Monday, November 17, 2014

Week 13 Elder Wiscombe

So this week when I was reading the letter from Amanda I thought about her comment that it is hard to do missionary work when we are surrounded by members in the bubble of provo or Utah and Idaho for that matter.  But I have to say even when I am here in a place where the vast majority of the people I run into on the street have never even encountered the church, I spend a lot of time working with the members to strengthen the ward. Elder Cook told us while he was here to visit that we are not here to put up numbers and just baptise people but we are here to build wards and therefore the church.  The main focus of our mission especially here in Portugal is to get the church here ready to have a temple. And we here in Costa have a ward but it is one with a lot of problems.  The bishop is a fuebecka  there is no existing sunday meetings for leadership like there should be and a lot of things just are not done as the should be.  We spend a lot of time teaching less actives and even with the active members that we have trying to work out the kinks that they have in their life.  I am mentioning this because a lot of times people think of missionary work as just the convert baptisms and that would be awesome if that is the only thing we had to worry about but the truth is that the people in the church need a lot of help too.  I am saying this because I think it is important that as we try to be missionaries in our everyday life it is important to remember that as I always tell people that we meet we are here to help people in any way that we can especially in coming unto Christ. And as we help these people have more faith, as in the belief that drives them to do more to be more like Christ, we too will become more Christlike as we are less selfish and are thoughts turn outward. Elder Wiscombe was really frustrated with how the ward is on his first sunday and it was discouraging for him but I was actually glad that we are able to work in a ward that has lots of issues because we are not here to eat dinner with the faithful and steadfast but to work with the weak and the sinners and the people with issues so that we can improve their lives.

We are headed into winter here to so it is just always raining and kinda chilly,  but when the sun is out it still feels kinda like spring so it is not too bad.  Also not too many people on the street and we are always out in the dark because here we usually get home at 9 30 and 10 00 is when we need to be in the house for sure.  Making that shift of half an hour from the normal schedule is really nice in the summer but it kinda is rough in the winter.  But it is not really all that cold here which is nice.  Also there is a new missionary straight out of the mtc here in our district so I am no longer the new guy in the ward that does not speak Portuguese so that is fun and a relief.

So while I am mentioning Elder Wiscombe I can tell you a little about my new companion. He will be dying (or going home) here at the end of the transfer which is in three weeks. I am learning different teaching methods from him and the fresh blood has shaken up the work here in the area.  We found a lot of new investigators and had a lot of lessons this week.  We had a lot of pesquisadores that were not progressing so he was wanting to drop even people that I was still convinced have potential including the Mama Rosa family that I have been talking a lot about. It was really hard on me the day that he was telling me that he did not see real potential with them.  So I have been going to the Lord in prayer a lot about them this week.  Unfortunately they continued to be difficult and we hadn't really gotten anywhere with them all week.  And he about had me convinced that we needed to more on and start passing by them less saturday night.  But I had an amazing surprise Sunday morning when that entire family came to church all on their own and changed everything.  It was really cool to see the hard work come through.  So now they are all on track and we are going to try to set a date when we can baptise the 4 of them and see what we can do about Paz the dad.  It is definitely really exciting though, especially because the ward is taking them in well and seeing a big family there in church really got the ward members excited and talking because there hasn't really been that many baptisms in this ward until recently.  Hopefully this excitement will help us get more help from the members with this family and families in the future.  The key thing that I think made the difference was Irma lima our brazilian member that feeds us a feast every sunday called Mama Rosa several times on our request and invited her to come to church with her family.  I think that made all the difference and it just shows how important the members' role in missionary work is.  And this week they have the primary program and Rumao who is still not baptised will be preforming in it which is awesome and will be hilarious.  So hopefully that will be more motivation for them to come to church again and then we will just baptise them afterwards.  That is the plan anyways we will have to see if it is the Lords will.He has a plan and I sure hope that we are doing everything in our power to help it come to pass.

Anyways I am about out of time for the day.  I have so many stories and amazing experiences that I want to share with you all but I guess that will just have to wait for now.  I will do my best to press the work forward this week.  I am glad that I have been raised of goodly parents like nefi of old as I restart the Livro de Mormon this week and also amazing siblings and extended family and friends.  It is an honor to get to represent you all and it makes for some pretty long prayers when I get to go through and pray for all of you individually.  I am glad that I have been and am so blessed. This week in the spirit of thanksgiving that sadly does not exist here I challenge you all to look on the bright side of life and see the blessings that we have. I love you all and always have you in the back of my mind. 

Elder Hobson

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