Happy Halloween, folks! Hard to believe that November is rolling around already. Time flies. Have I ever said that before? I don't think so. In any case it's worth saying again. The office has been good this week, I've had a few great experiences that really only happen in an area like this. Which has been swell.
1)Trust- The coolest part of the week by far happened on Wednesday. Well, I was approached by the mission president on Tuesday night, when we'd returned from working in the area. These last few weeks have been zone conferences. We attended the first couple and haven't been going to the further away ones, just the assistants go in order to give a majority of the conference. But President talked to me and said that on Wednesday he wanted me to go to the conference with him. Just me. And President and Sister Fortunato. I gave the training of the secretaries and was President's point man throughout the day. It was kind of crazy and it was great to spend time with the president and see that he really trusts and respects me. He's an amazing and powerful leader and I know the mission is going to go far this next year. We got to talk a lot on the two hour car trip there and back, and he gave me a bunch of good insight on how to be a better missionary.
2) Halloween- Brazil doesn't do much for Halloween...I saw one kid with a costume and he also had a USA shirt on. We got really excited when we saw that. Other then that, life was pretty chill. We did celebrate that night in typical American fashion--eating a mountain of candy and wanting to throw up. We did the most possible as missionaries to dress up that night, switching name tags and messing up our ties. So it was pretty crazy.
The elder we helped out last week stayed with us another week, and is returning to the field tomorrow. I'll be sorry to see him head out, he's an awesome guy who has become one of my best friends on the mission. Though we're just glad he's staying!
3) Clean Slate- So after a number of events and investigators moving, etc, we have been left in an interesting situation. A clean slate. A new beginning. Starting from nothing. Well, that's kind of an overstatement. But not really. We're leaving the office every night now and working like crazy to find people to teach, using the bare-bones that we have--a list of members, a map of our area, and the members themselves. We don't have an area book, have three hours to work per day, and are working in an area that is literally just apartment buildings. Wish us luck, right?
Wrong! Luck ain't got nothing to do with it. I'm actually excited about this fresh start thing because I know it's going to teach me how to be a smarter missionary. I talked about it to President on our car ride, and he offered his help. That's no small thing. He took us in yesterday for a private training on how to plan and improve in our area. So we are beginning to visit less actives, asking the Bishop, Quorum Presidents, and Relief Society President for names and families to help, and offering our service. We're doing a ton more contacts and talking to everyone we come into contact with. And miracles are going to happen! Are happening, actually. And I'm excited to see what's going to happen this next week. I'll make sure to let you all know afterwards all the amazingness that happened.
The first miracle happened yesterday, as we headed to the area after our meeting with President. As we walked down the street to contact someone the Elder's Quorum President gave us, we heard a call from behind us. Looking back, we saw a young man nearly running after us. He asked us if we were from the church in the Savassi. We said we were. He said he'd been there before and wanted to go back/learn more, was looking for a church in his life. Yes, that's right, someone made a full contact with us on the street. That does not happen. We got his info and he promised to come to church on Sunday. So that was cool.
So that's about that. Next week is going to have some awesome stories of miracles and extreme missionary work, so stay tuned! I'm super excited about life and absolutely love being a missionary. This is where I need to be right now.
This gospel is remarkable. The blessings it offers to the world, to the broken-hearted, to the weary, to the family, are unfathomable. They defy the imagination. They surpass our comprehension. They are for everyone. Be it knowledge, understanding, and strength that help us overcome difficult times or the sheer joy that accompanies a testimony, these things are universally promised to those who follow the Lord's path with all their heart, might, mind and strength.
And we need to share it!
This church is true. This work is vital. I love it. I love you all. Stay strong.