Monday, March 12, 2012

"Goodbye" and "Hello" ... It's Transfer Time

Saying "Goodbye" to Elder Costa ... and "Hello" to Elder J. Almeida

Alright … so transfers happened last week.  Elder Costa got transferred and I stayed here.  He went back to São Paulo.  It wasn’t too hard saying “Goodbye” to him.  I knew one of us was going so it was no surprise.  Right before I got back on the bus to head off to the interior, he went and gave me a huge hug and thanked me for the time together.  So that was nice and was probably the saddest part in leaving him, but it wasn’t too horrible.  My new companion is Elder J. Almeida … another Brazilian.  He’s from the city Ribeira Do Pombal, in the state Bahia.  He’s a cool guy.  He‘s really chill and really new.  Elder J. Almeida has only been on his mission for 3 months so he’s kind of quiet, which means that I end up doing a lot of the talking during our visits and answer lots of the questions when people ask.  It’s good because I’ve really grown a lot in this last week as far as teaching and other stuff goes.  Out of all my companions he is the most different from me as far as personality and interests go.  He is really serious … where as, I like to have fun when the situation is appropriate.  Like the other day we went to a member’s house that invited us over for cake so they could get to know him.  The majority of the time he just sat there reading scriptures.  But he likes to work and doesn’t complain that I’m working him to death.  His only other companion in the field was a little bit of a slacker.  Now he’s here working hard.  But he likes to work so it’s great!!  He’s always ready to teach and talk to anyone, no matter how tired he is.

Sounds like you’re having fun in your new calling Mom!  You’re going to do a great job!!  And at that dance … what did that guy say when you gave him the shoe?  Well … what did you say to him too?  What’s Taylor Errickson up to?  Who's Nigel that Mikayla got married to?

This last week was pretty crazy.  Tuesday was pretty chill at first.  Elder Costa was packing his stuff up, so I got to relax and study a little bit more.  Then later that day, it was spent running around saying “Goodbye” to people.  That night we had to go to the Zone Leader’s house to sleep so that the next day we could take off to Sorocaba … another city.  Our mission has two parts … the capital which is all the missionaries in São Paulo (they get a ride from a member or take a bus to get to the office for transfers) … and the interior where I am at.  The Interior includes all the little cities in the interior of the state São Paulo.  For us, the mission rents a big bus so everyone has to get to that bus stop.  Normally all the missionaries get a ride to the bus stop from a member or by taking another bus.  However, my zone is the biggest zone in the mission with the most missionaries, so the mission rents a big van that takes us up to the bus.  The van came by at about 4:30 A.M. so we were up bright and early.  We then got on the bus and headed to São Paulo where I met up with all the other missionaries being transferred.  It was fun because I never get to see the missionaries in São Paulo.  All the guys I knew in the MTC were in the capitol so I got to see them there.  That was fun catching up with them and seeing other friends I’ve made on the mission.  We then loaded back onto the bus and came back.  We finally made it home and took off for a lunch appointment, which we were really late for.  The worst part was we couldn’t call to give a heads up because we were out of credits.  (It’s basically the same thing as minutes … but different.)  The family was cool with it so that was good.

The rest of the week was spent like any other normal week.  Lots of people not wanting to talk to us, and lots of good experiences too.  One of them happened while we taught a lesson.  Elder Costa and I were going to houses of less actives and in one of them we met these two sisters.  They were both baptized when they were really young and then stopped going.  It was cool because we just invited them to go to church and they came back.  One of them remembers the church pretty good, but the other was only eight when she got baptized and it’s been like 10 years.  She doesn’t remember too much.  When they came, the younger of the two brought a friend.  We made an appointment to teach them, because she didn’t know anything about the church and had lots of questions about the Book of Mormon, the priesthood, and lots of other stuff.  Remember how I said on Christmas that here there’s a very common belief that whatever church you go to, as long as it talks about God, is good?  It just depends on what you feel the most comfortable in.  So many people here think this is how it works.  Well … in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints … we know that the same church Jesus Christ established, is here on the earth again and that the other belief isn’t entirely true.  When we explained this to the investigator and the younger sister, they had lots of questions about that.  They were a little confused with how we can say that this is the true gospel of Jesus Christ.  We testified that we can say this because of the proof we have of the Book of Mormon, and other important truths lost over time.  All of their questions were revolving around the lesson of the Restoration, so obviously we taught that.  Before we got to teaching that lesson though, they had tons of other questions about coffee, the Word of Wisdom, piercings, tattoos, and tons of other stuff.  The start of the lesson, with all these random little questions, wasn’t so great because it was jumping around a lot.  But finally, once all the miscellaneous questions were out of the way, we got to teaching the Restoration.  The lesson was so good and had such a strong spirit!  At the end, the two girls that were previously full of questions, were just sitting there looking really happy.  I asked if they had any more questions and they both said that they’re good now.  Just another proof how important the Holy Ghost is in teaching and testifying the truth of things.  They had so many questions and had a bit of a guard up.  After the lesson … they were totally put at ease and open to the spirit that testified the truth.

Well … I gotta get running.  I love you guys so much!!  Hope you’re all doing great!!!


P.S. - If you guys haven’t received any letter since December, there should be three letters in route for the family and one for you, mom.  I hope they’re getting to you guys.  I’m sorry I don’t write every single week because sometimes I just don’t have time and just don’t have much else to say after my email home.  I‘ll try and get better.  I’m sorry guys.

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