Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Happy Birthday Brooks and Braxton!

I am jealous that Brooks and Braxton saw Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. I remember watching that movie while at the dentist (watching the tv that's in the ceiling). What a happy experience (perhaps due to the nitrous oxide within me at the time). It's incredible that the twins are already 9 years old. I won't even be able to pick them up and toss them onto my bed anymore.
Every week seems to be more strenuous. We're finding a lot of people, even by inefficient means, like knocking on people doors, but almost none of them are progressing. Our three principal investigators, Luziene, Eloisa, and Vanessa are progressing in their own ways. Luziene is beyond prepared, but her husband still doesn't want to get married.

Eloisa is such a wonderful person. She's like that kind grandmother you see in the movies, but she's 34. She loves to talk and takes such a great interest in our lives. She is attentive and understands what we're conveying to her. It's great to see her daughter, Ana Maria, reading the Book of Mormon with us as well. Yesterday we all sat down and read Alma 32 together. We then discussed how what we read could be applied in Eloisa's life. We gave them the 1hr movie of the restoration (she loves movies) and invited her again to continue reading the Book of Mormon and pray about it. They think American lifestyle is just great and they're all excited about making American pancakes with us this Thursday. They always ask me if I've tried this or that (different kinds of food) and laugh when I tell them that I have and loved it. I'll attach a picture of them. If I leave next transfer, they'll be the hardest bunch of people to leave.
Vanessa has known the missionaries for a long time, but is really progressing now. She has become great friends with one of the girls in the branch. It's so great to see them becoming friends. In our recent lessons, we've focused a lot about choosing real friends that will be a good influence for you. She mentioned that Nahiman (this girl in the branch) is probably the only "real" friend she has. Vanessa said that she wants to wait until after conference to get baptized. We're praying that she'll feel that her prayers and questions are answered during conference. I really hope I can be here when she's baptized.
I feel like each passing day is a perfect example of "opposition in all things" and in all ways possible. Apparent progression often meets a sudden end but frustrations are often met by unexpected joys. I feel like I'm living in a box of Neapolitan ice cream. When I go for chocolate, I get strawberry. When I finally decide that strawberry will do, I find that a little chocolate is left. Haha.
Attached are two pictures. One of my companion, Elder Santos, and the other, Eloisa and part of her family.
Enjoy conference!

I forgot to include an experience we had this week. On Thursday all our appointments fell and we set out to find new people. I remembered, as we passed by the city hall, that one of our ideas for finding new people was to go to the city hall to see if there was any volunteer service we could provide. We asked around and were informed that to find what we were looking for, we needed to walk another 20 minutes to another building. We decided to go. As we were on our way, someone was leaving their house and saw us and called to us, "Elders! Elders!" I didn't recognize her so we went to talk to her. We discovered that she is a less active member who hasn't been visited in awhile. We marked to come back. Afterward, we continued walking until the building. They were having a meeting and asked us to come back another time. On Saturday we went back to her house and got to know her. She basically told us her life story. In response to one of our comments or questions, she shared a story about one of her trips to the temple. She started to cry remembering how her experience had built her testimony of family history work in the temple. Our conversation was very enlightening for all of us. She told us about her friend that we are now going to visit as well. Being out and about doing what you should be brings results, even though they seem insignificant.

Elder Young

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