Well, this week was good. As for the baptisms, they didn't go as planned, but to be honest, I'm not that disappointed. We are changing our tactics and leaving more responsibilities in the hands of the investigators and the members. By doing this, we aren't just doing our part and then have them go inactive shortly after they're baptized. So, more or less, the members didn't come through and our investigators were too lazy to walk. But...we will continue working with them until they follow through with everything or they stop progressing. I must say, though, the members are helping with the references, but it seems like they waited a little too long before hopping on the missionary work train (since only 14% of the members are going to church). In my opinion, you can think of the Church like a human body and the members are the blood. We all know after you lose a little blood your body can recuperate and produce more, but there comes a point of no return where after losing so much (blood/members) it's game over. Rest assured, we aren't going to give up. We are starting up activities at the church every 15 days to re-activate and find those interested in the Church.
Today was a pretty good P-day. After resting a little, we hopped on the bus at around 9 a.m. and headed to the center to check out the place (Elder Soelberg's 1st time there). It was pretty cool. One thing that was interesting was a sunken boat right in the port. I don't know how it sank, but it definitely won't be up and running for quite some time. After that, we headed over to look at some native art and check out the animal market. Before leaving the center, we made a pass by the Teatro Amazonas and the cool fountain in front. We also saw a 100 year old Catholic Church that was open for viewing, so we took a look inside...it was pretty neat. It reminded me a lot of the early Catholic Missions along the California coast.
Before returning to our area, we had to stop by the office to drop off Elder Soelberg's visa to the Executive Secretary, Elder Sant'anna. In doing so, we encountered my old office buddy, Elder Noorda, which was a great surprise. Since we were in the area, we arranged lunch with the Leite family. It was cool talking with them again and catching up on everything. Our good mood unfortunately took a turn for the worse when we happened to stop by the house of a family Elder Guerrete, Noorda, and I had baptized and learned Josivone (15) is pregnant. If I am not mistaken, the father is her second cousin or something like that (22). As if it was no big deal, she said they'll be marrying in June. Oh, whoopty doo...that's awesome! It's not exactly the best situation in the world, but at least they're working with what they've got. I guess she'll be having a baby shower here in a week. I'm still not sure how he isn't in jail for what he did, but that's life in Brazil.
The weather here has been kind of crazy and the fish in the rivers are coming back to life. There were a few guys there on the dock that would toss in a line with a piece of banana on the hook and within a minute they'd pull up their line with a fish on it. It was crazy to watch. That's all for now...until next week.
Elder Taylor Mackay