July 1, 2017
June 23, 2017: I just have to make a video right now because we are super, super excited. In our mission we have a goal of 50 baptisms in a month. I know Jocelyn is probably going to laugh at our goal of 50 baptisms in a month because in her mission they baptize way more then that, but we’re in the South and it’s not really hard to baptize here, but it’s harder. But! So, ever since President Louza got here we’ve never gotten 50 baptisms. We’ve gotten like 45, 46, 45. But with President Parella it would always be like a lot of baptisms, then the next month it would be like 15 or 20. Then the next month it would be a lot, then the next month a little. What President Louza started doing is he started making goals and working with everyone to have a consistency, so we can baptize the same number every month, instead of a lot, a little, a lot, a little. So, it started out at the beginning of the year and January was a terrible month. We had 27 baptisms. February we had 42. And February is when I got here. And we changed a lot of the stuff about how we follow up on the missionaries and how we follow up on the dates that they mark, and how they follow up on the investigators. And then in Feb is was 42, March was 45, April was 46, May was 45, which we failed down one since we were trying to keep going up. In June our goal was 50! We set it up with all of the zone leaders, that we were going to hit 50 baptisms. And it was all-good. And we had 17 baptisms marked for this week. Which is incredible, that is a lot of baptisms for the mission. And what happened was that a lot of them failed. Like a problem here, and a problem there. But people marked up more of them. And they asked their investigators, “Hey, want to be baptized this Saturday?” “Yes, lets do it.” And so it was just like miracle after miracle after miracle. Then what happens is today we ended up with 18 dates for this week. And we already had 18. And we needed 14 at the minimum to hit 50. Then the zone leaders call and said “Two dates fell here. We’re not going to be able to baptize them here.” UG! So we started calling everybody. My phone was erasing all the other calls because I was calling so much today. Like it doesn’t even register all of the calls that I did today because we were calling and they were calling us. And then, what happened was more dates fell, and we were going to end with 48 which is not our goal. So, what we did is we started calling everybody and we were like, “Hey, you guys need to go out there and mark more dates. You guys need to go out and mark more dates. Just go, have faith, say a prayer, start a fast, and just go for it.” And we were like, “What are we going to do today, because it was our p-day”, and it’s over at 6:00 and we start working. And we were like “Lets go to Diran’s” It’s an old guy that we’ve been teaching for awhile, but we really didn’t have anything to do, and he is here close to our house. And we went there and he started talking about how he feels super good and how he was having some problems with his family and he remembered what we had said about prayer, and about how God helps us, and he said a prayer and sat down with his family and everything resolved. And he felt super good. And he went to church last week, and we didn’t even know because he went to the same chapel but he didn’t participate in our ward. He participated in the other ward, because he didn’t really know. So, he’s already been to church two times. So we said, “Hey, do you feel good?” and he was like, “Yeah”. And we said, “Do you want to be baptized tomorrow?” It was actually my companion that said it, that had the inspiration, I was thinking about it, but he’s a lot faster then I am at this. And so he challenged him and said, “We are going to have a baptism tomorrow at 6:00 and we want to invite you to be baptized tomorrow at 6:00. And he said, “yep. I’ll do that.” And we were like YEAHHHHH!!!! So, he is going to be baptized tomorrow at 6:00. And the mission was 1 day short of hitting our goal. And all the zone leaders, and all the district leaders, and all the missionaries are like little bees, everyone is calling everybody. Then came 2 more dates in Santo Angelo, where I was serving. And they said that wen we called and were talking about the dates the two of them were like, “Hey man, who do we have that could be baptized.” And the two of them, they were in the middle of the street, and they knelt down and said a prayer, and said, “Dad, show us who can be baptized tomorrow.” And the same name came to both their heads. And they tried calling her, because she already had a date marked for the 8th of July, a mom and her daughter. And they tried calling them, and tried calling them, and nothing. And they thought, well that’s not going to work, so they went walking, without really thinking about what they were doing, and then it was like, “HEY! This is her house. What!” And they tried knocking on the door, but it was an apartment building, so they tried pushing the door knob, and nobody was answering and so they sat there for a little bit, and then a woman came and it was their investigator. And they walked in and started teaching her and then she said, “Elders I’ve been thinking I don’t think I should be baptized in July. (Because she had a date for July 8). I think I should be baptized in August.” And they were like no. And they said, “You know what Irma, you shouldn’t be baptized in July. You should be baptized tomorrow.” And the woman sat there thinking, then said, “I’m going to be baptized tomorrow! Me and my daughter are going to be baptized tomorrow.” So, two more dates! And we are super, super happy because now we are going to hit 51! It’s super cool! Super, Super cool! I learned a lot about faith, covenants with the Lord, if we do our part, he fulfills his part. Cause we had established this goal in a mission council, with everybody. We had prayed about it. We set this goal. We are going to do all that we can and we want to at least 50 baptisms and now we are going to have 51. AWWWW!! I’m super happy right now! Super happy!
June 24, 2017. New Video, next day: So I’m going to tell you guys about my day today. We were supposed to have a baptism today, Diran’s baptism. And what happened was the bishop doesn’t want to baptize him because it wasn’t announced before hand. And the bishop just went all grumpy on everyone. And our ward mission leader doesn’t want to do the baptism now because he wants to respect the bishops authority, which I guess is right. But president tried talking to the bishop, and the bishop was…I’m not going to say anything. Long story short, our baptism was moved to Saturday, July 1. Which in the end came out better, but we got pretty bummed. I just stayed calm, because I’m a calm guy. But my companion got pretty upset. But it’s because like all the baptisms that we have the bishop comes with some stupid story about why the person shouldn’t be baptized. And it’s our condemnation. He actually told us at a few of our baptisms that we are going to have to answer for the baptisms at the last day, on the judgment day. And we’ll be responsible for it. And I was like, all right, I’ll be responsible for a baptism. That’s a pretty good thing to be responsible for. Yeah, that was our day. But, we are happy. I’m happy. I’m excited. And I’m going to sleep well tonight.
July 1, 2017: I AM DEAD!!! But I’m super happy. My week was great. I love the divisions because I meet and teach a TON of people. It’s a chance to work with someone new and I always learn a lot. I’m super tired right now. So, I went to Cruz Alta, then Ijui, then Sao Luiz Gonzaga, and Santiago. Two times I slept on the floor. One of the times was on tile with just a blanket for a mattress. I spent an hour and a half digging a hole to put their water tank. I’ll send a picture of that. But it was pretty cool. I got this big old blister on my hand that ripped off. A lot of time in the bus. A lot of stuff didn’t really happen this week. It was so good to actually do some real work for once instead of walking and talking. But that day we walked 15 kilometers.
I counted the blocks afterwards on the map.
In a week I do 2 years in a mission Today I bought a new suit for my return home. I left for my mission with one suit, and then on the mission I gained another 2 as gifts from people. Now I’m going to donate the 3 I have to the mission, and I bought one for me. I am taking it to the tailor today because it’s pretty big on me.
This week was actually really good. I like divisions because I travel a lot and I get to see a lot of different places and a lot of old areas like Cruz Alta and Sao Luiz Gonzaga. And see a bunch of old friends. But things are going super well. I’m super happy. It’s the 1st of July. My last month in the mission. I’m not trunky, but I’m happy.
I hope you guys are happy and healthy. I love you guys!!
Elder Pereira Santos