Monday, September 16, 2013

58 Attended My First Meeting Here in April. This Sunday there were 175!

Milena's Baptism Friday September 13, 2013

District Missionaries

How was your week?
Really really good. The best week of the mission for sure. 

Did the marriage papers come through that you sent off?
Not yet, it´ll be a few more weeks til it´s all ready to go. 

Are you surviving the heat?

Are you allergies getting better?
Not really. I still have a cough and i sneeze all day and itch my eyes. 

Have you gotten your transfer and new companion?
YES! I will be opening a new zone as a zone leader in Sao Gabriel. My companion is Elder Dias, I don´t know any more than that about him. 

Hello Family!
We just had an amazing week. WE HAD 175 PEOPLE AT CHURCH! It was Ward Conference, so the stake presidency was there, and president Parrela came. The leaders in front couldn´t even resist tears when they saw so many people there. (We had 11 investigators there.) We made some little invitations for the conference and worked hard to invite anyone and everyone this week. It was officially announced that we´re going to get a new chapel here and that it will be the stake center for when the stake divides next year. We didn´t just help the ward, we divided the stake!!! It was so cool. 

It was hard to let everyone know that I was going to be leaving. I found out last week on Wednesday exactly where and when. President called me at 8AM in the morning and told me that I needed to be in his office at 11 for an interview. We talked for quite a while about the work in this ward because my first Sunday, 6 months ago, there were only 58 people at church. The growth here has been incredible, and it´s all because of the work with the members. He told me that I was being called to be a zone leader in a city that President wants to transform into a stake. It´s really close to Rosario, and is in the same district. The mission will now be opening 3 cities close by to try and form a stake with 5 cities. (Caçapava, Cachoela do Sul, and Sao Sepe... along with Rosario and Sao Gabriel). My companionship and the other companionship in our ward have baptized almost 30 in these 6 months, let alone all of the people that have been re-activated. He feels like Preach My Gospel will be changed next year to be more focused on working with the members. We had our baptism for Milena on Friday. There were quite a few people there. Sorry the picture is bad. It´s from a different camera cuz my battery died and I forgot to charge it.

 Cristiano came to church again. He´s stopping drinking and really taken on the challenge of the church. I feel like he´ll be baptized this Saturday, but I´m going to officially challenge him tonight when I say bye to their family. If he accepts I´m going to try and challenge him to be baptized tomorrow morning so that I can baptize him. Now the mission is just passing by quicker and quicker and I´m hating the thought of finishing. Right when this ward gets awarded a new chapel, I get transferred.
My companion and I will be more of traveling zone leaders instead of having just a fixed teaching group. We´re going to have to find housing, and existing members in those 3 new cities so that the missionaries that President puts there are ready to work without being lost.
Saying goodbye to people yesterday was really hard. I have for sure fallen in love with the people here. I´ll finish saying goodbye today and then just gotta pack my bags and move on. Marco was really sad that I won´t get to be here for his baptism. I told him that he needed to get his papers all ready to go a lot earlier than he did! He just got a good laugh about that though. He´s now read the Book of Mormon twice and he´s reading it again with the Institute BoM guide.
I haven´t got your package yet, so maybe it was a gonner... hopefully it gets here soon! I get my braces off in 2 months!!! Finally.

I love you all very much and I´m glad everyone is safe and doing well! Have a great week! 

Elder Shepherd

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