This week was good….
but it was also difficult.
On Thursday we had a “Mission Tour” with Elder Costa, the area president of Brasil. It was INCREDIBLE. He told President Dalton afterward that he shared experiences that he has never shared before because he felt like our mission was prepared to hear them. The São Paulo Interlagos Mission really is incredible. The Long Beach Mission was great. The missionaries, for the most part, were obedient and hard working. But the day I got to this mission, President Dalton said, “Welcome to the most obedient mission in the world.” And I honestly believe, especially as I hear “stories” from other missions. But, all I can say about the meeting with Elder Costa is that it was a sacred experience.
The rest of the week POURED DOWN RAIN. It was great. I definitely prefer mind-blowing rain to scorching sun. Because of the hills and lack of civil engineering here, the roads literally turn into rivers during rainstorms. And we are the only living beings crazy enough to stay in the road walking in it. The roads here are always, ALWAYS full of people, until it clouds up. Then the roads are emptier than my stomach last fast sunday. Needless to say, we have to be a little more creative in our finding efforts. Street contacting doesn´t exactly work when the only other living soul in the street is your missionary companion.
Also, Sunday morning, our most solid investigators dropped us when we went to their houses to go with them to church. It was pretty rough. Of the 5 people SUPER FIRM to go to church on Saturday night, 0 went with us and three said they never want to talk to us again. The law of opposition is REAL. In our mission we have a rule called “As Regras Domingueras” (That means The Sunday Rules). Really, two rules.
1.We ALWAYS go to church on Sunday.
2.We CANNOT go to church without an investigator.
These rules might seem a little like a catch 22, and it is. But that´s the point. If we are faced with a situation where we cannot avoid breaking a rule, we have to choose which we will break, if we are going to skip church or if we are going to stay without an investigator.
AND CLEARLY WE AREN`T GOING TO SKIP CHURCH.
To make a long story short, we didn´t have an investigator at church on Sunday. In other times during my mission this wouldn´t have bothered me at all. But now it does. A lot. Because my expectations have changed. In this mission we have a goal to baptize weekly (which, I´ll be honest, I didn´t have much faith in when I got here… but now I do). And if we don´t bring someone to church, it is pretty hard to baptize.
But, Elder Rezabala and I had an opportunity to reflect on our work and make some changes to make sure that we are doing EVERYTHING that President Dalton (and in extension, The Lord) is teaching us in order to have success.
It is incredible how much I learn every week. It feels like I don´t have enough time to apply ALL of the things I learn. That is the challenge.
We also had a Mission Christmas Activity all day yesterday, which is why I am emailing today. It was great. I love our mission. And President and Sister Dalton.
But Mom: Yes I will be able to use Google Hangout to talk with the whole family at once. As I said last week, it will probably be between 3-6 PM São Paulo time. I will call Dad´s cell phone on Christmas Eve to identify specifically when and how I will call.
When I open my package, Mom, I will be sure to replace my medical card.
EU AMO MINHA FAMÍLIA E TODO O MUNDO QUE ESTEJA LENDO ESTA CARTA.