Monday, March 17, 2014

Letter #86

Dearest Family,

Transfers. . . The busiest time of the year. This time it's even more crazy with twenty leaving and only ten arriving. I'm here in the office. And I have lots of good news to tell : )

Monday we had a family night with our two investigators and their two relatives who we are teaching. They made 100 kabobs for us, on the BBQ fashioned out of a broken wheelbarrow and we dragged the couches outside for our lesson faith. They need the faith to overcome their doubts about marriage.

We made a trip to Presidente Prudente with President and Sister Genaro this week, similar to our trip to Marília last week. President grabbed us from the highway in the morning and we sped off to train the zone there. Simply a pleasure to drive and talk and discuss the mission or listen to President tell stories and give wisdom. I learned some new Brasilia slang. One of my favorites is "rei da cocada preta" or "king of the black coconut.")It comes from the days when street commerce, unpoliced by quality inspection, ruled the cities. In Rio sellers of sweet coconut covered in chocolate used gangs of youth to sell their products thus making them the "ringleaders" to use an equivalent or the reis da cocada preta.

In Prudente we got to see the new chapel being built there and do contacts in the street, and train the zone and district leaders. Riding home we took some new roads through the sugar cane, in the dark following the GPS, which frequently lost signal. We crisscrossed the Paraná Panema river a couple of times and must have passed ten cities that don't have missionaries yet. Lots of work to be done here still. Also a highlight were our practices in our training where we had the privilege of using Sister Genaro as our actress to help the elders work on how an interview should be conducted. She did an excellent job, nailing a mission Oscar for the supporting role.

Exciting news this week: Our two converts went to the temple in Curitiba and had a blast. He finished reading the Doctrine and Covenants, commenting that he loved section 138 speaking on the redemption of the dead. He was profoundly touched by the work he was able to perform, as he was baptized for 25 people. Feeling prompted he also returned with twenty new hymnals for the church saying that he had bought them because many were torn and old. They took lots of pictures which I will try to get for next week.

Saturday we had a special (authorized) visit from Elder S. Pereira's old stake president. he took us out to lunch at a very nice churrasco. They only served two cuts of meat: filet mignon and rib-eye, rhodízio. They are a very nice couple who own a chain of English schools.

 Sunday we had success in bringing five more investigators to church but even better of a surprise was that our investigator called us on Tuesday and announced she was going to be baptized! True to her word she arrived on her own Sunday and passed the interview with flying colors. She was baptized soon after the meetings.

During the meetings. . . I gave my first talk here in Riviera. The first speaker was a soon to depart elder who in generosity cut his talk to five minutes and left me with thirty-five! I think it was my longest talk yet! It went well, the Spirit helped me a lot and I was able to pass the message I so wanted in a manner that I hope all left edified. We finished Sunday teaching the family of our newly baptized investigator AND her neighbors who she invited to hear our message. Both received us well and will go to church. We also we taught the friends of two reactivated members who again prepared a banquet for us of avocado juice, passion fruit juice (all from the orchard behind the house), and various sweets. Their friends will also go to church and had in fact called us to hear our message, interested in the way that their friends had changed with their return to church. One began her mission papers, and the other already wants to serve. A recently reactivated young man began his as well. Here we serve a mission to send others out to do the same.

Well, I think that's about it! This week we start conferences and I have to give a multi-stake training on uniting members and missionaries in the work. Working on both of those.

Arrived is the time spoken of by King Benjamin when all will have knowledge of their Savior. We are His messengers and I feel a profound joy in sharing His message of repentance and peace.

I love you all!



MarieC said...

Elder Schenewark is keeping busy as usual, I see. Awesome! I love hearing about his travels!!

Wholly Duncan said...

Lots of great pictures this week!

CubSctAnn said...

Great snapshots. I recognize that puzzle on the desk, woohoo! Why is there a table on top of the desk? Too funny....