Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Hey everyone and happy new years! This week was pretty good.

One thing that we did lots this week is walk. We walked a ton! Our problem is we would have a person that we had to visit at a specific time, and then the same thing for another person on the other side of the area. We also worked a lot with the less actives list, and tried to find a bunch of them but pretty much all of them don't want to come back. But, we are going to keep at it with them! Reactivating someone is just as important as baptizing. 

Something kinda funny is how much soda I pounded this week. Sooo much! Its super bad for me but I always drink it. When we are walking around in the hot sun and we pass a store that is selling a liter bottle of coke, we buy it. We do that once or twice a week normally, but I did it 3 times this week, plus we had coke for almost every single lunch with a member this week too. When I left, I was telling myself that I'd use the mission to stop drinking coke, but I drink almost as much out here as at home! I decided I need to cut back, so I'm going to try to only drink it when a member offers it to us.

We actually have a decent teaching pool now, so that's super cool! But again, even though lots of them have potential, we just can't get them to come to church. These last 2 weeks have been hard for all the missionaries though because of Christmas and New Years being on Sunday. I think the investigator with the most potential is Eunice. She accepted a baptismal date for the 15th, but she needs to come to church! We have basically taught her everything. Our other investigator that is super cool is Ingrid. When we first met her, she told us that she didn't have a cell phone or access to the internet. Super weird these days, even here in Brazil everyone has a phone! Also, she is adopted. We were talking about why she doesn't and what her problems might be, and I said "Maybe shes like Harry Potter and her adopted parents hate her and spoil their real kid." Turns out, I wasn't too far off. In reality, she's actually like Cinderella. She was born to a mom that was super messed up and was adopted when she was 16 I think. Shes 18 now. But she has to clean the house, cook all the food, take care of the 10 year old boy who lives there, and then work at her job from 3:30 to midnight. She says there's a lot of fighting in her house and nobody ever thanks her, they just get mad when she doesn't do what shes told. Geez!! I felt so bad when she was telling us all this stuff. We only have a small window from 2:15 to 3 to teach her before she leaves to work so its a miracle that we found her in the first place! She's pretty smart and we know that the gospel would help so much in her life. I'm really hoping that we will be able to get her to church this next week!

New Years was fun, because our ward mission leader invited us over to his house and we had a barbecue, but sleeping wasn't super fun. Here in Brazil, New Years is much more important than Christmas, and people love their fireworks. Starting at about noon the 31st, people were launching off fireworks until the early morning of the 1st. At midnight, I was sleeping and then was woken up by thousands of fireworks being shot off. It was a constant noise for 5 mins straight! Also, our Zone Leaders that we live with came into our room and started jumping on our bed yelling "Feliz Ano Novo!!" Gotta love other missionaries!

Something that I've been studying this week is about personal revelation. This is something that for sure I take for granted. Lots of times when I have a problem, I pray about it and then immediately worry about it again and try to figure it out on my own. I think this is something that lots of people do! Its super important to rely on the Lord and be patient, knowing that everything will work out in the end if we have Him in mind. I was reading in Alma 26 and read a scripture that talks about this, and what we need to do to receive personal revelation. In verse 22, Ammon says that we need to repent, exercise faith, do good works, and pray continually, and if we do these simple things we have a promise that God will reveal whatever answer to us that we need. This is something that I love about the gospel, its not complex, its super simple! If we can do the simple things, then we will be blessed. Like President Scholz always says, its the small and simple things that make the biggest difference. 

So that's it! Hope you all have a good one! Until next week!
-Elder Odom


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