Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Monday, March 19, 2012

   So I traveled to my new area with my new companion Elder Mimary. It was a pretty expensive bus ride because it was so far, about 35-40 reais, but it all gets reimbursed by the mission so it's all good. The bus ride is about 2 1/2 hours from Rio. The city I’m in, Cabo Frio, is amazing! All the surrounding land looks exactly like Concord, so I feel right at home here. The only difference is we are also right next to the ocean. Our area is gigantic! In just our area alone, we have nine cities!!!! We have over 1000 people baptized in our area, but only a frequency of about 100. The problem is everyone is so spread out. With time, we will start branches in all the other cities and eventually have a stake here. It's great because there is plenty of room for growth and establishing the church here.
   Speaking of which, the ward has a chapel in the works! For years they have been meeting in a house that the church modified to serve as a chapel, but they finally got authorization to construct a chapel. The chapel is already almost done, and it's beautiful. Our first meeting in it will be at the end of this transfer, around the 24th.
  When we come back and visit the mission we have to come here. Every single missionary I talked to told me I was the luckiest missionary on the mission because Cabo Frio is the prettiest spot in the mission. Many say it's prettier than CopaCabana Beach. I've never been there yet so I don't know, but it definitely looks like it. I'm trying to take lots of pictures for you guys to see, but pictures don't really do it justice. The members here are almost all converts, so they have this fire for the work like I’ve never seen. Everyone wants to give us references and a lot of the references we receive here are baptized. The work goes on here :) One thing good about our area is its crazy windy here, and it cools it down a lot.
Anyways, the other companionship in our district is two sisters who are terminating their mission this transfer. They were switched into our area and ward boundaries to try and get as many people as we can baptized and reactivated for the new chapel. The new chapel is huge and will one day be the new Stake Center of the area, I'm sure of it.
   Now I’ll talk about how the work is going. Elder Mimary baptized almost weekly last transfer. Almost every Sunday they had at least one Baptism. We didn't have a baptism this last Sunday but Elder Mimary is a very hard worker, and follows the rules very closely just like Elder Baltazar, more in some areas. I have high hopes for this area.
   Now, our house. It's amazing! More than 1000% better than the other house in Galeão. It was originally for 6 missionaries, 3 companionships that worked in our area, but now it's just me and Elder Mimary. We have 4 bathrooms and 2 showers! It makes living a whole lot easier, but cleaning a little longer lol. But it's all good. I'll take a lot of pictures of the new house as well.
   So far the mission has been a refiner's fire for me. There have been many times where i've been tried with blisters or other things, where I could have just stayed home and made excuses not to work, but I went out instead and just pushed through it. The mission is really like no other experience I’ve had in my life, and I’m so grateful to be out here.
    Yeah that's the goal of the mission right now, to qualify for a Temple here in Rio. We are crossing our fingers that this next General Conference they will announce one! But we have yet to see. When Elder Bednar was here talking to us a missionary asked him about the temple situation. Elder Bednar is the man to answer because he heads the temple committee with another member of the 12. He said that many factors are taken into account when looking at where to place temples, but ultimately, it is wherever the Lord inspires Thomas S. Monson to put them. If he does not receive revelation to put a temple here than we won’t get one J so everyone is praying for one. Unfortunately the closest temples to us are about 6 hours away, and for the members is a weekend trip. I don't think missionaries can do weekend trips, the work would be impeded too much, so we just have to put our heads down and work until we get one of our own.
   Haha, you wanna know something funny? Only one scene from Fast Five was actually filmed in Rio. The rest were like Mexico and other countries. The scenes that were filmed there were the scenes with the favelas ;)
Well, I love you all and I hope you have another great week!
Elder Baldwin

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