June 29, 2013 by jennaljackson
So the votes are in and America has spoken! Sister Miles and I are staying here in Vila Real. It was pretty much decided when President called me and told me I was opening Chaves, but I guess you never REALLY know until you get the call. The only sad part of the transfer was that we have a sort of March madness bracket thing–my DL came up with this very complicated points system for predicting correctly who stays, who leaves, where they go, who their new comp will be, etc. and out of 8 people in our district I came in dead last. I have learned here that it’s good I’m Mormon and not a gambler because I keep making bets with elders and losing. Usually they involve baked goods, yes I’m that sister, so nothing too extreme.
We had our first Sunday meetings in Chaves this week! We were…dun dun dun…FIVE PEOPLE YAYYY! Two missionaries, a couple and their eight year old son who alternated lying on the couch and asking what words meant in the scriptures. It was interesting to say the least. We hope to have an actual space by next Sunday, which would be ideal because I feel like I don’t have much to go on proseliting-wise without a church location. It’s difficult when everyone you talk to asks so where’s your church? and you’re like well we don’t have one…yet…and then of course you can teach them still in their houses but it makes it hard for them to take you seriously. Anyway, right now we’re sleeping at the members’ house which is also weird and they feed us too much, but that’s okay. At least they have fogo to get things started in Chaves and are willing to help us. Unlike our branch council in Vila Real who pronounced chaves ‘morto’ and ‘parado’ (dead and stopped). I still have no idea what happened there, but looks like we have our work cut out for us.
This week has been pretty equally hard in Vila Real as well. It seems like the Lord has been protecting His little greenie-with-a-greenie this transfer and has finally decided to let me spread my wings and face what mission life is really like haha. I have never faced so much rejection on the street–and not just rejection, rude rejection. It’s funny that I have gotten more, not less, sensitive to rejection with my time here. I think it comes with being in charge and also having a deeper testimony that this message really is essential. It’s hard, and I have a worried feeling that this transfer is going to be difficult but I know we will survive it. Every lesson in both churches yesterday was on obedience bringing blessings, so clearly I need to work harder in that area.
A scripture I came across this week that helped me out were the last few verses in Alma 32, which in Portuguese read ‘e por causa de vosso esforço e vossa fé e da vossa paciência em cultivar a palavra, eis que pouco a pouco colhereis o seu fruto…então, meus irmãos, colhereis a recompensa de vossa fé e diligência e paciência e longaminidade, esperando que a árvore vos dê fruto.´ Sorry, classic missionary showing off their language but it happens to work a lot better in Portuguese. Basically I loved the part that says ‘little by little you will harvest’. Sometimes I think that if I’m not finding elects every day or baptizing weekly, I’m failing as a missionary. But even the BOM prophets said that little by little we will harvest the fruits of our faith, diligence, and pacience. It was truly what I needed to hear in a time when we are expected to grow a branch from nothing in 6 months in Chaves, based in a branch in vila real that is already struggling. Even if it doesn’t feel like it, if we do our part we WILL harvest, little by little.
Anyway, thank you all for your letters, thoughts and prayers. I appreciate every one! Sister Miles and I are ready to work our tails off this transfer and I know you guys got our backs. Listen to whatever they told you in the missionary broadcast (we won’t watch until next Sunday) and do your part because we’re doing ours! Off to the harvest mitches (sorry for the language, but it had to be said).