Well I was shocked that Calli has grown about a foot since I left home, and her voice has changed dramatically in only a few months. She is turning into a young woman already! And it was great to see that the rest of the family is doing well. Mom has an orchard going, Christian is going to Prom, Carstensurvived the AP Biology test, and Dad is still puttin pizzas on the BBQ. It was a treat to talk with y´all yesterday via Skype for mother´s day.
This week we worked well, but we still have `bastante` room for improvement. We need to use the members even more effectively, because our goal for 15 lessons with members is very realistic. Unfortunately this week, many of the people we were expecting at church did not come, even though we passed by early with members and left church to search out others. But the Lord blessed us with a wonderful family who showed up out of the blue with a member. We have yet to teach them in their home, but we will mark a baptismal date, and jump on getting their documents sent from Rio Grande do Sul.
Today we received authorization to go to Pinhais to get the documents for another marriage, but our ride fell through. We were waiting for him at the appointed hour, and we called but he never showed up... So we took that as a sign that we should spend the day cleaning the house from top to bottom. We still have the kitchen to tackle next week, but the house has only a faint semblance of the house I arrived in. We will arrange another ride to Pinhaisfor the next Preparation Day, and look for a more reliable member :)
Our relationship as companions is continuing to grow and improve as we spend more time teaching together. As I look for small ways to serve Elder V. Silva, it helps things running smoothly. We need to improve our exercising in the morning, and in the past week we set a goal to leave the apartment three times in the week to exercise, but with that cold wave we received (and owing to my companion being from a place where 18 C is as cold as it ever gets) we chickened out... But this week we will do better. We are also working on using the Book of Mormon more effectively in ALL the aspects of the Missionary Work.
This week we received a referral to a man who sells salami on the side of the road, who, by all appearances is at least half crazy. But a young man in the ward had been talking with him and he was interested in the story of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. So we went to talk with him and we presented the Book of Mormon. I have NEVER had someone who understood what the Book of Mormon is (an ancient record of God´s dealings with the people who inhabited the American Continent over 2000 years ago), how it is a test of Joseph Smith´s call as a prophet (if the book is true, then Joseph Smith is a prophet), and a sign of the Restoration (God needed to reteach some of the doctrines that got lost in the 1600ish years of apostasy that resulted from the people´s rejection of the Apostles after the Resurrection of Christ)... as well as this man did. He lives out of our area, but he is always selling with his family under a little tent, so we will start to teach them this week. I think Elder Silva will probably quote me for saying `hey, we don´t judge people (leave that to the District Leader and Bishop)... we just teach!`
I love being a missionary, and I know that the Lord is blessing us as we participate in His work.