February 4, 2014:
I am emailing today because yesterday we were out of our area for zone P-day and by the time we got back, all of the LAN Houses were closed. So we got permission from President to email today really quick.
This past week was a little tough. We worked really hard this past week. On Saturday night we had dropped by all of the people who were planning on going to Church. Every single one of them said, "I WILL be there tomorrow! You can count on me!" We were all excited because we were going to have 8 people in Church, but when we got to Church, no one showed up. We were calling all of them, but they either didn't attend, or the phone was off, so that was a major bummer. I was super sad, because they had all been excited to go and to learn and then they didn't come. I know I should be used to people not coming to church, but out of all of them NO one came. It really hurt and I had to pray a lot during the Sacrament meeting to know what we should do differently this week in order to have people at Church.
We also had a really good meeting with the Stake President yesterday. Presidente Ferrin wants that the Zone Leaders (and all missionaries for that matter) to have a closer relationship with the Stake Presidency. We had a great meeting with him and talked about how we could improve the Guaratinguetá Stake. We were invited to the Bishopric Meeting next Sunday to talk to all of the bishops from the stake about the missionaries in their wards and to see if we can help them with any other difficulties or complaints. We will also prepare a little 10 minute presentation of our monthly goals as missionaries, and we as a stake AND missionaries can do together to achieve those goals. It was really cool to talk to Presidente Martinez (the Stake President). He reminded me a whole lot of President Murphy. He was very enthusiastic and so willing to help us with what we need. It was really great.
So P-day was really cool! Our zone is out here in the Interior, aka the country side. There are cool mountains to hike, waterfalls to see, cool old buildings to visit and a ton more! So, this P-day we went as a zone to this waterfall out in the middle of nowhere.
I will pray and fast for rain in California as well. I miss you guys so much and hope you all have a great week! I love you so much!
February 10, 2014
Good news, we finally had a baptism!
His name is Matheus, I am pretty sure I have already told you about him. He is a rapaz of 13 years. With the new mission rules, if someone you are teaching is under the age of 17, he or she has to go to church for at least 3 months before they can be baptized. But, if they have a family member in the Church older than 17, they can be baptized in 3 weeks. Matheus has an older brother, Jonatan, who has been a strong member of the Church and is 18 years old. We took a bus out to teach Matheus and when we got there he was drinking coffee and we made an agreement with him to stop drinking it. He stopped that same day. He has been going to Church for a while, and he already has a white shirt and tie and has been reading the Book of Mormon. His cousin baptized him yesterday and he already has a ton of friends in the church!
Yesterday we were invited to the Stake Bishopric meeting to talk about how we could work better and closer with the stake leadership and its members. I was really nervous! We were the only ones wearing suit coats there because no one here wears suit coats (it is too hot!), but I wanted to show them that we are serious and here to work hard! We gave a little presentation on our monthly goals as missionaries for baptism in our area, but not only the goal for the missionaries, but for that whole stake too. It was really great and all of the bishoprics really supported us and the stake president most of all! We also had a meeting with the Ward Mission leaders as well to see how they could help their own wards. In the middle of that meeting, I'm sitting there listening to the training and i feel a little POP in my mouth! I feel with my tongue and feel that my retainer had come off my tooth on one side! It kinda scared me, but I will go to the dentist this week to see if they can put it back in place.
I wish I could write more, but I am getting kicked out. I'm sorry! I am fine, my knee is fine, it just aches a tiny little bit after we walked a long day, but nothing I can't handle!
I love you all and hope you all have a great week! I heard that you guys got rain!! I have been praying for you and will continue to pray for you guys!
February 17, 2014
I had to go to the dentist, which was pretty scary.... but it turned out OK. We know this guy who sells popcorn and he knows a dentist. He called up the dentist, made the appointment, and we went to see the dentist. The dentist was a very nice lady who put my retainer back into place rather quickly. I just hope it is the right place...I guess we will see.
We also had to do divisions this week. I went to Cruzeiro, an area in our zone, and Elder Zancheta went to Guara, a different area. I stayed in Cruzeiro night, and morning. We stayed for so long because the areas are so far away from each other. From my area to Cruzeiro is 3 hours by bus, so it takes awhile to get to areas in our zone, which is why we don't do too many divisions. I went to Cruzeiro with Elder Hanni and his new companion, Elder Larson. It was REALLY hot and they have a huge area and we had to walk a little bit to get to the peoples' houses we were going to visit AND we were fasting as a zone. We wanted water pretty bad. Everyone was asking, "Hey, do you guys want some water? It's really hot outside!" It was hard not being able to accept the water, but was a good division and I hope that the missionaries there will use the things we learned.
We had 6 baptisms as a zone and 2 confirmations this week! We were second overall in the mission and we are working super hard here and we are beginning to see the results. We can't stop now that we have had a little bit of that success, especially when we can have so much more. We also have interviews with Presidente Ferrin this week and I am super excited to talk to them since I have left the office. I miss them! In the office I got to see them on a daily basis and when I left it was like I was leaving for college...Presidente cried, Sister Ferrin cried, but I stayed strong. I love them so much. They are such great people and great leaders.
I want you guys to know that I have been praying and fasting for you for my entire mission, and as you guys just ask me things to pray and fast for, I just add them to my list. I am so glad to see that you guys are getting rain in California. There is so much power in prayer and fasting, especially when all the saints do it. It is amazing to me to see how much our Heavenly Father loves us and that we are tested to show our faith in Him. He gives us these challenges knowing that we can overcome them, and that they will make us stronger. I love this Gospel so much and am so grateful for the opportunity that I have to serve the Lord here in Brasil and serve these amazing people.
I love you all so much and hope you guys have a great week and I will talk to you guys next week!!