Monday, March 23, 2015

A sad and hard week


March 16, 2015

            P-day!!!!! There rarely is anything super exciting about our p-days.  But today I got to play one on one basketball with a super cool, and super athletic Brasilian.   I won two games and he won one.  It is weird because he LOVES basketball and that is very rare here.  He even has an original Miami Heat jersey.

            We were planning to take M. to visit in the Relief Society President’s house, but she rescheduled for tomorrow.  M. appears to be a  lot happier and she is preparing a family night activity for this Wednesday.  She volunteered to teach this lesson. Elder C. and I are planning a fast for her. 

March 17, 2015

            I hate the bus system here.  Elder Anderson wanted to get to the office early today so that he could resolve some problems in order to get a bus pass-card.  We left the house at 6:30 and we didn’t get to the office until 8:30.  Normally it is a one hour trip…ugghh!

            We taught this guy this afternoon who is addicted to crack and alcohol, and he told us that whoever could tell him what his two greatest fears were, then he would go to their church. As we  kept talking to him,  we quickly figured out his fears.  His first fear is that he is afraid of confronting and resolving his problems.  His second fear is that he is afraid to become a part of a community because that would mean that people would depend on him and he doesn’t thing that he can follow through with responsibility.  So he told us that we were right about his fears, but that he still doesn’t give a hoot and wouldn't go to church with us.

            Anyways, we helped M. plan her activity and she seems super well prepared.  I have a good feeling about the activity.

March 18, 2015

            Well………That was one of the biggest let-downs of my entire mission. So this is how it all went down.  M. gave the family night and it was one of the best that I have ever seen in a long time.  It was really well organized, lots of people came to support it, and her message was great.  I felt the Spirit really strongly, and that is one of the reasons why I am so confused and disheartened.  She talked about trust, specifically, trusting in God.  She used Joseph Smith as an example of someone who trusted in God and then God blessed Joseph with an answer.  Seriously, all of the members were impressed with this lesson. 
 

            Then afterwards, M. gave Elder C and I ties and said that she wanted to talk to us to thank us for everything.  “When you knocked on my door, I was really needing help.  I felt this void in my life and I didn’t understand why.  Now I feel like it is not empty anymore.  It’s  been great to know you and I love your church, BUT I can’t be baptized.  It has been great to know you, really really great…”  Yeah that’s it.

            Working, teaching, fasting, praying, finally finding someone who listens, learns, follows through, and beyond that – someone who actually develops a testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel, but then turns their back on it.  I am not going to lie, I felt like my feet were swept out from under me.  And as we walked home in silence, completely deflated, I cried to myself.  One of the things that our mission president told us is that the devil should shake in his boots when we wake up every morning (in honor of that scripture about Captain Moroni). However, I just feel like in this past week the devil was just thinking: 'let's see what we can do to mess with these two this week'. It's a sad situation, but it is especially sad for M who we care about so much because she is making such a life limiting choice.  I pray that it'll all work out somehow.

March 23, 2015

I didn't have the heart or the time to write a lot in my journal for the rest of this week, so I'm going to have to catch up.  We met some other people this week who loved our messages and said that they would be baptized, but a lot of them have to get married before they can get baptized. Here in Brasil it takes a LONG time to marry someone.  The other elders baptized a man, and he's super cool. He already knows about the first and the second resurrection before the other elders started teaching him because he likes to read Isaiah. What? Cool, huh? His baptism went well except for the part when the font’s pump broke and we had to empty it by hand. On Sunday, we managed to have an investigator at church! BUT she got a phone call and had to leave immediately.  What a week.

My most productive work this week.

Elder Carmo's reacton to transfers.
 Transfers happened.   I stayed in my area (I'm happy about that) I got demoted (not so happy about that) and the other elder's area got shut down and we're absorbing it (not sure about that). There was a consolidation of two districts, Elder Anderson and Elder Dorneles both got transferred. I know my new district leader, Elder Cooper (he's also from my MTC group.)  

            Also, I'm going to be working in a triplet with Elder Shelton (also from my MTC group) and Elder Carmo (I am REALLY not sure about how I feel about working in a trio, but I am glad to stay with Elder C.) I'm going to have to keep the situation under control because I am the senior comp.  We are the weirdest looking trio on the streets because, Elder Shelton is a big boy, huge actually, then I am average sized, and Elder Carmo is tiny!  I am trying to figure out how to work efficiently and effectively in a trio.  In our mission we aren't allowed to go on divisions with the members. At all. It's rather annoying.  One of the things that I have to figure out how to solve right away is the amount of English that is being spoken between our leaders and the other American elders.  It is not right because the Brazilians don’t speak English so they feel excluded, rightfully so. Everything's going to be fine. We've got lots of cool stuff that's going to happen in the near future I hope.

I have no idea why the president changed things up the way he did.  We were (and still are) working super hard, but whatever comes our way, it's what president wants, so I'm not going to let myself feel hurt about it. I just think that it's weird. I think that the President has a plan, but I still don't know what it is, so the only thing that I can do is work.

I am thinking about selling my guitar to another elder and just buying a new one when I get back in the states.  It has my old comp's picture in it, but I'm thinking of putting mine in it too, and writing something on the back of the guitar before I sell it and then telling the next missionary to do the same thing when they get ready to leave. Who knows, maybe it'll be a missionary guitar that'll make it's way around the mission for years ;)
This is not my guitar, but one of the members who we visited with.  The glasses were his daughters.
We took pictures at one of my favorite member's house. Her kids are super funny and her husband is a recent convert, a really nice guy.



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