We had zone conference this past week which was nice because I was able to see many of the other missionaries. We also had stake conference on Sunday, along with another baptism following right after it. So that makes two. Elder Cooper and Elder L. Lima had five. Everyone before a mission thinks it is really easy but in reality it is really, really hard especially when everything is done by word of mouth and WALKING. Like in the states, if needed, you can call and remind people of church and appointments. Here we have to walk to all of our investigators homes right before church and get them. It is also rather difficult to plan here. They make a big deal about it in the CTM/MTC to really plan well, but Elder Lima and I have had more days where the appointments we schedule do not happen and so the plan we made the night before was not even followed. In the states, many people would write appointments down somewhere to remember. Here it is kind of like, ya, you can come teach me, if at the time I am here or in the mood. So we usually just head to another house when one fails. The thing is everyone knows us, so it is kind of weird because everyone thinks that their church is the only true church, yet right next door is another church. I have honestly run into very few Catholics. Most people here are Evangelists, so we get a lot of singing and stuff like that. The biggest issue we probably have is the fact that many people will listen to us and many will believe and agree with what we teach, but when we ask them to change their lives, they won’t. So we keep trying for a bit and then after too much, we just have to move on. Another common occurrence is we will make appointments with people and we will go to teach them and they will be too tired or something else, so we will schedule again and this will happen about three times before we drop them. They pretend to be actually interested, but it is easier for them to not argue with us or listen to us by just saying yes and then they have an excuse when we to go their house.
I played soccer for the first time today and did about as well as anyone would expect. haha. I did however score a goal! So that was a plus. If you did not know, the World Cup is coming up. So basically that is the large focus of everyone and everything in Brasil right now. Most streets have green and yellow streamers over them and some sidewalks and houses are painted green and yellow. We actually have to return to our houses during the Brasil games. I’m not really sure why we can’t watch them with a family or something, but whatever. We get to go home and study and stuff. No one would accept us in their house during the game anyhow, only if we were going to watch it with them.
Let’s see…I can’t remember if I told you that I finished the Pearl of Great Price. Really easy. I am making fantastic progress through Jesus the Christ, and I finished Deuteronomy yesterday. I am almost done with Joshua too. I also practice the piano a little every P-Day, and teach Elder Lima the best I can. What I am finding is that I know it, because I learned it, it is just a matter of me actually doing it. So I figure that with some actual practice, I could maybe play.
It is rather strange to think of how fast everything is going. I am already on the final half of my first transfer. I mean, in three weeks, I could be somewhere totally new. But like everyone says, your mission will just fly by.
It is fun to hear about the fence and garden and the happenings in your lives. I am very excited to hear about Spencer, Brenna, and Cameron! That is so exciting. During our stake conference they invited a girl up onto the stand to open her mission call. Ya I know, a little weird, but everything here is very different. But she is headed to Porto Algre Norte I think, and not entirely sure I spelt that right.
Well, I miss you all. Love you! Talk to you again next week!