Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Watch where you step

Apparently animals don't like me . While I have been in this area I have had some wonderful encounters with them. Dogs have tried to bite me so at times we walk around armed with rocks. Birds have left presents before on our drying, clean clothing. When going to that giant statue I talked about, a bat hit me. We were tracting a week ago and after ringing the doorbell, I turned to talk to my companion and during this conversation the dog that lived there just walked up and started peeing on my leg. Yep, a dog literally peed on me. I got on one pant leg and one shoe so we rushed to the closet market and I wiped it off as best I could with toilet paper and water. Later that day, a dog would not stop sniffing my leg. The most recent development happened yesterday. It was raining like nuts so we ran for cover because the umbrella wasn't standing up in the wind and there was lightning. We found a house under construction and hid underneath the roof. There was this big pile of gravel where I decided to stand. After a couple seconds my left foot starting itching like crazy. So I looked down and there were hundreds of ants all attacking my leg. I had stepped on an ant hill. I started jumping up and down like a lunatic and then started hitting them with my hand. The problem was that they were in my socks and shoes. The occasional one would bite me for the next couple of minutes who I would then have to know off. My foot had quite a few red marks but I am all good now.
So I have dedicated myself more to ever to the work and have been trying as many new techniques as possible. I have a photo of Brooklyn when she is dressed all in lavender and looks especially cute that I now carry with me. We have many Catholics in this area who believe that babies should be baptized so we have them read Acts 2:38 which says more or less ´´Repent and be baptized for the remission of sins.´´ We then introduce and show the photo and they all freak about how cute she is. We then ask if she knows what repentance is. They say no. Just she know how to commit a sin. They say no. Therefore, doe she need to be baptized according to the Bible if we first must repent and have sin. Works like a charm :P Brooklyn really creates that bridge between scripture and real life.
I have come to love times of trial. a famous author once wrote more or less that his favorite times in his life were not the times of joy, but the times of trial for it is during these times that we grow the most and learn the most about ourselves. I hope you take every insult with a smile, every hardship with a bounce in your step, and look at every difficulty as a chance to learn. I hope you all have a great week. I took a picture of me playing with magnets :P

Come on really,
Elder Healy

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Starting Fresh

Hello again my devoted readers! I am so glad you could join me today. This last week was one of growing for me and my companion. We just had transfers and we both stayed so that means that I will be the missionary to finish him off.

This last week we were so excited because many investigators told us they would be going to church this week. But one complication after another, and they all fell through. With this minor set back, my companion and I decided to try working in brand new neighborhood that we had never worked in before. We have been there for two solid work days and have already hit about 300 doors. On our second street I believe we met a really elect family. They have about 7 people who are accepting our message and several are really excited about baptism. The problem is that several have smoking problems and drink the occasional coffee or beer. We taught them the word of wisdom and they all accepted to live it. We are setting daily goals with each one of them to stop smoking. The mother was smoking a whole pack (20 cigarettes) daily. When we passed by yesterday she had only smoked one! What a miracle! I have high hopes for this family and the good we can do with them.

We have now changed our teaching style so that ever lesson we teach ties back to baptism so that it is always on their minds. We are being very direct with people through asking questions like ´´Will you follow the example of Jesus Christ being baptized in his restored church on the earth?´´ If they respond ´´You guys can come back, but I am not sure about baptism´´ or ´´I already belong to another church´´ we dont come back. I only have two years and I mean to make the best of it.

Our work is becoming much more effective and efficient as we become better and better teachers and use are time as wisely as possible.

Last, our final teaching appointment went late and I had to meet with our district leader at the bus station to get some supplies. So we decided to sprint there. The problem was it was about 20 minutes away and we were in ties, dress pants, with bags. I thought I was going to die. Just kidding. We showed up dripping sweat and breathing hard. My district leader is now training and it was his new companions first day in the field. I don´t if we made good first impression :P

I love you guys so much. You will always be in my prayers! Have wonderful week!

Come on really,
Elder Healy

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Keep your chin up

Dear Earth,

How are you? I hope you guys are doing good because I sure am. This week like every week has been spiritual, hard, and funny. I believe I will relate these three adjectives in reverse order.

For several months now I have been dedicating the majority of my study to researching by topic. One day for example, I will look up all scriptures and missionary related church doctrine that have to with Prophets. The next day I will study about how people interpret Matt 16:13-19 ´´Thou art Peter, and upon this rock will I build my church´´ as how Christ founded his Church upon one of his apostles. Another day, it might be about the baptism of Jesus. Through doing this I have But when I am studying like this, I often come across funny scriptures of which I would like to share a couple with you.

2 Kings 19:35 ´´And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.´´ I interpret this as the Assyrians rose in the morning as dead corpses. Thus a biblical account of zombies. :P

2 Kings 2:23-24 ´´ And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.
And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.´´ Moral of the story being that if you make fun of the hair of holy men, you will be eaten by a bear. :P

That is all for now. I hope you liked my random verses.

So we were having lunch in a member´s house and they have two kids. One is six and one is two, and they love to act like ninja´s. The two-year-old was using his blanky like a whip and it got wrapped around the legs of his brother an he tugged. His brother fell over and the toddler turned his head from the ground toward us ever so slowly with a look of pure evil that I don't think the joker could pull off. My companion and I were dieing of laughter for the next five minutes while they continued to do arial kicks and Dragon Ball Z punches until lunch was ready.

This last week was hard because we have really had trouble keeping investigators that are actually progressing. We always are finding new people, but the majority of the time they aren't truly prepared to accept the message. People are not willing to read, to go to church, to change and I feel temporary sorrow to see them lose all the blessings that they could gain. So we are changing our approach to finding and teaching to try and cut those who are not willing as early as possible. We have become more direct with our questions and I feel myself truly growing as a missionary. We always are reevaluating re work to try new things and become the best we can. I believe I have finally come to accept that some people just do not want to change and that we cannot convince or force someone to do what is right. The desire has to come from within. We can not help cultivate what does not exist.

That is not to say we are not seeing success. We are working with several investigators to move towards marriage and baptism and we hope for a baptism this week.

Last night, my companion and I were talking about deeper doctrine and how I like to look for an answer in the scriptures before asking for help. We then started talking about a topic that I just could not find anything to back up my point of view and so I prayed asking to find the scripture I was looking for. I had given up and we started prepping for bed when I opened up a book from the church right to the topic that we had been talking about! I found what I was looking for when I had stopped looking and shared it with my companion. It was a simple answer to a simple prayer that reinforced for me, ´´Ask and ye shall receive.´´

I have been dedicating a sizable amount of my time to improving with the lesson about the Restoration of the Gospel and every time I improve with a section it seems as if I come across a person that day who benefits from the improvement I made. It is wonderful to see the Lord´s hand guiding my study and making me stronger. I am so happy to be here serving the people of Brazil. My professor in the MTC always said, ´´Smile, it could be worse.´´

Come on really,
Elder Healy

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Learning to Contact

This Elder Healy reporting in yet again to let you in on how I am living. We had interviews with President Tanner this week which was a wonderful experience as always. But while I was waiting for my turn a man just walked in off the street and sat down on one of the benches in the chapel. We all kind of just did a double take. Then he made up a story about how he needed help to go to Sao Paolo. President gave me 10 reais to give him. My companion told me later that President chose me because I was the strongest Elder there. That tickled my ego a little :) President always talks to me for a really long time usually about developing techniques and leadership. So I am taking his advice and working on it. We are practicing more and working together to improve as a companionship.

Side story. When we were walking this week, we saw what looked like to be two pigeons failing at flight on some wires. They were actually trying to beat each other up by trying to knock one another off with their wings. Pigeons playing Chicken, who would´ve thought...

We were teaching one family who were all 60+ when a kid who was about 13 years old walked in. An old lady said ´´His mother was baptized in your church!´´ The boy replied ´´I know, we have a picture of me there when I was 4. I was alive when she was baptized.´´ ´´No you werent!´´ ´´Yes I was! I have a picture´´ ´´You may have a picture, but you weren´t´´ I think they both have a couple of screws loose personally.

I also temporarily forgot how to say the word ´´avocado´´ in English. It took about 5 minutes to say it right. The transition back is going to be rough I expect. We also saw a dog this week who had a leg that spasmed every time he barked which was kinda cool.

We were teaching a less active family whose daughter is not baptized, and we asked what would stop her what would stop her from being baptized. She said she had already been baptized. Apparently while the family was away from the church she was baptized in the Catholic Church. We explained that babies dont have a necessity to be baptized and she understood and accepted to be baptized this week. We are ecstatic! We found out later from the grandpa that the grandma always puts ideas in the girls head to make her confused, but she always acted so friendly with us. It is amazing saddening how people try to destroy the work.

We left with a member on Sunday who is a return missionary now 10 years. We told him we were going to knock doors and do contacts, but he was willing to do whatever we needed. After seeing how we worked for a little bit, he asked if he could do the next house. He knocked, smiled, and simply said ´´We are missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We have a present and a message for you and for family. Can we coem in?´´ The man literally bowed to let us in. My companion and I looked at each other and were astonished. We have been doing this and it works almsot ever time, it is amazing. I am so glad I have more to learn and more improve on every day. I almost got bitten by a dog this week but ran away yelling ´´This is crazy, this crazy´´ in Portugues and my companion swung his scripture bag at him. Well that is all folks.

Come on really,
Elder Healy