October 15, 2012
This week I will tell a little more about what is happening here.
Well, I was a bit sad about conference last week. It was really good, but there were not very many members that went. I have been working hard with Elder Gonzalez, but unfortunately not very many people are progressing fast. We have been teaching the sister of Ulisses (a recent convert here). Her name is Marcilene she has been doing really well. She has had a lot of doubts about the Plan of Salvation. Fortunately now she understands that our lives don't just end when we die but there is a whole lot of other stuff that will happen. Our lives are kind of just a beginning. I love how the Plan of Salvation helps us better understand the relationship we have with our Heavenly Father and what our potential is. It also gives the doctrine of Christ more meaning. Unfortunately, Marcilene had something come up this Domingo and she didn't go to church. We invited a whole lot of people to church -- I think it was more than 30 people Saturday. But Sunday, only one less active member, Jocilene (that i wasnt expecting), came. We spent a few hours that morning trying to wake people up for church, trying to find people at home, but none of it went right. I was a bit torn in our Sacrament Meeting because we were not having very much success where a few months ago we had a lot. But I felt really good at the same time because someone I didn't expect came (Jocilene). I hope that the ward here will start to wake up because if they don't soon, the work and success we have had in these last few months are going to slip away. I know we have a few members in the ward that are working hard and it makes a whole lot of difference. I have been pretty bummed because we haven´t baptized for the last three weeks. But I think it is good that we haven't baptized more people because the ward is not strong enough to help and nurture the many more converts. Fortunately, the ward mission plan should help and the Second Councelor Irmão Ataide is helping a lot.
Big news. I will be transferred to Oteiro. It's an island a bit separated from Belem. it was a big surprise when I found out. We stopped in the house after church to drop off some books and I saw that Pres. Scisci had called three times. I thought that was a bit weird, so I called him back. He said that he had a new calling for me and started to explain that there was an elder, Elder Sotamaior (I think that's how you spell it) that just finished his training in Oteiro and he hasn't baptized anyone yet. He is feeling down about it and thinks that its his fault or that he is a bad missionary or something like that, and President wanted to help him out. So Pres. Scisci wanted me to go there to "convertinate the people" and help Elder Sotamaior become a successful missionary. I thought that was a lot of responsibility. Pres. said that he was thinking about a missionary that could help and that he could count on to baptize, and thought of me. I will need a lot of help from the Lord, and a lot of prayers. I will go there and work hard.
it was a bit sad saying goodbye to some of the people in the ward that i have come to love and some of my investigators and converts. Please pray for these people here. They are really special.
October 22, 2012
This week has been interesting. I got to my new area Tuesday night and we just barely had time to visit a family that is going to get married and then baptized in the next few weeks. The family consists of José (58), Lourdes (55), and their daughter Gabriele (9). Gabriele was baptized this last Saturday on the beach. This area does not have a chapel, just a house that is rented by the church. Unfortunately the meeting house is right next to the beach in an area that does not have very much movement, because of this the meeting house has been robbed 9 times in the last 6 months The last time was last Saturday. They stole everything from the wire to the fans, cleaning products and toilet paper. they took everything and only left the benches (because they are a bit hard to move). They broke a wall to get in. So that has been a challenge for the branch, being a bit weak to begin with. There were 44 people in our Sacrament Meeting, about half were infants or children under 8 years old. Elder SotoMayor is from Bolivia. He is pretty cool but I have to have a lot of patience with him. He likes to teach and works hard. He has finished his 12 weeks of training and I am here to help him complete the training that the other two missionaries started. Elder Sotomayor had two different trainadores, and they did not like to work as much as he did. But, things will start moving here now that both of us want to work.
I have attached a pic of the family, Branch President, and Gabriele at her baptism
Funny story. Gabriele, after her baptism, swam like a dolphin back to shore. I thought it was funny. Elder Sotomayor walked ; )
I am really tired because last night our neighbor that lives in the same apartment complex got super drunk and his wife moved out and took the kids without him knowing. He got to the apartment and his family was already gone. He was a bit angry and then calmed down when I talked to him and opened the the gate for him. Last night I think he slept in the stair well because he lost his key and refused a mattress and fan we tried to lend him. He talked for a long time and I didn't end up getting to shower and sleep until he left the apartment complex again. So I got to sleep about 11:45 p.m. That is something that is getting to me -- a lack of sleep -- because now I am a district leader for two companionships, one of sisters and the other elders. So I have to call them every night and see if they are alive and interview them every week. I guess I'm gathering a lot of treasures in Heaven...
I love you all!
Next week i will tell more about the area. It's pretty cool.