Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday, January 30, 2012

Alright guess what? Transfer time! I've already been on the mission 5 whole months, with three in the field. Can you believe it? So transfers are tomorrow. I found out, of the four Elders who lived in my house with me I am the only one not transferred. My DL, his companion, and my companion (Elder Ferreira) are all transferred to other areas and I'm stuck here in this house for 6 more weeks. My new companions name is Elder Baltazar. I will meet him tomorrow. He is the new District Leader for our area, so now my companion is the District Leader. The other two Elders in our house are Elder L. Almeida and a greeney who he will be training. We don't know who the greeney is yet until tomorrow, when he arrives. But it is kind of funny, my companion now is Elder Ferreira and he will be with another Elder in my group, Elder Nethercott, from California. Remember the Elder that was friends with Kaleb? That's Elder Nethercott. And, Elder Ferreira is the new District Leader for his district.

Things didn't go too well in the area this week. We cut a few people who didn't have interest in the church, and a few investigators said they didn't want the lessons anymore. That was heart breaking. We almost had a baptism this last Sunday. We had an investigator come to church and he really loved it and wants to get baptized. His name is Bruno. Elder Ferreira and I really believe it was God's will not to let us have a baptism this week because the day after church his ex-girlfriend returned and they decided to try their relationship again. Now they are living together, and we couldn't baptize him. We were gonna teach him about the law of chastity this week since he wasn't living with anyone we thought it wasn't a problem, but now it is, lol.

Yesterday I gave my first talk in the ward, and my first talk in portuguese. It was horrible! I took the talk from a member who wasn't gonna be in church. This member said it was a 15 minute talk. I stressed and prepared an awesome 15-20 min talk. It was beautiful. I get to church and find out my talk is supposed to be 5 minutes. Maximum 10. Oh man, on one hand it was a relief my talk wasn't supposed to be too long but on the other I knew had a huge talk and half the time to give it. I had to make quite a few quick changes, and my talk still went a teensy bit over 10 min. But everyone in the ward said I did amazing, and even they said my portuguese was perfect. These last two weeks I have been able to understand and communicate with ease in this language. I'm also starting to read in portuguese without much error. Elder Ferreira says I'm going crazy fast. I took English scriptures out of my bag the other day because I can know find scriptures without them.

I fasted twice this week because of Tanner and his surgery and because the Zone was doing a fast as well. While I was fasting for Tanner I received much more direction and guidance from the Spirit thus far on the mission. It was amazing feeling the Spirit with such clarity. Unfortunately, with investigators we are still in a rut. Some of our good investigators told us they didn't want the lessons anymore. We were like NO!!!! It's sad when this happens, because we know how happy this Gospel can make people. I hope with a new comp and a new transfer we can find some success. We will just keep working and keep trying to find God's elect!

Please make sure to be welcoming to new investigators and converts. Make them feel at home, and make sure to invite them to activities and things. Have them over for Dinner if you can! The biggest problem many wards have with retention of recent converts is they do not feel welcomed. Often what will make the difference is just a few people who are there to show them how to do everything and what to do. Preach My Gospel has a whole section just on this, and what members can do to help recent converts. (I encourage you to read it for family night tonight, hint hint.)
Love you all!
Elder Baldwin

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