Thursday, April 3, 2014

Trying Not to Be "That Sister"

Hello familia!
So, I have to correct a gafe I made in my most recent email. Turns out last week wasn´t transfers- it´s this week. After 3 days of dying, trying not to be ´´that sister´´ who bugs her leaders to death asking if they know anything about transfers, I slyly slipped in an innocent question about when the newbies would arrive when talking with the executive secretary. After a few minutes of uncomfortable confusion, we finally arrived at the conclusion that I´m a tard, and now the whole mission office knows it.

Inspite of being wrong about when transfers would take place, I was right about the president- a little bit behind. We know that I will be staying in Mosqueiro, Sister F. Santos will be leaving, but we have no idea where to or who will be our companions. But, my comp from the MTC finally got her visa! Looks like all the visa waiters are going to spend two weeks in the Sao Paulo MTC before heading here, though, so this transfer´s going to be crazy. And the mission tour´s coming up! Poor President..
This week was pretty crazy. Our area is really struggling with finding new investigators who accept baptism in the first lesson. It´s required.. So, my district leader decided to do a split with us for three days to see what she could do to help. Yes, I was reunited for 3 days with my mission mommy- Sister P. At the beginning of this transfer, I knew that to be able to serve well, we´d have to figure things out, so we talked and really applied the atonement in our lives (that is the least I can say of the experience). Things have been really good with her, but I was still a little nervous for the split. However, things went really well. It was good to spend time with her and remember the good parts of our months in Satelite together, and she helped me get started working with our new ward mission leader, which I really appreciate. However, she cut all of our investigators and we weren´t able to find any new ones.
Yeah, in a land of baptims, marriages, and miracles galore, I have a whopping total of 2 investigators with baptismal date and 0 baptisms. Pretty depressing for my first leadership experience in the mission. But, the only thing you can do is be obedient, trust in the Lord, and keep trying.
The brightest part of the week was or investigator Theodomiro. We found him while teaching a contact I´d made in the street. She wasn´t intrested at all, but we invited him to church, and lo and behold, he showed up! That never happens.. So we taught him Saturday, and turns out he´d been stressing out that his house wasn´t good enough, where would we sit, he made food, everything! He accepted the first lesson readily, but in the end, he said that it was just another version of the same story that all churches have. This is something really frustrating about Brazil- EVERYONE believes in God, so much so that they believe that all churches are true because there´s only one God (so um Deus). At the end of our lesson, I felt really strongly that we need to wait to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ before asking him to be baptized. So, Sunday, he came to church, and that night, we taught the 3rd lesson. We tried to really explain what Christ did for us, why, and how we need to use His sacrifice in our life by being baptized and following Him until the end. We then asked him if he would like to be baptized the Sunday of Conference, and he not only said ´´Yes, the exactly what I want!´´ This guy is really special. Someone who´s not only looking for the truth, but willing to work to find and understand it.
I love the fact the Heavenly Father really does answer our prayers. I´m not sure how much I really believed in that before my mission, but I know that he can and will answer us in the moment that we ask, we just have to learn to recognize it.
I´m really excited for Theodormiro and especially for this conference! I know I´m praying for some really specific answers to some things and I know God will answer through His prophet and apostles. Man, sometimes I just can´t get over how blessed we are to have the restored fulness of the gospel.
Working hard, praying hard, learning a lot- I love you all! Have a great conference!
Sister Barkdull
P.S. We were making contacts at the police station this week when a cop car pulled up next to us and the man said, ´´we need your help´´. They had two russians that didn´t speak a lick of Portugues, but spoke and understood a little bit of English. So, I got to translate between the two. Turns out, on they´re trip to Trinidad and Tobago, somebody had robbed everything out of they´re boat. Just a little bit of service for the day. Also, it´s always good to have friends in high places.

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