I did get Erin’s letters and I responded to one like 3 weeks ago. I think it should have gotten there. I sent a bunch of letters.
I know - one year is like freaking crazy. I almost don’t believe it. Friday we shall party it up.
Hey, just so you all know, I’m here in the lanhouse and there’s 3 people here playing Tibia. It’s weird.
Don’t know how to spell the name of the bishop. Our ward is Cocaia. It’s a fairly large ward, like 120 in attendance. Ward boundaries are huge. There are 2 sets of missionaries, so yeah, it’s like 5 bairros, remembering that Lucélia is just 1 so yeah...
The problem with the bishop would not be bad experiences with missionaries. Quite frankly, I can sum up the problem with 2 adjectives - pride, laziness. That sums up the bishop. He did help us out last Sunday with a meeting we had, where he told us "Elders, don’t ask people in the ward to help you, we don’t want to help" and then afterwards the Elders Quorum president started working with us, cause he saw the ridiculousness of the bishop, so now things are starting to move a long a lot better. =]
Oh yeah, you can be proud of my housecleaning. I made a remark to my companion cause he said he will have a little bit more time each day at night and I said "Ah, hey, now you have time to clean some dishes." The response? "Ha, in your dreams." So I’ve cleaned the kitchen, the floors, the bathroom, and fridge and windows while my comp has only dirtied my work. But hey, I guess I get to learn about selfless service, neh?
Here is way cool. It’s nice to be back in my "hometown." Everybody in the stake knows me already. We had a stake conference and tons of people were like "Elder Blackford! What are you doing here? One sister in Llucélia was so confused if she could hug me or not, she was like, “oh wait, you’re still a missionary? Normally when you guys come back it’s like normal people. Man you can’t get away from us.” It was really funny.
Everyone is going nuts about "natal mil" or "Christmas 1000" because this month our mission goal is this- I believe we can reach it, but it’s going to be hard - this includes 12 baptisms in each area, and here we have only about 3 solid people lined up, so we need to find 2 families, and fast! Prayer and fasting and hard work change a lot, so who knows.Did you know that this ward (Cocaia) is the first ward of Elder Longley? He started here… so, like weird eh? I’m sure dad would find this cool - Elder Longley has been a zone leader for quite a while now. He was called with like a year and a month, so it’s been about 3 transfers now.
Let’s see, oh this last week I had to do an interview for baptisms. The other Elders in Cocaia were baptizing a kid that’s 9, but he disappeared the 2 times they marked with the Zone leaders (cause the other Elder in Cocaia is district leader) to do the interview, so it didn’t work out and then Saturday was the baptism but no one could do the interview, and President Pinho authorized that I do the interview, and I did it. It was pretty fun. I’m sure in the future I will have many more chances to do the interviews. I love the innocence of little kids "have you committed a serious crime?" "yes...one time I pinched my friends nose and I stole it!" "uh oh...did you repent?" "yeah!" "ok then you’re alright, you won’t go to jail."
At the end I asked if he had any more questions. He asked me what God will do with his uncle, cause he is in jail for "a long time" and he wants his uncle to get out and see him again. It is amazing how sometimes we think our lives are so difficult, but you look at some of the desires we have that seem impossible, but there are so many other people out there that just want their uncles to leave jail. I had to explain to him that someone who killed someone and sold a bunch of drugs doesn’t get out of jail easy. He accepted it and decided that he would have to be an example for his uncle to follow Jesus =].
Ooh and Sunday Erlan (recent convert in Lucélia that me and Elder Crandall baptized) was confirmed with the Melchizedek priesthood! yay! Super awesome!
That about sums up how things went, ya know. I’m sure next week will have more interesting things.
Peace out from the ol' town…