Well...once again, I'm here in Jardim Botânico with Elder Soelberg and the members seem very happy. Somehow, Elder Trage and Elder Keicher were the ones transferred. The one thing that makes this time around different from all the others is that I am now the district leader. I'll let you know how it is next week since I have a few interviews on Friday. After we got the call on Saturday and I learned the others would be leaving, I kind of had a pretty good idea of what was going to happen at transfers. As district leader, you have to do quite a few divisions, so I won't be able to dedicate 100% of my time on just my area. I guess that explains why districts sometimes judge LDs for lack of success without thinking about all the work they do in other areas and all the meetings they attend.
Everything continues to go well in our area despite the fact it is extremely difficult to find people who are going to progress. For example, we received a reference from pass along cards and we contacted the family the very next day. To our disappointment, we encountered them about a week too late. Apparently, things weren't working out between the couple and they are separating. Since she'll be staying in the house, we'll continue to pass by and teach her, but it would have been a lot cooler teaching a complete family or helping them out with their marital problems before it reached the point of no return.
Just to give you a heads up on the area, Sunday morning a guy was hacked to death with a hoe (four streets from our house). The killer decided to steal the victim's identity and rip out his throat, mouth, and other stuff to make it harder to identify the body. Crazy!
On Sunday night, I received a call from Elder Olsen informing me that he was wanting to pass through Cidade de Deus before heading back home. I advised as many as I could and we walked around with him to the homes of those he had taught. It was a strange feeling since the last time I walked the streets with Elder Olsen was about a year ago. It was pretty cool, though, to have a little reunion with Bosco and Maria's family, since we were the first ones to seriously teach them and help with their wedding and baptism. Elder Olsen should be arriving home about lunchtime if my calculations are correct. It was really weird at the transfer meeting seeing those guys go and then realizing that after this transfer Elder Noorda, Spotts, Mills, and others that I know pretty well will also be leaving. Elder Noorda will be training this transfer just like I had suspected, so now we both have a little legacy that will be staying in the mission for another year and nine months.
Elder Soelberg and I are currently teaching a ton of people, but it seems like they are going to take a little bit longer to see results. To be honest, it would be cool to see them baptized and confirmed while I am in the area but what really matters is that I'm planting the seeds for future missionaries to reap. When you have a situation like this, you really have a lot more respect for those U.S. missionaries who generally aren't known for having a ton of immediate success. They are a patient breed knowing that come what may with their investigators, they gave 100% of their effort to help them out. Thanks for all the e-mails and support...they help get me through the week.
Elder Taylor Mackay