So this week went by really fast! We had almost nothing to do, but at the same time, a LOT to do.
So my area is pretty much the center of Fortaleza, but it’s a pretty affluent area as I have seen here. It is full of a lot of young professionals or college students. But I haven´t seen so many people so young with a car, computer, internet, and a tablet (all of these things are VERY expensive here, especially for someone who has 30 years). In the ward, the Bishop is fairly young, but he is a Civil Engineer who works with something about durability of materials, the first councilor is a professor of Biophysics at the Federal University of Ceará and I have no idea what the secretary does, I just know he has an iPhone. But just to get an idea of the area, it goes north/south from the Ceará Jockey Club to the Airport, and east west is Av. Tenente Moacir Matos and something Lopez. It’s a fairly small area, but there is plenty of people here.
More about Elder Nelson... he reminds me a lot of Taft (Elder Anderson... whoa! they both have apostle names!). He was studying at BYU-I and got his call for March (he laughs about that now) and his trainer is now the finance secretary of the mission.
So this week didn´t really have a whole ton that happened, but I´ll go over what our ideas were for the week.
Early on I noted that the missionaries that were here before weren´t that connected with the members or the leadership of the ward, so the first thing we did was to start that relationship. We went to the bishop as soon as we could, and got addresses of people who would be important in our work. We also talked about what the ward was needing most, which he said was éxcitedness´ on the part of the members´. Afterwards, we went and got to know the Ward Mission Leader and we got working with him right away and got him as involved as possible (asking members to pass certain things through him so he would be an important part). Then we talked to the relief society president to find some less-active sisters who are in need of visits, or strengthening. We also started to visit less-actives that are very close to returning to activity, or leaving activity.
We got to know a Brother here, the young men´s president, who is actually a professional athlete. He is in rest after a knee surgery, but he is a middle fielder, as well a futsal player (he played for the national futsal team of Brasil). So we hit it off pretty well right quick, and he offered himself as a help for us, since he knows a LOT of people. He is a really cool guy, he even put Soccer on hold to serve a mission in São Paulo.
The rest of the week, we went by visiting these members as well as trying to build up a teaching group. We left a lot of short messages with members and we asked for a lot of water. On Friday night, someone repaid a favor that Mom and Dad did. We were walking to visit a member near the end of our area, and two people shout ´Elders!´. We see an older woman and her daughter and they asked if we were new/lost to which we replied yes. We talked a little bit and found out they are from the ward over, and they asked us if they could buy us dinner (less asked and more just took us to a pizzaria and bought us a pizza). The whole time I was thinking of Mom and Dad feeding the Elders in Costco haha.
Sunday, we started with Church at 8:30 with Priesthood. The Elder´s Quorum President, Tagino gave a lesson on Bishop Edgely´s(?) conference talk on ´real Growth´. He gave an example of someone who makes R$20k per month. He makes a good deal of money, right? Well in the course of that month, he spends a good deal of money on meaningless things, and he ends up with $4k each month that he actually keeps. He starts working Saturdays as well, adding another $5k, but he only gains $5k per month. Is what he is doing real growth? Is he REALLY gaining $25k per month? Then he asked what this man could do to save more of this money. Some of the answers were...
Reorganize his system
Evaluate what is happening to his money
Taking care of his money
Then, he applied all of these things to the new members of the church. Many are being baptized, but few are actually staying active, so we need to get organized to maximize the number of people who stay active. At night, the bishop gave a message to open Ward Counsel about the parable of the talents. I thought of it as the ward is given so many baptisms, and it is up to them what they do with it. They can deal wisely, or poorly, and as a result, the number of baptisms afterwards will be affected.
So that was my week... it went by pretty fast, but that’s what happens!
That´s all for today!