I spent two days with Sister Figueira. On Wednesday my new companion showed up — Sister Barros! She is from a state in northern Brazil — not too far from here. Talking to her has made me realize that some things I thought were Sister Delmiro’s personality and individual voice are actually the north/northeastern accent (Sister Delmiro is from Fortaleza–also the Northeast). Sometimes when I get a new companion I think — whoa my companion has the same voice as xxxx missionary! Then I realize it’s not the personality, but that they are from the same place and therefore have some of the same mannerisms and accent. It is cool to live with people from so many different places. Sister Barros is great!
[Sister Barros is not in fact gaucha (from the South of Brazil) but this pic of Sister Barros and Sister Faulconer was featured on a Casa Forte area restaurant’s Instagram. They got the Americana part right.]
Fun fact — did you know that if you leave spices or popcorn kernels in closed containers for two weeks you might come back and find out they have mold or insects trapped inside the container when you get back? I did not. Fun facts about a humid climate! I think maybe it is safer to just leave everything in the fridge.
Other fun fact — I can understand a bit of Spanish. It is very strange, because in my head Spanish is a language I don’t know — but because I know Portuguese I can sometimes understand some things people are saying on the street!
Right now we are trying to get more good investigators— several of the good people we have moved or had other problems. So we are working on finding more people this week. A member helped out and it sounds like Caroline and Luiz have a proof of residence and they are planning to go to the marriage office today to start the marriage process!
Awesome moment from the week — Wilian went to church!!! I talked about him three weeks ago. He is the only referral who has worked out for us until now. He wants to get baptized, reads the Book of Mormon, keeps the commandments. He just had to go church, but he had to help build an extra bathroom for many Sundays. Then he said he could go several times but his wife and her mom pressed him into service at the last minute a couple of times and he ended up not going. But yesterday he managed! And he is marked for baptism on the 21st of this month! Iara also went to church. I am still sad she is going through some hard things and feels that now isn’t the time for her to have lessons but it was great that she went to church this Sunday!
Unfortunately, on Tuesday night we went to visit a recent convert and discovered that he won’t go to church for a month because he is working to buy a cellphone on the weekends. Also, he is going to his mother’s church every week. We knew that, but we did not know that he considers himself a member of both churches. We explained that he can visit other churches but that he needs to know which church is teaching Christ’s doctrine correctly — which church is the restored church of Christ. He said he needed to make a choice; probably to stay with his family, united in his mother’s church. I felt really bad about that. Last Monday the weekly mission newsletter was about how to better teach and follow up with recent converts. Although I had read the journal last week and thought a lot about it throughout the week and how I could better teach recent converts, we hadn’t visited him last week because there are a lot of recent converts in Madalena and Casa Forte and I did not prioritize visiting him. So that was frustrating–I had felt like I was doing a better job of recognizing the Spirit and his inspiration for my investigators in my studies, but apparently that did not carry over to recognizing a prompting to visit our friend. Anyway, hopefully members will visit him and he will pray and think more about this. I think it will work out.
Recently i have been thinking about a couple missionary-related quotes from Paul:
For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!1 Corinthians 9:16
We have to share what we know!