So, a lot of things are going on right now! This week, Sister Torres will have a few opportunities to lead in our area because we´re going to be doing a few splits with the other sisters in our area. Everytime Sister Torres gets a little bossy with me, I tell her she´s letting her new authority get to her head. But in reality, I´m grateful for having a companion that I trust 100% and who works hard and does what´s right. I always feel more inspired by her personal study than my own..
Also, we´re putting our new ward mission plan into practice this week. Our 40 day fast has already begun and the references have started to roll in. Member missionary work is of vital importance here (actually, in all parts of the world). There are so many churches here in Belém!! And everyone goes to all of them! It´s like the social thing to do here- go to church, but nobody actually follows or knows their church´s doctrine because ´´it´s all the same God´´. If we talk about eternal families, ´´yep, I believe in that too´´ or about living prophets ´´yep, my church´s got that too´´. No it doesn´t! We´re pretty much limited to the Book of Mormon and the question of who has authority. However, the members are like magic. Being a foreigner, member all my life missionary, it´s so great when the member are with us because 95% of them are recent converts. They know how to talk to these people and get them to understand that this isn´t just any church, but the TRUE church. The work is literally dead here without the members. Our ward mission plan is based on conversion, retension, and reactivation in all the organizations and we work soley based on names- who´s going after who, who needs what, etc. Our bishop is really humble and kind but at the same time shows people that he´s here to work and expects that from everyone else too. I´m learning a lot from him on leadership.
While the bishop´s working away with the ward mission plan, his wife, Bruna, is the director of the stake family history center. She has an unbelievable testimony of family history and an even more unimaginable work ethic! For months now, the FHC (family history center) has been putting together a youth team, putting n devotionals in every ward, getting into the media, talking with local universities and churches as well as the mission presidency here, all leading up to the- the first family history fair to ever happen here in northern Brazil!! SO much work is going into this fair, and it´s happening here in my stake, so we get to be a part of it! I have never been so inspired to do family history work, nor indexing. I´m ashamed to say that I have never indexed a single name in my life. I didn´t even understand what it was or what it had to do with family history until about a month ago. But repentence is for everyone, and now all I want to do is tell everyone, ´´there is hope for your ancestors!!´´ As missionaries, we´re being trained to lead people during the fair, but our biggest role is helping the ward reactivate and convert families to bring to the fair. The FHC wants to have a baptism of a family at the end of the fair for all of Belém to see. I want so much to be a part of it! My comp and I are fasting, praying, making contacts like crazy, and all to find that family, or families, that will be baptized at the family history fair. It´s been crazy to see how Heavenly Father is blessing us! Usually, we´re lucky to contact one real family per week (most people here just live together because marriage is expensive). However, this week we found six! And a majority of them were those ´´just one last door´´ stories. There´s so much more to say about this family history craziness that´s going on, but I´ll just say that we´re running with it. Everytime I talk about family history, it´s like my testimony´s on fire. I know this work is true! Whether it´s on this side of the veil or the other!
I love you all, especially you Grandpa Del! You have a lot more work here to do, please don´t give up!
Do some indexing, go ´´find [your] cousins´´ (see family history video on the church website).