Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Great and Terrible Was The First Week of October

First off General Conference was legit!  We didn't get to go watch it in the Stake Center because we had to be here in Viçosa just in case we had investigators, (more on that later), so we set up a projector in the chapel and had Conference there.  It was good, but it's not the same in Portuguese, you don't get the emotion the speakers deliver.  One cool thing though, is that Elder Richard G. Scott is fluent in Portuguese so he does his own voice over so that was a pretty cool experience.  I really loved President Thomas S. Monson's talk and his story about that blessing he gave and I also liked Elder Eyring's talk.  It's hard to really reflect on Conference because I have a hard time paying attention with the mixture of Portuguese with English speaking lips.

Great...yet terrible was the week.

The week really started off amazing!  We picked up like 17 new investigators this week and they were all way elect.  They all had great questions and the will to act and to learn more.  We found one family, that's right A FAMILY that was LEGALLY MARRIED and I swear the father would've been like a stake president if he were to be baptized.  The first two days were great, with chance encounters, wrong referrals that turned out to be huge blessings, and all sorts of miracles and excitement.  Well it all crashed and burned on the second half of the week.

Side story, we decided to do an open house of the church this week.  Our church is located really close to a high school so we decided to throw the open house during the times when all the teenagers get out of school.  I was on the inside with my display on the Book of Mormon, Elder Denna showed the baptismal font and some of our supplies, the Stake President took names and addresses, while Elder Jepsen and Elder Silva were outside inviting people to come in.  It was madness.  Teenagers... Teenagers everywhere.  They wouldn't stop coming in and we couldn't keep up with them.  For about 1 hour and 15 minutes we had about 250 people tour the chapel.  They were all asking questions, touching things, and overall causing all sorts of chaos.  There was lots of us shouting "Don't touch that!", ‘Put that down!", "Over here quickly", "No you can't swim in the baptismal font!"  They all wanted stuff too.  By the time the open house ended they had taken every supply and example of church materials that we had.  That includes:  A Young Women’s Personal Progress booklet,  A Duty to God guide, and A Gospel Principles manual, who does that!?  We were so excited to look at all of the addresses that we got.  About 120 people left their name and address to learn more about the church, but for some odd reason they forgot to put their house number, or the road that they lived on, and some of them just left their neighborhood.  #Facepalm  We had better success at the other open house we had later at night.  We had less people, but we could explain things better and make sure THAT THEY LEAVE THEIR STUPID HOUSE NUMBER.  More snakes too, which was uncomfortable but overall it was a good time.

Anyways... By the time General Conference rolled around Satan decided to have his way with our investigators by:  

·       Giving them the will to return to their own church that they really didn't agree with in the first place.

·       Telling us that their uncle died and had to go to his funeral. *excuses*

·       Or, my personal favorite, getting locked inside their house because their "dad" got drunk and decided to lock them inside the house without any means of escape.

So when Conference rolled around we had 0.

Overall it's been a rather difficult transfer and a half here.  Don't get me wrong I love Viçosa and the members are awesome, but it's been rather difficult to get people baptized here.  I know I shouldn't complain, but man we've tried everything and we've worked ourselves to death.  But I guess it was never supposed to be the easiest experience in the world.  This has been the hardest two months of my mission, but it is definitely the two months that I've learned the most.  We've all had our fair share of hard times here, but I've definitely learned to rely on the Savior and apply his Atonement in my life.  I'm excited for what the rest of this transfer has to offer and what I will learn next.  Anyways, love you all, hoped you enjoyed Conference and remember:  SALVATION IS NOT A CHEAP EXPERIENCE!!!!!!!!

-Elder Johnson

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