Here are a couple of pictures in which I can only guess he is with his new companion, Elder Hoch. He didn't specify. But they get along really well and rely on each other as they try to find people to serve.
Hey guys!! How are you doing??
So at the beginning of the week we had our multizone conference which was great. After that we got home and went to work. We had a couple of really great experiences. On Thursday we found a really cool family and taught them about Joseph Smith. They received an answer about the Book of Mormon and accepted the invitation to be baptized! But when we came back for our next appointment, they told us they wanted to keep going in the Catholic church and that the Mormon church really just wasn't for him. I'm used to rejection but it was a bummer after going for so long not having very many people to teach. Then on Saturday we taught a lady who prayed about the Book of Mormon and received an answer, but didn't want to be baptized because she said that the church you are in doesn't matter. That's a pretty common reaction in Brazil, people generally tend to think that you just need to have faith and you'll be saved, but we're going to work with her. She cried during the first vision part of the first lesson. It was really cool and spiritual.
When I was a junior companion I felt pretty comfortable just doing my thing, bearing my testimony when appropriate and feeling ok even when we didn't have that much success. Now as a senior companion I feel a lot more stressed out! I feel like if we're not baptizing every week, not teaching constantly and not having spiritual experiences it's my fault. I keep seeing things I know we should be doing that we're not doing, and things I know we shouldn't be doing that we are doing, and it's really got me super stressed out. Any advice? I'm just not perfect, haha, and I really guess I thought that once I was a senior companion and "in charge" I would really start to blow the roof off of the mission. I guess I could have learned from my experiences from when I got in the field. There are things that comfort me though that I think I already mentioned -- for one, the priesthood blessing I received where I was told that I would find the people I'm supposed to find, and I'll be a good example for my companions. And yesterday I was feeling stressed out so I sang a hymn ("More Holiness Give Me", or "Mais Vontade Da-me") and I had the strong impression that the Lord will help me to be good enough to do what I'm supposed to do. I'm trying to follow the Spirit like you guys said. It'll all work out but you guys probably can imagine how I'm feeling. It reminds me of how I felt when I got to the mission but not as crazy. It's manageable!
My companion in other news is doing really great. He's an example to me in a lot of ways and helps me when I feel tired. We're getting along really well. Something I forgot to mention, too -- one of the traveling assistents to the president is going to come stay with us for a week or so. I think he's coming today or tomorrow. That should be really great. His name's Elder Sena and he's a really good missionary. I've already heard a lot about him and I'm really excited and kinda relieved. I feel like he'll be able to help us and train us both a little bit, haha.
President Bangerter visited Avaré this Sunday which was totally rad. He gave a great talk and helped everyone to feel a lot more comfortable about the change in leadership in the branch which is great. It was good to see him, and when he was talking to me he expressed his love for me and I felt the Spirit confirm to me that the Lord is pleased with my work. Even though I'm not perfect! Haha! So that's mission life for ya!
I think that's it for this week. Keep me posted on everything as always. Love you guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!