I Don’t Have a Clever Title for this Week… Oh Well…

Mom, you were praying, weren’t you? Because after last week’s email the rain stopped and now we are in cloudless sunny days… I think this week I will travel back to Jardim Record on Friday to be at the wedding and baptism of Bruno and Fabiana, a couple we taught in my previous area.  I just need to get permission from President.

Last night I got a shocking realization of my own mortality (here on the mission that is to say). We were teaching a couple, and they were uncertain again about if they want to get married. Obviously, this happened because today she goes to the courthouse to mark the marriage date, so the opposition threw up a big fight in their house over something, to be honest, really stupid and small. It was like being an outside observer on a few Sunday mornings at home when I would get mad at trivial things, sorry by the way.

Elder Mariño stood up in the middle of it all with scriptures open and began to read and explain the scriptures. It seemed as if he read 5-6 scriptures giving a good explanation. The best thing is I know there is no way he could have planned anything he said. It was almost like Abinadi testifying before King Noah. Ever since I came to the area I have been telling Elder Mariño to just trust in the Spirit and say whatever it is that the Spirit commands. Last night I saw very clearly that he has learned the principle.

It was in this that I ended up wishing that my trainer had taught me these things. Maybe they did and I just wasn’t paying close enough attention or they didn’t, but I realize now that things flow so much easier when we follow the Spirit. Well all this is part of the learning process, isn’t it?

By the way, it’s all funny, because I discovered a few weeks ago that my District Leader Elder Wilson was a subscriber to my blog before he came out on the mission. So there was the “oh you’re Elder Done” moment. He’s a cool guy, competent leader and self-motivated.

Audrey already got back to school? And she’s in her Sophomore year? Time passes fast. Tim got his first paycheck, huh? Did he see income taxes? Have a great week everyone!


I Have No Clue Where to Start

First off, Happy Fathers’ Day Dad! Hope yesterday was great! Was thinking about you yesterday!

It is so much less stressful not being a District Leader, so it is a great enjoyment to be just a trainer this transfer. My companion, and probably the one who will “kill” me is Elder Mariño from Ecuador. So it seems like he had a first transfer quite similar to my first transfer with Elder Neves. He didn’t get too well along with his first trainer (his trainer actually was sent home and the area was closed for a week before I came) and Elder Mariño started off a bit quiet and timid.
We started off the transfer as any good trainer would… with Pizza. And not just any pizza but Pizza Bis which is the best pizzeria in the mission, so widely acclaimed that I’ve been hearing about it for my whole mission. Now I can finally eat it.
This is the view outside of my window, but that isn’t my area. My area is a peninsula surrounded by a beautiful blue lake and there is always a nice breeze blowing in from the lake. It pulled a really nice area to “die” in.
So we started at the work. We have essentially cut most of the investigators that were already there and we are starting from ground zero. I’ve already gotten into the work of re-making everything in my image. In the house, we’ve re-arranged furniture, taken down the paper that was glued on the walls, make our beds daily, and all the like. The first great challenge in the area is that with the passage of time there are some in the ward leadership that have lost faith in the missionaries. Well, that changes now. We came to ward Council yesterday and distributed individual copies of the Progress Report to each member of Ward Council told them they could study it at home but that we would only talk about choice people on the report. We made specific plans and marked appointments with the ward council to go through with our plans. Elder Mariño says I do stuff a bit different than his last companion and that he likes it, we get home really tired but it is fast paced work. Well, this is Elder Done after all…
Yesterday there was very little people at church. I counted 41 people in sacrament meeting. In the absence of people I was called to give the first talk, I was notified right after the sacrament was distributed. Considering the last time this happened it was my first week in the field I think I spoke pretty well. I didn’t even have time to grab my scriptures I just went up and talked. It was pretty cool as I noticed how much I really have mastered Portuguese in this time on the mission.
The Ward Mission Leader is also the landlord of our house and lives in front of us. He has been telling me now he’ll ask President Cordner to let me stay here for 6 more months…. well….
I’ve been talking with Elder Mariño today and we’ll make a push to get me speaking Spanish before I leave. Just imagine it I leave the mission tri-lingual, speaking English, Spanish, and Portuguese. Oh, I am loving the look of my resume. Spanish isn’t actually looking too hard, we watched Meet the Mormons this morning in Spanish and I got it, so I just need to work on speaking and pronouncing.
With this talk of resume I was thinking maybe when I get home, I could apply for a job at Best Buy or another sales job that I’ll get a good commission. I had a dream today of me getting a commission from both Spanish and English Speakers on Black Friday. And then at BYU I still am not sure, maybe I could try RA?
We’re all getting ready for the Mission Tour next month with Elder Costa. It says that he will visit missionary houses (thank goodness my house is clean) and have interviews with some missionaries. I didn’t see this in the last mission tour. Should be interesting.
I hope you’ve all had a great week I hope I catch you online. Love you all so much. Have a great week!

Transfer Calls

Hey there Mom, just got here. I’ve been washing clothes all morning and packing my bags preparing for the transfer tomorrow. I’m off to train a greenie again in Grajaú! Grajaú is on the other side of the mission so I don’t think I’ll have any time for a quick go over in the morning on my luggage so I’ve been packing

So what do you think of the flight plans? Is it too close or do you think the church knows that I’ll have to clear customs? At least the airport floor is flat and not a crazy mountain like the streets here. 😛   I will leave a lot of things in Grajaú in this next transfer. I decided today that upon my departure I will torch most of my clothes  So I think that’ll make my bags smaller. But there’s quite a bit of books I have acquired here in the mission that I will not leave do you think that’ll slow me down?

I’ll be a trainer (I wanted to train a few more missionaries before I left) and I can now focus on my own area because I will not be the District Leader there. I discovered my new companion whom I will train will be left alone in a house with me. He will have six weeks to become just like me. I am so excited! 😀 We also have the ward all to ourselves.

All the other times there were other Elders in the house this time it’s just us. Elder Bowcutt (who left this morning, going home) was the ex-assistant of President Dalton. He believe that I have been called to finish this training because there is some belief that I am the best trainer in the mission. Apparently there was a problem with his last trainer so President called me Friday to extend the assignment. I was surprised to not be called a leader any more but I realize that it’s not because of a shortcoming, it’s just that the Lord wants me to do something different this time. I got a confirmation on this thought in President’s letter to the mission. I’ll send it portuguese but I think you can translate it:

Sinto-me tão agradecido por estar aqui trabalhando lado a lado com todos vocês no trabalho do Senhor. Estou aqui com você para construir o reino do Senhor e não o meu.

Dois dos principais atributos do Salvador podem ser vistos na forma como ele sempre se dirigiu a Seu pai. Você lembrará que Ele sempre disse: “…porém não se faça a minha vontage senão a tua” e a frase que sempre seguiu este “…Seja tua a glória para sempre.” Nessas duas frases curtas, eu posso aprender muito sobre como eu posso ministrar e servir da maneira do Salvador. Qualquer outro caminho é o meu caminho e não o caminho dele.

Gostaria de agradecer a todos vocês que aceitaram responsabilidades e chamados para servir de forma que você não esperava. Como reorganizamos as zonas da missão, isso foi necessário e muitos de vocês fizeram sacrifícios para que isso acontecesse pois não se importam da sua própria vontade, mas da vontade dele. Eu te amo por isso e vou pedir que as bençãos do Senhor a estarem com você por serem tão obedientes! Amo vocês muito!!