Monday, December 14, 2015

What are you waiting for?!

(Carta Semanal)

A week of work, not too much else to say other than Saturday, we received the results of the transfer.

Elder Marim - stay
Me - stay
Elder Trindade - leave
Elder Bacca - stay

We were all rather surprised to hear the news that Elder Trindade would be leaving but it´s because he´s going to be a Zone leader in a different area. This transfer was shorter than usual (5 weeks) and this transfer that´s starting now will be 7 weeks (until February. shishhh). I was kind of hoping to leave only  because of the heat but I knew that I would be staying to finish Elder Marim´s training, which is going to be great. I can now say that I passed summer in Barreiras (which is something every missionary dreads.) I remember when I first got here and heard about a missionary that trained in Barreiras during the summer and hoped that it wouldn´t happen to me! hahaha. I am excited though. A little nervous because the work is going so slow here but I know there are people prepared for Elder Marim and me and I´ll tell you all why.

The other day, at around 10:30 to 11 o´clock, I went to our closet where we put a few big boxes full of Books of Mormon, grabbed a bunch to resupply our little chest area where we grab panflets and books, and went to Elder Bacca and told him that he couldn´t eat lunch until he handed out all the books I had grabbed and he started saying,´´Alright, Elder Skinner! Let´s go! Come on!´´ so I was all like ´´alright! What are you waiting for?! Let´s go!´´ and instead settled on doing a quick little goal of handing out at least one Book of Mormon before lunch. As we left the gate and locked it, I told him that I knew where we´d go and told him that we would go down the street, turn at a specific fork in the road, and talk with the first person we see or else we´d knock on the first door on our righthand side (giving specific intructions just to joke around a little). So we went down and as we turned, another woman was walking in our direction, whom I had already talked to with Elder Marim. When we were walking one day home at night, she had stopped us and warned us that some guys on motorcycles were passing and grabbing cell phones out of people´s hands as they were walking. We talked with her a little and told her that we´d do a visit. That all happened a week ago, so she was happy to see us and before we even said anything, she was all, ´´oh! come on in! come in!´´ Since then, she´s gone to church with her family and we´re even going to have lunch with her today. All of that and she lived on the same street as us the whole time. Unfortunately, she doesn´t live in our area so Elder Bacca and his new companion will be teaching her.

We had some other interesting teaching experiences this week. After teaching a woman, we asked her if she knew anybody that would be needing to hear our message our needing help when she told us that her neighbor that lives down the street perhaps would like to hear us. We went down the street, talked with her a little and let her tell us her story. Her husband had been driving 3 weeks ago, passed near an area where a police checkpoint was, and just disappeared and nobody knows what happened and her family has been despaired since with no word until today. We had the opportunity to share a book of mormon with her and her son but it appears that they don´t fully comprehend the importance of it and are just seeking comfort in pretty much anything and every religious book they come across and I don´t think they understand that it´s really scripture just like the Bible is. Another family of a mom, son, and daughter we taught about the restoration but in the beginning, we only felt that the mom had interest in the things we had talked about. When we returned to follow up with them, we discovered that the son, Guilherme, had grabbed the Book of Mormon, and had read from 1 Nephi 1 to 1 Nephi 7 and one sitting which shocked Elder Marim and me. We had hopes for him as well but he didn´t end up going to church and hadn´t read since. But we did leave him the the commitment to read and ask God if it really is true, which he promised to do.

Other than that, not much else to say. We had the little Christmas party in the other church in Barreiras and it was pretty neat with a good turnout. We only planned to stay until around8:30 and when it finally came, we got up and left. Before we could leave though, President Macedo came out and asked why we were leaving and told him that we have to be home at 9. President Macedo, though, said that we were with the leaders of the church, grabbed his phone, and called President Lisonbee to ask for permission, which he gave. So we got to stay a little longer and at the end of the party, we gave us a ride home. Elder Alencar, a missionary from our own mission who had returned home a few weeks ago, for some reason returned to Barreiras and was there without a nametag in normal clothes, which was also different. I hadn´t known the guy very much bit it was weird to see someone you met not as a missionary.

I´m pretty excited for this transfer. I hope to be more organized in the work and to be able to really help Elder Marim finish his training. I feel like in the beginning we had a few differences. Nothing that caused fights but I wished I would´ve shown more love and compassion for him. I´m excited to see what happens these next 7 weeks.

That´s all for this week! Love you all!

-Elder Skinner

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