Tuesday, April 19, 2011

. . . the winds of change shifted again!

Top row left to right: Elders Finato, Edimicio, Griner, Ghormley.
Bottom row left to right: Elders Ealey, Titus, Cavalcanti, de Oliveira

Olá friends,

I’m here in Cascavel. This week has been one of the most hectic weeks of my mission. So last week, after arriving at the bus station in Londrina with Elder McCombs, I called the Assistants to the President and asked where we would be sleeping, and they didn’t know, but said they were on their way. Then Elder Ayres gets all excited and asked me if I had heard the news. I said no, then he said, “Cascavel is no longer a district and because of the arrival of new missionaries, it has turned into a zone!!!” I said “Yea! Cool!” Then he waited a few seconds and said “and you have been called to be a zone leader!!!” . . . Well, so that’s probably some of the craziest news I’ve heard on my mission. I was hoping NOT to be one because it's tough work! But now that I’ve been called, I’m committed to give 110%. I’m zone leaders with Elder Cavalcanti (cav-aoo-cahn-chee) who is in my “leaving the mission group” (we all leave on August 17th). There are only 4 companionships in our zone, but we are united, strong and determined to baptize... a lot.

After that, we met up with some other missionaries and headed to the house we would be sleeping at. Just outside the bus station was a tribe of Indians, cooking dinner over a fire and making baskets to sell. We approached them and got to know them. They speak Portuguese and a native language called Guaraní. They are pretty civilized, but still live in villages. They are even Christian. So we took the opportunity to teach them about the restoration. They liked the part about the Book of Mormon, but unfortunately they don’t know how to read. Dang it! I wanted to baptize a Lamanite!

The next day we went to the trainers meeting and the assistants were busy with something else, so President Tavares chose me to translate for him, which wasn’t the first time, but it was the first time on a large scale basis. There were some 50 missionaries there, but it was really fun.

Then we had an 8 hour bus ride to Cascavel. Cascavel is a cool city, modern and clean, with about 300,000 people. There are 2 strong wards. Our ward is the biggest ward in the mission, with an average attendance of 190 members,and they are making plans to divide the ward, so everyone is stoked to work hard. The members are super nice. I wish I could talk about the investigators we have here, but I’m short on time. Needless to say we don’t knock doors here because we get a lot of member references.

On Saturday, the assistants came here to do some splits with me and Elder Cavalcanti. It went well. I went with Elder Ayres, and it was cool. He’s a great missionary! He has an uplifting personality, and is really excited.

On Monday morning we got a ride with President Tavares to the city of Iguaçu Falls for zone conference. It’s another 2 hours away. Let me say that the city of Iguaçu Falls is the hottest, most humid place that I have ever stepped foot in. Elder Ghormley calls it “a living hell on earth.” It has something to do with the falls and the monstrous lake the dam makes. They say it changed the climate forever. Either way, lets just say I’m glad I’m not serving there.

On the way back we took a charter bus, and just outside of Iguaçu Falls the cops stopped us to do a drug test because it’s on the border of Argentina and Paraguay, and there are no border police, so it’s a port for drug trafficking. A really mean looking cop opened the door and unleashed his German Shepherd, and he went running and sniffing through the bus and the people, including getting a good whiff of me in a strange place. Thankfully there weren’t any drugs, and we were let free. Had there been drugs all of the passengers would have been taken to the police station and interviewed.

So, here were are now. Currently Elder Cavalcanti is in another city that doesn’t have missionaries, but has a branch, called Palotina (shut down by my trainer Elder da Silva.....). I guess they are preparing some people to be baptized!!

Well, I wrote a lot! So hope you have a great week -- more details next week!!!

Elder Titus

1 comment:

  1. It's kind of neat: Elder Titus is Zone Leader over Elder Burt's old area (Medianeira is just down the road from Cascavel.) and Elder Burt is Zone Leader over Elder Titus's old area in Bauru. It's fun to hear their parallel and intersecting stories.