Monday, February 17, 2014

Week #47 (Half way there!)

So here's the scuttlebutt.  We had a really good week this week.  A lot of good lessons learned.

We had interviews with President Brum earlier this week which turned out really well.  I was the very last to be interviewed by him, since we live relatively close to the chapel where he was giving interviews.  Gonna be honest, he intimidates me a little bit.  I think I already mentioned that he was a very high ranking official in the military, in while still be a very loving man, very dedicated to the gospel, he approaches things very much procedurally.  Which is good for me, I can always use more structure because my desires can me somewhat whimsical.  Oh, and by the way, I decided that I want to be an author now.  

Anyways, back to my account of the interview.  I was a little bit nervous going into it in the first place.  And it didn't help that when we were waiting for the bus to go to the chapel a bird decided to green-and-white diarrhea on my clothes.  Talk about nerve-racking.  I don't think President noticed, because he didn't say anything.

My interview was good, but I did get a bit of a lecture from Pres about numbers.  His vision is for every mission companionship to have roughly 30 lessons a week with 2 baptisms every month, which is definitely do-able, but Elder Rock and I have somewhat been falling short.  President gave me a really good talk about the importance of measuring our effectiveness by our numbers, and it actually really helped in our work this week.  Previously I had been somewhat skeptical about getting so caught up in numbers, because I felt like you seem to lose the people in the information.  But it's pretty much the opposite.  When you keep accurate information you don't lose people and you find more.

It's really interesting how quickly the numbers we set as goals turn into people.  It is a desire to increase your numbers when you ask to enter a home to share a message, but you end up leaving with a new friend that you shared the gospel with.  It sounds dumb, but I had a realization this week that we don't just do contacts for the sake of contacts.  We do contacts for lessons.  And we don't just have lessons just to hear ourselves talk.  You have to teach clearly and simply so that people understand.  We teach lessons to help people set baptismal dates.  A lot of questions seemed to come together today.

It's raining like the dickens outside right now, good heavens.  It's good, too, because it has been a while since we have had some good rain.

So I am going to hit my year mark this week.  Elder Rock and I are going to wake up a bit early on that day and make a huge American breakfast.  It's going to be delightful.  

We found some really good people this week that we are teaching.  One of them is named Chaieny, and I could totally see her getting baptized.  She is very active in the Catholic church, and at one time was actually training to become a nun, but felt very distinctly that she needed to leave the convent.  I think it was perfect inspiration that we found her this week after having had a training with President Brum, because everything that he taught was exactly the things that we needed to apply when teaching her.  Until this week I never realized how gratifying it is to really explain things clearly and simply for others.

The language is doing really well, I just need to work on comprehension and getting rid of my accent.

That's my beef for this week, fam.  Love you much!


Week #46

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Week #45

I was able to send you a ton of pictures this week, so I hope you like them.  These are all from my companions camera.  My camera works, but it's really picky with computers, so I don't have the time or patience to send you one's from mine.  But, I hope you enjoy these ones, especially the one of me imitating Dad's chicken-foot-in-the-mouth picture from his mission.

We had a really good week this week, probably the best that I have had here in Brazil.  We had a lot of contact with people, had some new investigators come to church this week, and some really good meetings with the leadership of the branch.  We are still having struggles getting everything worked out with Marcelo so that he can get baptized, but we're hoping that his schedule works out so that one, he can go to church and stay active, and two, actually get baptized.

I went on a trade-off this week up to Leporace with Elder Cardoso, one of our zone leaders this week, which was super fun.  Trade-offs are good because it gives you a chance to see the way other missionaries approach their work.  You can implement what you like and discard what you don't like and become a better person and missionary.

Sacrament meeting was really good this week, too.  The best part was that I think I have really, finally learned to do missionary work because I love the people.  It is one thing to go through the motions and fulfill all the steps because someone told you to, and it's totally another thing to preach with sincerity and love because the Gospel is something that you truly, purely appreciate and love.  I know that I have a long ways to go, but I feel like I am really making some progress with this.  I'm not perfect, but perfect love never faileth, so we can always hope for great success when you really love the people that you are working with.

That's what I've got for you this week.  I think about all of you during the week and how much I love you.  Thanks for all of your support, kind words, and pictures of that chunky Penny-girl.  Super cute.

Y'all are the best.