Tuesday night, we spent the night at the other elder´s house in Engenho Velho to have a division the next day. In the morning we had interviews with President Bangerter at the church before district meeting. I gave/lead my first district meeting as a district leader. My training was on ´´Contacts of Power´´. President also took 15 minutes of my meeting to talk about a few important things; one being ´´contact of lunch´´.hahaha. He told us how we can have more lunches with the members of the church and even less-actives. The rest of the day was a division in the area of the other Elders. I was with Elder Loureiro, the zone leader.
Thursday we just worked, walked, and talked a lot. Elder Washington figured that we walk about 10 kilometers per day, that's more or less 6 miles!
Friday: Up to now we have 7 people that accepted an invitation to prepare to be baptized: Paulo 14 yrs, Mary 19 yrs, Cintia 22 yrs, Raimundo more or less 60yrs old, Joanna more of less 50 yrs old, Débora 31 yrs old, and Hosana 26 years old. we invited all these people and more to go to church with us on Sunday
Saturday: We invited and confirmed our investigator for church the next day. At lunch with Washington ( a member) Elder Washington and Washington had a long conversation about profound doctrines. it was crazy and made my head hurt. hahaha. those two are a very knowledgable about those types of things as well as all the scriptures that backs it all up.
Sunday: we woke up really early because church starts at 8:00 a.m. and we had lots of people to pick up and walk to church with. We coordinated with a few members to help us out. We had a total of 11 investigators in church. Elder Washington and I were really happy!
Monday: Today we walked to the mission office to grab more book of mormons. it was another long heavy return home with backpacks full of books and pamphlets. Elder Washington needed to stop at the bank to draw money in some other weird way since he is from Nicaragua, we waited in line for an hour and a half and when it was his turn he couldn't get any money, because we didn't have some document that only our owner of our house has. So we were late to lunch that we had marked with a less-active. When we arrived we ate then talked for a little bit with Elizabete. She went on complaining about life like she does every visit we make, but this time was different. Elder Washington told me that he always feel a bad feeling when we go there, like a negative, dark feeling. Elder Washington interrupted her and asked, ´´what happened in your life´´. Elizabete went on to explain, in tears, how she had it all, and lost everything. It really as pretty sad. We gave her a Blessing of comfort. It was powerful and she was very grateful for our visit.
This past week of work in Federação, Bahia has been a great one! I am already learning a lot from my new companion Elder Washington. I am learning newer and better ways of teaching as well as figuring out how to be a better district leader. I have a lot to learn. I am really grateful to be with Elder Washington this transfer. He really is a great missionary and friend. Him and I have talked and prayed a lot about how we want to work hard and be more obedient and dedicated in order to see more results in our wonderful Branch. we got right to work. Even though we lost a days worth of work because of the division with the other elders in Engenho Velho, we were able to have a lot of success finding and teaching investigators. Even better, i was elated when we had a total of 11 investigators in church. it was a lot of hard work and dedication but totally worth it and exciting!! We were able to accomplish a lot of our goals this last week and we are ready to work to meet our goals that we set this week. Now i want to talk about Elder Washington. He didn't tell me any details about anything negative about himself. He just simply said that he hasn't always worked to the potential he has. He told me that he feels really good about our area, Branch, and our investigators and wants to work hard. He gave a super powerful talk in church that lifted the spirit in the meeting and got lots of member motivated. Afterwards various members told us that between his talk and having 11 investigators in church it was a special and inspired Sunday at church. We are planning a lot better and i have realized that a well-planned day/week truly can bring miracles into our work. It was proved true when we had 11 investigators in church. I had never seen a more full class of ´´Principios Do Evangelho´´ in all my time here in Branch Federacao. There were more investigators than members in the room. After class ended i got up and jumped to the front really fast and asked if i could say a word. I said, ´´i have never seen a fuller class in all my time serving here in this branch and that i am really happy to see you all here today. i don't want to forget this day so can we please take a picture?´´ We took a picture and in the picture there isn't even all our investigators that came. Two left early after sacrament because they had other commitments and three others weren't in the picture because they were in other classes. It was really exciting to see that our frequency in the Branch was 61, 11 being investigators. That means that about 1/6 of the attendance was our investigators!
Elder Washington really seems to be a good hard working Elder. He is from Nicaragua. He is 20 years old. only him and his mom are members. beginning at age 10 he investigated lots of different churches. Being only 12 years old he read the scriptures and investigated various churches. He found lots of incorrect things about other churches and things that didn't line up with the Bible including his mom´s. Then he found the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Him and his mom were baptized together when he was 12 years old. he was ready earlier than his mom, but he wanted to be baptized together with his mom. she was taught, softened and accepted the Church and was baptized together with her son. He is more dedicated than any other companion i´ve had. He has a super strong testimony and teaches and motivates in such a way that gets our investigators to progress. We have had various experiences with some investigators where i just marveled at his ability to respond to the needs of investigators with inspiration. He truly teaches people, not lessons. I want to learn everything he knows and develop my abilities by working and studying with him. he is very knowledgeable with the scriptures and has some well-developed teaching techniques. He is very logical, reasonable and inspired. One thing that i noticed is that he is comfortable inviting people to be baptized and setting goals with them. For this reason we have 7 investigators with a date and i have lots of faith that that number will grow. Elder Washington told me that he would like to stay one more transfer here with me, because he sees that great things can happen here. He is also excited to be able to have language study with me. I will be able to practice my Português with him and he wants to learn more English with me. I am enjoying the work and had a great week.
Now i would like to share my testimony: I know that our testimonies along with the accompaniment of the Holy Ghost is what can make a change in the lives of others. It is what makes our invites to follow the Savior´s example more powerful. I know that truths that are stated clearly, as to be understood, cannot be denied, especially when they come from a pure testimony. I know that God lives and that he truly loves us and longs for our return. I know that we really can live with him and our families in the Celestial Kingdom. I am very grateful for my family and they are what motivates me to help other families. There are a lot of people here in Bahia in need of real joy; not temporary happiness and pleasures, but eternal joy which only comes from living the principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That is what I want to help people here realize. When they come to a knowledge of this they will want to start their journey of discipleship by being baptized. I´m thankful for this opportunity to serve a mission. It definitely isn't easy, but its always worth it when you are obedient and work hard. I know that Jesus Christ lives and that he loves us. He understands us and wants to help us. I know that NOW is the time to prepare to meet him, because soon He will come. I know that the commandments are what we need to stay on the strait and narrow path, and prepare to meet God and Christ. Im grateful for my opportunity to learn, and at times struggle in my mission to be able to become a better disciple of Christ. This is my testimony.
half our house payment!!!!!
My new companion, Elder Washington!