Elder de Jesus and me being festive
Christmas sucks so bad in Brazil! Here are 3 reasons that support my Thesis:
1- Its HOTTTTT
2- There are no evergreen trees
3- A great present to me is a box of American candy
4- Santa Claus is dark skinned and speaks Portuguese
5- My only family members are missionaries
Nonetheless, I don't really care that much, it's quite the norm now, seeing as that I've experienced it before.
Well, this week was quality. At the conference with Elder Araujo, he told us that Elder Scott once said that all missionaries will have to experience what he calls, "the hour of truth," or when you have to let your investigator know that he (or she) needs to accept baptism, or you'll have to stop teaching them. Well, after 1 month of inviting Florizia to get baptized unsuccessfully, she finally accepted. Weird.
And remember that 13 year old girl that smokes and drinks? She also is making the necessary changes so she can get baptized. Maicon, her brother, is as well, but he's not as motivated.
So, what's teaching like in Arapongas? Teaching here is great! The people here are mostly friendly, and receptive. On Saturdays we usually teach at least 7 lessons. So why don't we baptize more often? Good question. We find a lot of "mole" (mol-ee) people, which is a person that doesn't progress. Most people are very gullible. For example, we can teach the restoration and at the end I always ask if they would like to know for themselves if it is true. And almost 90% of the time, the people say, "Oh its true," which would be a remarkable answer if they truly did know. However, people here believe that any subject that talks of God is true. I remember one time at the end of a lesson, some lady said that to us, and I told her, "actually, its not true." Then we waited to see her reaction -- then she understood better what she had just said. I explained to her, it's great that you guys believe our message, I too believed it when I was taught by the missionaries, however there is a difference between believe and know, in order to know, you guys need to ask God, sincerely, if it's true.
Which is the hardest part! To receive an answer from God a person must ask with a desire to know, or else they won't get an answer. For that reason we have to help the people understand the necessity of the need to know, and how to get the desire to know.
2nd reason we don't baptize muito: Sin!! 5 substances that Latter-day saints must refrain from: drugs, tobacco, alcohol, coffee and tea. Unfortunately, these are the 5 most popular substances in Brazil. And it's not even that hard to help people stop using these things, but for them to stop they must want to stop, and for them to want to stop, they must have a reason, to have a reason they need to have received and answer from God. Which all boils back down to them wanting to know if what we teach is true.
In conclusion, many are called, but few are chosen.
Hope ya'll have a Merry Christmas. Enjoy the presence of your family members, and other things that are so easily accessible to you. (ie candy, snow.....) and don't forget the real purpose of Christmas!