Monday, April 18, 2016


This last week, we had the fun task of driving some missionaries that finally got their visas to go to Brazil. Here is a lot the same as in America, it's difficult to get a visa for Brazil, so the missionaries called there (which is like 80% of all missionaries from this country) get reassigned to serve here until they get it. Well, just recently our homeboy Holden Duarte, who works with visas for countries other than American ones, just managed visas for almost every Visa Waiter missionary in the mission. So we got to be their taxi for a bit. During this whole time, we got to drive down the main road by the ocean a lot, and I really got to appreciate the view. Therefore I name my update Oceans, after one of my preferred songs from Ghost Stories by Coldplay. Also because the other day we saw a guy carrying this HUGE fish over his back as we were driving. The thing was like as long as the guy was tall, it was big.

The days that we were driving people around this past week just seemed to suck up all the time out of our days. And once I finally got out to teach, my mind got fuzzy because of all the taxiing around I'd done that day. It's always such a relief to get into our area though, I just feel like I know what I'm doing so much more when I teach the gospel. Something I have been working on personally this past week is that I've been more bold in making sure that my investigators keep committments. When someone tells you "I've just been so busy" or "I haven't had time to read your book this week," it's easy to just tell them that it's okay, that they can just try harder then. However, I like Elder Hollands words on it, when he says that the first thing that we should do when we learn that an investigator hasn't been reading the Book of Mormon is to be devastated! I've been working on my attitude of complete devastation, and I already think it's making a difference. It's one thing to tell an investigator that the Book of Mormon is important, and it's another thing to show exactly how important it is to you by the way you talk about it. For example, we were talking to one of our investigators named Paula yesterday, and she told us she hadn't had time to read. I tried to give a different approach to it, asking what her goals were in life, and then showing her that the Book of Mormon can help her specifically in not only her own goals, but in the goals that God had for her. It's helped me to grow my testimony of it.

Sadly, Patrick didn't come to church yesterday, so he won't be prepared for baptism on the 30th. We thought it would be good to have him go with his friend Tony, a pretty recently reactivated member from that area. We found Tony yesterday and asked him what was up, and he told us that he didn't go because he didn't have the right kind of clothes. Elder Massey was like, man that doesn't even matter! So we taught him a bit about faith and making sure that the shame of the world doesn't affect our spiritual growth, to which we hope helped him out, because he still seemed pretty iffy about it. I honestly would go to church in a t-shirt and swim trunks if that was all I had, because the sacrament's too important to miss.

A funny thing also happened yesterday: we contacted a couple of guys standing outside of their house, and after a bit we realized that they were both a little tipsy. We were about to leave, but one of the guys who was on the phone just gave the phone to me, and so I ended up contacting a guy on the island of Boa Vista over the phone. Then I handed the phone back and then the guy gives me the BABY he was holding and I was like uhh I'm not supposed to hold babies so I just handed it over to the more sober of the two. It's weird to me how things that outside the mission are completely normal become so weird when you put on the badge. I felt so uncomfortable holding the baby for the few seconds that I did. But anyways that's an interesting moment in my week stay tuned for more adventures in awkward missionary situations.

The work is going good! Marlene is such a spectacular investigator, we're getting really excited for her baptism on the 7th. Elder Massey and I agree that it's about time that we got a baptism here!

Have a wonderful week! 

Elder Penner

p.s. I don't know when the Captain America movie comes out in theaters, but I want to know absolutely nothing, you hear?

I asked for a tour of their apartment, so that's the majority of the pictures I got this week.  I see he hasn't used up all the ranch I sent him last month.  


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