This week has been like no other. Last week's hard work really paid off, and also drained us both physically and mentally. Being the final week of the transfer as well, made this week even more difficult for us. The early part of the week was rather unproductive.
We recieved a list of names and address last transfer, but during that time I had no clue what it was. Then at zone conference the Assistants told us that we should be working with this list everyday. Ok. So I finally got a hold of this list which has been properly called by Elder Hansen, "Lista Preta" or "Black List".
We had just about 10 pages of names and addresses assigned to our area. Most of the names got dumped into our area because we are the center of the Zone. (Madureira Zone) I spent almost 3 hours going through this list of 160 addresses. 93 of which didnt even belong in our area and we had to place them in all there proper areas across the mission. They we started working with the 50 odd some we had. We contacted 17 of them this week, which is really sweet. And by contact, I mean we had to talk to all the neighbors if they knew this person and about 80% had moved away years ago. One moved away 15 years ago... HOW OLD IS THIS LIST!? I'll be honest I expected the mission to be very organized with paperwork like this, "how long has this mission been open?" I thought. Then I realized, that with the constant changes in missionaries, and even presidents for that matter, that reporting and organizing things like this probably doesn't get done effectively, or even worked with for that matter. I, to this day, really dont know where this list came from, but it has proven to be completely irrelevant, yet we've been asked to work with it everyday. I've been trying really hard to get this list straightened out so it doesn't cause some other missionaries their time and a headache. If I stay here for this transfer I'm hoping to completely wipe it out for this area!
So yeah, I guess it was productive, but it wasnt a productive activity. (that made sense to me...)
We started Sunday off with Elder's Quorum. The first Sunday of the month is designated to "Training" And remember we have a stake representive assigned to our Quorum each sunday. It was us missionaries, Luiz ( a great member who had been sick the last 3 weeks), Dennis (the bishops son who is moving away here soon) and L ( the stake rep.) President W came in about half way through and that's the way it stayed. L gave great training and explained how we need to start using the Progress Record and the Attendance Sheet to start fortifying this weak Quorum. Just to recap, President W is an older man, who has a great heart, but I don't think really comprehends his calling and responsibilities. The first counselor hasn't been seen in church for 7 months, and our 2nd counselor (P) is a recent convert in June and still is learning the basics of the gospel. It's a really tough situation and we talked with L after church about what we must do in this area. We have some great new ideas that we hope to implement for this transfer (assuming we stay).
Following Class, it was time for another Testimony meeting. The members of this ward have great testimonies. It was probably one of the most powerful testimony meetings I have ever attended in my life. Tears were shed by just about everyone in the chapel. A random less active woman that no one had seen in forever randomly showed up and bore testimony.
After church we had lunch with A. She is a fine chef, and even though I'm not a fan of seafood, the shrimp wasn't all that bad! We have a lot of sisters in the ward with non member and less active family members. They are a great support for each other.
We did a few Sunday errands afterwards, including starting a paper for this ward to help with the missionary work. We dont have a photocopier here so, I thought a computer file would be easier to print each week so that everyone can be informed about whats going on.
On Wed. night we stopped by Prezunic (the grocery store), because Elder P has been waiting for some hefty reimbursement from our energy bill last week. We went to the ATM and he decided to withdaw all of his cash, 140 Reais. He got ripped off and the ATM only spat out 60, and without receipt. He was absolutely furious and upset. I tried to calm him down an explain that he would be reimbursed. (which he will be by the way).
"Beware of the late curve balls" Elder Par.. explained to me, meaning that we should be aware that Satan knows the importance of baptism for our eternal welfare and will try to do everything in his power to prevent it from happening. Back in Arizona, our investigator's brand new bike was stolen from his garage 2 days before his baptism. This week, curve balls happened again, and I didn't prepare my investigator before hand. One of our committed investigators has ENDLESS doubts. We offered to join him in a fast this week and I am certain everything will work out okay.
This week I learned that Madureira is the birthplace of Samba and we had a huge Samba festival here that flooded that streets.
[In response to his Dad's new calling] Your a ward missionary! Thats awesome. Being a returned missionary yourself, I'm sure you remember how nice it is to have ward missionaries who work really hard at their callings. I'm sure you'll help great things come to pass in Canton ward.
SO I haven't mentioned anything about transfers because the site hadn't been changed this morning. We just got the call though AND.......
I'M STAYING HERE!
Elder P is leaving and I'm getting ANOTHER new companion.
His name is Elder M. Transfers are tomorrow morning.
Well that's all for now
Love you all!