[Editor’s Note: We’ve been a little lax in updating the blog. It doesn’t help that Elder Holdaway writes very little. He’s been better, so here are some comments of his from the last month or two]
I wanted to send an email last week, but it didn’t work out. Last week we went to eat dinner at the Costas which was really really good. That same week I ran into a young man I baptized in my first area, he said he wasn’t going to church but wants to serve a mission. I told him he needs to start going to church again, I hope it works out, I’ll keep in contact with the missionaries in that area. Last Thursday we had a zone conference and Elder Carboni of the 70 came to speak to us, he was companions with President Colleoni on their mission. He said he and President baptized 25 people in a month in Manaus. freaking crazy. The conference was really good, and I learned a lot. I went to my first area to say hi to some of the people I taught when we went to go eat at Brother Costa´s house, it was weird to be in my first area again. It’s sad to see a bunch of friends that are ending their missions this transfer, we heard their testimonies at the conference. A lady in my ward, Fatima Medeiros, recently came home from a visit to Utah. I gave her 20 bucks and asked her to bring steak strips beef jerky from Costco, she complied and now I am enjoying some delicious beef jerky. I am currently teaching the grandmother of a recent convert of my old companion and her adopted son who is 9. They received the message really well and she is really nice, we brought them to church on Sunday and plan on baptizing them this Friday, and a member brought his brother and maybe we can mark his baptism for Saturday after conference. I’m really excited for General Conference and it couldn’t come at a better time. Wish you all well and stay cold for me, because now it’s about to get hotter.
Monday 2/10 - Nothing important happened that I remember.
Tuesday 3/10 - I woke up and went to the zone leaders room to see if they had the transfers, which they did. I was not to thrilled with it, and waited for the ZL to tell me it was a joke, which he didn't. After a while I came to accept it and began to prepare for the transfer, mentally. My new area is Pombal, Paraiba, a different state then that of Natal. It’s a 9-hour trip with a 3-hour layover in another city. I also got a really difficult companion, which didn’t help my situation, but the APs called me and said I need to take care of him and help him along, he’s a good guy, works hard, but has some difficulties.
Wednesday 04/10 - We went to the bus station and caught our bus at 10 to the end of the world. I got the quick rundown of the area from the last elders, who both left, which means i will be opening the area. They did nothing. Left only 2 people, a couple, in our teaching group. We got to Sousa at 6 at night and met up with the zone leaders. I talked to them and they said that basically we would be opening a city, no elder has been really working there for at least a handful of transfers. we got to the apartment at 10 at night and crashed.
Thursday 5/10 - We started the work and left to make contacts and find people to teach. We had lunch and continued to work. then we visited a member that night. Based on what the members say, there’s a lot of problems and disunion in the branch.
Friday 06/10 - We worked, went to lunch, and then visited the couple that were on the teaching list, they need to be married to be baptized but the man has a problem with his birth certificate, so we are working that out. While there we talked to a lady who walked in who is a daughter and we found out that she’s been to church and received the lessons. The other missionaries literally left nothing about her. I invited her to be baptized and she accepted. To be safe I marked it for the next Sunday.
Saturday 07/10 - We returned to the house of the daughter of the couple, Raquel, to try and baptize her this Sunday. We talked to her and she accepted. We made sure she knew everything and didn’t have any problems and then filled out her baptism form. Then that night I realized the city cut the water off and we wouldn’t be able to fill the font. I talked to the counselor of the branch and suggested baptizing her in the river, but he said it’s a mess there on Sundays because it’s the only attraction here in this small town. No one thought that the water reserve in the church was big enough for the font. We tried with the military and the firemen to get someone with water, but they don’t work on Sunday and nothing worked. But I felt like it would all work out. We went home and after three days of hard work to close the weeks numbers were dead, and went to bed at 9:45.
Sunday 08/10 - We woke up and went out to pick up investigators but didn’t have any luck. Then we went to church and met the Branch president who lives in another city. He was like just try and fill the font, so we turned on the water and let it fill until church ended. Thanks to the blessings we received this week we were able to baptize here in the little water that we had. I told my DL and soon after received calls from my ZL and the APs congratulating us. It’s not every day someone arrives in a dead area, knowing nothing, and having a baptism. The ZL said that the whole mission would know about this and that the President was really happy. It was a good week.
That’s about it. Just counting down to my birthday and hump day.
Nothing much happened, but we worked on preparing a young woman and her younger sister for their baptisms on Friday.
Today we left the house at 10 to get to a neighboring city where the ZLs live for zone meeting and interviews with the president. We ate lunch at a restaurant which was really good, then met up at the chapel to have zone meeting. The president showed up and conducted interviews. He is very happy with the work my comp and I are doing here in this area that was once dead. After the interviews we went home and went straight to the chapel in Pombal and had the baptisms of the two girls we prepared. then we took them out to eat pastels.
I woke up a little late because of the exhausting day before and I didn’t sleep well. We ate lunch, planned for the day, and after appointment after appointment fell through we went to the central park and i suggested we get a milkshake. while we were waiting for it to open, a guy went up to me and asked me if I was from the Mormon church, to which I replied yes, then he asked how he can learn more about the church, so we took him to the chapel and taught him the restoration, he was very intelligent and knew a lot of doctrine, and said he believed that the Book of Mormon was true. Then we invited him to go to church the next day which would be in Sousa, another city for District Conference. He said he would. A real miracle.
We went to the chapel and waited for the young man, named Lucas, to arrive. when he wasn’t showing up we called him and said he would be down in 10 minutes. We waited and waited and waited but he didn’t show. The vans had to leave to get to the stake center in time for the conference to start and the couldn’t wait for him. I knew that God wouldn’t guide Lucas to us and everything to happen just for us to leave him. I asked the driver to go the other direction to see if he was on the way, and at the last minute we saw him with his bike coming towards the chapel. We hurriedly grabbed him and left for Sousa. The conference went well and was really spiritual. We held the confirmations of our baptisms in a separated room after the meeting. Then we took the vans back to Pombal. I talked the whole time with Lucas to see how he liked the meeting, then I shared with him the Articles of Faith because he was curious about some doctrines. When i shared the part about Adam’s transgression and I explained why Adam had to fall, he stopped me and said, oh I don’t know the chapter or verse but I saw a scripture that says something like Adam had to fall for men to exist. I couldn’t believe that he was quoting the Book of Mormon. He said that he was studying the Book of Mormon the day before. A true golden investigator.
Monday 30/10 -
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME WOOHOOOOOO
I’m gonna go to a pizzeria tonight in Sousa to celebrate with the other elders as well as celebrate 1 year on the mish.
[Editor's Note #2: Pictures from the last couple of months can be found on the Photos page.]