Monday, July 17, 2017

It's already been another week!

July 15th

It's already been another week!

This one was super busy, the first week of the transfer always is. On Monday we sent the "Heroes", or the returning missionaries home. This group had 2 elders that are some of my best friends that I've made on the mission, Elder Kauer and Elder Guzman, along with Elder Summers! Honestly it was a bit weird to see them go, it doesn't seem like they're actually home! There was a lot to keep track of, and because one of my responsibilities is to create the schedules for them their last few days as well as buying and keeping track of their plane tickets, there was quite a bit to balance. But, everything worked out well. Something cool to see was Elder Guzman's family who came to pick him up. It was a pretty cool moment when he saw them for the first time since he left. 

The next day we had the new missionaries get here. It was a group of 5 sisters and 3 elders, and they're all from Brazil. On the days when we get the new missionaries, the secretaries give trainings about what we do, how some of the programs on the mission work, and how to do a few things like get reimbursements, etc. Something that I've learned to really like is seeing the new missionaries meet their trainers. Seeing them reminds me of when I was in their place! There's a lot of preparation to send the old missionaries out and receive the new ones, but if you are efficient with your time then you shouldn't have too many problems.

Throughout the rest of the week though, the busy schedule didn't stop! I had a lot of missionaries call me for health stuff. I don't mark appointments for anyone during the last week of the transfer because if they're transferred to another area they won't be able to go to the appointment anyway, so I had a lot of backup from that to make up this week. There was also quite a bit of confusion with some of the police;visa stuff with some of the Hispanic missionaries. It just has to do with renewing visas and getting the right documents. A few things happened that I've never had to solve, and now that Elder Summers is gone, it was on me to figure it out! Between that and dealing with our health insurance company with another issue we had with an elder who had surgery a month or two ago, it got a bit stressful at times! But because of all this stuff going on, I'm learning a lot. Something that I've learned is the importance of writing things down. I get a bunch of random requests from President and other missionaries and if I don't write it down at the same time I hear it, I'll forget. Like I've already said, this new calling is much different than being a full time field missionary but it's a good fun experience.

I think one of the best parts is getting to work closely President Scholz. Being in the field, you only get to see president a few times per transfer. But being in the office I see him all day everyday. Whenever I have a question, I'm free to just walk into his office and ask! He's super cool, he's always joking around with the missionaries and every once in a while he'll bring us brownies of cookies that Sister Scholz made. Pretty cool! I'm learning a lot from him, and I'm super  grateful for this opportunity.

This week in the field we really buckled down and worked on finding new investigators. Thankfully we were able to have some success too! We continued to teach Adelson and his wife Edleuza (can't remember if I've talked about them or not). We taught about the Book of Mormon and it was awesome, because they led the lesson in the direction without us even trying! For example, while we were talking Edleuza said "Well, I don't follow any religion because there are so many ways to interpret the Bible! Anybody can just grab it and read a scripture and make it mean what they want!" When she said that Elder Vilas Boas and I just looked and each other with that look that says "hmmm not bad" because without us even explaining she already understood the need for the Book of Mormon! Cool lesson for sure.

We also started to use the list of less active members to find new investigators. What we do is get an address, but instead of knocking on that door we knock on both sides and across the street, asking about info of the person from the neighbors. It's a good way start up a convo, and we were able to find some people this way. 

So it was another good, busy week. Love you all!

-Elder Odom

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