How is everybody this week? I wish I could have heard Hayley´s FHE lesson too. Tell her to save that lesson plan so I can see it when I get back. (Mirien: Hayley ended her lesson on faith with this earnest plea to all of us: "I need all of you to work hard to strengthen your faith, because I don't want to get to heaven and look around and wonder where my family is! Don't let me be an orphan in heaven.")
That´s hard to believe that Brent is already home. He sent me an email this week.
Yes, about the christmas music. You can put whatever christmas music you want. I probably won´t have that much time to listen to it anyway. You can go ahead and put a Christmas Mountain folder in there ;).
So yes, most of the pastors/churches here talk bad about the church. Almost all of our investigators at some point will have a neighbor or someone tell false rumors about the church.
Two of the tools that we use a lot here are the list of recent converts in the area, and the list of less actives. Not that our focus is to reactivate, but because we end up finding a lot of new people that haven´t been baptized. Recent converts always have friends and neighbors that have never talked to us, and a lot of times inactive members have people in their house that aren´t members. Or for example, maybe they were baptized 5 years ago and had young children in the house. If so, we can bring the family back to church and baptize the kids. So we can end up accomplishing two things with this work- reactivation/retention, and BAPTISMS.
We like doing divisions sometimes with a couple of recently-returned missionaries in the ward. They both have a lot of vision and had a lot of success on their missions so they help us out quite a bit. We usually go on divisions on sunday mornings to bring investigators to church.
We have been spending a lot of time in these past weeks working in a neighborhood on the banks of the river with lots of receptive people. But we´re not going to work there so much now because they aren´t going to church. Lots of them say during the whole week that they´ll go, but then when we go there on Sunday morning, they end up traveling or not wanting to go because it´s a long walk. We´ll probably focus our efforts in the neighborhoods closer to the church.
But everything is going well here. The climate is nicer than in Mossoró and the other interior cities. We´re excited to keep working hard here. It´s great having Elder Ledesma as a companion. We have a lot of unity and we have fun too.
I will definitely be missing the holiday season. Here the holidays just aren't a really big deal. They don´t do Halloween or Thanksgiving (obviously), and Christmas isn't celebrated as much or in the same way!
Love you all!