Monday, May 05, 2014

Week 6 in BNH

Beleza,

My new companion is named Elder Oliveira from Recife. He is 24 years old and has 19 days in his mission. He is my first companion that isn't fluent in English. Ha ha. I would be lying if I said I didn't prefer to have American companions, but it will be a good thing for my portuguese. My lesson teaching portuguese is pretty good, but my conversational portugues is less than mediocre. I don't know if I have already shared this quote, but Joseph Smith said, "If you start right, it's a lot easier to continue right." It's super simple, but for some reason it has a pretty big impact on me. You can apply it to everything, but I think for missionary work it is awesome because we have "beginnings" with hundreds of people every week. And the best way to handle problems is to do things right in the first place to avoid even having one. But anyways, I'm saying this because obviously Elder Oliveira is beginning a new phase in his life and his first day was actually full of miracles. Nothing super crazy, but the hand of the Lord was very obvious. To get to our house from the mission office is all public transportaion and during rush hour it is terrible. So we had to do that with all of Elder Oliveira's luggage. During rush hour. Miracle 1: As we were going down the giant staircase to the metro Elder Oliveira couldn't carry his bag by himself and my hands were full and then a random member came and helped him carry it down. 2: In the train station we were going to have to go down a whole nother flight of stairs when one of the security guards who was a member let us take the elevator. 3: Elder Oliveira didn't have any money to pay for the onibus and a random member stopped us and gave us 5 reais. 4: That same member came back five minutes later and offered us a ride home. All of these are small things but they came exactly in the moment and for us it was a huge relief. 

The mission is doing a pilot program from the first presidency for retention. We are supposed to spend 50% of our time with new members. I'm a big fan, but for some areas they have a boat load of little kids to try and reactivate. Ha ha. Our area isn't too bad thankfully, we just have two kids. They are in a rough situation though. There are like ten little kids living in a super run down house. I will say though that recently I have been seeing the beauty of the organization of the church. The only hitch is that MEMBERS HAVE TO  MAGNIFY THEIR CALLINGS. The Cocaia ward is great though. 

Side notes:

Happy Birthday Grandma Linda!!

Wellington gave a talk in sacrament for Easter Sunday.

The package was fantastic. I could not be more pleased.

Cockroaches like to hide in shoes.

The concept of taking your crying kid out of sacrament meeting doesn't exist here. No exaggeration.

It's really easy to tell when you are speaking by the spirit when you have to speak in a different language. I can almost always tell when the gift of tongues is working and I speak really clearly and when I am preaching the gospel of Jackson and am left to my own abilities.

I think thats it for today. Thanks for everything.

Elder Beck