Week 15 --8-26-13
Bom dia, familia!
Once again, it's nice to hear that things are going well back home.
I see my cello in one of the pictures you sent me. I do miss playing it. But at least I can play piano and still use my musical abilities. As far as the music class goes, I'm planning on doing the first class this coming Saturday. Many in the branch have expressed interest. So we'll see how it goes. It will be nice to have other branch members know how to play a simple hymn or two on the piano for sacrament meetings.
Thank you for sharing the messages from the Stake Conference; as always, it seems that all the messages were great. Yesterday we spent a lot of time at church in meetings. After church was branch council. Then later on was the first correlation meeting, which is a meeting between the missionaries (us) and the branch mission leader and branch missionaries. We are Hopeful that working with the young men in the branch called to be branch missionaries will help us grow the branch faster. Then in the evening we attended the weekly branch presidency meeting. I've learned a lot about church organization in the time I've been here. The main thing that needs to happen is communication among the presidencies of each organization and the branch president. Also there are many callings that are empty that need to be filled. Our branch president here, President Mabunda, is a really good leader. He's only been a member for a little over a year and branch president for only a few months, but he takes the initiative to learn how to magnify his calling and to know how the branch should be running. I think a lot of the members are learning that being called to serve in the church requires sacrificing some of their time, but it is how the church operates, and it's the Lord's way.
The weather here will be getting hotter and more humid. It's still nice here, though. Probably in the mid 80's to 90, but I don't know what the temperature has been for sure. It hasn't rained lately either, but that will change as the weeks go on. I've heard that when it rains here, it rains! I'm still good on mosquito repellant for the next little while. I still haven't finished the lotion repellant, and I haven't even touched the spray yet. But definitely you can send more when you send me a package. At first when I was here, I did get a blister or two on my feet, but they weren't that bad. By now, I'm used to the amount of walking we do and my feet don't hurt. The shoes I have are really good. I'm glad we found good ones.
So, this week the work was still slow. In fact, it was slower than it was last week, unfortunately. We mark many lessons, but the majority of them fall through. We do contacts house to house and on the street. When talking to people, many say they are willing to sit and hear the message, but then we show up to their house at the time they agreed on and they aren't there, and then we call and they make an excuse for why they weren't there. We've gotten a few false numbers as well. We have one couple we are teaching that has potential, but they are slow in progressing. But we are not getting discouraged. We will keep working hard this week and hopefully we can find that next family that is prepared to hear the message and apply it in their lives, and make it a priority. I'd say that this is the number one problem. We invite them to pray and to read the Book of Mormon, but most do not make it a priority, so they forget, and their hearts don't get opened to accepting the gospel because they aren't doing the things necessary to gain conversion. The good thing is that the members are helping us, especially one member, Walter. He is always giving us references of people he knows that would be willing to sit with us. He is a driver, but his truck is broken, so he is currently out of work and has a lot of time during the day. So he has accompanied us to lessons a couple times this week. The spirit is always strong when a member who is living the gospel testifies of how it has blessed his life.
Thank you for your prayers for me. I really appreciate them. I know that many members of the ward are praying for me and all the missionaries too.
I love all of you sooo much! I pray the Lord continues to bless you all with health and happiness! Until next week!