Monday, June 16, 2014

Everyone, hold on to your horses!!! Something incredible and unbelievable has happened. Our District recieved the Transfer updates last night and........NOTHING CHANGED!!! All four missionaries here in Alta Floresta are staying at least one more transfer! Fist time in my mission when literally everything stays the same, and the first time I get to stick with the same companion. YAY!!! I am absolutally thrilled to be able to work here another six weeks, With this next transfer, I will spend a total of 6 months here in this Amazonian paradise! 

But, this week was another week of miracles, and a LOT of work. We are so busy with investigators and recent converts, we hardly have any time to go door to door. What's even more awesome, is that our investigators are all super responsive and want us to teach all of their friends!! Just yesterday, we snatched up eleven new investigators! 

The only thing holding up the work now is the World Cup :( Every time Brazil has a jogo, we have to head home early. It's fairly rediculous. Everyone ends up partying and drinking the whole night long, and just with the first jogo this Thursday there were fireworks every goal, and fights in the streets afterward. But, we're doing the best we can, and we're working, starting at 8:30 in the morning just so we can get some lessons in! 

And, now to share some of the best experiences of the week! First and foremost, we ran into yet another member who had no idea the chuch was here in Alta Floresta! On Wednesday, she came up to us na rua, and excitedly asked, "Are you from my church?" Sure enough, we were. She's lived here for three years all alone, but her testimony is rock solid! We were able to visit her with R and L last night, and she presented a friend of hers to us, and shared a powerfull testimony of how her encounter with the missionaries helped her realize that the Lord hadn't forgotten her!

As for our awesome recém conversos, R and L are super excited, and have accompanied us missionaries to help teach! L especially likes visiting with the missionaries because she wants to be a Sister Missionary one day! A gave his first talk in Church this Sunday, and he did an awesome job. And L finially blessed the sacarament! It was a dream come true to see him and M working together in the Priesthood!

I am basically overwhelmed with gratitude! I can't even express how blown away I am by all that I have been able to see and do. And what's even more incredible, is that I feel like it's just beginning! There is so much ahead of me, and I can't wait to see what the future has in store!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

This was a week of learning. Not necessarily because of experiences, but more because of my attitude. This week, I spent a lot of time in self-evaluation. Let me tell you, if you want to be more humble, just spend a good hour or two REALLY evaluating yourself. But before I get to the good, sentimental stuff, just a couple of updates and events.

First off, this week we changed things up, and divided the city so that the two sets of missionaries could work more effectively. For me and Elder Oliveira, that means no more Cidade Alta! How I will miss that hour long hike... But with the new boudaries of our arieas, we now have 6 recent converts to teach, 4 less-active families, and a load of progressing investigators that have accepted to prepare to be baptized. That means that Elder Oliveira and I can pretty much kiss goodbye to knocking doors for a little bit. We have our hands full just following up with everyone that we're teaching. It'll be a lot of work, but we're super excited to get to it!

However, this week, I realized that I was getting cought up in the ritual of missionary life. Get up, get dressed, study, eat, teach, testify, invite, pray, sleep. Bam bam bam, a pattern that works well. It's effective. You get good stuff done, BUT, you miss out on a part of this work that is absolutaly critical, the "by the spirit" part of Preach my Gospel. 

As I talked with and taught people this week, I realized that I need to be more than a "missionary". That's to say I need to me more than just a teacher, or hard-worker, I need to be a friend, an example, a leader. To simplify it all, I need to be a Disciple of Jesus Christ in thought, word, and action. Our brothers and sisters in this world need more than someone to just preach at them. They need someone who listens, cares, and most importantly, feels! 

Placing Christ as an example is tough, because you'll always fall short. But, I'm determined to really try and be more Christlike, and more receptive to the spirit in everything we do.

Pictures are gleened from the Cuiaba Mission blog page.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Wow this week is over and done! It feels like I was here writing my weekly letter last week yesterday! This week was just about as normal as it gets. Running around the city, trying to be in two places at once. 

Unfortunately, I don't have any mind-blowing stories to tell this week. One event that stands out, is that we helped in the move of one our members here in Alta Floresta. By helped out, I actually mean that the 4 missionaries here basically moved the entire family all by ourselves. We planned an hour and a half of our day to help out, and ended up working four hours straight! 

The awesome news of this week, is that all of the converts here are staying firm, and progressing even more in the Church! R bore an incredibly powerful testimony yesterday in our little sacarament meeting, and A had the missionaries over for an awesome churrasco. What's more, he invited non-members to introduce to the missionaries, and we had a great lesson with everyone there!  

As for S and the family of A L, one of A L's other sons, W showed up at his mom's house as a suprise this week. Now we are working double time with everyone in that family! W is an interesting individual, and we've got a lot more work ahead of us to get everyone in that family involved and excited about the Gospel.

We are looking forward to this next week, and we've got lots to organize and plan still, but, with the Lord guiding his work, we know that with our continued efforts, we will be able to accomplish even more than we have previously!!