Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Hey! First full week in Alta Floresta, and also, the middle of Carnival!!

This week has been a good, busy week, full of both miracles and disappointments. First off, I'll talk about the most exciting progress here in Alta Floresta.
We are indeed teaching both M and L, the sons of the member family here. They are learning fast, and accept everything we teach. We have to teach them separately most of the time because they have different school and work schedules, and they're hardly in the house at the same time. But, regardless, they are both progressing really well. In fact they both want to be baptized! This past week they decided on the 15th of this month to be Baptized. Both Elder N and I are super excited. Not only will they be the first baptisms in Alta Floresta, they will be the first baptisms of my mission. YAY!!! We are especially excited for M because he has expressed interest in serving a mission! 

As for P e I, the exciting news is that they aren't alone!! This week we found 3 more members here in the city! A mulher named F, and two brothers, R(22) and R(12). For those who don't believe in miracles, finding these people was literally the most coincidency (pretty sure I just invented that word) of coincidences. Both times we just happened to be andando the right road at the right time to run into them. But of course, I know that these experiences aren't coincidences at all, only more mounting evidence that we missionaries are just instruments being used to do something bigger. 

As for Carnival, it started on Friday, and today it's in full-swing. All that means is that half the city is gone travelling, and most of the other half is busy partying, either at home or in the bars. Needless to say, these conditions make missionary work a tad frustrating. To top it off, we have to return to casa shortly after sundown (which here, is about 6:30) because that's when the party takes to the streets. But, at least we don't have to stay en casa all day! 

Lastly, a brief thought about spirituality. Recently, I've been super focused on the Work part of missionary work. Updating the area book, Walking the entire city, talking to everyone, speaking the language, testifying, committing, and following through. And all this is good! BUT, I've been missing out on the spiritual side. Missionary work is a spiritual work. (weird thought huh?) 
The only thing that sets us apart from diligent salesmen, is the spiritual part of it. Our purpose is so much more than just convincing someone of an idea. If missionary work isn't being done in and through the spirit, it isn't being done right. I've got a long way to go to become a thoroughly spiritual missionary rather than just a hard-working missionary. But, I look forward to learning and improving. I know that as I do, I will be able to be a more perfect servant of God.

Elder Johnson

still not able to upload my own fotos, but here are some that elder Nascimento sent me.
 The tree I got a picture by is HUGE! I need another one of the full tree...

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