Wow this week was super busy but I also saw a lot of miracles and am learning about revelation more than ever! The week started out normal enough until 10 minutes before District Meeting on Tuesday President Pinho called me and told me that we had to do something 'different' for the meeting. Pres. Pinho has created a few new measuring systems to track the progress of the areas that are a little different than the past so he wanted us to unite the entire zone and have a council like meeting where we explained the new expectation of baptizing weekly. Our zone has a bit of work to do so the meeting was really intense but instead of everyone getting mad because we all need to be better, we all got really excited to get out there and find the elects of the lord and prepare them for baptism! It was really an effective meeting and the spirit guided the whole thing.
After the meeting we went into an exchange with the Elders of Catanduva. I stayed in Pirajussara with Elder Alves, the District Leader, and we worked até o pó! We found a bunch of new people to teach that seem genuinly interested in the message. We also went to a little party for a recent converts birthday. And had a sub-par family home evening with an eternal investigator and her not-so-interested friends. We gave a message about the importance of family and how they can be eternal. One of the women there said that she doesn´t believe in families after death. I don´t understand how people really believe that the most important thing in the this life would stop with death. Our salvation and exaltation depend on our families!
We also got to visit Cibele. She is going to be baptized this Saturday and is going really well. She already lives the word of wisdom and is reading and praying. This week she finally visited our ward (she´s been going with her boyfriend's family in another stake). Everyone really liked her and they announced her baptism in relief society.
This week we finally started teaching Fransica! She is really great. She lives alone in a little broken down house on a soccer field and is a nurse. She is really lonely and needs friends and we are doing everything that we stay missionaries to her and that the members become her friends. You have to establish your purpose for people before you can become their friends because they usually won´t progress if they just think of you as a blond kid with a pretty accent. We walked with her to church and halfway there she said, "Oops! I left the cake in the oven!" We offered to go back with her but she refused and said we were going to church. Our ward mission leader gave her a ride back home after sacrament and nothing was destroyed.
We had another exchange with the Elders of Jardim das Rosas because I had to interview an investigator, Felipe, for baptism. Rosas hasn´t baptized in over 8 months and we have been working like crazy to get this to happen. It was difficult to do the interview. It was marked for Thursday night and he wasn´t home because his mom forgot and took him downtown, so we marked with his brother to return in the morning. The next morning we arrived and no one was home. We had to undo the exchange and I told them to call him as soon as possible and mark the interview, and half and hour after we got home they called us and said, "Can you guys come back? He´s home now." So we went back and finally did the interview. In the end, Felipe fell... in the WATER! He was baptized and they have more people that are getting ready for baptism too!
Friday another miracle happened. We visited Magali, that woman I talked about last week, and guess what happened? Her boss traded her work schedule and now she can go to church every week! We are going to mark her for baptism for the end of September! Everytime we go there now she does the opening prayer and always cries. She cries a lot but we still love her. haha!
Yesterday went well also. All of the visitors in church were investigators with baptisms marked so we have a bunch of people progressing now. At night we got the transfer call. Elder Arnaud de Sousa was transfered and now we are going to visit a bunch of people for him to say goodbye. He almost cried. I´m sad because we are really good friends and are working well together. Now I´m going to recieve a new companion and if I don´t train a new Zone Leader my options are not looking too good to get someone as good as Elder Arnaud. The only good thing about the transfer is that Elder Arnaud is giving me a bunch of stuff that he doens´t want to take with him. He gave me a brand new suit that his uncle sent him from the states. It fits me almost perfectly, I just need to shorten the arms a little (curse my short arms) and the length of the pants.
Well that´s the week for ya. Pray that I get an awesome companion! (I really should believe that anyone I get will be great... oh well... haha!) Até Mais!
Elder MacLane Taggart