30 November 2015

So this week was busy…. And had a lot of ups and downs.

Firsty, last week our mission only baptized 14 people, the lowest week since Pres Dalton got here. So he was a bit ticked off, because a lot of people are meeting the 3 gold standards, so we should be baptizing around 40 or 50 per week. So he called a meeting of the whole mission Wednesday instead of District meeting. he talked about the kinds of missionaries (or rather qualities of missionaries) that should leave the mission. It was kind of nice but painful to have him point out observations about the behavior of his missionaries that should be changed. There were of course a couple things that I know I need to fix. But I think this week will be much better.
Also Tuesday was Reunião dos Novos (New Missionary Meeting). We got to go to breakfast at Pres. DAlton´s house without our companions! It was like a vacation! I got to talk to my friends from the CTM, and eat! We had pão de queijo, french toast, sausage, eggs, bread with jam, cake, juice (they drink a LOT of juice here), and chocolate milk. I ate so much… We don´t normally have a lot of breakfast here… Then we went back to our companions and had some talks and training about how to be better missionareis. I think it was a great day.
We had some great success this week! In the span of one hour tracting, one day, we got 4 new investigators (on the street), and marked all 4 of them for baptism! Granted none of them were in church this week (quelle surprise) but 3 of them seem REALLY solid or like they could become great investigators if we can talk to them more.
But then the success slowed down… And then my companion Sister N got sick. Saturday we went home a little early, adn Sunday we didn´t leave the house at all because she was throwing up and stuff.. But it was nice because I got to study and read old church magazines all day! Also I´m staying here next transfer, with the same companion. Transfers are tomorrow. I still have 6 weeks left training.
An interesting thing I learned about this week is the true influence of the Spirit on how we teach. There´s this girl we´ve taught a couple times, but she´s never prayed when we´ve asked her too. So this week we went back to kind of diagnose the problem. And so she´s sitting there talking, and we´re both wracking our brains, truly seeking inspiration from the Spirit on what to say to her (that´s a thing that really happens as missionaries. A lot. Every second almost.) and NOTHING. I have no idea what to say to her. But we come to the conclusion that she just doesn´t have faith, and does´t really want to. So we left it at that, and didn´t make another appointment. Just didn´t feel right. So then we left and were discussing how our teaching with her had gone, and realized that when we taught her, for whatever reason, the Spirit just wasn´t there. I couldn´t feel it. And then I realized something. When I teach, I speak Portuguese. The words flow, they make sense, I can generally get my thoughts across.Through the Spirit, I remember verbs and nouns and sentences that I´ve studied about the principles of the Gospel. And I understnad what they´re saying and they understand me. But every time we taught her, nothing. I literally could not make any sense. The words evaporated from my memory, and wouldn´t exit my mouth when I tried to get them out. I was helpless. And you know what it was? That ability I had to teach was gone because the only thing allowing me to speak was the gift of tongues that all missionaries have as servants of the Lord. It´s just like the scriptures say: when I tried to talk to her, because the Spirit wasn´t there, I had a “stupor of thought” and also of mouth… i realized how truly instrumental the Spirit is in this work. Doesn´t matter if you´re serving in Spanish, Russian, or English. Without the Spirit, as a missionary, you can do NOTHING. No one will be converted, you won´t know what your investigator´s problem is, and you won´t know how to resolve it.
I invite all of you to examine whether you are able to use and apply the gifts of the Spirit, and if not, figure out why and FIX IT. You need the Spirit as much as I do. Seriously.
Thanks for sending the brown sugar, Mom. Rumor is Walmart sells it down here but we don’t have a Walmart in our area. I’ve been wanting to make cookies so badly! I made some with the brown sugar yesterday, but our oven is crap so they all were pretty burned. Bummer. I ate them anyways.
Loving it out here in the rainy, gritty streets,
Sister Westenhaver

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