Alright, alright, I guess I have been slacking on the letters. Sooooo here are the fruits of my repentance.
|Elder Machado walking amongst the dead.|
First, why on earth would someone as saintly as I fight with a companion?? Well, while we were planning at the end of a rather disappointing day, he said "Elder, I feel like I am doing all the work alone." I thought he was joking and asked why he felt that way in a rather sarcastic tone (looking back, it wasnt the most Christ-like thing to do). But he continued to tell me about how HE is the only one doing contacts and calling the District Leaders and all this nonsense. As he spoke I realized that he was serious and after a 25 minute lecture he ended on "The only thing you do here is get us from appointment to appointment. You know the streets well."
After one whole transfer here he still cant find his way around. I dont think I have ever been so angry in all my life. I asked him if he was finished and he said yes. And that was the last time I spoke to him that night. I knew that if I had spoken with him at that moment I would have said very hurtful and anger-induced things. I waited until the next day to talk with him. I told him my side of things about how I am the one who has to gain the member trust because the members dont like him, about how I am the one who has to gain the trust of the zone because he has lied to the other missionaries numerous times, about how I have to teach the lessons because he cant teach a lesson to save his life, and the list went on. It really wasnt as blunt as I have written it here but at the end he apologized and said that he was just really disappointed about that day and let it out on me. But I told him things that he needed to hear and after that moment he has respected me as a leader. He didnt respect me sooner because I was a new Zone Leader. But the fruits of my labors are showing. The zone respects us and the branch loves us. :)
Having 2 new elders here is interesting. One is about to end his mission in March and the other one has only been a missionary for 4 months and already thinks that he will be a zone leader next transfer. His pride is mind-blowing. But the house is very clean because Elder Machado and I crack down on them. So, all is well there!
My area is extremely hilly. Like I am gaining the best legs in the world. Combine that with the 90 degree weather with 70% humidity and that is my world for now! I took some pictures of the graffiti and the river here which I will send today!
The difficulty that we have here is getting people to church. Everything is very spread out and with all these hills going to church isnt the most appealing thing. Unfortunately, the members here are kind of apostates so the people here have a lot of things against some of the members. It is all we can do to get them to come. Investigators havent come in nearly 6 weeks. But I do have good news for you!
Remember Julio from my days in Boa Esperança? HE AND HIS FAMILY WERE BAPTIZED LAST SATURDAY! Actually his wife and daughter baptized a month ago but Julio was baptized last week! When I got that call I was so happy! Thank you for the prayers and fasts on his behalf. God answers prayers in his time!
|Not something you find in Temple Square|
Also, serving others is a great way to share the gospel. We made a contact with this young couple and when we went to visit them they had forgotten that we had a set appointment. So the husband was leveling the ground to put cement down. We put down our bags and helped him. It blew his mind. He could not believe that 2 kids in white shirts and ties were helping him with such dirty work. But let me tell you, after we finished we had the full and undivided attention and trust of him and his wife. What a spiritual lesson! They were hooked! My only fear is that that probably arent married legally and we know that they like to drink soooo it is a uphill battle. God really helps us out every day.
Also, the Conference talk by Carlos Godoy (the brazilian) is perfect. I really enjoy listening to his talk and the one by Jorg klebingat (in portuguese of course). They have helped me a ton as of late!
Austin - Working with Mark?? That is what's up! What exactly do you do?? That sounds so fun. Photography is the bomb! Is it still the same teacher as when I had it? He is a strange guy but really cool. Be really creative and do bigger and better things each time and you will succeed in that class! Love ya bro!
Cam - email
|It's all about finding the sheep...|
Lexi - Looks like you forgot to write again! Those rubber band bracelets have been a huge hit here. The fad just arrived here in Brazil and all the primary kids are crazy for those bracelets. Thank you for bringing a smile to the faces of kids you have never met! Love ya Sis!
Have a great week every one and I hope you enjoyed the epistle!
Love you all!
Elder Zac Johnson