Well, I am a missionary. I feel the Holy Ghost in my life. I am happy. Nevertheless, Im not going to lie, it was a rough week. Thayná decided that she didn’t want to be baptized. She’s a girl that can look you in the eyes and say the church is true. That she has a testimony, and doesn’t want to change. The adversary has a way to trick people. I see 3 main ways of desviar... adverting people from the gospel: The weight of shame, the enticing feel of sin, and just plain mental blindness. It is very apparent that the adversary is working hard here, which makes my letter a little more... unfortunate this week. It was all on Wednesday. 3 baptisms and a good investigator fell "for good" (at least for another 6 months or so).
Evellyn is 9 years old. But she has some type of learning disorder, I think. She is a normal, sociable girl. But she has the memory of 10-second Tom from 50 first dates. It’s nothing I’ve ever seen before in my life. Like, we were going over the baptismal questions with her. "Remember, tithing is when we give 10% of our income to the Lord. So if you earned 20 reais (Brazilian dollars), you would give what?" "2 reais!" "Good, Evelyn! So what is tithing?" "...I don’t know" "Remember? It has something to do with money?" "Nope. I forgot." This happened for 1 hour a day for three days. Three hours of study together, and many more with Irma Marcia (bless her heart) ONLY over tithing, the Sabbath day, word of wisdom, and "chastity" (for a nine year old - don’t date till your 16, and don’t have kids till you’re married). After many hours of study, she still had no idea about any of these principles. So she just gave up, and said she’d contact us when she felt ready.
On the bright side of things, we came in contact with 11 new investigators this week. That’s more new investigators in a week since I’ve been here. Mom says she didn’t think transfers happened for a couple more weeks. Nope. I’ve completed two full transfers here in Uruguaiana. 11 weeks. I am done with 'training.' And with that, Elder Molina is in fact leaving. Elder Mattoso will take his place. I am excited to begin working with Elder Mattoso, I hear he is a great dude. Apparently, he’s tall, looks American, is very humble and a little quiet.
Irma Marcia. She is on fire. Quit her addictions altogether, and has gone to church since the beginning of the year. She decided that when all the kids are gone, she will serve a mission. I’m very happy for her. She is so much more happy.
Update on my Portuguese: I speak Portuguese. Very rarely do I not understand someone. Often, I hear a word I don’t know, so I write it down and look it up later. Usually these words are just the little, less important words. Yesterday’s words were: Temoso - pushy. Desistir - to give up. Recaída - relapse. Tatuagem - tatoo. Grudar - to be sticky / to stick. Carrapato - tick (insect) (haha learned that one the fun way). So they're, like, somewhat important, but clearly I can carry on a conversation just fine without them.
So, although my week was rough, I am still happy and optimistic about the weeks to come. It’ll all be good.
Love you all!
(1)Our district before transfers. (2)Us, Dione and Jamerson. (3)Us, Lucas (one of the gurí), and his family.