Okay, gotta get started.
I had an interesting week. I just don´t remember it (SUPRISE!) but I will try to go through what I can piece out as being part of this week and worth writing about.
Monday we always start off calling the zone leaders in the mission for, what I think is called Weekly Call in Report in English. We follow up on the progress of the zone, see what the challenges are and what is going well, for us to be able to help them, and also to be able to pass on for President Castro what is happening in the mission. Honestly I had an experience of inner conflict and trying to get my heart in the right place this week during this process of calling. One week I call for the leaders here in Porto Alegre, and the next week I rotate and call the zones outside of the capital, including Pelotas.
When i called Pelotas, they are having a great success there, and The Lord is blessing them very very much. Including in the area where I passed in Princesa Isabel. When I got there the zone was really in a jam and The Lord helped us out a lot and the missionaries really got to work and things were picking up, but it was hard. In the end we helped the zone out a lot, but now the work is exploding! The Lord is showering out blessings. Sadly instead of being happy, I complained in my heart (suggestion, thou shalt not whine) wondering why when I had worked SO hard there and for quite some time, that when I was there, we hadn´t received such blessings, and that when I leave, without breaking a sweat there is a load of blessings for the new missionaries. I felt jelous, hurt, selfish, and like The Lord had let me down, and also I let thougths in that, it was my fault, that all of this could have happened all along if I had been better. Sure you can say things about being in The Lord´s time or The Lord´s will, or that I helped prepare and plant seeds etc. But honestly, that doesn´t help too much. To make what could be a very detailed report, shorter I will get to the point. I prayed for help and that The Lord would help me be happy for such good things happening in a place that I love and with people I love, but usually, He just gives us the means, He doesnt just hand us what we want. The Spirit helped me to grasp one thought about what I had learned with all of time there. Cool, that a missionary will get to an area and already have something waiting for him there but what will he learn with that? I learned to be diligent, to work hard, and even though something doesn´t go right all at once, to keep pushing on. I learned to take a lot of no´s, and to react to dissappointments by still being happy and positive. I had the time to work with a lot of great missionaries and to learn with them, especially my companions, I learned to be a better leader, and The Lord made it clear that, it is HE who allows us to be blessed, that I have the privilege to serve, I am the one gaining here, I´m not paying some great favor to God here, He is giving me the blessing and privilege to serve Him, and that we missionaries, are just the tools, it doesn´t matter how good I am, it is He who does the converting. If the Lord was going to use His best tools, he could call on any number of angels to do what he needs, and would do a much better job than any of us, what a blessing to serve The Lord, and He gives us great blessings in return for our service.
The Lord is looking at the big picture, and knows what I will need in the years ahead in my life, and sometimes he witholds what we want at the moment to give us what we really need, or transfers our blessings to another person we love who is needing it. I hope I did okay summing it up, and passing on more or less the really important lesson, if not, ask me more about it later someday.
Tuesday we were going to travel to Bagé (way far away) but we ended up not going because President Castro needed to work on the transfers for next week, but on Wednesday we went to Pelotas to go on exchanges with another companionship there. It was fun and neat traveling with the whole Castro Family ha, they went to Jaguarão on the frontier with Urugay, and we stayed in Pelotas. I worked with Elder Martin that day. We had a great experience together, it was a sweet day, but we taught a lot, he was able to ask a lot of questions ( he has five weeks in the mission field) but we spoke in
Portuguese the whole time so he is already speaking very well and teaches way good. I was really impressed, and I feel jealous of how much time he has left to be a full time missionary. I love going on exchanges, we have a goal to do two every week. We do a lot of training, and practices, and we talk a lot with the other missionaries, but nothing substitutes working along side someone to show what you are trying to teach, and to learn with them.
Thursday night, President Castro showed us the transfers for next week before he went to São Paulo for a mission Presidents Conference. At nine thirty he read an email that he needed to bring daily planers for last transfer of a few zone leaders and also stories from the mission about members inviting people to come and see how the church is. So we got home and called all over the place looking for these true stories and also trying to find planners for him to take the next morning, so he rewarded us with letting us see the transfer early :)
I also went on exchanges with Elder de Almeida yesterday! It was actually a really long kind of crumby day that nothing happened, but I liked just being with him again. There was a crazy girl following us around though, it was nuts, she keeps showing up everywhere
Today, we and the secretaries. Elder Gomes and Elder Demars went to The Temple. It was nice to go again, I feel like it was really fast though. I really enjoyed it but I feel like I could have prepared a little bit better to go. I love being there though. The Temple is lot like going on a mission. Sometimes we go on a mission but don´t let the mission experience enter into us, I have similar feelings about The Temple, but also it doesn´t come all at once, you need to go a lot.
Today Helena is going to be baptized! She is so special and really converted, a person of very simple but profound faith. I will try and send the pictures of her baptism.
It was neat the Sevanir invited her and that they will be going to church together, one strengthening the other. It is the best way for sometime to remain active in The Gospel, two entering in together.
Wow, this is kind of turning into a long email. I actually had more to say too, ha. I had a really good study last week and I really wanted to share a little bit. Anyways, I love you all so very much. Honestly I am not TOO anxious to see ya haha but I love you lots. Ha I already know who my next companion is. Another from Rio de Janeiro, way spiritual, it will be good.
Elder David F Morgan