Monday, November 7, 2016

"I felt really grateful"

Hello everybody!

I hope you all had a great first week of November! It is crazy that it is already November! Sadly they do not have Thanksgiving here so I think I’ll miss that a bit this month. While the weather back home is cooling down the weather here is heating up which is really strange for me. For 17 years of my life the end of the year has meant cold weather. Here is the opposite so my body will be all messed up. LOL! 

The election is tomorrow at home!  Boy am I glad I am not there for all that stuff going on. People here always ask me who I would vote for and I stay out of it but it is interesting to see how another country sees us.

Last p-day in my email from President he said "continue to get to know your area really well because you will have another companion there." I was already 99.9% sure that I would stay here for next transfer but he confirmed it. I'm kind of happy I will be in a place where I know the members and the area for my Birthday and Christmas. People say Christmas isn't as hard if you have a good member family in your area to spend it with. 

Speaking of that, this week I felt really grateful. Before my mission I was nervous about connecting with the members once I got here. I know that for me and the other young men in my quorum at home, missionaries like Elder Evans and Philips and so many others have been so awesome to have in our ward and they became good friends and examples to us. I wanted to do that here because it meant a lot to me as a member. This week I feel like I am really starting to connect with some of the members now. It is awesome. We talk, joke, and have fun as we serve together. And, in turn, they are more willing to help us with the work. So get to know the missionaries at home and give them references! 

This week for us was a lot of work. We did A LOT of verifications. That is when we go find inactive members and talk to them. President Bangerter told us recently that verifications will be a "mino de ouro," gold mine, for us. And that through these we will find new investigators to teach. He is so right. We found a lot of new people to teach this week just by following President's simple training. For example, Thursday was a day of a lot of verifications. We were looking for a woman and went to the address that we had on record for her. We knocked on the door and a man answered. He told us that the lady we were looking for has not lived at that house in over 10 years and he doesn't know where she lives now. We started talking to him and asked if we could come in and talk with him. He said yes and we went in. We saw a woman sitting on the couch. She said hi and then just pointed to a photo by the TV. It was a photo of her in front of the church with 2 missionaries about 8 years ago. She explained she had had the lessons and everything but just felt like back then wasn't the right time for her to get baptized. The fact that she still had that picture out in the house was very promising. As she was talking I saw she had a ring on her left hand ring finger. I looked over at the man, Rafael, and saw that he had one too. I asked if they were legally married and they said yes. I almost jumped out of my seat, I was so happy. One of the biggest problems here is that people are just living together not legally married. They are both in their early 30s and the wife, Emanuela, has an 11 year old daughter from before. We taught them about the Restoration and it was amazing. They understood perfectly and everything. At the end of the lesson I told Emanuela to pray and ask God if us missionaries showing up again was her "calling" as she said it, to be baptized. We asked Rafael to pray at the end. We all knelt and he said such a heartfelt prayer that already sounded like he has been a member his whole life. It was so cool. I left that lesson walking on air. I was so happy. Now we gotta hope that they progress well!

We taught Patrick again this week too. I don't know why but I have such a love for that guy and I want him to get baptized soo badly. During our lesson we talked about baptism. He listened pretty quietly the whole time and then at the end said he needs to get to know the church at meetings first but that he would prepare for baptism. He promised he would come to church Sunday and I even made him shake on it. But he got called into go to work on Sunday, which was really unexpected. He works at the hospital and they needed him. Ugh! Frustrating because I know that when he sees the church and the meetings and the people he will love it! 

Wednesday we had a zone meeting and I spoke English with the other 2 American Elders, Elder Dupaix and Elder Janish and it was really weird speaking English again! 

Saturday the Sisters invited us to go with them to one of their investigators houses. She is a really old lady who lives alone. She is super cute and funny. She felt so bad that she didn't have any food for us. It was cool when the Sisters taught the Plan of Salvation to her because they told her that she can see her husband again even though he already died. She asked "I can kiss him again?" It was funny. And she cried when we were going to leave. She is so sweet.

I know that this church is true. I want so badly for everyone to have it. I love it! I hope you all have a great week! Love you all!

Elder Spencer P. Christofferson

Full view of the River
The River that goes through Itabuna. 
Zone Conference

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