Monday, June 20, 2016

Week Forty Nine - Tender Mercies

In answer to some questions we asked this week:
We are supposed to do 4 hours of service every week. It 's been a while since I really did a service project though. It can be hard sometimes to find service to do here. The weather is a little better now since it's winter here. It's not as hot, and it rains a few times a week. This week had a significant amount of rain which is nice sometimes, except when commitments fall through and you're out walking in the street ha ha. Right now I like Portuguese better than English, but that's just because I've gotten accustomed. Oh, also I forgot to mention, the blog you have been doing has been getting famous. Not really, but a decent amount of missionaries who are coming into the field have already seen and read it. The sisters in my district were asking about it. They said they're going to look at it on P day. I jokingly said good luck reading English but google translates. haha

It's been pretty difficult recently here not going to lie. The attendance in the ward is really low right now. I think that last Sunday it was under 30 but I didn't want to count. We've been cutting off a lot of investigators and moving on - like always, but this week was pretty low in respect to teaching. It's been hard I won't lie and it is disheartening when the last time you got a reference from a member was months and months ago, but I'm trying not to get down on it. I believe that the Lord will bless this area if we put in the effort. This week was going pretty poorly until Sunday. We had committed a family to come to church with us on Saturday night. When we got there Sunday morning, the two daughters of the family left with us to walk to church. They live just around the corner so it wasn't too long of a walk. We weren't really expecting that the parents would go. They don't really show much interest anyway so it was to be expected. It went really well. They made some friendships I think with the other young women in the branch. There are only like 2 or 3 but if they get baptized it would be a decent improvement for the branch. So I'm pretty happy about that. It really was a tender mercy from the Lord. They have a date set for July 2nd and we will be returning there this week with some of the members and young women from the ward to help them progress.

Also I've received kind of a revelation in respect to my teaching habits this week. I realized that I've been teaching lessons,  not people for a while now. It was vey easy for me to memorize the lessons and get down scriptures that I like to use in my teaching when I got to the field. But I have been more lecturing the investigators instead of really teaching and having an involved lesson with the investigators. I've been studying a bunch and reading Preach My Gospel chapters 4, 10 and 11. It's been helping a lot.

With what I learned we decided to return to some investigators that haven't been to church in a while and aren't really progressing right now. So we returned to visit  Maria and Edson on Sunday with the branch president and his wife. We had a really good lesson with them. The spirit was strong and we recommitted them to read the Book of Mormon for 10 minutes every night and pray about it. So we are going to see how that goes. I hope that we see some progress with them. It would be nice. I was kind of concerned that they really only like our visits because they like us. They like to converse and talk about things with us so I thought that they were only continuing because of friendship, but I have hope that this week will be different.

This week will be São João on the 24th. So there will be a lot of parties and corn.

Have a good week.
Elder Batten

(pictures from zone conference last week)

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