Tuesday, February 23, 2010

February 22, 2010

Howdy fam. Another way awesome week in the Praia da Vitória. I still can't believe how much more awesome this area is than my last. I can't believe how much I have been learning and how much my testimony has been growing. I really am loving my mission.

Lately, I have been realizing how many people we have been teaching. There are tons of people. It is so much easier to stay in contact with everyone here because it is such a small area. I don't know how it's going to be for me when I go back to the continent. Here we are able to pass by all of our investigators everyday. We just walk to there house and knock on the door. We don't have to deal with big apartment buildings or anything, just normal houses. It's way awesome. There are a ton of people. It's just hard to get them progressing.

I can't remember if I have written about Diana. Diana is one of our investigators. She is 19. She has lived with her boyfriend, Luís for about 7 years I think. Elder Dastrup and Elder Da Costa found her. They haven't really been progressing a whole lot. Luís isn't at all. He is sort of a "big kid." But Diana the last few weeks has shown a lot of interest. And we marked her for baptism, not really sure if she would really make it. She is marked for the 27th, this Saturday.She has made a lot of changes in her life already. She used to be on drugs, but stopped before they started teaching her. She is still quitting smoking. If she doesn't smoke at all this week, she can be baptized. She also had piercings. One on her eyebrow, 4 on each ear, and one on her naval. We taught her last week about removing them, and she sort of flipped and got mad and told us she didn't want to be baptized anymore. But we talked to her more and more, and now she has agreed to remove them. Pretty cool. Also, a couple days ago, we went there to teach her about tithing, and we were a little worried that she wouldn't be too happy about paying tithing either. She is really poor. But when we taught her, she didn't have any doubts or objections, she just said " 'ta bom, eu pago," or "alright, I'll pay." It was way cool. So we are pretty confident in her. She even got married on Friday. She is also going to take a class so she can get a job doing manicures. So she is changing her life. She still doesn't "get" everything, but we are confident in her, and are excited for the baptism this Saturday.

Claudio has been sick and busy. We were sort of worried for awhile that he didn't want to talk to us anymore, or something like that. We passed by his house a couple times, and tried to call, but we couldn't get ahold of him. We actually passed once, and his aunt answered the door, and told us he was sick. She also told us that he was trying to quit smoking! We haven't even taught him the Word of Wisdom yet! I think the Lord is still preparing him. We finally got ahold of him yesterday, and we will be teaching him tomorrow. I am way excited.

There is another dude we are teaching. His name is Rui. He is 23, I think. He is the son of one of our "excommunicated members." She was excommunicated, but still comes to church. Rui came up to us after a baptism once and told us that he wants to be baptized. So we have taught him once. He doesn't know how to read. He sort of doesn't understand everything. But we will probably be baptizing him in the next couple weeks. Hopefully he progresses.

Other cool stuff happened this week. We gave a few people blessings. One to this girl named Camila. She is a less active member, but wants to come back to church. Her mom isn't a member, and is sort of against the church. But we went there, and gave Camila a blessing. The Spirit was way strong and she cried, and we are sure her mom felt it too. We are going to try to keep on teaching her.

Everything is going way awesome with the investigators. It has actually been hard for me to keep track of them all, because we have so many.

We get our transfer calls next week. Already. It feels like this transfer went by way fast. It's because I'm enjoying it so much. Elder Da Costa and Elder Dastrup are most likely leaving. They have both been here for 3 transfers now. So it's likely that me and Elder Barbosa will be getting new companions. I am a little nervous for Elder Da Costa to leave, because that will make me in charge of the area, which I never like. There is a ton about this area that I still don't know. But whatever happens is meant to be. It will definitely be a learning experience.

So this week, our Branch President got back from the States. He has been there since before I arrived. His name is President Smith. He is cool. His Portuguese is kinda weird, because he spoke Spanish on his mission, so Spanish words slip here and there. Anyways, he got back and re-organized the Branch Presidency. So Elder Da Costa was released as 2nd Counselor, and called as 1st. I was called as 2nd Counselor, and Elder Barbosa was called as Secretary. I directed Sacrament Meeting yesterday. That was a new experience. I can't say I have every been a member of a branch presidency before, or directed a sacrament meeting. We actually had a real good turnout. 38 people in Sacrament Meeting. Supposedly that's a record, for awhile anyway. The Branch is growing. There are a few less active members that are returning, and more people that we are baptizing. It's way cool to see.

This truly is the work of the Lord. I have no doubt about that. I feel really blessed to be a part of it, and to have recieved a witness from the Holy Ghost that this is the true church of Jesus Christ. It is an awesome thing to be able to say that I KNOW that these things are true, and I love sharing my testimony with others.

I love you guys, yoo da best!! Fiquem bem!

Elder Walker

P.S. No, the volcano on this island is not active. I know there is only one active volcano in the Azores, but I forgot which one. And, no we didn't get flooded. But it poored this week. The rain here is ridiculous.

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