At times I close my eyes and click the heels of my well worn but polished dress shoes together and say to myself "there´s no place like the field, there´s no place like the field, there´s no place like the field..." but when I open my eyes, there´s still a long list of office tasks to be completed.
I know the Lord has a sense of humor. Because every time that I think I´ve got it all figured, out we get a new challenge to face. But we have to be like Nephi:
So when we have a roadblock, it almost becomes a game to find the "out" that the Lord set up in the trial to win. This week it happened with the Federal Police. I thought that I had it all perfect, all the documents correct, all of the missionaries scheduled perfectly, etc. We woke up on Wednesday and the phone started ringing off the hook... "Elder there´s no bus!!" That´s when my companion remembered that he had been told by and investigator that the bus company would be on strike and there would be NO bus passing in Curitiba on Wednesday... which would mean, no bus to the Federal Police station for everyone to get there... but he didn´t remember to let me know and to plan accordingly. So after a deep breath and a quick prayer we had to find the solution that the Lord had prepared.
Plan B: We took off to the taxi stop to find a line that reminded me of when the first Krispy Kreme opened in Portland. So we left the sisters there to wait while we looked for another solution.
Plan C: We called a few members, but quickly realized that everyone who has a car was already working as a taxi driver for family and friends.
Plan D: My companion saw a taxi passing by and shouted to him as he was passing in front of us. Miraculously he stopped! (you can´t do that in Curitiba, you have to wait a taxi point). He asked us where we wanted to go and we told him that we needed to cross the whole city to go to the Federal Police station. "Wait here for 2 minutes." He dropped of the rider he had, and returned.
When we arrived, everyone had managed to do the same! It was a miracle. The only hold up was that no one had money to pay the ridiculous taxi fares for crossing the whole city. For some reason, a few weeks ago, I felt that I needed to start saving up my mission allowance and leave it all on the card (which meant just eating what I had in the house, peanut butter, eggs, and rice)... My companion (the financial secretary) had forgotten to manage the mission funds that were to be used there, and we ended up needed almost every cent on my mission card to pay all the taxi drivers. In the end we were able to register everyone, and I was able to renew my visa until the end of my mission! But it was crazy.
This week we had a hard time making it out of the office to teach as much as we would have liked... But, Ruth is locked on for the 8th of March for her baptism. And she´s inviting the WHOLE favela to watch. Everyone in her neighborhood knows her and she´s inviting all to participate. President Fernandes was saying something to the effect of "Here in Brasil, look at the huge parties that these people throw for the first birthday party of a child who will never even know it happened! Why is it that we don´t invite all of these people and the neighbors and all of our relatives and the guy from the grocery store and our coworkers to participate in the ordinance that will open the door of heaven for us? That´s something worth inviting people to!" So we took a sheet of paper to Ruth and started asking about all of the people who she knows who she wants at the baptism. She easily filled a sheet, and we are tracking down all of them. Gotta catch em all.
We are also having a hard time contacting all of the referrals that we are receiving! This is the best problem in the world to have. When members get excited about you teaching their friends, the missionary work moves at a different clip. The only problem will be leaving the black hole of the office to teach everyone.
This weekend, all the youth and half the adults are at youth camp. During Carnaval in Brasil, all of the youth go camping as a stake to take them out of the danger zones. They are taking one of our investigators as well, so we are hopeful that it will help his testimony continue to grow.
I know the Savior lives and that He is concerned with every individual on the face of the earth. He knows how to make things turn out alright. And if you ask Him, He´ll help.