Monday, November 21, 2016

It's Thanksgiving this coming week?!? 11.21.2016

Hello everyone,
      First off the week started out with some hard work and lots of lessons. We are contacting lots of people and then going to focus on a few solid people. The goal is to baptize this transfer and it will happen. Tuesday we did this and it was normal. It was still raining on us practically all day so that was annoying. However that night we did another round of Rodizio. I ate 8 pieces of pizza, with Elder Lemes at 10, Elder Silva at 14 1/2 and Elder Choi with 15. Elder Silva and Elder Choi collapsed on the floor in the house once we returned. That night we had a zone conference via phone to evaluate our progress and how we can improve. The zone needed it, because the numbers were really low to be honest. 

     Wednesday started out rough for me.  We have this sit up bar helper thing for exercising in the mornings and it looks like a rocking horse kinda of thing. I was standing on it, one foot high and one foot low and tried to get it to rotate so that the other foot would be high and the other low. well I was halfway there and then I doubted myself and fell. My foot was smashed at a weird angle in between the floor and the bar. It hurt way bad. So yeah not a cool story either. I had to ice it and take ibuprofen every 4 hours and was limping around for the next 3 days really slow. My foot swelled up a lot as well. It was also a holiday for Uba so there was no one in the streets and no one would hear our message in their house as well. Holidays are rough out here, you are lucky to give 2 lessons in a day of work. 
     We did have a big of fun celebrating Elder Choi's one year mark.  We burned one of his white shirts and enjoyed playing with fire for a moment!

     Thursday we had some other Elders over for splits with the zone leaders. Elder Smith and Elder Da Silva, they are good guys. It was good to be able to talk to another american (Elder Smith), even if it was in Portuguese. Oh and that morning Elder Silva got a call that he was being emergency transferred to another area and that we would get a new zone leader. That was sad, and no one knows why there was a emergency transfer. Elder Silva was here for 5 months and it seemed like Uba was his area. It is weird to see him leave and a little sad. I am missing some good early mornings about now as well. They were always a blast after i woke up. Oh well, but that day we gave a lesson with a investigator called Nilsa. She is really friendly and had invited us to pray in her home 2 weeks prior. We gave a short lesson and invited her to church which would be in Leopoldina and everyone was taking a van to get there. She said that she would
     Friday we dropped Elder Silva off at the bus station and moped around there waiting for his bus. All the members really like him, he was there for 5 months, and lots of them came to the bus station to say good bye. He cried as he was on the bus leaving. Then to get to all of our appointments we called 2 youth to do splits. I worked with Jariusu for 3 hours in the pouring rain. The streets were flooded and my shoes paid the price a little bit. When I had to walk in the flooded streets, one of the soles of my black shoes came out but I put it right back in and it doesn't slide around. The only permanent damage that my shoes have are in the back of the inside where my heel rubs against it. Besides that they are holding up fine.  The new Elder arrived later that day and so we went to pick him up. His name is Elder Kaiser and he seems good. He is from Sao Paulo and he will be the new zone leader. I worked with him for the rest of the day and it was stressful being the senior companion. We found all of the houses and marked 4 baptism dates, so it was a good day.
     Saturday was normal and we had another member working with us for the whole day. That night as well we had the longest lesson of my life. It was a good lesson, but the member, Erika, kinda took control. She has a solid testimony and a desire to help everyone, but she talks a lot, and the investigator talks a lot too so it just compounded on itself. The lesson lasted for 2 hours and 10 minutes. I think I talked for maybe 15 of those minutes, but at the end we got 2 new investigators and a lot of questions answered. Their names are Christiana and Larisa.

       We are working with the members to fellowship investigators so that is improving. They still need to  improve a lot, but we are working on it. I think we have 10 active families more or less. I know there are 65 people at sacrament meeting every week about, but this branch has a lot of unmarried older sisters. The leadership is good here too.   For the mission tour (coming this Thursday) we will have 4 zones there and I believe a member of the 70 will be giving the talk. Everyone will be sleeping in Juiz de Fora in different houses so it should be spiritual and a party. I don't remember the name.

  For my study, I practice teaching in Portuguese the pamphlets, study an attribute of Christ, and then continue where I left off in reading the Book of Mormon, in Portuguese, in its entirety. The last attribute of Christ that I studied was diligence, but this week for the mission tour we were asked to study obedience. So that is the next topic.  
     Sunday we had district conference in Leopoldina and the branch paid for 3 vans to bring every one there. I got some well needed sleep during those rides. There were some great talks there. President Lacerda talked about how we can change our lives and cut out the things that we know are wrong. He is funny, charismatic, and knows how to say things in a way that doesn't offend anyone. Nilsa also showed up there without having to be called or anything. She is a really good investigator. After conference we went to hee house and ended up marking a baptismal date for this Sunday. Anyway that is my week out here, until next week.

-Elder Smith

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