Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Hello My Family!
So this week was an all right one. We did have some problems teaching this week due to the huge size of our area and the fact that a lot of our compromises fell through. Also a lot of the investigators we had do no longer want to receive us. But we were able to meet 7 new people to teach this week, which we are excited for and we hope to continue this so that we do not get ourselves into the situation we had this week with the few lessons. So I did end up getting the packages that Dad and Doris sent as well as the one Allyson sent to me! It was awesome cause I got them on the same day, which was the day of our zone conference on Wednesday. They all had things that I love and they were just perfect! Thanks so much you guys!!!
But this week was a rather good week despite the low lessons. We do have one family that we got from a reference from other missionaries and after like 7 times of trying to meet them at home we finally did, and they are a really, really good family! They are really friendly and really receptive. They also said they wanted to go to church, but this Sunday they were not able to because they are opening a new business and they had to tend to it this Sunday, this is why it has also been so hard getting in touch with them at home. But we are very excited to work with them. But also we have this one family where I honestly thought that there was no hope for them. The husband ended up beating his wife and got thrown in jail for a time but she let him back. He had problems with drinking; they both have problems with smoking and drinking coffee. They both were not progressing for the longest time. But this week we visited them and they said that they quit drinking (the husband, and he really did cause his wife testified of it and she doesn’t drink). They are both quitting with smoking and are keeping the goal we set for them. They both also quit drinking coffee. Brazil has this wonder drink called cervada, which is an extract of barley, which has the same appearance and taste as coffee but is not and is all right to drink by the standards of the Word of Wisdom. We gave them some yesterday at church (Yes they even went to church this Sunday too) and then we visited them later that day. They said they both preferred cervada over coffee and now they have both stopped drinking coffee. Also this week they both decided to get married so Elder Larsen and me are helping them with that too. While the progress they are making is good they still have a ways to go until they are ready for baptism. The husband has a few problems with the law he has to take care of and they both need to stop with the smoking, but at least they are on their way!
So also this week was our zone conference. President Martins opened by talking about a few things we need to keep in mind. Again he explained the importance of who can receive revelation for who and how this effects us giving members blessings, cause we have had a lot of members get mad when missionaries suggested calling their home teachers or husband to give them a blessing first. This is of course because we cannot receive inspiration or revelation for members, only for non-members, and a blessing is a form of revelation for that person. He did however say that if there was someone who did not have a husband and they needed a blessing and we were there for lunch just to give it to them to keep from furthering problems between missionaries and members. But really he said about 90% of blessings that occur at lunch should not even be given because often times they are for health cases such as headaches or backaches which should first be taken care of by medicine or doctors and if the problem is not resolved by a blessing. Blessings should be only used once we have exercised our faith and searched for a cure in the many things the Lord has given us thanks to the things found in the earth and what we have invented such as medicine. Blessings are reserved for emergencies or after our faith has been exercised. Also he warned us about if we do bless a member not to make up anything, actually when we bless anyone. If we say phrases just cause we think they sound good or cause we heard them said before and we think they are good or it is what someone wants to hear we are doing witchcraft and not acting by the spirit. Other than that he showed us the number of baptisms of the four missions here in the city of São Paulo, cause our mission has been historically significantly lower than all the others and we were given the task to think about that and try and resolve this problem we are facing here in our mission. However if we do want to get better numbers as a mission it has to start on a personal level and on the level of the area. We cannot see miracles until we are repented and doing the best we can to improve the work.
But I forgot my notebook I took notes in but that is about the jist of what he said. So we also met this woman who’s son is on a mission in Manaus and she is not baptized. She does not have a religion and was just mostly interested in hearing what we teach so she can see what it is exactly what her son is doing and what not. She at least accepted our invite to read the Book of Mormon and to pray about it. But she also lived in a really pretty area, that is where I got the last two photos I sent to y’all from. I must admit my camera does not do it justice it really is beautiful here.
But thank you all for the support and the love that you all give me! Remember that American deodorant is probably the thing I want most right now, also if it were a deodorant and an antiperspirant that would be best. But thanks again for all your love! I hope you all do well this week! Oh also this week we went to try and teach an investigator. She wasn’t there but her husband was and we went in to get a cup of water. When we got in they (a group of guys) were eating what looked like roast dog head which they made in the oven... yeah, the first time I heard of Brazilians eating dog. It was really gross. Anyways love you all!!
Elder William Robert Shelton