Pau dos Ferros: Week 1

Monday, May 25, 2015

Well this week I did get transferred and I can´t say how happy I am to be in this new area! Not that I didn´t like my old one, but this one has been a great change.  I´m in Pau dos Ferros now, a small city that is way in the interior. The city has about 25,000 people. It is one of the furthest areas away from the mission HQs. My new companion is Elder Andrade from São Paulo and we live with Elder Solorzano, one of my past companions who I like a lot; and Elder Molina, an elder from southern Brazil who just arrived on the mission.

This area has a group and the church is just arriving here. There are 2 member families originally from Natal who are living here now, but the rest of the group are recent converts from the last few months. The church here is very new and the first missionaries came only about 8 months ago, and now there are 2 sets of missionaries here instead of just 1. The church is in our house. But it´s a really nice and big house. The part we live in is a secluded part in the back and there are big rooms in the front part that stay empty for the classrooms, and there´s a big garage-type room downstairs for sacrament meeting. The church is growing here quickly and now there are more than 50 members with an attendance of 40 or 45 on sundays! It should become a branch pretty soon. The last set of missionaries really did some great work in their few months here and they baptized several firm members. Anyway, I'm really excited to be here and this has been the area of the mission that lots of elders including me have wanted to go to!

One of the downsides about this area is that it´s been in a drought for a while and we rarely have water in the house. Most people have a water box that fills whenever the water comes, and then they have to ration that until water comes again, which right now is at once in every 7 or 8 days. In our house we keep the baptismal font full and then use its water for what we need. To take a shower we fill up a bucket from the baptismal font and take a shower out of the bucket. But it´s easy to get used to and it´s kind of a cool experience, haha. It makes you feel old-fashioned. And then if we´re ever short on water for a baptism we can call a truck and have him fill it up for 15 reais per 500L of water. 

I like my companion a lot and this area is a really cool place. The people here are extremely nice and receptive and it´s a really safe and calm place. Unlike all of my other areas, we are really isolated from the rest of the zone. The next closest area is the zone leaders in Souza which is 2 hours away and in another state. On Thursday we will go to a conference in Caicó for the zones in the interior where Elder Mazzagardi of the area presidency will come. 

I arrived here at the same time as my companion so we are both new to the area. But we are both liking it a lot here and are working well. It´s cool here because most people we talk to have never heard of the church. We divide the city with the other missionaries but we haven´t really made a division yet so we just kind of work wherever for now. Lots of people had said that this area was really really hot. It is, but not that bad. I´ll send a few pictures this week and more in the week to come.

Well it was good to hear your updates from this week and I look forward to hearing from you all next week!

Elder Church

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