How was your week?
We've started to do something called Carta viva de natal or Living Christmas letter. It's actually an idea that Elder Gilliat got from this little green book with over 100 ideas of how to work with members. But it's really simple. We go to a members house and give them a living Christmas letter (or like instead of a letter of paper, we Are the letter/message) and we sing that Christmas song. Joy to the world, and then read Lucas 2 about Christ's birth, and then we share our thoughts about Christmas and Christ's birth for 1 minute and then we end with a kneeling prayer. Then we ask if the member would like anyone to receive that living letter. We did this with one member, Sonia, and she gave 11 referrals! And all of them on her street! That’s awesome right? I'm happy :)
We're going to contact and visit all of these people in the coming days and weeks. We've already done some living letters and everyone's loved it so far. If you guys want, you guys could invite your missionaries to do that with some people you know, maybe neighbors or colleagues. The cool thing is that it's even better than just sending a letter, it's a living letter, and an opportunity for your friends and neighbors to get to know the missionaries. When we went in the house of the friends of Sonia, we asked at the end, we say that we have another message that we love to share about Christ and then ask if we could share that message another day and the person almost always says yes. It's a cool idea, you guys should try it! And the cool thing also is that you guys don't even need to do anything, just give the name and the address and done!
What can you tell me about your new mission president? What is he like? Do you interact with him much? Is his way of doing things similar to your last president or very different? What have you learned from him?
To me, he doesn't seem all that new haha it's already been like 4 months. He's cool, almost everyone likes him. He's patient, loving, caring. We don't interact with him that much, just every 2 or 3 months. I feel like his way of doing things is different and a bit better than the way Pres. Ferrin was used to doing things, It probably helps that Pres. Andrew has already been a mission president before. I've learned from him how to be a better leader and how to deal with problems.
What have you learned in your studies this week?
This week, I read about Christ's visit here in the Americas after he resurrected and when He organized his church here in the Americas and taught some principles. I also have been reading Leviticus which would be very annoying to read if it wasn't for the manual that's helping me to understand. It's all about offerings and sacrifices and what not. But I'm always impressed with how all of it has to do with Jesus Christ and his atonement and what we have to do be free of our sins.
Did you know that Tanner went to Brazil on his mission, so when you get home you two can talk Portuguese together!! They’ll still be at BYU when you get there next fall. He’s such a nice guy!
Cool! I'll be excited to use Portuguese when I get back! If you don't use it, you lose it! For this reason I’m also thinking about looking for a nice Brazilian young woman to marry when I get back. We'll see though, it's not a deal breaker but it certainly help me remember brasil, Portuguese, rice and beans and everything good about brasil.
Has anything funny or humorous happened to you recently that made you laugh or chuckle?
We messed up Elder Elias' hair yesterday. And we always call Elder Gilliat out in the member's house for not eating vegetables and what not. He doesn't eat beats or carrot (took 10 seconds for me to remember the word for cenoura, the words you don't use, you lose) and then he gets sick and wonders why! The kid only eats rice and beans and meat!
Elder Bolognini and I share many moments together laughing and smiling. It's really good to finally have a companion who is really my friend.
Man it's hard to write in English...I just want to speak and think in Portuguese.
I don't know if I shared this with you guys but I think I did. In the MTC, one of the speakers was talking about hard areas and what not and I felt a strong feeling that I would in my mission to serve in one of these hard areas and I was excited to be able to work and make a difference in that area. Today, I feel like Pinda is that hard area that I felt, in that moment, that I would work in. And I feel like I've made a difference. And so I'm happy. There are still some problems but I feel like we've managed to make Pinda into a branch that can really grow. For 26 years, this branch has been here and still hasn't become a ward. Why not? There are various reasons but I believe that the branch has changed in the time that I've been here and the people have changed. Not everyone unfortunately but enough.
The church is true