I am serving a two year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Brazil, Porto Alegre North Mission. I post on this blog every week, so check it out to hear about my life as a missionary!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Week 74

There were two highlights of the week, the first being what happened Thursday night. We had been planning for 2 weeks to organize an integration night in the branch to get the members excited again and help our investigators feel welcome and build more friendship. As we are 4 americans here and it´s super rare for this to happen, it´s obvious what theme we chose: American Night.

A member helped us to make the invites and we gave them to all our investigators, the members, people we met in the road, etc. We also posted a few big posters around the town. The invite was so well done that people kept asking us if they had to have the invite to get in as if it was a ticket or something! We planned to have 3 activities in stations, and they´d rotate every 20 minutes. My companion did an English game of Jeopary and they had to look up the words in the dictionary the fastest.

One of the other elders created a relay race with basketballs and footballs. For the second station. They had to dribble around the 'cones' with the basketball and then after that they had to pick up a football and hit a hanging target.

And finally at my station I divided my group into two teams and gave each team a blanket. They all grabbed the edge of the blanket and on the count of three launched a full water balloon in the air over to the other team. Then the other team had to receive the water balloon without bursting it, in other words, catching it in their blanket. We switched it up by separating the teams further to make it more difficult, launching 2 balloons at the same time, and at the end seeing which team could launch the balloon the highest. Many of us came out of the activity soaked including me.

 In total there were 90 people that came, which was a huge turnout. After the stations, we all went into the church to eat pancakes with maple syrup and chocolate chip cookies. I made more than 130 cookies to have enough for everyone! Everybody enjoyed themselves and the members became very excited with the turnout and success. At the end we already announced the next integration night the next Thursday, when everyone will have to bring the most criative Torta de Bolacha to be judged by our recent converts and investigators, and come in blue (shirt, pants, tie, etc).

During the week we worked a lot with two of our investigators that had been to church last week, Cinara and Anderson. Cinara had been super blessed for making the changes in her life and going to church and so we were very happy especially after she passed the baptismal interview. Anderson as well made a lot of progress, leaving behind many habits and addictions. He was very excited to be involved with everything and in his interview he told the other elder how he'd read until the seventh chapter of the Book of Mormon. Not only that but he continued to give a detailed description of what had happened in those chapters. We were all impressed with his understanding.

On Sunday we were very sad when Cinara gave up on her goal to be baptized. She unfortunately gave in to the temptations of her friends and what they were saying to her. However, it was a very good day still. As I sat with Anderson during Sacrament Meeting he turned to me, took off a small earring/gage he was using and gave it to me saying, "I won't be needing this anymore." I was very impressed because no one had said anything to him about it but after feeling the Spirit to strong he did it on his own accord. Not only that but he brought his friend to church as well.

After his baptism while we were in the bathroom changing into dry clothes he said to me, "Elder, I feel free."

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