Well I'll start off by telling about my new companion, Elder Baltazar. Remember how you were telling me to pray and fast for a good first companion for like ever to train me good for the rest of the mission? Well I'm pretty sure it was meant to be Elder Baltazar, and God switched up somewhere ;) lol. He is a very very hard working missionary, who knows the lessons very good and how to teach them. As well, he knows what questions to ask people to determine if they need the first, second, or third lessons first and he is teaching me how to recognize and do it too. One thing the mission asks us to do is to make 10 contacts a day per person, as well as teach 20 lessons per week (per companionship). With elder Ferreira we didn't come close to either goal. With Elder Baltazar, we very nearly came close to both goals in just 5 days. Sleeping is not a problem because I am dead tired at the end of everyday…he is working me so hard.
Also, we are focused really hard on finding new investigators. We were able to teach and visit old investigators, and at the same time find 14 new investigators (meaning we taught them) in just 5 days, while at the same time looking for a place to live in our area so as to not pay money every day to go to our area. With Elder Ferreira, the maximum number of new investigators we got in a week was 8, and that was with us trying for new investigators, and we normally only found like 2 or 3 in a week. This is really bad for an area like ours which is teeming with people to teach. But do you see the trend? In other words, I am very very happy with Elder Baltazar. He is also very very into keeping the rules. Turns out, Elder Ferreira did not follow many of them, and even told me a couple of wrong rules.
But anyways, all is good here and we are working very hard now to try and get baptisms this transfer. The mission is lacking 50 missionaries, so many areas are closed and if an area does not have many baptisms President will close the area. Our last baptism was in November, so maybe this transfer is the last if we don't get one. But we are working with the ward to start what's called a group in portuguese, I think it is called a District in English for the ward. It's basically a sacrament meeting held later in the day at a members house closer to Vila Juaniza. The people who show up there will be counted for attendance for the ward so it is really good to have, especially because Vila Juaniza has 48 people baptized with only about 10 active. This will also help with baptisms because our investigators can go there for church and it's alot easier and later in the day, so they can go and then be baptized the next week. This District will start in March, so until then we have to have a van picking people up in Vila Juaniza to go to church.
In terms of investigators, I was making contacts on the street when I contacted a group of elderly ladies on the street. One lady said we could return and teach her. Yesterday we returned to teach her. We found out her husband had died of cancer, and many people were telling her that in heaven no one remembers life here on Earth. This is a popular belief here. We taught her the Plan of Salvation and that she can be with her husband again for eternity. She immediately accepted to be baptized on the 19th!! As well, like I said we found 14 new people. Some are aren’t as interested, but if we keep finding and finding we will be able to find the people like this lady, whose name is Maria.
In other news, the other elders are Elder L. Almeida, and he is training an American Elder named Elder Stanley, whose Portuguese is horrible! Lol. Either that or mine has really come along. But he said he was so scared to be in a situation without someone to understand him. The only problem is he is now speaking with me in English ALOT! lol. I think this week I'm gonna start speaking only in Portuguese with him.
Other than that all is good. I'm glad to hear everything went well this week. I hope you all have another good week! :)Love, Elder Baldwin