Monday, November 16, 2015

Tchau, Galeguinho

Carta Semanal:

Week´s been a normal one. As always, it´s just a bit weird to receive a new companion when you´re in the same area as you have to go about talking with members, investigators, and the like with a new missionary and it´s just a little strange to go through our normal routine here in Barreiras without Elder Laurindo. To give you an example, when we were visiting Pedro and Ana, there was a bar that was owned by an older lady who by chance rented the little house to them. Every time we would leave, we would give them a quick ´´tchau´´ and such. Elder Laurindo would be in front of me, we would both say ´´tchau´´ and when I said ´´tchau´´, she would say ´´tchau, galeguinho!´´ which is like saying, ´´bye, little white one´´ I suppose would be the best translation I can give. She always said it with a smile that always made me laugh. Anyway, Elder Laurindo sure was a great guy.  all about the transfers...

Monday, we just spent our day in Barreiras, had lunch and ice cream with Elder Laurindo, and returned home. I pretty much let Elder Laurindo decide to do what it was that he wanted to do so we spent some time talking with members and such. Nothing exciting that day, but at night, we went to the bus station in Barreiras to head to Salvador. We were running a little late and when we got to the bus station, our bus was literally leaving and the worker started yelling our names. It was a little strange to hear people saying my first name and the name of Elder Laurindo. Anyway, it was a miracle that we made it on time because if we would´ve showed up even a minute late, we would´ve missed our bus ride. The travel was good and I slept well.

At 8 o´clock Tuesday, I was supposed to show up in Salvador for a meeting for trainers but I showed up right as it ended. I was a little upset that the mission secretaries and such didn´t consider me in the meeting and perhaps put the meeting an hour later so that I could show up, but I did get the chance to talk with some of the other trainers about what I had missed. They mostly just talked about the value of being a trainer and the type of impact a trainer has on his first companion, which made me reflect on the type of impact that Elder Rivera had on me and all the things I liked/didn´t like about my own training. I thought it was cool though. Apparently 18 missionaries showed up so there were plenty of trainers there, including Elder Nickerson, Elder Adams, and Elder Sterling. How funny it is that one year ago on the DOT, we showed up to be trained and now us 4 are all training. Pretty cool right? So after lunch and such began the presentation of companions/areas. We all sat down and this time around, the tables were divided a little. In the very front were the new missionaries with a piece of paper on each table that said, ´´novinhos (newbies)´´ and the tables behind were the tables with pieces of paper that said ´´treinadores (trainers)´´. There was an extra seat on the trainers´ table where I was sitting and a lack of seats for the new missionaries, so one of them sat next to me, an Elder called Elder Marim. Before the presentation of all the companionships, the new missionaries had the chance to stand up, introduce themselves, and say a few things before sitting down. The only thing that was really passing my mind was that one of them I would be training hahaha. The names started flowing by and each time a missionary with the title ´´trainer´´ below their name and the empty space close by with no picture and the title ´´newbie´´ showed up on the projector, everyone in the transfers got rambunctious. President Lisonbee would say, ´´Elder A is going to train...´´ and everyone starts going ´´oooooooooo!´´ and then after a small space of time would say the name of the trainee. I got anxious as the names started flying by and knew that I was going to have to wait literally until the very end of the presentation as Barrieras is located until the very end. I was hoping to train an American but knew my hopes were small as only 2 had arrived and near the end, they were already chosen. As they started going by and by, I noticed that the new Elder sitting at my side still hadn´t been chosen and I realized that he would be my companion before President had even called my name.

So yeah, my mission son is Elder Marim from Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil. He´s a good guy that has only been a member of the church for 4 years and is one of the youngest in his family of 6 or so. He has a brother that´s currently preparing to end his mission in Paraguay I believe and his parents aren´t members but from what he has said, they seem to support his decision. He´s very curious and eager to learn and I´m doing my best to make him feel at home and to really be his friend. At first, it was a bit frustrating. After being used to companions already accustomed to everything, I was running through planning sessions and such and it took a little longer because he asked several questions about many things. I´m also not used to having to talk so much in lessons and really leading conversations and street contacts and it got a little stressful for me in the beginning. I had to stop and realize that he´s completely new and needs my help. Certainly a big change but all in all, he´s good to have and I feel like I´m learning more patience and love for him.

As I have already said a little in the past, Barreiras doesn´t have a ´´ward´´ persay. We have a branch, which as you all know is much, much smaller. To give you an idea, it´s so small that Elder Marim and I were called Sunday to be 1st and 2nd counselors in the Elder´s Quorum and Elder Trindade was called to be the Young Mens President. I forget the word in english.. in Portuguese we call it ´´frequência´´, meaning the number of people that go to church each week. What is it? Frequence? hahaha. anyway, our ´´frequência´´ of members must be between 20-30 or so at max and so if someone assigned to give a talk for some reason can´t give it, it usually falls on our shoulders. Yesterday, I gave a talk based on the parable of the sower that the Savior taught in reference with what we do with our seeds as members. I had prepared probably half of the talk on paper but when I ran out, I just started talking more and more and it all seemed to flow smoothly. Afterwards, Joanita came up to me and complimented me and said that she got chills when I talked. She started saying, ´´I don´t know about you but I can imagine that many others must´ve felt the same way.´´ It made me feel happy that in that moment, my prayer had been answered and the words I said were carried to the hearts of those in the congregation.

I suppose that´s been my week. A lot of my days have been starting to get a bit more and more stressful mentally. It gets to the point where Saturdays/Sundays are difficult to continue working hard and I find myself just wanting to be alone from having to talk with people, whether it be my our investigators, our mission leaders, or my companion. In spite of my difficulties, I know things will get better. Just gotta ´´perseverar até o fim´´ :)

Love you all! Abraços--

-Elder Skinner

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