Elder Schirmer, me, and Elder Dunn
The new chapel in Apucarana
Well, this week was way good. So, Tuesday we all went to Apucarana for the open house. 6 of the 14 missionaries stayed on the street corner close to the building and invited all the people to go in real quick. It was interesting because that particular stretch of sidewalk is occupied primarily by joggers/walkers. Nonetheless, within 2 hours we were able to get 53 people to go in. All 53 liked the new chapel a lot.
Thursday morning, we were all to catch a bus to go to Londrina. We were supposed to leave at 6:20, but it didn’t show up until 7:00. Meanwhile, me and Elder Schirmer went into a Catholic church and watched a part of the mass.
Well, at the conference on Friday, I got to see all my buds from the MTC (Mission Training Center), minus Elder Gibbons. Everyone is doing really well! Elder Soares received a last minute assignment by the Twelve Apostles, and Elder Araujo from the Area Seventy took his place. We were disappointed at first, but he turned out to be WAAYYY good. This guy is a legend. He served as a mission president in Portugal in the 90´s. Before he got there, the record for baptisms in one month was 17!!! After a little while, he had one month where they baptized 250!!!!! He said the average for his 3 years was 117 a month. To give some comparison, the northeast missions of Brazil are some of the highest baptizing missions in the world with the record of 450in one month in Recife, but now they have an average of 250. WE here in Londrina last month baptized 44. In conclusion, the dude was a monster of a mission president. Lisbon, Portugal will be getting a temple, too.
Elder Araujo is super funny, big and kinda scary. He shared many, many stories, but I don’t have a lot of time to share them. However, one that I liked went like this: There was a set of elders and they knocked on one door, and an old man was clipping his hedges, and then he ran after them with his clippers. The next day, one of the elders was transferred and the elder that remained was given a greeny to be his new companion. To show him what it’s like, as a joke, he went back to this man’s house and let his new companion knock on the door. The man came out, and after a pause, started crying. Turns out his wife had died the day before, and that night after he had chased the missionaries away, he had a dream and in the dream his wife said, “The Lord sent you two of his representatives to help comfort you, and you chased them away. What were you thinking?” Then he prayed to the Lord that He would send them back. The rest is history. He ended up getting baptized.
Lots of stories like that.
Then he asked a question: “Is God happy with our mission?” We all thought, then shook our heads. Then he said, “Indeed He is happy, but He´s not satisfied.” He offered us some suggestions. He told us we are lacking courage, and also that we need to heed the prophet’s call of getting more missionaries, which means we need to baptize more willing young men between 17-24. Which reminds me: Last January I baptized a young man named Jefferson along with his family, I got news last week that he has sent in his papers!!!!!! There is no greater satisfaction than that.
One last thing; at the Christmas Conference we had on Saturday, we had a cake contest. Everyone else made temples with their cakes. We made a butterfly.
I’m out of time now.
Our awesome butterfly cake!