Unfortunately our baptisms fell through. As missionaries we can do everything just right, teach all the lessons, respond to all questions and doubts, and get people literally to the waters of baptism, but when their free will comes into play, the story changes. It´s so sad for us, because we sacrifice our time, serve them, come to love them, desire their eternal happiness, and then when it actually comes to choosing the path to the Kingdom of God they reply, "Save it for another day," or "I´m comfortable where I am right now." What they know plainly but somehow don´t comprehend is that we´re not here to simply be their friends. We didn´t leave everything in our lives for 2 years just to sight-see. We´re not getting paid to be here. We´re here because we know the secret to eternal happinesss, we have the key to eternal life with our families, and we want everyone else to join us and enjoy the wonderful opporutnity they have to follow the example of their Savior Jesus Christ.
Like I did in my previous area, we decided to try something new. We studied the map of Vera Cruz and selected 2 neighborhoods that missionaries hadn´t touched for a very long time. Starting this week we visited them and made a goal to knock on every single door and to talk with every person that we passed. It might take to the end of the transfer but we´re determined to do it. We want to make a thorough sweep through those neighborhoods and find those who are prepared to hear our message of happiness and hope. Due to rain storms every day, it was a little difficult to find and teach a lot of people but we still managed to have success.
Yesterday I gave the obligatory new-missionary-in-the-area talk during Sacrament Meeting. I´m still surprised that I can speak and communicate in a way that people can understand me. Every week I have moments when I stop and think, "Did I really just carry on a meaningful and intelligent conversation with that person?" I can see blessings from the Lord for what I´m doing here. I based my talk on 2 Tim 4:7, one of my favorite scriputres. I challenged everyone to live in such a way that at the end of their lives they would be able to echo those words spoken by Paul almost 2000 years ago.
Unfortunately we´re having problems with the computers here so I´m not able to send any pictures this week. Hopefully we´ll have it figured out by next!
Elder Joseph Andrew
Porto Alegre North Mission
Caixa Postal 13008
Read my blog at elderandrewinbrazil.blogspot.com