Saturday, June 28, 2014

Afonso Pena Semana 2

World Cup: Today Brasil will play against Chile, and we would have to stay in our house for a few hours anyway, so President moved preparation day to saturday so that we can work on monday and not lose any time. Hence the saturday email.

We thought that our teaching pool was filling up really fast. And it filled up with couples who are all legally wedded! #miracles 

But yesterday we had ALL of our marked visits fall through. Which stinks when you are with a member who was super excited to help you out (the high priests get really excited to go out with the missionaries!) and at the end of the day he says "well boys, we did all we could do... which was absolutely nothing" and chuckles to himself. Yup that kinda stinks. But compared with the sucess we were having, I think the Lord felt we needed a dose of humility.

I went on an exchange in Jardim Ipê (second area) and I was very happy to see some of the people who we taught, baptized, reactivated, etc. But the primary purpose was to help that area become productive again. President called Elder Ritchie during the exchange to ask why Ipe was going so poorly, and poor Elder Ritchie got an earful... and forgot to mention that we were in the very same hour, in exchanges to help them! :) It is a great ward that I hope I can help out again.

Afonso Pena is a great ward. Everyweek on the mission, I understand better the need for the members to bring their friends to church, and fellowship the people who are visiting. Manytimes we teach people  who have a special experience with the Book of Mormon, but when they go to church, the sisters in the ward look down on the wife because she didn´t have time to brush her hair while she was preparing the children, or the husband never used a tie in his life and it was a bit messy on his neck... etc. It needs to be a place where they´ll get a hug, and someone with take the children off to primary, and someone will ask their names, and someone will sit down beside them and explain how to read a himnal, and the bishop will tell them that they are welcome to return next week. Afonso Pena has enourmous potential for the Lord to bless them with converts because the bishop is fantastic at making everyone feel welcome, and he personally asks them to come back next week. 

I love this ward. I love the Lord.


Elder House

Monday, June 23, 2014

Afonso Pena Semana 1

2 Confirmations. #complicated

We had the ward Festa Junina on Saturday which was the best way ever to meet all of the members at once. Imagine the ward fall festival, but put a huge redneck twist on it, and lots of foods made from corn.

Rain makes corn,
Corn makes pamonha,
Pamonha makes the cultural hall
Erupt in pandimonium

I don´t think my future has Brazilian country singer in it...

But I´m loving being in the field. I had to remember how to teach a lesson at 10h in the morning, and what to do at 3 in the afternoon. My companion is absolutely nuts. Totally crazy. Insane."Piradinho" But that´s totally fine by me cause he works super hard and is gente boa. Elder Ritchie is from Texas/Illinois/Missouri/California/Ohio/three other states, and belive it or not, his dad isn´t in the military. He has been out on the mission for 1 year and 3 months and served for a little bit in San Diego waiting on his visa. His last 2 companions were ZL´s going out of the mission, and he thought that I would be more of the same, but this week, I think he was happy that I´m not draggin him down :) We are working a bunch.

Just a little info on my area.

It has the airport, and therefore the trunkiest area in the mission. But we´ll see if it gets the best of Elder House. My bet is NO! There´s too much work to be done. People to be taught. Exchanges to go on. Training to do. Frisbee to be played for excercises. I had one of those, "i´ve only got 3 months to be in Brasil as a missionary!!" moments this week, so I think it´ll be okay.

I am filling the shoes for Elder Poe and Elder Woodruff who finished their missions here, so the ward has a pretty high standard for the kind of missionary that they like to work with. So lets go to work!


Elder House

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Aqua Verde...Drum roll please...34

Last week in Agua Verde... Mixed feelings.
Ze-zinho is progressing about as fast as a snail. But he´s still movin forward.
Irineu wants to be baptized urgently, but still has problems with the word of wisdom. we´re hoping this customized cigarette case will help him out

Well I wanted to go out of the office to be a trainer (maybe a DL Trainer). But the companion that President had put me with in the transfer scenario, ended up postponing his mission call for a few months... So he put another with me, but that guy didn´t end up going to the MTC on time... And before President could put me with another greenie, we got a call from the MTC saying that another one would have to stay in São Paulo for at least another week to have a surgery...

Sooooo President got the message from the Lord and didn´t put me as a trainer (#rats!)

Looks like I´m going to be zone leader in São José dos Pinhais, in the Afonso Pena ward. Which means that I´ll be in the same chapel as Jardim Ipê! Which means I can see my recent converts there :) That´s exciting. There is one couple that is almost ready to marry in the temple and I think that I´ll be allowed to go participate. That´s nifty! (Also means that I´ll have another São João in São José!!)
Well the time is brutally short today because transfers were supposed to happen next wednesday, but there was a change and they´ll happen on monday. Which means that I´m sacrificing preparation day to write a manual of instructions on how to be a secretary for Elder Leite to use. But I think it´ll help him out. He is undoubtedly one of the best missionaries I have ever met. I´ve learned mcuh with him in the past 6 weeks.

I hope that where you´re at, the sun is shining. If it´s not, please count on His timing.


Elder House

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Aqua Verde Semana 33

I just noticed that last week, I forgot to finish my words... I´ll be returning to the field in the middle of the World Cup. This week will be the opening game, and we will... wait for it... stay at home :/ How exciting right? But at least we will be safe. Actually it should be pretty fun because President will let the Assistants come across the street and stay with us. Also, shockingly, Elder Lima will receive a new companion to train as auxiliary secretary (and have 1 week to train him), so this next week we´ll have 5 secretaries.

5 Secretaries + 2 Assistants + Free Time = Bagunça
Yesterday we had a huge baptism. 1st, Anglo is huge. 2nd, there were over 100 people. 3rd, He made great changes in his life before this could happen. I don´t even know where to start to explain his story, and how we started teaching him. But suffice it to say that the Lord can use the strangest means to help get His children on the straight and narrow path.
The baptism yesterday kinda swallows up all of my thoughts from the week.
One more thing. This week we took José (Zezinho) to the temple to help him feel more ready to take the final steps to being baptized. He had a few problems with the Word of Wisdom, and has been clean for almost a month now. He is very worried that he won´t be able to stay away from the bad influences that are all around him. So we took him to the temple where there are ZERO negative outside influences that can impede the Spirit. President Fernandes showed us an amazing scripture afterwards that I wish I had known beforehand. 1 Kings 8:41-43. It takes place in the dedicatory prayer of the ancient temple in Jerusalem and the promises made are applicable in our days as well. It is a huge blessing to have a temple close by. I can´t imagine missionary work without a temple.
Well I think that´s it for this week. Thank you for the prayers.

Elder House