Tuesday, March 7, 2017

P-day 24: Day 174 - "Now is the time to really set this place on fire...I just want to get my hands dirty!"

All I'm going to say is that I cried when I read this email. He is so excited and ready to work hard. He looks so happy in this picture! I love him!





HELLO PARENTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you want to know why I was typing in all caps it's because I'm so excited!!!!! I'll calm down. Haha. Sorry but this has seriously been the best week of my mission I think, or at the very least the best week in a long time. I'm so happy!! So the transfer happened just like it was supposed to. It's been a miracle, the whole thing's just been a miracle. Ok. So I'll start from the beginning. I thought I was getting thrown in the trash can of the mission basically at the beginning of things. Avaré is widely known as the worst area in the whole mission. It's a branch with crazy members (I already have stories) and it hasn't had a convert baptism in over a year. But I didn't even care about that because I just wanted to get away from the people and house I was living in. So on Tuesday on the way to my new area I stopped in Piracicaba for a while and got to talk to a lot of different missionaries. I ran into Elder Hansen, who I got to know a little bit because he was in my zone for a while before getting transferred, and we traveled together once and spent like 4 hours talking. That's when I found out the Details: (dun dun dun. excuse my drama, I'm excited)

Avaré was really struggling but Elder Hansen got transferred there and when he arrived the attendance in the branch started to rise. It was 20, but he told me it was 55 now. The area is really growing and the president is seeing so much potential there that he decided to put another companionship there. So my area, Avaré A, is actually new -- before it was just Avaré, but now there are 4 missionaries in the city. That was the first tender mercy -- I'm living with an American!!! Heck yes!! No more teasing because of being American, being different and so on. And that was just the beginning. We had a zone meeting on Wednesday morning and one of our zone leaders was an AP until this transfer. He told us that the president chose the missionaries he trusts the most to come to Botucatu (the name of my zone) because he feels that now is the time to really set this place on fire. It's the only District (as opposed to Stake) in the mission and he wants to turn it into a stake. That made me feel really good. I feel like the Lord trusts me and knowing that He has a work for me to do here makes me feel so trusted and good. This is what I've being wanting! I just want to get my hands dirty! You know what I mean? 

So anyway everyone here is really excited about the work. Our branch had an attendance of 61 this Sunday and we had 3 investigators (a family) at church as well. The kids in the family have been coming to an English class at the church for about six weeks, but they've never had an interest in coming to church. In the class on Saturday night, we got talking to one of them and got on the subject of religion. He said his mom has lived a really hard life but she's always tried to do the right thing, and basically explained that he's mad at God for never helping her. Elder Hansen promised him if he brought his mom to church, their lives would change. Well, they came!! And she really had a good experience (the mom), and she cried in church, and we already marked another appointment with her. So we are very very pumped about that. We've also been visiting a ton of members and basically just making friends with everyone to try to make everyone feel loved and more excited about church. It's been so excellent. Yayyyy. I'm just so happy.

Guys I'm just so happy. I feel so blessed. It's like I endured what I had to endure for now and now it's just the blessings. There will still be challenges I'm sure but I don't know how to explain it. I just feel at peace. I'm among friends now and united in purpose with them. My companion (Elder Guimarães) and the other companionship is great. It's wonderful. Thank you for your prayers and for thinking about me and stuff. It'll be good to talk to you guys.

By the way I didn't get my package yet but I asked about it and I will for sure get it tomorrow because we're having a multizone conference and it'll be there. I'll tell you all the details as soon as possible.

Love you guys tons. I am focused on the work but you guys are on my mind all the time. Just know I'm doing really well and being blessed. Love you guys.

Elder Sederholm

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