Monday, April 13, 2015

Some more of the same


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April 3, 2015

         I will say it again: I hate holidays. They suck.  Everyone here is drunk in the streets. The only difference about Sexta-fieva santa is that they are all drunk on wine instead of beer.  Not even joking.  Wine is cheaper than grape juice here.  Sad. 

         We had a bunch of people tell us that they wanted to come to church and that they would, but we will see about that.  We did have this super cool contact where this guy had a flat tire and he was really struggling.  We passed by him, but then I said, hey let’s see if he wants some help.  He gratefully accepted our help, but in the end we couldn’t help at all because their car’s spate tire has one of those master locks and it just wouldn’t come off.  Anyways, he was super friendly and we gave their reference to the missionaries in their area.

April 4, 2015

         Wow, conference was awesome.  I thought that it was kind of funny that almost all of the talks were about marriage, especially in the first session which was the one that my family attended in SLC.  Our investigator, M. went to both Saturday sessions and to the Women’s session rebroadcast on Friday night.  She took a bunch of notes so that was good to see. I  have reached a point in my Portuguese that I can take notes in Portuguese as I am listening.  Sometimes, when the English speakers speak quickly, the translators also have to talk very quickly to catch up, and then it is hard to take notes.  But when Boyd K. Packer spoke, it was super easy because he spoke very slowly and I could understand the Portuguese translator without a problem.  I loved his talk about the cookies and a kiss…only problem is that I brought cookies to the conference with me so the other elders gave me a hard time.

         After the last session, we taught M. She showed us her notes and the answers to questions that we asked her last time we met.  This time there were no hearts or poems next to my name!  She loved conference and said that she would bring her little sister to the Sunday sessions.

April 5, 2015

         M. is our only investigator who keeps her commitments.  We seriously were running after these investigators today and no one came to conference.  The stake center is about 30 minutes walking distance from our area, and we left to try to get people to come after each session.  No one else came.  Yeah, we are going to have to drop a bunch of people because they will not keep commitments.  But, M and her little sister did come to all the sessions today  The little sister has never been baptized into any church, but she has expressed interest in the past in being  baptized too. 

         I have all of my notes about conference written down in another notebook, but my favorite talk from all the sessions was President Uchtfdorf’s talk about Grace.  This morning I studied that topic and I had been reading the same scriptures that Presient Uchtdorf shared in his talk.  It really touched me. 

         I also thought that it was hilarious when Ucthdorf started talking in German.  I could actually understand the Spanish speaking guy and then when President Uchtdorf got up to speak, I couldn’t understand him and I thought wow, I have lost my English completely!

April 6, 2015

         Well I am sick and tired of this whole contact lens thing with Elder Shelton.  We have to go BACK again next p-day.  It is ridiculous and a huge time waster.  Ever since he got here, we haven’t been able to have a normal p-day.  On the bright side, we got a free haircut from our investigator.  That was nice because my hair was getting really long.  Anyways, with M. we are just trying to draw out the lessons to fill the time until her baptism.  We left her to read D&C 76 this week. 

April 7, 2015

         Today I went on splits with Elder Cooper.  It was alright, but we did a couple of things that I wasn’t so comfortable with.  It was just his teaching style which was taught to him by his other companion.  One thing that they do is pray with their contacts so they can “count” it as a lesson.  Our president told us that we shouldn’t say prayers or try to count contacts like a lesson.  So yeah, I didn’t feel so hot about that.  Anyways, other than that we did really well. We are both ancient in the mission and we both teach well, and I LOVED working in a pair for a change.  One of the annoying things though is that President Bonini called a last minute meeting in Aldeota at 8:00 am.  It takes at least an hour to get there. So we have to finish our divisions by 6 or 6:30.  That means that we have to wake up about 5 am tomorrow.

April 8, 2015

         Well we got to the bus stop at 6:20 and the other elders waited for us until 6:19 and then went back home. So, I had to go to the meeting with the same clothes on that I had on yesterday.  This meeting turned out to be really good and super annoying at the same time.  I was all about our responsibility to get results for the Lord.  For 3 HOURS…yeah, 3 HOURS of listening to our assistants pounding their chests and telling us how hard they work.  But I have passed through their areas and I know that they only have one active convert out of 17 baptisms.  I have also had zone leaders brag about the same thing, telling us how you shouldn’t go even one week without a baptism.  The annoying part is that everyone knows that those two elder baptized a LOT of kids under the age of 12 and a LOT of girls and that when they leave the area none of their converts stay active.  These kind of elders are annoying especially because they usually don’t keep all the rules and they still get results?!  I work my tail off, and keep all the rules, and I see almost no results. 

         Well the meeting was so long that we didn’t have time to go back to our area for lunch.  So, I ended up paying for Elder Cooper at Burger King.  The plus side to that was that there were a lot of other elders there and the restaurant let us use our coupons.  I love coupons!  We got to talk with a bunch of the other elders and I ate lunch with Elder J. Silva. That was nice to catch up and it turns out that he is living with Elder Nogueira and Elder Yarrington, my two “sons” in the mission.  I could only imagine how that would work out.  They both get super stressed, super easy.  Kindof funny how three of the four elders in that house have been my companions.  I heard that Elder N. and Elder Y. got in an argument because Elder Y. wanted to study Spanish for some reason, so Elder N. argued with him that he shouldn’t be studying Spanish when he still couldn’t speak Portuguese.  “You need to study your mission language!”  It’s kind of funny.  When we finally got off the splits we visited with a bunch of people and also dropped them.  That was sad for me.  No we have almost no investigators.

April 9, 2015

         We had our zone training today, and it was actually really good.  Our new zone leader is Elder Wood and he is a good leader. His family sent Easter chocolates so that helped make the meeting even better!  This meeting was Elder Medrado’s last one. (I love that guy) and a couple of other missionaries first zone meeting.  Elder Guilherme (or Barros da Silva) was excited as always, but now a little bit more because he is finally not the newest in the mission anymore! 

April 10, 2015

         Just as an example of how non-commital Brazilians are, there is this member who is waiting for his mission call who has promised to go teaching with us three times this week and has stood us up all three times!  It is bad enough when investigators flake out, but member?  That is just cruel.  M. is still doing well but there is this drama thing in the ward about dating and it is just all very confusing to try to understand a teenaged girl’s world.  Fortunately the drama is not stopping her interest in the gospel.  She said that she is having a hard time because all of her friends abandoned her ever since she started coming back to church.  But she is very committed and has attended all of her meeting including seminary.

April 11, 2015

         So almost all of the teacher’s quorum members have set goals to serve missions and so we are planning to have them come and teach with us on Saturdays.  They are a pretty dedicated group of young men.  I don’t remember being that dedicated at a teacher.

April 12, 2015

         Today in sacrament meeting, the bishop read a list of the names of members whose temple recommends have expired, or are about to expire.  I am pretty sure that you can’t or shouldn’t do that.  One of our strongest recent converts didn’t come to church today.  We stopped by to see him and he said that he was thinking about leaving the church.  His brothers are always looking at porn, which his mom supports, and they make fun of him for going to church.  We talked to him and helped him through it, I hope.  I am tired…so very tired.  And then there is the issue of my shoes which are all passed the expiration point.  I took them to a different repair man and he was appalled at the repair the other guy did.  I am hoping to be able to get my Mr. Mac shoes replaced and then I will just repair my other cheap pair.  I am especially not looking forward to riding the bus all the way to Aldeota tomorrow. It has been miserably hot and raining which is a weird combination.  At the end of the day, my feet look like this:

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