So this week was better than last week, but continues to challange everything in me as the heat never seces There were some really great things that happened this week though!
To start off, we had Zone Meeting. It was surely different than NH, Manchester Mission Zone Meetings...but yeah, whats new there. haha It was good though. The main theme was obedience. The Zone leaders and the Sister Taining leaders were giving the majority of the training that came from MLC that they had with President Castro. He really only talked about obedience and the proper manner of baptism. President Castro is really laying down the law here on obedience. I have seriously heard of so many Missionaries that are in this mission that are worse obedience wise than my companions (and I only can pray I dont get placed with them). So President has really had his hands full with trying to fix up this mission with its obedience problems and many other things that have gone untreated. I sure feel for him. I feel like he has a big clean up job to do here, and its really going to be hard to clean up, especially when it comes to changing the missionaries! But it was a good training and I know my comps understand that this is only what i have been trying to do the whole time! But do I think they will change imediately...no. haha My companion is about to go home, and he is better than the other 2 so he has already said he has no desire to change anymore. And the other 2 are going to be a hard case to crack but I have already seen small changes in them that signify that are starting to accept the philosophy of our new mission president, not President Klien.
Then we also got to go to the temple after the meeting with our district! It was so great to be there again. My companion comented...after we got home and it was all loud and crazy again like it normally always is...``Ah, the temple was so nice to just have 3 hours of peace and could actually think clearly.`` How true was that comment! It was so nice, and I had a wonderful time and especially because the new film that I saw for the first time in the Boston Temple is now translated into Portuguese and it was showen here. It was great to receive new insites from it this time around! What a spiritual blast it was! haha
So a little bit about the people we are working with right now. Fernanda and Felix both want to be baptized but the parents are home now, and they don't really know our church very well yet and have another church that they attend. So we stopped by multiple times and Fernanda said she thought about baptism and said she wont do it. (the dad was in this conversation) But afterwards Fernanda was able to say to us quickly before we left without her parents hearing that she wants to be baptized still, but her parents won't let her. Aghhh! How frustrating! So anyway we brought a couple in our branch to come and meet them and they are really cool, and help us out a lot. They talked with them and became friends with them quickly, and perposed to have a family night on Friday. So thats what we did! I bought stuff for a cake and VIviana and Weiner (the member couple) made 2 cakes. My comp wanted me to share the message. Here for some reason the smaller lessons or messages with members only one missionary shares the message not together like I have always done with my comps in the states. But its all good, I was happy to share a message. I shared a message on the passage Moroni 10.4-5 and the promise contained that we can receive an answer about not just the book of mormon but ANYTHING....IF we do 3 things...have a sincere heart...have real intent...and faith in Christ. And just talked about each one and what each required. I promised that just as Fernanda came to know this church is true, they can to through this method. Then Viviana bore such a powerful testimony of this church and it was such a humble testimony, as it was coming from someone who didn't even have the money to pay for the cake they made,(hence I bought the stuff). These members dont have much, but what they do have is a strong testimony of this gospel! The spirit was so strong as she bore her witness of how this gospel blesses families and how it has already blessd hers growing up and now with her own family! It was really incredible! And then we had cake and drank Guarana! haha It was really great. They all committed to come to church, but the parents and the Grandmother all backed out sunday morning. We had made plans to do splits and everything to have one of us walk with them and Weiner while the other went to walk with other investigators. We did the splits but like I said they didnt come to church as we hoped. But they still are letting Fernanda and Felix come to church, which is good. But we are going to have to continue to wait for the permission before they can be baptized. But they will be, I know it. The members are really helping with this family!
The other young boy, Andre, was baptized after church yesterday. He lives with his mother (on the far right) and with his grandpa Antonio (standing to the left of me). Antonio is a Patriarch and is a little crazy, but very wise! It was cool to just walk into his home the couple times we taught Andre there and just felt the spirit there! It was a great baptism, and was glad to be involved with his baptism!
We are working with some young women right now too, that will hopefully be coming close to baptism soon too. We found a lot of new investigators too that will hopefully work out to be promising also! So I am excited to have this next week ahead of me! We also have found some less actives that havent been to church in a while but are really cool. So we will be trying work with them this week too.
I really hope this week pans out well. I really tried hard to plan better even when my comp wasnt very excited to do it. But it becoming normal again for him to do it. I know with so much certainty of the blessing of planning. I hope we will start to see those blessing here in this next week!
And one last thing. So this area is really close the "meeting of the waters" of the Black River (Rio Negro) and the Amazon River. So here in the Manaus Mission boats are used all the time by missionaries for transfers, going to member meals (like in our area) and to get to other cities that are in your area sometimes. So they are approved to use in our mission. So there is a ferry boat that takes people and cars across the large river for free. So today we took a bus just about 20 minutes away and took the boat across the river and back. It took 1 full hour to get from one side to the other! It is soooo huge! But it passes right over the meeting of the waters! It was so cool! We took lots of pictures and videos. It was rainy kind of all day, which was good tempeture wise but the pictures of the meeting of the waters arent as clear as they would be in the sun! But hey it was still sooooo cool! As we crossed the river we even saw dolphins! Some of the elders got some pictures but they were hard to catch coming up. But needless to say it was a fun adventure and something that is a once in a life time! haha Well Hope yall enjoy the pictures and the update this week!
Amazon River ----- Rio Negro!
Me- Elder Gardner- Elder Furhiman (my comp) -Elder Glese
I sure appreciate all the prayers and support from each of you! It truely makes all the difference!