Thursday, November 1, 2012

Working Hard Brings Blessings... Or Maybe Just Broken Showers... (Oct. 22)

Week two in Jundiaí has been successfully completed!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Firstly, THANKS SO MUCH FOR ALL THE LETTERS, EMAILS AND PACKAGESSSSS THIS WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! oh my gosh. you all are the best!!!!!!!!!!!!! =]
It might take me a while to write back to everyone, but THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!
Alright. so about my week.
We worked our butts off this week. Really.
Last tuesday we did our planning session and everything. Which, btw, doing a weekly planning session following "preach my gospel" is WAY intense and can take HOURS...... And does take hours.......... Its pretty painful. But, being dilligent little missionaries, we did it anyways. Complete with our "companionship inventory" -- talking about what we need to do to improve, making goals, and helping eachother know what to work on and stuff.... Yep. It was intense.
BUTTTTT, point being, we planned out our week and made a bunch of goals and Sister Feistner helped me set some good goals for myself to be more talkative and outgoing and do my part in our companionship and as a missionary. ANDDDD, it was awesome!!! Some goals like contributing more to our lessons, not falling asleep while teaching or in people´s houses(yep..... I´m ALWAYS tired.... so this has happened.... woops.)and talking to everyone. Like, for example, we have some weekly goals for numbers every week throughout the mission.... Our mission president set standards for how many contacts, lessons, visitors at church, baptisms marked, lessons with members and that kind of stuff... and they are just a goal that we try to reach each week. For contacts, (telling someone quickly about how we are missionaries and inviting them to church.... ) we have a mission goal of 140 contacts each week per companionship. So in our weekly planning, Sister Feistner was just joking about how I need to talk to EVERYONE and was like "okay, I´m only gonna do ten contacts this week.... and you can do the rest"..... This was a BIG DEAL, cause she likes to talk A LOT, and usually cant keep her mouth shut... and since I dont, I just let her do most of the contacts..... I usually dont even do half of the  contacts every week.......... SO, I decided to take her up on it, and made it one of my goals for the week---with the purpose of getting over being scared to talk to people, and becoming more talkative. WELL. It helped a TON. This week was AWESOME because of that!!!!
Funny thing, we had a multi-zone conference the next day, and all morning, they were talking about the importance of contacts..... and how in Preach my Gospel, it says to talk with EVERYONE.... They talked about how Elder Ballard spoke in Brazil, in our mission??? I´m not sure... but he spoke about the importance of talking to everyone and said that if every missionary would faithfully make at least 10 contacts every day, the number of baptisms in the area would double. Well, I had already decided to improve my contacts the day before, but this was just another reason to boost our efforts!! Take him up on the promise of more baptisms here!
SO.... we realized this week, that our area may not be awesome for knocking doors... but we have a ROCKING area for contacts. There are so many people in the streets in center during the day all week long!!!! IT is crazy!!! This week, I worked way hard to meet all my goals everyday..... and with contacts, I made 144 this week-- me alone!!! WOOO. We also had an activity with the ward passing out pass-along cards.... so our contacts for this week were INSANE.... 514 contacts for this week!! We talked to a TON of people who didnt want to hear anything about the church, but we also found a few people that we were able to teach, and a few that we will be following up with over the next week. WOOO!! And can I just say real quick that IT WAS SO FUN TO TALK TO SO MANY PEOPLE THIS WEEK!!!!! yep. that´s all. It was just way fun and I liked it a lot.
moving on to more important things.............
Last monday... we spent almost our ENTIRE pday walking...... Walking, walking, walking. We went to a lan house with the elders wayyyy far away, then we got lost on the way back, and ended up walking through almost our ENTIRE area..... hmmm. then by the time it was like 4oclock, we were starving for lunch, so we decided it would be a clever idea to try to find a subway.... yep. So we walked some more.... Ended up finding one.... and then getting home by the time pday was almost over. So not worth it. hahah.
Tuesday, after I had made my resolve to talk to EVERYONE and just talk and teach more, we had an awesome day. The ward always makes a list of lunches for us, and if they cant actually have us over for lunch, they give  us money.... so we went to a little restaurant for lunch and as we were leaving, I started talking to the waitress/cashier about the church and stuff. She started talking about prayer and how important it is to her and started CRYING right then and there.... It was a cool experience and we got her number to be able to meet up with her hopefully sometime this week!!
That night, we went to go teach Rodolfo (the ELEITO that sister F. found last week...BTW, in brazil, you pronounce R´s at the beginning of words like H´s... so its like "hodolfo"). His mom and brother were there as well and they were all super nice and invited us in and gave us some food and everything. Then we got to teach them the first lesson. Since I had made my resolve to talk more, I DID, and the lesson went really well!! There really is something important about having a companionship of two missionaries and testifying of eachother and the principles that we are teaching.... it went really well. And we were able to switch off really comfortably (which can be hard for us sometime). MAN. It was so cool!!! Towards the end of the lesson, they werent really understanding the importance of authority and how preisthood authority was RESTORED through the restoration and Joseph Smith.... I started trying to explain it better, and it was really just like the promise that says if you open your mouth, it will be filled through the spirit. Wow. It was crazy. As I was talking, I just remembered an example that a brazilian sister used in a lesson that we taught together back in my second transfer.... I hardly spoke portuguese at the time, and I had NEVER tried to explain this example in portuguese before, but somehow, it worked perfectly! There was a cup sitting on there table and I just grabbed it and explained how the apostasy was as if the cup had fallen and shattered and many churches were started each with a little peice of the cup, but we needed to have a restoration to restore the cup entirely, unbroken.......... It was just a simple thing, but somehow, it CLICKED with Rodolfo, and he got it after that..... Then it made sense to him WHY we were inviting him to be baptized again (since he had been baptized as a baby in the catholic church) and why the message was important. It was way cool.
This week, we taught Rodolfo every day.... we also marked baptism with him for the 28th. And he is awesome!! He read everything we marked for him in the book of mormon.... a chapter everday!! AND, he kept asking for us to mark MORE chapters at a time!! And he was trying really hard to pray as well........ that is giving him a harder time..... ahhh. BUT, this weekend, I´m not sure what happened, but seems like something came up..... he hadnt read OR prayed when we passed Saturday.... and Sunday when we came to pick him up in the morning for church, he just never got up and came to the door..... and when we came by again in the evening, he never answered the door..... ahhh. It is the WORST when investigators bail on us for church!!! But, hopefully we can get back in touch with him this week and keep working with him...
Wow. a lot of cool stuff happened this week (in the midst of all the rude people/tons of walking up and down hills/appointments falling through/members never wanting to help us/and all the usual...) but I dont have time for all the stories............. so just a couple more.
Talking to EVERYONE really does bring some blessings......... we found a cool couple that we taught this week..... the wife is baptist and very firm in her church, but the husband is very lost and looking for something in his life. We´re hoping we can help him out with that!! He talked to us for a longgg time about his life, and a lot of hard stuff that has happened..... and he really just seems like he is lost, looking for something (he doesnt know what...) and just has a broken heart. PERFECT. So, we werent able to teach much, but we left him with a book of mormon and hopefully this is HIS time to find the truth...........
In the experience of trying to talk to EVERYONE this week, I realized that in the hundreds of people we talk to each week that dont even take the time to listen to us.... in the midst of all that, there are a few people that we will be able to teach and help. And hopefully, a few people that are really prepared and will accept the gospel...... We´ll see how it goes.
OH yeah. and we had the pass-along card activity with the ward this week........... It was cool... but also a little dissappointing... our ward is pretty big here, but only 6 people showed up for the activity.......... it was pretty sad. But, we were able to all go out and pass-out about 250 cards in about an hour. It was way good for the people that were there, everyone enjoyed it and they were all excited about missionary work........ but we could have had a TON more people there and done a lot more...... This ward is gonna be hard. Everyone is very nice to us and soooooo good about making sure we have food and everything....... but no one is helping the missionary work here... If any of you out there having any genius ideas on how we can get our ward more excited, they would be appreciated.
OH. And sunday....... we have been working with a man who was baptized the week before we got here, but after his baptism, he kind of fell away and when he came to church the next week, he ran away before sacrament meeting started so that he wouldnt recieve the holy ghost and be confirmed...... So, we´ve been trying to help him and get him back to church for sunday so he could receive the holy ghost (which will help him soooo much with the stuff he is going through). Well. That day we were fasting for him to come to church and to know how to help him better..... Sadly, he still didnt go to church..... And none of our investigators came. Which is always frustrating. So sitting in sacrament meeting, I was kind of frustrated and upset..... What more can we do here???! But, I guess Heavenly Father had some other blessings in mind.... After the meeting, the members introduced us to another investigator. He had come to church a few times when the other sisters were here, but they had never been able to teach him because he lives in a type of boarding house with only guys... AND his name wasnt in the area book.... BUT, he seems WAY cool and is very interested about learning all about the gospel.... We were able to give him a book of mormon while at church and mark to meet with him this week!! As I was marking a chapter in the book of mormon for him, Sister Feistner was talking to him about baptism and everything..... He didnt accept to be baptized yet, but I feel like he will. He just started coming to church out of his own desire because he feels like it will bless his life!!! Anyways.... I´m hoping for big things for him.... His name is Fernando.
oh yeah. And another thing............... We seem to have great luck with our showers here.......... our little shower head/water heater in araras broke TWICE while we were there......... this week, our shower heater here broke as well. SWEET. I LOVE COLD SHOWERS. not. hahhaha. We´ll see if we can actually find someone in the ward to come fix it.......... the family we had lunch with saturday offered to, but then they marked twice to come by, and then never did....... hmmmmmmmmmmm. I guess we are just going to be little ice-cubes this week.
OHHHHHHHHHHH and pigeons!!! Remember how much I hate them???????? oh yeah, well it gets better!! I forgot to tell youall last week........ but when we were sitting in Araras with all our luggage at the Rodaviária waiting for our bus to leave, a pigeon wayyyyy up in the rafters about 40, 50 feet above us decided to poop and it landed RIGHT on my foot. Right on the part of my foot NOT inside my shoe..............ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. so gross!!!!!!!!!!!
Then, this week, we have been walking up and down the main street where the chapel is a TON doing contacts and talking with people on the road and at the bus stop. Above the sidewalk going down that entire block, there is a stretch of telephone wires where about a hundred pigeons love to sit ALL day long........ Yep. you called it. I have BARELY escaped having pigeon poop on my HEAD about 5 times already, and got some on my foot again........... ugh. I just wish we had a machine gun so we could shoot the whole line of them down really quick! hahahah. Or pull back the wires really far and shoot them all off. hahaha. Like that little pixar short film with alll the birds sitting on the telephone wires..... (if you dont know what I´m talking about, go find it..... sooo funny.) I think of that little short film every day. hahahahaha. 
Love you all so much!!!!!!!!!!!
Hope you have the best week!!!!!!
thanks so much again for all the emails, letters, love, prayers and support!!! you all are the best!!!!!!!
Sister Ward

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