I cant imagine this letter being too long as not a lot happened and I dont have too much time. We spent our Pday without anything to really do other than relax a little, cook a lunch, and I also got my haircut. Iĺl see if I can remember some events that happened this week.
I have a lot of high hopes for this year of my mission being the part where I stop trying to focus on learning the more worldly things (like the language or practicing cooking and such), and focusing more on the spiritual aspects of the mission. I remember talking with Elder Barroso before going to sleep on day in the week and asked him why it is that I havent felt so strongly Gods presence in my life. He related a few experiences to me and gave me whats called ´´Personal Sanctification´´. Its a little challenge or talk of some kind that has a few words from Elder Maxwell and other authorities that talks about how we as misisonaries can feel more the Spirit in our work. The challenge is that you do a ´´40 day fast´´ of any and all things that can make it difficult to feel the Spirit on the mission, such as daydreaming about things you used to do on the mission or not being completely obedient to all of the mission rules. I thought it would be a good idea because I genuinely have a fear of returning home and realizing that I couldve done way better instead of just looking forward to go home all the time or doing everything half-heartedly.
Im still getting to know more and more Elder Laurindo and our area here. Its funny because Elder Laurindo doesnt even need to be trained, the guy is already a stud. I basically just teach him some things that have helped me as a missionary and help him to refine a few things here and there. Sometimes I feel genuinely sad that I feel like he helps me more than I help him. Ive been gradually getting better, but my main problem is that Im really reserved with how much I talk to people, be it in lessons, talking with members, or doing contacts. Understanding people is still a big problem sometimes. Whenever Im involved in a conversation, its usually alright but when people stay amongst themselves conversing in Portuguese, its hard for me to figure out whats going on sometimes. But Elder Laurindo understands ands always helping me out. Im really excited for this coming week because I know that I will improve on that and on a lot of things we need to improve on when we teach.
Our branch here is really tiny and the membership´s morale has been rather weak these days, which makes things difficult with regards to missionary work because help from the members is so important for our investigators to continue coming to church. It does give plenty of opportunies to serve though. Early Saturday morning, we went to clean the house that´s rented out for the church (sweeping up dust, cleaning the floors and such) with the Branch President Macedo, who´s a great guy. He served a mission in São Paulo a while back and knows how to speak English. When we had a correlation meeting with him, he told me to pray in English to help Elder Laurindo practice his english. I thought he was kidding and did my prayer in Portuguese but when we all said ´´amém´´ he said in English ´´Elder, you were supposed to pray in english!´´ hahaha. Im still getting to know him and everyone else here but sometimes my timidness makes it hard.
I suppose that´s it for this week. Once again, thanks for all of the prayers and support that everyone has been sending my way. Love you all!
-Elder Skinão (my nickname that Elder Bacca calls me)