Boa Tarde/Bom Dia!
So, I´ll start off answering Mom´s questions!
• Do you now have Taft’s correct email address?
It depends if I spelled ´Johnathan´right this time/if the keyboard picked up my keystroke!
• We received a statement from Group Health saying you went to the Health Center while you were in the MTC. It said you had a sore throat. No big deal. I just want to know if you have had any illnesses since you have been in Brazil (don’t spare the details, I just can’t believe with everyone else getting so ill, that you haven’t at least had some gastric distress)?
No. I´ve been perfectly healthy since I´ve been here. Don´t worry Mom ;) But really, DON´T WORRY.
• Tell me how the members cooperate with you in teaching investigators.
So normally when we teach with members, we have them there as friends already, or to help them know somebody in the church. As we teach, we can normally recognize needs of the people we are teaching, and depending on the doubt or question they have, we ask questions of the members to give better answers (or more respected answers) than ours as missionaries. Also, we always ask them to bear testimony of prayer and share their story of conversion.
• Where do most of your teaching opportunities come from?
Most of our opportunities come from references. We teach a few from random encounters, but mostly, we teach people we meet at church or members ask us to teach. At this moment, we are teaching like 2 or 3 people that weren´t references from members. After all, everybody can be taught in the eyes of missionaries. Members have more refined spiritual eyes for their friends and family (GIVE REFERENCES TO THE ELDERS!)
• How many lessons do you teach per week?
Usually from 14-20 lessons every week.
• How many repeat lessons do you get (for example: three subsequent lessons for every ten first lessons taught)?
Normally we do about 9 follow ups after every 10 first lessons. The people here literally WILL NOT turn us away. That just isn´t a part of the culture here.
• How many wards to you work with?
Just one. For the most part in this mission its just one ward...at most 2, but that isn´t common anymore.
• Tell me about your Sunday routine:
Here, my Sunday routine is way different. We get p and study, and then usually we head off to lunch at around 11:30. Then we head out, make plans with members to find investigators and take them to church. Then sometimes we pass by and take investigators to church, then church is at 4-7. After, we usually talk with investigators about the experience, set appointments, and then we need to be back at the house at around 8 at night. So that’s Sunday.
• Did you receive the stuff we sent with Craig?
I did! The pictures are already well appreciated, the shirts caught some attention and I loved the letters! Make sure to give a personal thank you from me (where possible)to Sister Sant, the Slaters and the (Elder)Lee´s!
• If you were the senior companion, what would be your ideal P-day? (What would you do, if YOU got to choose?)
My ideal P-day would probably be, waking up early (on time really) then going and doing email and such early, then going out and maybe seeing a sight, playing a sport or something. Then eating lunch, and doing whatever I felt like afterwards.
• How expensive is the food compared to in the USA?
Expensive!!! The food is less in R$ than in $ without the conversion. The cost of living here is way way way way lower than in the USA. For example, a whole watermelon is about R$4 ($2.25) and the most expensive fruit is Granny Smith apples and those are about R$6 for 3. Meat (as in good barbeque stuff) is normally like R$25/Kg.
So enough about that stuff...
My week... my week has been pretty uneventful.
Tuesday, we had our district meeting and we talked about prophets and so forth. Then we headed back, had lunch and then headed out t teach.
We taught 5 lessons that day, but I´ll just talk about our last lesson of the day. It was with Roberto (the man from São Paulo who is neighbors with the crazy old lady). Anyways, we started talking about prophet´s and Christ´s Church and he started talking about his 50 search for the true church and he said he had never felt confidence in all the churches he had been to. The word he actually used was ´firmeza´which I can´t think of a word that is equivalent in meaning.But it was a perfect segue. I started talking about Joseph Smith and his journey, and how it was the exact same that Roberto was undergoing. After I recounted the first vision, I asked him if that seemed like ´firmeza´to which he responded ´yes!´. I told him he could have that sureness in our message and in our church, he just had to pray and our Heavenly Father would respond. We introduced the Book of Mormon as well and said that this was proof of our message. I handed him the book and asked him if he could feel it and handle it. He said (obviously) yes. I replied ´This is surety. If you want to have surety, read and pray about this book, and you will feel what you have never felt in any other church.´ After this, he was real quiet and reverent as we finished with our time. Ten we headed home. We still haven´t had an opportunity to talk to him about how it went.
Wednesday, we taught another 5 lessons, but there isn´t much I can really remember for it.
The rest of the week was just kind of burnt and we didn´t get opportunities to teach.
Sunday, we went to church like normal, but the church is being reformed, so we had church in a school. Not normal at all. But it was still good! We had three new people go to church and they really liked it, so we will go and follow up with them.
Then today was transfers! Surprise! So I´m still here in Pacajus, but with Elder Francis from Mapleton, Utah! He has two transfers left in the mission, so he will probably finish up here. But he served a year in Nebraska waiting on his visa, then he came here and had been in the same area for 9 months! He just finished training and he came here.
Elder Johnny went to Grande Lisboa, Elder Smith went to Juãozeiro do Norte and Elder Batista went to Sitio São João with Elder Heath! (You will hear some interesting stories there for sure!). Also, here is something Elder Clements will be tickled over. Elder Rocha is going to train here in Pacajus 2,so we will be living together for at least a transfer! I´m excited to get to know him!
So that was this week. But I ran into a neat scripture that I want to share.
Just a little side note, the Introduction of the Doctrine and Covenants says that ´´ The Doctrine and Covenants is a collection of divine revelations and inspired declarations given for the establishment and regulation of the kingdom of God on the earth in the last days. Although most of the sections are directed to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the messages, warnings, and exhortations are for the benefit of all mankind´´
And also, a scripture from Deuteronomy 18:18 that says ´´18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.
19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.´´
So remember, this next part is really important! You know how I know?
Because the Lord said so himself. The Lord says in D&C 15:6 (see also
16:6) ´´6 And now, behold, I say unto you, that the thing which will be of the most worth unto you will be to declare repentance unto this people, that you may bring souls unto me, that you may rest with them in the kingdom of my Father. Amen.´´
You all can take from that what the Lord wills, but I just felt that I needed to share that little bit from my study.
That´s all I have from this week, so with that I will close!
Love you all!
P.s. Parabéns to Trent and Cassie! I was just wondering how soon it would be! (Name it Kyle!)