Saturday, April 13, 2013

A Visit to Macapá

April 8, 2013
So I’m here in Macapá.  The last few days I did a division in Santana that is located about 45 minutes from Macapá by bus.  It has a port that is located on the Amazon River.  It was nice to get out of the office and work like a normal missionary.  I went there because the companionship that is there now has been having problems for some time (no baptisms).  I spent 3 days there with Elder R.. Elder R got into the mission field the same time I did.  It was interesting.  He left on the mission with 18 years and 3 months of age, and I doubt that he was ready.  I am sure that a lot of missionaries are prepared when they have 18 years of age but there are a lot of others that I think need to wait.  I think that I was one of those elders that needed to wait a bit to go on the mission.  Observing him I saw that he didn’t have much going on in the area because he didn’t have much attitude.  He had problems but didn’t have the attitude to resolve the situations.  Many times when looking for addresses or when presented with opportunities to talk to people he would try to avoid it.  He is a bit closed and lacks confidence.  I tried not to be really hard with him. Instead I tried to understand what his problem was.  I tried to give I’m an example of how he could have a bit more success.  We finished the division after finding a young woman that is super prepared (she almost cried when I invited her to be baptized).

I have been really lost in the last two weeks but now I feel calmer.  I am also preparing to give a talk/training to the zone during the zone conference this Wednesday.  I will talk about resilience and consistency again and hopefully be able to use some new examples.  I have been thinking about what you guys said comparing my wanting to stay with how I play hockey and soccer.  And I thought that would be a good thing to use during the zone conference.  We will see how it works out Wednesday.

I have not had the opportunity to take a lot of pictures unfortunately I’m not here in Macapá to site see.  But I will see what I can do.  

I loved general conference and was lucky enough to see all of the sessions.  They have live translators that switch every few talks.  I thought it was interesting how many of the talks cited the scripture that says something about a stone being cut from the mountain without hands and rolling to fill the earth.  I heard a long time ago that the speakers don’t receive topics but pray to know what to speak on.  So I thought it was interesting that there where a series of scriptures that the speakers used that where the same.  I took 9 pages of notes.  

Sorry, Emma, I do read your letters but I have a hard time using my time wisely so I end up without time to send a letter.  But congratulations on the FPS triumph and the 100% on the science quiz retake.

I was really sad to hear that the Carmans are moving.  They have been good friends.  Send them a really big hug, and wish them luck for me.  

Got to go know and finish some of my A.P. work!!

I love you all a lot!!!!


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Learning the Ropes

Hey Dad,

I have had an exciting week.  I have been a little stressed, and have not gotten enough sleep but I think things will calm down now.  

First off, something about emails.  I think that it would be best if you all continued to send emails on Monday morning.  Because I don't have a p-day that is the same every week it will be best for me if you continued to send emails in the same way.  If you all would like to send emails on other days of the week feel free but I may or may not be able to read them, but it is always nice to get unexpected messages.

Last week we did a division. Elder Moreno went to Entroncamento (45 min going by bus) and I stayed here in Telegrapho.  I worked with Elder Cardozo, who is from Paraguay, on Friday until Sunday.  We both were new in the area and we did not know anyone, members or nonmembers, so it was a bit rough.  We looked in the area book for a few people to visit but the records were really old -- 2008. So we spent a lot of time doing contacts.  Unfortunately we were not able to locate many of these people.  But at the end of the week, I had a meeting with the Bishop and he helped a lot.  Unfortunately for me I will have difficulties working in the area because I will be traveling a lot this month.  So that will be a challenge without work in Telegrapho.  

We had a zone council yesterday.  So the past few days we have planned the topics of our talks/trainings.  I still feel a bit lost in my calling and I don’t talk a lot in the meetings we have with Pres. Scisci, mostly because I don’t know what to say...yet.  I´m learning fast.  At the Zone council I gave training on how to help missionaries become more resilient.  There is an all too common problem with missionaries staying dedicated and constant in their work.  Many times missionaries lose their drive when they encounter difficulties.  Ironically that is the time when we need to work even harder.  I shared an article from the Liahona about how to raise more resilient children.  It was an interesting article and had a bunch of principles that can be applied to leaders in the mission field as well as parents. When I read the article I noticed a lot of tactics/principles that you and mom had already used raising us.  I think that they worked.  

This week I will be flying to Macapá to go on divisions with the elders there and have a zone conference. I will leave tonight and get back on Wednesday of next week.  After that I will fly to Santarém that is located at the fork of the Rio Negro and the Rio Tapajós.  So that will be exciting. I have to go and prepare for the trip now!!

I love you guys!!!