So, even though it´s not the end of the transfer (that comes next week), I was transferred AGAIN! Almost 15 months in my mission and I still have only stayed in one area for 3 transfers. I think last week I said Elder Beazer, a visa waiter who served in Mesa, Arizona, arrived with Elder Mesquita and I. Well, this week, more missionaries arrived and so I was transferred into the ward São Luis. Me and my companion, Elder Rezabala, are opening this area. It had missionaries a long time ago, but they did some things wrong, were taken out, and the area remained without missionaries for a long time. It´s definitely an adventure and a challenge, coming from the fantastic Castro Alves Ward where it seemed like everything was on fire to São Luis where both of the Relief Society President´s Counselors are less-active. Taken from the most succesful zone into the mission to the least. But, I am confident we are going to see this ward and our area change and improve A LOT. Because there is a LOT more potential than is being realized.
I think Elder Rezabala and I will develop a really good relationship together. He is pretty much the polar opposite of Elder Mesquita, but I love him. He is always really focused on getting better, which pushes me to be better as well. This week we had a roller coaster of results. Our first few days seemed awesome. One day we found 9 new investigators and the next day we had 9 appointments set. But, that day, 8 of 9 appointments fell through and it seems like everything we have done has already collapsed. But, if I have learned anything in my mission, it is that patiently doing the things we know to be right always brings blessings. It was really hard when not one person came to conference with us (Ugh…. I hate that!), but I really do have confidence that this area and ward will grow A LOT. There is a lot of potential to be realized. And Elder Rezabala and I will grow a lot.
Also, this area has HILLS. I never appreciated fully how relatively flat Castro Alves is. Now I will.
I´m realizing now how many tools I have learned to use that will be applied here in São Luis. Elder Rezabala and I have already worked super hard this week and I know we will see the blessings of this work soon. We have to.
On another note, General Conference was incredible. Seriously. This is what I took from it. We need to get a testimony, use the atonement, get in shape (physically and spiritually), pay our fast offerings, do Family History Work, share the gospel, and use every tool the gospel has to bless us and our families. And we need to do it NOW! Or yesterday. This sense of urgency to get our lives in order I felt in every single talk that was given. Because, as Neil L Andersen said, it is time to put on our oxygen masks. And if we think we can stop using the protection of the gospel for just a second, we aren´t only risking our spiritual lives, we are subjecting our families (past, present, and future) to spiritual death. Conference was just SO GOOD! And ultimately too short.
Also, my companion reminded me after it was over… I only have one conference left in my mission. When did that happen?
I was so glad to hear from Kimmie and to get those pictures of Ryan and Hyrum. Thanks, Mom, for the updates on Lacey, Isaac, Ryan, Grandma Koetitz, and Jon and Tami.
I am praying for Grandma Koetitz every single day. I´m sure life is really hard for her right now.
Oh! I almost forgot. For four days this week we didn´t have water in our house. I never want to wear the same shirt (or underwear) more than one day again. But don´t worry, we resolved the problem and we have water again. Hallelujah.
I love everyone! I love you Mom! I love you Dad! I loved conference! I love President Monson!
And yes, it was AWESOME listening to Elder Grojoy (is that his name?) in Portuguese.