Wow, let's see if I can respond to everything in the time that I have...
Responding first to the questions about being zone leader. I do feel like I am getting more confident in the role, even though it is still difficult and I don't know everything yet :D I am learning more and more how to effectively guide the missionaries in my zone to create goals and monitor those goals. Preach My Gospel says that if we set goals but don't report back we are not doing the whole job.
I think that my greatest difficulty with this whole process is organization. If I am not organized on my desk, my mind will not be organized, and my calls to the missionaries every night will not be organized and my entire zone will lose effectiveness.
I feel like I am learning how to train the missionaries better in the meetings we have every week and the splits we make every now and then.
What do I enjoy about being LZ? Being able to leave the house with the cellphone. There is a rule that only the Zone Leaders can leave with a cell to prevent the chance of being robbed. It's nice being an exception to that rule.
We have a fairly new zone. This last transfer we put in 2 new District Leaders, Elder Bitner and Sister Barros, keeping Elder Neres as the LD of Marituba. I will have a more relaxed transfer now because I am only managing 1 district instead of 2. Our strengths are enthusiasm and a willingness to try different things. President Scisci always says "If you want different results you have to do different things". In the past, Zone Entrocamento was a weaker zone, but this next transfer we are looking to see a lot of success.
On to the awesome possibility of you guys coming to meet me here in Brasil! I would absolutely love being able to show you the areas that I have passed by and the people I have met here in Pará. My biggest question would be if there was any chance that I could be released here in Brasil when you come here so that I could really visit the places in which I served? (Salinas). I don't know if that authorization would have to come from President Morgan or President Scisci, or if it is even possible. I will ask the authorities here in the mission if it could be a possibility. As for the question if the mission lets parents come to pick up the missionaries, I know that in the past parents have done that, so I wouldn't think it would be a problem.
Anyway, this was a good week. I was able to see miracles as a result of a special fast I did this last Saturday. One family we have been teaching for a long time had a problem . We were teaching them and the Dad started yelling at his wife and kids. He yelled at her for strange reasons, because she was always at work and not helping the kids, because she wasn't reading the scriptures with him, or not participating in the family prayer.
Turns out he had been drinking the whole time we had been teaching him. The whole time, we had been putting the focus on him because he was the only one with the desire to be baptized. His wife never really listened to the lessons or paid much attention. After the fight when we left, we thought it was all over. As we were in Gospel Principles class, his wife entered alone into the room. We were speechless! She came to church even without her crazy husband. When we asked what compelled her to come she just said she felt God wanted her there.
We are working with the Stake to develop an action plan with the missionary work here in Entrocamento. We called up the Stake President and planned a meeting with him Morning. President Castro showed up there and relayed how the stake was worried about all the less-active Melchizedek Priesthood Holders in the stake. We presented a plan we had made to make a coordinated effort to visit every priesthood holder in 2 weeks, with the missionaries and the members together. There are a lot more details to the plan, but the purpose is to fill until the end of the month all of the missing callings (counselors of every organization) in all of the 7 Wards. President Castro liked the plan so much he asked us to present it later that night in the leadership meeting, including all of the Bishops in the area as well as the Mission Ward Leaders and the Stake Leadership.
The presentation went really well! It just needs to be put into action now. We will meet with President Scisci with President Castro to present and approve the Stake mission plan that we developed. We named it Projeto Piloto- Base do Sacerdócio. Pilot Project, Priesthood Bases.
Anyway, my time is already up. I love you guys!