so early in the season!  I loved Sawyer's Symphony performances!  The symphony is really really good this year!
One of the missionaries in our house really likes classical music (Elder William Percival.) He plays the oboe. He is always playing classical music in our house. All the time. I like it, but other missionaries are starting to get sick of it.
My comp placed his visa picture in my guitar so I'll always be able to remember him.

My district leader bought an inflatable airplane. Not a good idea with over 5 missionaries that are going home in less than a year.

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