Ryan is currently serving in Viçosa Brazil which is quite a bus ride from the mission home. He finally had a chance to see the beautiful beaches that Maceio is famous for and found out during General Conference that his Mission President Gonzaga has been called to serve as a seventy so hi will be getting a new MP in June. Vicosa was a thriving branch several years ago that has dwindled to only 15 active member so he and his companion,Elder Arraes, have had lots of challenges trying to reactivate members and find new investigators. Here's a bit of the bad...and the good he's facing in his own words.
we had interviews with President Gonzaga (or Elder Gonzaga) we talked about how lots of the other missionaries are baptizing more than i am here in Viçosa, but that maybe the purpose for me being here is to learn´patience and how to be persistant! it was a really good interview! i have been having some difficulties because i have been talking with some of the people that arrived here in the mission with me, and they have all been baptizing way more than me! its been hard for me because i feel like i have been working so hard and feels like im not seeing any sucess yet.. but i just need to keep chugging on. Carry on!!
Well just when i thought that things couldn't get any worse.. they got worse! haha this week started out really slow! the other missionaries that we live with made things really difficult! one of them started watching movies and playing video games all day and the other one was just sleeping, this wasnt a problem for me and wasnt causing problems with our work until the second day of this. Elder Arreas is only two weeks from finishing his mission. One of the elders, our district leader, was his companion earlier on, and he started talking about how Arraes was leaving and that it didn't matter anymore, that this area is hopeless and it is better to end the mission happy and watching tv and playing video games than it was to end stressed out! Then the problems began! The other 3 in the house stayed up until 3 like every night this week watching movies, and the next day complaining about how they were too tired to work, how the area doesn't have baptisms and that it is better to just wait out until the next transfer to see if the difficulties pass by! This like destroyed everything! haha my companion was pretty unexcited and I was stressed out like never before! I'm surprised that my hair didn't turn gray or fall out! haha but we were lucky to leave the house to work at like 4 in the afternoon this week, and when we were out, Elder Arraes wasn't exactly to thrilled to walk anywhere!.. we got in a little bit of a fight on Saturday morning because I had just had enough of his giving up at the end of his mission! I kind of let him have it! he wasnt too happy after that, and for the rest of the morning things were really tense! but I thinked it helped him out a bit, because we worked all Saturday and Sunday and he got excited again and things are good now! the excitement has been contagious, our district leader is back on track for the most part, the next step is trying to get his companion excited too! its crazy how unexcitement can be so contagious, like it spread like a wild fire in our house! but excitement is also pretty contagious, and its starting to spread these last two days!
and this last week:
well this week was soo much better than the last one!
we have been working with this one less active member for the last couple weeks and this week we started teaching all of his family, none of them are members! it has been great! this saturday we will be baptizing one of his sons, and his brother in law! interesting how things work, just when you think that there is nothing left that you can do, if you just push yourself a little more, to the point where you think that there is literally nothing more that you could do, that is when the success comes! it has been great! This Sunday was amazing! haha like the best Sunday of my mission! we had 4 less actives come to church again, we had 3 investigators, I taught the young mens class, and I had the opportunity to confirm Manoel, our baptism from 2 weeks ago! it was great! its great to start seeing the fruits of all the work that i have done!
well Viçosa is full of challanging things! but it is teaching me tons! thanks for all the letters and hope that everyone is doing well!
Love Elder Ryan