Tuesday, February 25, 2014

5 months in Brazil! 2/24/14

Yet another week in Paradise here in Itapetininga! I am loving it here as always and it is already almost March which just blows my mind! Also today is 5 months in Brasil! Which is just crazy, it feels like I just got here yesterday but it has already been almost half a year here! Also next week will be 8 months on the mission for me. So basically I am feeling "old". This week was really good, we are working hard and my companion´s feet are getting better which is really nice. I am enjoying that we can work harder now, haha I felt so bad for the poor guy with how many blisters he had on his feet, but they are pretty much healed over by now. This last week I also ran with one of the other elders who we live with, it was so so so so so so so so so so ssssssssssssss ooooooo nice. Haha and it hurt a lot. Basically I love running, but I remembered that it also hurts. It has been cooling down here in my area and almost every day we have had overcast weather which has been a true blessing after how crazy hot it was in January and most of February. It has rained  a couple times and that has been good.
The work here is progressing! We are finding some really really great new investigators and they are progressing well, unfortunately as always getting them to church is a struggle, but we are trying hard to enlist the help of members to get them involved. Our area is huge and so we have to really be smart in how we plan everything and get our appointments set up, but it also makes it hard to go and get the investigators and bring them to church if they live so far away. But we are working on that! The family of Matheus haven't really progressed, mainly because Matheus has been sick this last week and so couldn't really meet and it turns out Martha, the mom, had talked to some pastor from another church who told her some really false ideas of what we believe. Bless her heart she told him she needed to see proof and citations of these stories (Joseph Smith being a horse robber and going to jail before the First Vision...?) and we were able to answer a lot of her questions. So we are really trying to help her solve the doubts she has through the Book of Mormon and prayer, and it is good because they really do have desires to have a happy and united family.
We have also been working with some less actives here in the area, and it has been so good! One of the them, Danilo, who is 19, came to church! We were walking with one of the young men in our ward who is leaving for his mission in two weeks and he pointed out the house of this person, we had walked past there before but never known that a member lived there. So we visited him another day and he said that that same week he had been thinking and had the thought and feeling that he should go back to church this week! And then we find out about him and show up that same week! It was great and it was cool to see him back at church! We also have been working with this lady who has been investigating the church forever. Seriously so long. She has almost been baptized a bunch of times and we went to see what was holding her back. We also discovered that she talks a ton, and told us some very interesting stories from her past, it definitely was interesting, but we really feel like we can help her overcome her fear and receive the blessings of being baptized and receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Her name is Sandra and we have enjoyed working with her.
We had some really great blessing this week in being at the right place at the right time, it was humbling to see little miracles happen as we prayed and asked for guidance and then were led to people who truly were prepared to receive us. One is a young couple named Fernando and Líla, they have a baby boy who is 1 years old, named Rafael. They are super great and just really genuine and kind people. We are going to go back there and teach them this week, they hopefully will pray and read and have the blessings of the gospel in their lives.
Overall, I am loving it here! We also had splits with the Elders we live with and it was good, I was able to see how they are doing and help them with the difficulties that they are having in their area. We also were able to teach seminary that night, they have some investigators from both areas that attend, and unfortunately Matheus didn't go because he is sick, but it was great, I really loved teaching! We taught the Restoration to them because of there being investigators there but it was really involved and all of them said it was their favorite lesson thus far! So that was fun and exciting! Overall I am doing very well! And I am getting good at killing cockroaches! And I saw a huge toad that secretes a substance on its back that blinds you if you get it in your eyes, and I saw and armadillo for the first time in my life. And pomegranate grows here everywhere. Basically I am living in a different world. I love it.
Love You!
Elder Carney

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