Rio Branco: Week 3

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Christmas eve in Pau dos Ferros- it had been really dry but it rained

The view from a member´s apartment that we had lunch in this week

Dear mom,

I was happy to see the pictures of your week in Colorado! The family keeps getting bigger. It´s funny that Grant, Alyssa and I don´t have any cousins our age on the Fillmore side. We´ll always be the first group to go on missions/get married/have kids, etc. Wow, now that Jared´s home that means that I´m getting close to finishing my mission. But I won´t think about it. That´s exciting news about Monette and Aaron and unexpected too.

This was a good week of hard work that paid off. We learn here that it doesn´t matter what you do during the week if you don´t have results on Sunday. For example, you can teach an infinite number of lessons or make tons of contacts, but if you´re not able to have any investigators at church on Sunday, all of that work didn´t really mean much. People can only progress if they go to church. They can only be baptized if they go to church. So that is our focus for the week and the vision that we try to pass to the mission. Some already understand it, others not very much. But that was our focus this week (Elder Sales and I). We worked hard and on Sunday had 16 people at church! This was definitely a miracle because the part we work in is about a half-an-hour walk from the church. But we had a couple of people give rides which helped. Anyway, we are definitely receiving divine help and we feel blessed for being obedient and working hard. This will help us a lot this week because we already know who to work with and we will be able to help as many of these people as we can to get baptized in the following weeks.

It´s been different to live in this neighborhood and I really like it. Some of the members live in really nice apartment buildings. This part feels just like any other big city in the US. Two times this week we met people who travel frequently to the US. The first guy we met was in a McDonalds (this was my first time eating there on the mission- there are only a couple here in Natal and they are nice- the rich people eat here). He saw us and wanted to sit by us. He asked if one of us was from Salt Lake. He practiced his English with me and said that he had been there 3 times. He´s a dentist here and he plans to move to Salt Lake in the near future because he thinks it´s a better place to raise a family. He said that he had been to temple square a few times and that he had a Book of Mormon and he had already been to church there. He wants to go to church here and he says he will take his wife and his daughter. He lives in another area so we passed the reference. The next guy we met stopped us on the street and asked if I was from Utah. He said he´s going there in March to visit the national parks. He asked which ones he should go to and if I had ever hiked angels landing and things like that. He was also very receptive and says he´ll go to church next week. So it´s fun to be able to work with these types of people. Actually, we spend most of our time in another neighborhood where there are more people on the street. Really, most people are humble and receptive here, but it´s only effective to work in areas that have lots of people on the streets. So we always go to those parts.

We have mission council tomorrow with all of the leaders so we´re preparing for that. Elder Tavares only has a few weeks left! It´s funny that he lives so close to here. He had already come here a few times before his mission, and even stayed in one of the members houses before. It was funny when we were leaving the member´s house that we had lunch in yesterday and he told us that he had stayed in that house several years ago with his family.

Happy new year to everyone! Have a great week. Love you!

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