Wednesday, February 8, 2012

I Really Like it Here Now, Especially the Members

So, things have been pretty good here.  I have been working hard.  We have been teaching more families.  We have 4 now.  We have been teaching this huge extended family of a young man in the ward, his name is Eberson.  He is 17 and a little less active.  By the looks of it, he has some family problems.  They have this thing with tattling on each other and I think a fair amount of back-biting.  It's kind of sad to see how their family is so close (they all live really close), but the family ties are not really strong.  The family isn't as happy as it should be.  It's been great to be able to help them and hopefully they will continue to have a desire to learn.  I know that they can be way more happy if they apply the gospel in their lives.  Six of them came to church yesterday!  (And I think we have at least 20 that we can teach there).
Big news.  The construction of the new chapel is going to start in the next few days, and Presidente Campos came to our sacrament meeting yesterday to call a new branch president.  So, now we have a new branch president who is going to set fire to the ward (in a very good way).  The ward needs more motivation and more order for visits.  I'm only starting to realize the importance of doing your home teaching! 
This week has been full of surprises.  We have been focusing on our goal 150 people at sacrament meeting each Sunday.  When we get this number, the district here can turn into a stake!  And with this stake, we will have enough stakes in the mission for a temple district here in Belem.  Everyone is praying for the temple to be announced in the April Conference (Pres. Campos´ last conference here on the mish).  His goal has been to construct a temple here in Belem since he got here 2.5 years ago.  So, we have been working hard with less active members to get the attendance up and to find new people to teach (super effective).   So, each day we find out a little bit more about the history of the church here in Abaetetuba.  Apparently, 7-10 years ago there were 2 branches here and over 250 people coming to church each Sunday, but there was a lot of stuff going on (problems with not paying tithing, temple worthiness, and stuff like that) that kept the branches from getting a chapel.  There were also a lot of problems between members and one of the branches was closed.  Over the last 10 years the attendance went from 250 to (a few Sundays ago) 75.  It was really sad to hear about.  Everyone I have talked to that left the church had a similar reason.  They didn't feel enough support from the other members and other things (it was never about the church itself, more the members).  So, in accordance I have been trying to work with the members (mostly though lessons and short messages) that through love and service they can receive these blessings (a chapel, a stake, and a temple 50$ Reals away instead of 1500$). 
So, that's what has been going on here in Abaetetuba.  I really hope that I don't get transferred next week.  I really like it here now, especially the members.  Abaetetuba is great. 
Culanary triumph!!!(still working on the spelling)
I made the best lemon banana juice you can even imagine!!!!  Sorry, I can't tell you all the recipe because it's super secret, and I'm going to use it in the restaurant/pie shop/engineering laboratory I'm going to open after the mish.
So, that's all for now.  Love you all!

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