Another awesome week finding the elects here in Santa Rita. It's very hot. Very hot. Very hot. Tell Austin I'm dreaming about life in freezing Chile right now.
Anyways, I don't really remember what I included on the voice recording, so I'll just try to sum it all up.
I think I mentioned in my last letter that when I got here it was basically starting with nothing. We had a teaching group of about 0. Last week we had 17 new investigators and this week we had 14. Our teaching group is getting pretty insane right now, but we are able to manage it all because it is in a small area. We establish teaching bases around our recent converts to have that special integration. It's going really well. We have 1 investigator that could be prepared for but I think we will wait 1 more week so that he can be really prepared.
I liked that picture of 21 baptisms you sent to me. Elder J.Santos, (my father!) who also passed in Macapá, baptized 14 in 1 day! We are working to be able to baptize lots of people and have them stay firm in the gospel.
Our area is very interesting. Santa Rita ward has 3 companionships. Ours and 2 Sisters. We have the farthest area from the chapel and we have to take an Omnibus 20 minutes to arrive there. However our area is ready to harvest, because missionaries have almost never worked there before! Tons of people have never met missionaries. So we are finding lots of really prepared people. We are the farthest area from the chapel but we also brought 9 people to Sacrament Meeting.
I was able to travel to another area in the Zone this week and had an interesting experience there. When I got to the missionaries' home, I entered the house and I was shocked. The floor was dirty, the bathroom was covered with brown junk on the wet floor, and there were various containers of leftover food that had been sitting there for weeks.
I arrived afternoon and decided to not say anything about it. We worked in their area that day and I thought a lot about how I could help them. I knew it was my responsibility as a leader to not bypass the problem, but the Elders in that area may not have taken it well if I just told them to clean it up. They would have feelings of resentment and it wouldn't actually get done.
I remembered something that Elder Malosso had taught me a couple of days ago. He always used to get frustrated with other missionaries that he lived with because they never cleaned the bathroom. One day he decided that he wouldn't let that bother him and made a goal to show the example and always clean the bathroom, every single week.
I thought a lot about that example of service and what kind of leader I wanted to be. I had my own mini-process of revelation and when I decided what to do I felt a very strong confirming feeling. I ended up setting the alarm an hour early and waking up silently. I got to work on the bathroom and by the time they had woken up had almost finished cleaning that small section. When everybody was awake I called a meeting with the 6 Elders that lived there. We talked about how the Spirit cannot abide without cleanliness and what Sister Scisci would say if she saw the house. After that meeting, they were all very willing to help clean. It took about 2 hours with the 6 of us, but we got it all done.
I didn't want to sound prideful or anything, because I have problems with that too. But that was one of the first times that I felt like a real leader in the mission. I bet you guys are probably laughing right now remembering my room before the mission :D. I learned a lot out here.
Anyways, we are trying to motivate all the missionaries here in Macapá. We have lots of new missionaries that are still in training and they and their trainers are all working hard. Pray for our zone!
I love you guys!
Called to Serve,
I don't know if this will work...I tried taking a voice recording on the mission cell-phone. The recording wasn't that good and my voice sounds really weird on the cell phone...(and I wasn't able to remember English very well).
I'll try do do the same thing next week. Tell me if it works!
P.S. I surprised Elder Malosso when I asked him to speak, so he just spake in Portuguese. I'll try to get him to say something in English next week!