Friday, January 18, 2013

September 3rd Letter

Elder Blackford reporting!
Yeah, 9 months. I officially am no longer a "noobie" with this mission stuff.  And now that I’m training...
So training is quite a different experience. There’s so much more responsibility. I feel like I’m handling it well. President had a training meeting with the trainers and was like "the most influential person in your mission is your trainer, and the most influential thing in your life and the eternities is your mission, so think of what you will do for eternity for the Elder that you will train."
You can imagine how that made me feel a little nervous, but yeah it will be good because its making me be the "perfect elder" cause you can’t teach something you don’t do, so I am having to step up my game so that way my companion can develop good habits for the rest of his mission, and I am raising my standards too. It’s going to be awesome!
So my new companion is....Elder F. Souza! wooo!  And TODAY is his birthday, he turned 19 today!
He is from Espirito Santo (yes that would be Holy Ghost) and he’s from the capital, Vitoria which is an island. It’s really close by, it’s like going from Utah to Washington or California, really the same.
He has been a member his whole life, in fact, he’s 4th generation so almost all his family are members. Both his parents served a mission, including the last companion that his dad had, who would happen to be none other than President Pinho... and his dad was the 2nd companion of President Pinho. So yeah, you can only imagine the thoughts  I had. I was like oh crap....president gave me the family friend person to train... eeshhh!
But yeah it’s going really well. Elder F. Souza is SUPER shy. But I have found out the system, if I start the contact on the street and then be like and this is my friend Elder Souza....(awkward stare) he starts to talk. So this has been working well – ha ha.
His family is super rich, like he has 3 suitcases, and I was like freak, and he is still organizing his stuff.  8 pairs of dress shoes, 3 suits (all above 600$) 15 long sleeves, 12 short, 30 pairs of garments,  and a TON of other stuff that he won’t need.  Like 8 regular t-shirts and 4 pairs of jeans...ha ha but don’t worry he will learn.
It’s been really fun teaching him how to teach lessons, and how much I remember starting the mission, He talks about Faith, I talk about repentance, he forgets what’s going on talks about reading the scriptures and praying, I bring the lesson back to baptism, then he asks to do a closing prayer without even finishing. But that’s how it works, you forget you get nervous and yeah. It is really fun.
We get along really well. It’s good that I’m finally able to work as well. It’s not every few minutes someone wanting a coca cola or to find some food. We can actually knock doors and find people to teach so yeah it’s good, I have to do a lot of the talking because he doesn’t know much.
Tonight were going to have a little birthday party for him wooo! It’s gonna be fun.
Yeah, I still don’t know the road, we live right in the middle of town just look for the Oba Oba and we live right by it. (we asked Braden for the address of his apartment – didn’t work out so well)
How does our town run? Uhh, the bananas is what funds it, but our town SUCKS for jobs, people leave all the time. There isn’t any way this town will "grow" because there is nothing to it. As far as an overall life perspective, it’s a crappy place to live, but there are lots of families who always lived here and run shops and what not so they get by. Simple life.
Wow at church...wow. So Luis, he is a member looong time now, 30 some years. He is old and retired and he has always been a kind of smart aleck, ya know.  But he now has decided that he’s old, doesn’t have to do anything and can just be a jokester. I mean he’s already been branch and district president and stuff, so he has had plenty of leadership experience. But anyway, he always makes "funny" comments and sometimes they are funny, but what he decided is that there isn’t the right time and right place, it’s always...
So Sunday he went up there to give his testimony, and this is what he said (basically cause its translated)
"So I believe in miracles, and if any of you have ever watched 17 miracles, it really is an amazing film that shows them. (idk if you guys have watched it yet but if not DO IT ASAP great film you will cry watching, follows the pioneers and all and the miracles that happened along the pioneer trail) He continues, and last week a miracle happened, I was sitting here in sacrament meeting and I was starving, you know that kind of starving when you’re super hungry. When the bread was being passed, I reached for a piece poking up, but when I pulled it out there was a ton of bread underneath attached, it was huge! And so I ate all of it. This is my testimony.....amen.” (end of his testimony)
Branch president looked at me, I looked at him, and we both just slapped our foreheads. What’s worse is that everyone laughed and we had some investigators there too... if Ii wasn’t a missionary the things I might have said...
But Claudio, Diego and Sandro weren’t home all Sunday. We had a member go there Sunday morning to motivate them to go to church, and he said everything was locked and he called them and no one was home. We passed by during the day and they still weren’t there so uggh... but Claudio still hasn’t smoked. Things are going pretty well, we are going to start passing by like every day there.
Wilber had to do a project at school Sunday, so he couldn’t go to church, looks like he will be baptized like the end of this month but were working hard with him to help him. He still says he hasn’t gotten an answer, but he’s like in the middle of mosias (Mosiah – I left Braden’s translation J )...no one reads that far without getting an answer, so he has a fear of something, we just have to figure out what it is.
Pretty much everyone else we’re teaching has fallen through so yup yup.  There you have it.
Glad everyone is loving school and all is going well. Love and miss everyone!
Elder Blackford

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