Monday, March 17, 2014

Two "fantabulitastic" updates!

Well, better late than never?  You get two updates for the price of one today! YAY!

This is from March 10th:
  This week was fantabulatastic!  So a few amazing things that happened!
1.  I played soccer! wooo!
2.  It rained for like two days straight! like hard (im drowning) rain!
3.  Carnival ended! yaa!
4.  Made bannana bread!
5.  Babtism!!! wooo!
This isnt everything that happened, but just a few of the highlights! :D.
    So in my mission we have a rule that we are not allowed to play soccer with other (non missionary) people.  From what i understand this is to help the missionaries not get hurt.  IT makes sense.  But i was really missing playing soccer and being able to play was really fun :D.  No one got hurt.  The only thing that got hurt was the soccer ball.  One of the elders kicked it over the fence and it was attacked by a dog.  so it died.  We had a spare though!  So everything was fine :D.  So after i was really tired, and hot, but it was totally worth it.
    So for two entire days it rained really hard, all day.  The first day we werent prepared so we lost a few of our phamplets to the rain, but luckily that was all. The second day in the morning when we left it didnt look like it was going to rain.  But a few hours later it just started pouring.  Luckily I added my (recently obtained from family)  water proof bags!  So my stuff stayed dry.  We only had one umbrella between the both of us though, so we were both hiding under one umbrella while it was poring.  It was really fun.  We both had huge smiles as we quickly walked to our appointments :D.  It was also really fun to sing hymns as loud as possible becuase no one could hear us because of the rain! :D.  Our shoes were filled with water, our pants where soaked.  But the rain couldnt take away the happiness we had in our hearts :D.  and on our faces :D.
    So carnival, (the week long, missionaries have to go home early) holiday ended!  I was really happy becuase it was really messing up our ability to teach in the afternoon.  We also have quite a few people that can only we taught in the afternoon so we couldnt even teach them :P.  That is ok though,  Carnival ended, we went back to our normal scedual.  Nobody died or anything :D.  ( im the district leaders companion so i get the inside scoop on things :D).  For carnival i really dont know why brazil has the holiday.  All i know is that it is not good for missionaries, so we did not take part :D.
    So Last p day i decided that my companion and i needed some bannana bread.  So i made some :D.  I Still havnt been able to make it like my family can, and i think i used wayyy to much suger.  But it was really good :D.  I acidently made a lot though :D.  So we had to give some to some other missionaries that were visiting :D.
    The second day that it rained really hard, We also had a babtism!  Wooo! The person who was getting babtised is 9 and he is super amazing.  Hes super smart for his age and he is doing well :D.  He even chose me to babtise him!  :D.  It was amazing! :D!  We confirmed him the next day.  This area is super amazing!
    So One of the people we talked to this week was someone that was preparing to go on a mission.  He still didnt feel like he was ready, so he has not sent in his papers yet.  When he said this i remember when i sent in my papers.  i didnt feel ready at all :D.  There were still many things that i felt like i needed to know.  There were feelings of fear that i had not quite gotten over.  Over all, I did not feel ready.  However my heavenly father knows me better then i know me, and as i got down on my knees and asked him if now was the time for me to go on a mission.  He answered with peace, with assurance, with confidence.  Now i was still scared out of my mind (ok maybe not that scared, but pretty scared).  However i knew what heavenly father wanted.  So I decided that it was time for me to go on a mission.
    The funny thing is, even now.  There are still things that i encounter that i still feel like i am not prepared for.  Giving a talk in church in portugese. Helping people get over major addictions.  Teaching things that I dont really know how to teach in portugese.  These are all things that I feel like i am not prepared for.  During these times It reminds me of a quote i once heard ´´there is no growth in your comfort zone, and there is no comfort in your growth zone´´.  I know that heavenly father will help us with everything in this life.  However many times we must take the first step.  Even if that step seems extremly small.  Take it.  Then take another.  Then another.  Keep going, keep taking steps, no matter how small seem to be.  If we look back with an attitude of gratitude we will notice that Heavenly father was helping us from the beginning.  Even for the first step we were not alone.  We just had a hard time realizing it.  I know heavenly father loves each of us immensly.  If you dont believe me, look at everything you have.  Even look at the world we live in.  Heavenly father made it all for us.  This i know to be true.
-Elder Darke

And here's one from today, March 17th.  Happy St. Patrick's day!
This week was fantabulitastic!
-We had a meeting at the mission presidents house, and afterwards we got to ask questions to the mission president!  The questions were mostly random, but they were really funny :D
-I felt like i have been on the bus a lot this week because of some trips we took to brasillia and another area (to do a babtismal interview).
-After the meeting at my mission presidnets house, me and my companion have been having these really deep doctrine disscusions every night.  It is really fun :D. (even though its hard to understand everything :D)
-A great companionship inventory!  

    Tuesday we normally have a District meeting (our district (6 missionaries)) get together and report on the work in our areas.  This includes talking about our investagators their needs and how we are going to help them.  After wards our district leader teaches us a priciple of the gospel, or missionary work,  and we do practice lessons, or contacts to practice what we learned.  We do this every week but this week we had our district meeting at the house of the mission president.  It was pretty normal except for the fact that we were sitting on really comfortable chairs.  After it was done the mission president took some time to teach us.  After wards we were allowed to ask questions.  For this meeting instead of our district is was our zone (our zone is made up of like 3 districts).  So there was quite a few missionaries there, and the questions that they had were mostly really random.  I really enjoyed them though.  There were questions to clarify some rules that we had, other to more fully understand how to better work with our investagators. However one missionary there was just constantly asking questions.  His went along the lines of ´´how did you two meet?´´ (he was talking to the mission president and his wife).  Or how do you know the book of mormon is true?  He had like 10 of these kinds of questions.  It was really funny :D.  We are going to have a new mission presidnet in a few months, so I am curious to see how different he will be :D.
    When we were going to the zone meeting, and comming back the bus took forever!  There was like traffic and stuff so we were on the bus for a long time.  Later that week we also went to the sisters area that is like forever and a half away, so that is more bus time.  So looking back i feel like i was on the bus for a really long time :D.  I kind of like the bus though so it wasnt bad at all :D.  I feel like i could of done better at useing the time on the bus to do contacts or something though.  So i will do better!  
    My companion and I were talking after the zone meeting at the presidents house, and the converstion turned to a question he had.  I dont know everything but i think its fun to talk about the gospel so talked about it for a while.  It ended up going into deep doctrine and stuff.  It was really fun!  My companion knows a lot of things becuase he has had companions that knew a lot of things also.  So it was a really fun converstion (even though it was a bit difficult to understand).  We did that for like 3 days in a row :D.  It has been really fun to just talk (becuase my vocabulary is limited when it comes to non gospel things, its hard to just ´´talk´´). My companion is pretty awesome and he has been super patient with me so far :D.  The only probablem with deep doctrine is we as missionaries need to teach things simply.  As people understand the simple concepts, we can then add on to what the understand.  Its like Building a skyscraper.  Do you build the top floor first?  or do you build the first floor, and work your way up?  So I just need to remember to teach simple truths.
    Also this week we had companionship inventory (we do every week, but this week was a bit different).  I am still new to many things here, so up to now i have been holding in a lot of my feelings.  During companionship inventory i finally let it all out.  (not yelling, or getting mad) but simply asking questions about things that i thought might make my companion mad.  I cant say that he didnt get mad. However i can say that he is pretty amazing companion becuase even if he was mad, he didnt show it.  He helped me understand the various custums here and he didnt do it in a way that made me feel like he was amazing that I didnt understand. Instead he helped me.  It still wasnt easy to be humble and except that i was doing things wrong.  However once i had, and once i stopped holding in my feelings things have been a lot better.  :D
    This week i have been thinking about preparing for a mission.  What to do, and what i wished i did.  
First: if you are preparing, you need a testimony of the book of mormon, and how joseph smith was a prophet of God.  This is probably the most important thing to make sure you have.
Second:  Ask your leaders for advice, especially your bishop.  The advice I received from their hands was invaluable.  It was probably one of the most important things i got when i was preparing.  Make sure you do it plenty of time before you even send in your papers.  This will help you prepare.
Third:  You are going to invite everyone to do things.  Like read the book or mormon, pray, go to church.  For members you will probably ask them to invite their friends to church.  Or something of that nature.  How can you powerfully invite people do you things you are not willing to do?  To help you be a better missionary, start now when you arnt in the feild.  Go teaching with the missionaries in your area.  Read the book of mormon, pray about it.  Talk to your friends about the gospel.  Be an example of a Christ like person.  This will help you in yourlife, both to prepare, and just normally as well :D.
    For the things i wish i had done:  I wish i had spent more time with my family. Games are fun, but as i look back, the time i spent with my family is hundreads of times more precious then the games i could have played in that time, or anything else I could have done.  Part of this is due to the fact that missionaries teach the gospel, that is focused on strengthening families.  Families are eternally important.  
    For everyone i have one more peice of advice.  Even if you are not preparing for a mission.  The advice is this: Strengthen your testimony.  Even if you think it is sufficiently strong,  what could possibly be wrong with making it stronger? :D.
-Elder Darke

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