Sunday, July 7, 2013

Learning a lot from Elder Hoskin, and seeing old friends

June 10, 2013

Questions & Answers:

Is the weather/area much different in the city you are now serving in?

It’s warmer. Has more hills, (at least our house is sitting on the bottom of our area and the rest is all uphill...)

Are there many elders in your area?

In my district we have 8, 4 in Santana, and 2 more in that house, and 2 more on top of that in another area. We have 3 districts in our zone.

Who are you teaching right now?

We have a few people that we are teaching right now, first is a family we baptized this Sunday, (Paulo, Alini and their son Gabriel) we want to end up baptizing the other son in a week on Sunday, Neto.

Next we have Karini, recently married to a member. she is 19 years old, he is 35 I think, has served in the military as a sniper, been all around the world, speaks several languages including Portuguese, English, Japanese and Hebrew (Don't ask me, I don't know where this guy came from) he just started going to church when he was 4 years old, and is a firm member of the church. He is the Gospel Principles teacher, and she is going to get baptized this week we hope :P

Rafael, Edinias and the parents of Rafael. Hard to get a hold of sometimes, all very intelligent, but I think that Edinias is listening to the pastors more than he is God.

Dorneval and Ju. They are "married" (brazilian standard) and are really cool. I think that Ju is really taking our message to heart, but I think that Dorneval is having a hard time accepting our message. The good news is that last night I think our message might have hit home. We teach them in a house they are living in with 2 members (both served missions, and I think might move to the states... Oh and the wife is one of the most happy and hyper people I have met on the mission)

When you get discouraged, what do you do?

What I try and do is to pray to my Father in Heaven. I just got some advice that I will write about in a bit that I will try and take to heart even more so now, that has to do with listening to the spirit. But basically in the world of stress, confusion, drama, and everything else, the one thing you can rely on is the prompting that you'll receive from the Holy Spirit.

Do you see changes happening in yourself, and if so, what?

I talked about humility a few weeks ago. I am not saying that I am humble, but I am seeking for ways that I can become humble, to let myself rely on the lord, rather than the arm of man. One thing that I have started doing is trying to be more open for advice. I find that it’s really hard to accept advice from others. Even when I ask for it I find that my natural self wants to be really defensive and impulsive, so what I have been doing is trying to let myself think more before speaking and acting. Another is to accept my leaders, no matter if what they do or say may not be what I like to see or hear, and a few other little things.

Are you taking time regularly to recognize God's hand in the work you are doing?

I try to recognize every moment of my day. It gets hard sometimes because all you want to do is think about how tired you are, or what you remember from home, but when you start thinking of others, it gets all better, everything lightens up, and time goes by quicker. Pretty soon, you forget that you went to bed 6 other times that week, and you just finished p-day for the second time in a row. (Oh I hate how fast p-day flies)

Anyway, this week has been a really strange week. I just want to start by saying that I love my district.

This week:
First thing this week, we did a bit of searching for people we contacted, people to talk to, and try and get new investigators (I think that has been a lot harder lately for some reason). But it was a good day of good hard work.

Next did divisions, me and Elder Pedro de Sousa (same guy I rode the bus with for 18 hours to get here.)

Just to note, when I say his name, people seem to get this annoyed face, and ask how is he...

That day was fun. We ended up bible bashing with a TJ (JW) and it felt like I was stopped a lot more than normal (Elder Mcguire walks really fast, and a lot. I wish I was tall sometimes). Anyway, somehow made it through the day, and the next day we had zone meeting.

Zone meeting was good, learned how to present church, and I got to see Elder Rydalch, Elder Poore, and Elder Clark from my group in the MTC. I love those guys.

Anyway that day we tried to contact people again, say hi to our investigators, people that we baptized, just good hard missionary work.

Everything got interesting the next day, we met up for lunch (like always), I got told that I was going on divisions again, with Elder Ramos. I like Elder Ramos, he seems to love people, music, and jokes around with people. He's one of my zone leaders.

The problem with that day is right after lunch we ended up sitting in the church for 2 or 3 hours because he was sick. We then went to a recent converts house and their investigators house (same house) and talked to them for an hour and gave her a blessing (she was sick too) and then went to a members and spent the rest of the night there. I hate when people waste my time like that.

That night he got a call from President, found out that a member let a lady and her 3 children who don't have a place to live live in the missionary house. Elder Ramos got very bitter about this, and the next day we took everything from that house to the house that they were moving into. Everything good and broken.

This is where I gained a new perspective. Elder Hoskin (other ZL) who I did divisions with the next day showed me that he got President to let us take things to them and have charity for this family. He also told me things that I will take to heart, like don't be a so batiza Elder, but to look for the spirit rather than use techniques and methods to manipulate people. He told me to study chapter 6 of Preach My Gospel and some other things. Basically, he showed me how to be better than just a regular missionary. He showed me that a leader is here to show an example, to help the people they are in charge of and most of all to look for the Spirit of the Lord, not the natural man.

Oh and he is also really funny.

Anyway gotta go, love you all, write me soon, returning with honor.

Elder Sean

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