My week was good, Things are improving I think. I've been trying just to be a better example and to encourage good things in Elder Cosme and I think he's improving bit by bit. For example he was annoyed that the president doesn't trust him and I suggested to him that maybe he could ask the president what he could do to gain his trust. He said he'd do that after thinking about it for a bit. We'll see. The mission meeting was good. I feel like I've already talked about it with you guys...but I think that was just my journal. The 2 Assistants to the president spoke, one on working and the other spoke well on obedience. But it was easy to discern after that no one had really changed afterwards. President spoke as well. A lot of Brazilians don't like him because he doesn't really speak Portuguese or understand them when they speak Portuguese. But he spoke well. Spoke on the new rules and what not. As for the new rules, there’s nothing really all that new, just reinforced.
Monday, January 6, 2014
New Year in Brazil
What was the best part of your week?The best part of my week was seeing our investigator, Maria Lúcia at church and also a less-active that we invited that is really cool and actually gave us and Maria a ride to church and back. That was good to actually have someone at church this week. Other than that, I took way good advantage of the food of other missionaries during new years. Elder Cosme loves to spend the night at other missoinaries' houses and I don't like it too much because everyone stays up later and it doesn't really work out so well to sleep.
It's also good to see Americans every now and then. Whether it’s other missionaries or that family that’s in the other word. I do miss Americans sometimes.
What is the funniest thing that has happened since you’ve been in Brazil?
Good question. I don't know...No one ever succeeded in making me say something in Portuguese that was insulting but funny (like at a lunch) I can't really think of anything off the top of my head.
Who in your ward do you look up to and why?
I don't look up to anyone. The tallest brethren other than me is a head shorter than me.
But as for respect-wise, I haven't really picked out a brother to whom I look up.
What is your Bishop/Branch President like?
Our bishop is cool and a hard worker but he's also new. Only about 3 months and as you know it's a lot of responsibility and a lot to learn but he's doing a good job. He tries to help us but hasn't been particularly active in doing so. We also haven't been active in seeking his help so I don't blame him.
Do you have a Ward Mission Leader? Do you work pretty closely with him?
No we don't have one. I talked with the bishop this Sunday and he said this next Sunday we'd have one and then we'll start to work with him more. It'll be good.
New Year’s Eve was cool. I stayed up until midnight and I don't think I could've managed to sleep even if I'd wanted to. Everyone was shooting off fireworks, it was a constant tumult of rumblings and pops and fizzes coming from all over the town. It was pretty cool.
I seem to have less to say about the day to day mission work...I think that’s because there's less of it. This last week. 0 lessons with member present. 5 other lessons. And 2 with recent convert, less active. The numbers are a bit discouraging...but I'm trying. I suggested to Elder Cosme that we knock doors but he's absolutely opposed to the idea even though it makes sense and is more effective. This week we'll knock doors anyways and he'll like it.
In a lesson we taught this morning I was impressed with the amount of GH that Elder Cosme had. I think all of our lessons up to this point have been the standard 1st lesson or 3rd lesson or 2nd but today was more general and trying to help her. She said she wasn't prepared and that she needed to have more knowledge before making a decision and so I invited her to pray and ask God about the Book of Mormon, the church, the word of wisdom, and being baptized this Sunday and she had agreed to pray about all of that and agreed to do all of that if she received a response. And then Elder Cosme said that he knew she was prepared and he said that baptism was a commandment and that we have to be baptized to enter into God's kingdom. He said some other things and it was all true, but really he wasn't trying to help convert her, he was trying to convince her to be baptized. Thus GH. His companion before me was one of the worst GH's of the mission and I know he had other companions like that and so he's had a lot of GH influence. I was surprised with the contrast between the way he taught and the way I taught. It worked okay with Maria for now but I hope this doesn't create problems in the future...
In Portuguese, there is something called the subjunctive which isn't used in English at all. I think I've almost mastered the subjunctive in Portuguese (and it's taken this whole time) and so it's interesting now. I'm writing in English but I think I should use the subjunctive but there is none to use.
I'm a bit tired but tired is good. I'm trying to work to the maximum. I'm not perfect but I'm trying. We go to the temple tomorrow! In Campinas I think. I'm excited. I think I'll do it in English with headphones. Maybe I'll take off the headphones and try and understand the Portuguese. I have to wake up early tomorrow to do it. And Elder Cosme wants to go to another area to sleep - saying that it will "save time" But I know that they're going to stay awake until late and so really it won't. But whatever. He seems to justify things and in his mind maybe it makes sense but logically it doesn't make sense. I've already explained a couple things to him that he hasn't liked because he wants to do something one way and so justifies it but I explain it the right way
I know it seems like I'm criticizing him a lot. And that's because I am, but I'm also trying to find good things to say about him. Daily, I have a goal to say 3 good things about him and to study love and charity to try and have more of it. So far that's been going okay. The first day, I managed 3 nice things to say. Since then I've managed at least one but it's good to try and think about good things to say. Lately I've complimented an idea he had, told him that he's friendly, he asks good questions, he works good (when he works) and he teaches good. I'm trying to reinforce the good things he does while trying to help him improve the not so good that he does.
I think that's about it that I have to say... Any questions?
I love all of you and I hope you all have a great day and week,
First time I've eaten shrimp or even seafood since being in Brazil,
it was way awesome :D It was for our New Years Eve Dinner.
And that was the storm that soaked us before we had a chance to get to our appointment.
It was really cool from a distance especially with the thunder but when it was upon us,
it was a lot of rain. Happens a lot here. During the day it’s clear
with maybe a bit of clouds and then around 5, 6
it starts to get cloudy and then it storms.
It’s good because it cools stuff down.