So I am still here in Jardim Campinas. My new companion is Sister Salles; she is from Curitiba, Brazil. I have been in this area for like a month but we are still trying to figure out our area because it is HUGE. We are also starting this new program to focus on retention. The first presidency and the area presidency chose my mission to pilot this program, so we are testing it out. Basically we spend 50% of our proselyting time working with new members. There are lots and lots and lots of members to find and re-teach. Thus, we have been trying to find houses so we can do this program. Its been a lot of walking, but its been good.
On Tuesday, I got to meet my mission president, President Pinho. He will only be my mission president for like 2-3 months since he just got called to be a seventy. So when I arrived in this mission, he was in Salt Lake City for General Conference and other meetings. Since me and the other Americans who arrived with me didn´t get to meet him, we got to have lunch with him and Sister Pinho. It was cool to be with the Americans that I arrived with because we got to exchange stories about our areas. Its funny because we are all experiencing the same sort of things being in a new country.
Anyway, when President Pinho welcomed us into the mission he said some things that were way cool. First, he welcomed the Americans (we were in a meeting with the Americans who had served in the states for some time and the new Brasilian/Hispanic missionaries). He said,`` the Lord is the Master of the Embassies; He controls the visas. The US has more baptisms than Brazil. The missionaries in the United States know how to work with the members. You were there to learn how to work with members. You are here now to teach us.`` That was a new perspective on the past 6 months of my mission.
Then he talked about his and Sister Pinho´s purpose. He said that his purpose is not to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith, repentance, baptism...(though he loves that too). He said that their purpose here is to save missionaries.
He then talked about the order of leadership in the mission. He has it set-up so we talk to our district leader, then zone leader, then assistants when we have any kind of problem. He said that it is easy for us to just call him with a problem and it is easy for him to resolve it with us, but that destroys the opportunity to create more leaders.
Also, this week I was studying the first three lessons in Preach My Gospel (The Restoration, The Plan of Salvation, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ). I remembered something that an elder told me at the Brasil MTC. He said that the first lesson is all about faith. The second lesson is all about hope. The third lesson is all about charity. That is so true. As I´ve read and studied and pondered the doctrines in these lessons, I am beginning to appreciate the simplicity of the truths that I have grown-up learning and teaching.
I hope to respond to more emails today! Love you all!
-Sister Sadie Bledsoe