This Thursday I will hit the one year mark on the mission! I cant believe how fast time has flown by! The bishop in our ward said he is taking us out for Sushi on Thursday to celebrate, so I'm stoked!!!
It has been a pretty good week for me and Elder Rocha, we finally moved into our new house and it is amazing for us! We don't live with the other missionaries anymore, so it is a lot less cluttered and much more clean and organized! The house is like twice as big, it has 3 bedrooms and two bathrooms and a Churrasqueira (bbq pit) so it is pretty sweet! Next p-day we are planning a Churrasco with all the Elders in the Zone, they are coming over to our house to eat and celebrate our milestones on the mission, plus it is the last pday of the transfer next week so it will be a fun night for all of us! We are all going to pitch in 10 Reais for food, so we are planning on tons of meat and all the goodies :)
The week was kind of weird for us, with moving houses and getting everything organized again. We don't have a dresser in our house now, so we have been living out of our suitcases for the past few days, but we are getting a dresser soon. We were without plates and cups and silverware because the other elders we were living with took them to their house, but we have some awesome members in our ward who donated some dishes to us! Also, an amazing family in the ward came over and saw that we had no food in our house, so the next night they showed up with food, and all the other stuff like soap, sugar, salt, oil, everything! They bought a bunch of stuff for us. I'm so grateful for this ward and all the members here! I love the people here and they do so much for us.
Our ward is kind of in a dry spell right now, our ward is the smallest ward in Ponta Pora and the most difficult. We don't have a ward mission leader, so it is hard to get members to go with us to appointments. Also, our area is suuuuuper far from the chapel, so we are having a really hard time getting people to come to church! Church starts at 8 o clock in the morning, and most the people don't have cars or motorcycles, so the only way they can come to church is to take a 45 minute bus ride, which leaves at 7 in the morning. So it is just hard to convince new investigators to come to church, because they have to wake up early and pay for a bus pass, then pay to get back home again after church. We have members in our ward with cars but they are busy in the mornings with meetings and picking some people up, so it is just frustrating! But since our ward is struggling in attendance, we are really focusing on bringing families back to church and getting reactivations. So we have been teaching investigators but also a lot of less active members, and trying to contact inactive members that are in our ward boundaries.
I went on exchanges with Elder Kennington on Friday and Saturday, so that was a lot of fun! It was good to be with him again for a few days, also we talked in English when we were at our house, so it was just good to be able to express everything and tell funny stories and stuff! also just talking about all the good food we both miss back in the states haha. But we taught some good lessons and worked hard.
We are still helping Martina stop smoking, and have taught her son Cesar, but they didn't come to church. I think they stayed home because the road they live on is muddy and dangerous to ride on after it rains, and she just has a motorcycle so it wouldn't be safe to come to church. But we are going to focus on making a lot of new contacts this week to find some more investigators. Hopefully we can score some investigators with modes of transportation! haha
This week I have been thinking and studying a lot about Our Savior and the Atonement, and how through his grace, our burdens are made light. He knows and loves us, and he suffered for each and every one of us individually. He knows our pains and sorrows and is there to help us. He is our savior, and through his atonement and gospel we can receive eternal exaltation and blessings. We read in Hebrews 5 that Jesus, being made perfect, became the author of eternal salvation unto all those that obey him. I know that when we live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and continually strive to follow him, we will truly be happy in this life, and receive the blessings of eternal life in the life to come. I'm so grateful for my savior and his sacrifice for me!
I love you all, and I hope you have a wonderful week! Sounds like Utah is starting to get a little warmer so that's good news! Oh and Happy St Patrick's Day!!! :)
Elder Kyle Payne