Week of April 11-17, 2016
(11) SEGUNDA (Monday): Today was good. All of our commitments, plans, plan b’s fell through. So we knocked doors. A lot. Still nothing. So, we decided to go to a contact we made the other day. We go, and the man that answers is Jehovah Witness…. ha-ha, he stats talking with us, and just wants to bible bash everything.
Started asking about baptisms for the dead. I already knew all of his arguments, and how to counter them using THEIR books, because a few weeks ago I grabbed a few of their books and read it all and now I have defenses prepared. Ha-ha, then I made the goal to never bible bash. It’s like what dad said000you can use the scriptures to explain, but never to prove someone wrong. So, we let the man give his spill, explained our beliefs, and left. He wanted to prove everything to us using his bible. The JW bible is different.
So, now we have one more hour in the day, and we haven’t had a single lesson. I have a goal to never go a day without at least one lesson. Until now there’s only been one day, when my comp was sick. So, we start knocking doors like crazy, running from door to door, praying, and talking to everyone because I really wanted a lesson. The, we knocked a door and the man came out, said, “Look, I don’t have much time, I'm watching my daughter, and studying for my class, but you can share your message.” WOOT WOOT! And it was awesome, the lesson. And it showed, for me again, the difference between people who want the truth and those who don’t. If they have a desire, they find a way. They don’t make excuses. They don’t flake. But Rodrigo liked a lot of the message.
I decided today that I would always receive missionaries from any religion in my house. I’ll always talk with them. Here on the mission, I will avoid bible bashing, but after I won’t be so strict. Today was day 279 of my mission.
(12) TERCA (Tuesday): Today was a good day. We found two new families, which are still young, and showed a lot of interest and potential. Carline showed the most interest, and we taught her while she was holding her one-month-old baby, which is her first child. I couldn’t help imagining, in 18 years, him on a mission. Her husband was working, so we marked another day to pass by and teach her and her husband together.
At one point in a lesson, we had Carlos, a new investigator read the second to last paragraph in the intro to the Book of Mormon we asked him to identify the 3 parts of the invite made there. He read again, and said, “Read, ponder, and …” then he sat there for a good 3 minutes. I was proud of Elder Martins because he didn’t go and instantly break the silence. After 3 minutes of silence, during the which I was wondering if we should say something, but feeling like we shouldn’t, he said, “Then ask God.” I could tell it really touched him. I was glad we had waited and let him think about it. Gave the spirit a chance to talk.
Today really was a good day. I’m ending today happy. Today was day 280 of my mission.
(13) QUARTA (Wednesday): Today was….RAIN. So, yesterday we were walking in the street and a man in the front of his house calls us over. We go, and he starts talking to us, asking, very humbly, for help. We keep talking to him and it turns out he was baptized with his wife and 2 of his kids, in 1997. He thought it was pretty funny that that is the year I was born. They moved back recently to Sao Luiz and they want to join the church again. So, we marked today to pass by to talk more with him.
So, they lived in Sao Luiz Gonzaga Luis Walter and Maria and in 1997 they were baptized. After 2 years active in the church, they moved because of his work. Now, the closest church was in another city they didn’t recognize, and it was far way. They kept going, at one point had it set up to do the sacrament as a family on Sundays sometimes. But as time passed, they grew less and less active in the church, though they never stopped reading the Book of Mormon. Now, a month ago, they moved back to Sao Luiz. Luis Walter told Maria he wanted to return to the church, she agreed. Later that day, we passed in the front, he called us over, and here we are. It’s amazing how God is always caring for his sheep. They returned to Sao Luiz because he has a heart thing he’s getting treated. T his really strengthened my testimony that God loves, and KNOWS each one of us. They asked if they could take the sacrament Sunday. I didn’t know how to respond, so I said we would introduce them to Bishop. They really like that idea. Luis said he wants to talk to him, and be well prepared when he eats the bread and drinks the water again. They talked of old friends in the church and al the people they know.
It was incredible to see the humility and desire of these two to return to the Lords house. I remembered the parable of the lost sheep. They now have a bunch of grandchildren that are living in the same house. The children of their daughter who is also baptized, but inactive as well. We’ll have to do an awesome Family Home Evening. They live a few blocks from a family in the church that is awesome. I can definitely recognize the Lord’s hand in rescuing his lost sheep, and maybe bringing a few new ones to the fold as well. Today was day 281 of my mission.
(14) QUINTA (Thursday): we passed by Marco today and talked about the temple. He’ll be able to go in Feb of 2017. The bus for the ward to go in is June of 2017. There’s a good chance that’s the month I’ll finish my mission, depending on transfers. The chances are very small, but it would be SO COOL to go with them to the temple. Marco is doing great. He’s doing the classes to prepare for the Melchizedek Priesthood. They’re planning on going this June to do baptisms. Man, he is awesome.
We also passed by Daley, who is starting to make excuses for not keeping commitments. I really don’t want to have to move him to ‘former investigators’ and leave him for future missionaries, so we are going to see if he goes to church with us this Sunday.
But today was harder for me to stay positive, but I still saw many tender mercies. So today was good. Tomorrow transfers will come. I’d be happy, very happy, to stay here a little more, but I’d also like a change. Donde mondares irei (where will commandest!) Today was day 282 of my mission.
(15) SEXTA (Friday): I’M BEING TRANSFERRED! I’m going to Cruz Alta, and I’ll continue as District Leader. Elder Hawk, my American friend, is the zone leader. He called me today to tell me about it all. My companion has 4 ½ months and that’s all I know about him. AHHHH!! I’m so excited! Cruz Alta is VERY GOOD! Today went well. We passed by Luis and Maria, the people who want to return. They are excited to return to church. The lesson with them on the gospel was the highlight of my day. We talked of faith, repentance, baptism of water, of the spirit, and enduring to the end, with sacrament. They are very, very good.
I don’t have much time to write because I had to cut everyone’s hair, but let it be known today was a very good day and I am very happy. Today was day 283 of my mission.
(16) SABADO (Saturday): Today was very good. I’ll tell about one lesson only today, which was hilarious. We were walking to the house of Daley to teach him and invite him to church. We saw him at the neighbors, so we went over and sat with them. One of them was very drunk. We were talking with the others, and when we went to share the message he said, “I was in prison for 12 years, and in that time I read the whole bible. But you can still read your part; I’ll still listen even though I already know. Just let me take one more drink before the prayer.” So we are sharing a scripture, and their dog comes. A flippen ugly dog. She starts smelling us and stuff. GUARDA HISTORIA POR DIA DAS MAES.
Today a lady kicked us our of her house because when she asked “what is the true church?” I said, “The church that we represent.”
But the rest of the day went well, a lot of good lessons. One drunk who when he heard I was American shook my hand and felt my pulse or my wrist. Then he said, “I’ve never felt an American’s pulse. They have different blood than us.” That was strange. Then, when a dog started sniffing us he said, “Let the dog sniff you, hopefully she’ll catch a blessing.” I’d like to know how people see us. There’s some who yell to us, asking for prayers and blessings, others who see us coming and run to the house to shut themselves in. I think a lot of people honestly think we are prophets.
I’m super excited for Cruz Alta. It’s about 3 times bigger then Sao Luiz Gonzaga. My district will have 3 companionships, one of which are sisters. I’m already packing my bags and giving the elders a lot of stuff I haven’t even touched yet, shirts, shorts, ties. I really only need two t-shirts. I have about 12. But it’s all-good. It’s better to have 12 and need 2 then to have 2 and need 12. Today was day 284 of my mission.
(17) DOMINGO (Sunday): Lots of goodbyes today. I took a bunch of pictures with people after church today. And Daley went to church! He walked almost all the way with us. Then Marco passed by and gave him a ride.
Ha-ha, so with the glow sticks I received Elder Pasao De Silva grabbed them all. His favorite thing to do is light one, then put it under Elder Martins pillow. Then, after everyone’s going to sleep, after a few minutes when he rolls around to get comfortable, it comes out and lights everything up. I don’t know why the 3 think it’s so funny, but he’s gotten him like 5 times now.
All of my stuff is packed now.
We met a new family today. The dad is already baptized fez tempo, but he’s inactive. They showed a lot of interest.
ALSO! Luis and Maria went! They met with bishop to make a plan to become active again. AHH, they are super good. I’m super excited about them. Today was day 285 of my mission.
Until next week. I love you guys!
Elder Passao de Silva, Elder Alvarenga, Elder Martins, YUMMY Pizza
Alex, a 16 year old who comes on splits with the missionaries
Lourenco and Vera with their son Iuri and Lindomar and Neusa
Ward mission leader, Leonardo and Katherine.
Jake's apartment above a parts store. He said all the houses have bars on the windows.
It's just a common thing.