Monday, February 25, 2013

Colombo Semana 14

"Just Come to Church!" If you can name that quote, you're probably a recently returned missionary...

But that's a bit how we're feeling at this point :) Yesterday we had tons of families who committed to come to church with us, and we made varius appointments to meet up with people before heading off to church... But NONE of the families were at home at the appointed times. Not one... But it was really nice to see two less active families at church. And the Confirmation of Rosari went lovely.

Elder Rocha is a great elder and I will learn much from him. I'm just a tad concerned at his "I follow the Spirit, not rules" approach, but it will be good have a companion who is really trying to improve the work here. He came from a very small area with lots of members, so this is going to be a bit of an ajustment here :) He's still running at a Curitiba pace in his conversation, and people here are often caught a bit off guard... The people of Colombo move at a slightly different pace. Elder Rocha is a fantastic pianist, so yesterday for church, he played piano while I sang, "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing." About half the branch was crying by the end, so we counted as a success ;) (Yes they really were crying... from joy or pain, who can say?)

We are working with so many families here who aren't married. It is so strange to be in a culture where legal marriage almost doesn't happen anymore... You just kind of start living together and have a kid, and that's what it means to be married. Quite odd. Just get married first... Rarely seems to work out well any other way.

In other news, we have a hot shower. I finally bought a new piece to replace in our shower, and Elder Rocha was the first elder in quite some time to take a hot shower in the house in Colombo. But "Eu tenho saudades, só um poco, de nosso cachoeira"


Elder House

p.s. They are gonna divide the mission in July... Curitiba and Curitiba South!! Don't know which I'll be a part of...

Monday, February 18, 2013

Colombo Semena 13

Transfers! Baptism! Só alegria!

Yesterday we had the baptism of Rosari (pictures to come). She was so happy to be baptized and make those special covenants with God. Her husband still has some work to do, but he´ll come around :) Elder Trevisanut performed the baptism and I´ll do the confirmation this coming sunday.

We had transfers today, and I recieved a new companion, Elder Rocha from Salvador Brasíl. He is awesome.

We are very happy. And very short on time.


Elder House

Monday, February 11, 2013

Columbo Week 12

Well this could possibly be the last email from Colombo. Usually when a missionary is trained, he stays in the area and gets a new companion, but since we opened the area, all bets are off. I still think there´s a good chance that the next email will be coming from Colombo, but if could be fromPonta Grossa, Paranaguá, Curitiba or some place I´ve yet to hear of :)

This week we have been working to prepare 
Rosari for baptism this coming weekend. Her husband is still working on dropping alcohol and tobacco, but she is 100% ready if she makes through this week without coffee. And she will. Yesterday at church she was smiling the whole time. She will be a great member!

Unfortunately, this week, we watched a family get ripped apart because of alcohol. The father had been a serious alcoholic for many years, but for the past 2 years he was clean. He was baptized, received the priesthood, was sealed with his family in the temple, and was serving as the ward clerk. But apparently, these past couple weeks, he was getting nervous about bills and such, and his spirit was weakened to the point where, when a neighbor offered him a drink, he accepted. And he relapsed hard. I probably don´t need to recount everything that happened, but it is a rather grave situation. He is now in rehab and very depressed because of what happened. Everyone in the branch is reaching out to help the family, but it will take some time before the scars from this incident heal completely. In the Word of Wisdom, which is a health code from God to protect our bodies and minds, the Lord speaks as follows,

 4 Behold, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you: In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation— 

That inasmuch as any man drinketh wine or strong drink among you, behold it is not good, neither meet in the sight of your Father...`

It is not good, nor necessary to drink. It never brings happiness. It never brings the Spirit. And even when it doesn´t seem to have an impact in the short run... it will in the future. What a word of wisdom.

All is well with us here, and we are going to finish off what will probably be the last week together strong.


Elder House

Columbo Week 11

This week was filled with some unique difficulties, but we finished it off well.

Today I got the email about Uncle Paul passing away. I'm going to miss him, but his death isn't tragic with an understanding of the Plan of Salvation, knowing that we'll see him again. I'll bet that sometime in the eternities, we'll be able to have a Kelson family reunion and that he'll be behind the grill cooking up Paul Newman sandwiches and tossing people off the giant water weenie. I like Uncle Paul a lot. I want to be a heck of a lot like him in 50 years.

Bummer about Uncle Josh, and especially the canceled ski trip for Christian. Hopefully you'll still get to go! If not, then buckle down at Corbett so you can go to BYU and go skiing without the travel! :) And good luck to Carsten with French Horn!

On Wednesday, we had a Zone Conference with President and Sister Cordon in Boa Vista. It was a great meeting where we learned "bastante" about how to be better missionaries. Sister Cordon brought out a beautiful chocolate cake and we discussed a little about how it is like the gospel. Our duty as missionaries is to help deliver it to people. But sometimes our method of delivery isn't all that effective... Sister Cordon ripped out a big chunk from the middle and hurled it at my companion and I. We were quick enough to catch some of the fragments, but as she kept chucking chunks of cake at us, we just had to hide behind our hymn books while crumbs went sailing overhead. It was a VERY effective object lesson. Sometime when we want to share the joy we have through the gospel we start hurling it at people. Or sometimes we set it on a plate in front of a friend and start spoon feeding it to them rather awkwardly... So finding ways to share the gospel that are effective is important. Because it would be terribly rude to enjoy a big slice of Papa Haydn's Carrot Cake in front of a group of friends without offering a slice to them. Your friends and neighbors can see that your family is happy... not perfect, but happy. And that you seem to have more peace and security than they have. And they want that as well. So share the cake... but don't toss it at 100 mph unless they're ready with glove and catcher's gear.

The Colombo Branch is really starting to look like something that is going to be a ward here by the end of the year... The Elder's Quorum President and Branch Mission Leader are really starting to help a bunch and we are getting Home Teaching and Visiting Teaching up and running. If we could help even 5 families return to full activity, we would almost have enough to have a ward! And the Branch Council met together and set a few goals for missionary work. So now we not only have the love of the members, but we have an organized system to help bring more people into the fold, and help those return who have wandered off.


Elder House