Monday, October 31, 2016

New trainer 10.31.2016

Hello everyone,

     This week I got my new companion Elder Choi. He is a Brazilian from Sao Paulo, but his dad is from Japan so he appears a little Asian. He is a pretty clean cut missionary and is obedient to the T, which is awesome!

(New trainer, Elder Choi and Elder Lemes with the photobomb!)

     Tuesday I lost my mission dad (my first trainer). My trainer, Elder Williams-Santos was transferred and it was sad. We kinda moped around all the morning and it was hard to see him go. The bonds that you make on a mission really are something else, you love because you serve. 
(It's so hard to say goodbye...I hope he remembers me by the Stance socks I gave him!)

      Since I didn't have a companion until my new trainer arrived I had a splits with Elder Oliveira, another elder that had his companion transferred and that has been here a few times. It was a good day that I had planned entirely and had to find all the houses by myself because only I knew the area (can you believe that, with my directional challenges?). We did arrive too all the houses, but it did take a bit of backtracking. It was good to talk with him about what he thought works and just get a feel for how others approach the work. That night Elder Choi arrived and we got him all settled in. 

(Elder Oliveira at the bus companion for the day!)

     This week I think I worked the hardest that I have ever worked in my life. Elder Choi is go, go, go, even if that means I am a little behind. Elder Choi is pretty regimented and constantly going. With him it is easy to be exactly obedient and I love that.  With his work ethic we got 27 new investigators this week alone, and marked 12 baptism dates. Not all of them are good investigators, but it is insane how much work we did. He is also pushing me with the teaching. Right now I am giving the lessons entirely to practice, and I have gotten a lot better already. We are talking to so many people that it is hard to get all of their names straight. I won't lie I don't even have half of them down, but I am working on it. Names in Portuguese are just so different.  I can understand a lot of what is happening around me now, but it takes time to process all the words, so I don't actually join in the conversations a ton because I am a little behind and take time to speak. I don't have to think in English and then translate, but I still have to struggle to join everything together correctly.

      The bishop supports the missionaries, everyone here does. If we ask they will go with us on Sunday to pick up our investigators that live a little further away for church. The branch is usually pretty good with activities. We have had 3 so far and the first 2 were well attended. The last one was pretty sad, but what can you do. The ward activities are a spiritual message and then a little game. I have taken a few pictures I think. The people in Uba are pretty diverse in terms of work. Teachers, manual labors, craftsman, everything. Here in Uba I haven't seen really a lot of soccer. There are cement futsol courts around, but it isn't what I expected. Here a cultural thing is that the people here are really open. They will share everything with you, talk with strangers about their lives and problems, and say things just like they are. Sometimes it is a bit rude in my opinion, but to them it is normal.

     This Sunday we had 3 investigators in church, a small number compared to all those that we talked with and confirmed making a visit, but it is still an improvement from 0. That night we also worked with a member Wesley for about 4 hours. He was a really big help and gave a killer testimony during the lesson. Members really do add a lot to the mission work.

     Today I saw a guy with a blue Brazil jersey that I like a lot and the Elder Lemes is selling for 60 dollars. I didn't know if that was a good price so I asked this random guy where he bought his and told him that i like it a lot. He said for 20 Reais and my shirt I could have it. So i just got a brand new jersey, it has no tears or wears or anything wrong with it, for 6 dollars and my plain blue v-neck. Score! 

                                        (P-day...and the now famously traded blue shirt!)
 My new companion has some church movies, so I will be watching those today. It has been way too long since I have seen a movie. 

Anyway till next week.

Elder Smith

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