Tuesday, February 21, 2017

First Week in the New Area

February 6th

First week in the new area down! Its going pretty good! I'll explain how this area works.

Like I said last week, this area actually has 2 cities that we need to take care of. The first one is Sao Joaquim da Barra, where we live. Here we have a ward that has 30-50 people per week. The other is a city called Ituverava, and there only has a group of 20 people max, this week we only had 7 though. It's interesting, because in Sao Joaquim the people are hard to talk to and nobody keeps their commitments when we mark to go back and visit them. But in Ituverava it's much easier, everybody means what they say.

Wednesday was basically our first day of real work because of all the traveling we had to do. The first thing that suprised me was how many people we had to visit! In my other area, it was super hard to find more than 5 people to visit in a day. Wednesday Thursday and Saturday we worked in Sao Joaquim, and each day we had 10 or more people to visit! The bad part was that 8 of them weren't home or interested anymore each day... but, it's still looking better than what I'm used to!

On Friday we went to Ituverava to work. Something that's interesting. Remember how at the beginning of last transfer I was worried that I wouldn't know my way around the area: Well now I have to learn 2 cities, and we don't even have a map to use in Ituverava so that should be interesting to see how that goes. Anyway, because of the travel time to get there and back we only have 4 or 4 1/2 hours to work whenever we visit Ituverava which is lame. But Elder Almeida already had 5 people that we needed to visit, and everybody that we visited was home! Elder Almeida is always talking about how much better Ituverava is to work, that city is a bit poorer and the people are much more receptive. I went and met the investigators that he had, and it was good. I don't know them super well yet, but we have at least 3 that can be baptized soon which is exciting.
Oh, something funny that happened on Friday! We had lunch with a member but she called and said that she had to leave, but we could come pick up some food from her house. That morning it was raining really hard, and she lived about 50 mins away. So we got there and then realized that we wouldn't have enough time to get back and eat and make the bus to Ituverava in time, so we took the bus back to the center close to where we live. We ate and got ready to go. As we hurried out the door, it was 1:20 and the bus left at 1:30, but it's 20 mins to get to the bus station. So we pretty much ran the whole way there. This is the funny part, because I don't remember the last time I ran for more than 5 seconds, all I know is it was before the mission. When I was running, it was kinda surprising that I wasn't as tired as i felt like I should be. When we got to the bus station I wasn't breathing super heavy but my legs were so tired! My muscles are not used to doing that. We got there right as the bus was pulling out. If we had gotten there 5 seconds later we would've missed the bus. I'm still sore 3 days later!

Elder Almeida and I are getting along good, he's a really funny guy! So one of the problems that we're going to have here is with the ward. They don't trust missionaries for some reason, probably because the last few missionaries were bad or something, and on top of that the members seem to not like Americans, so it looks like I have some work to do.

Something that I studied this week is King Benjamins speech to the Nephites. After he preached to the people, they were truly converted. At the beginning of chapter 5 in Mosiah it talks about the change that the people had, and how they had no more disposition to do evil. I really thought about this part. I asked myself, "Am I converted the way that King Benjamin's people were:" We have all the tools we need to grow our testimonies. We have this part of the Book of Mormon to show that it's possible to have the testimonies to that point! One way that we can grow our testimonies is by showing our faith, believing that God will show us the right path if we put our trust in Him. That's what I've been trying to focus on this week, trusting in the Lord without becoming nervous for what comes next. It's not easy thinking about all the challenges Ill have to face out here but I know I'll be blessed if I trust in the Lord and exercise faith.

So the new area is looking good! I'm excited to have more visits and people to teach, and also have people want to hear us! I'll talk to you guys in another week, love you!

-Elder Odom 

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