Monday, November 22, 2010

Letter #14- Transferred

Greetings from Ribeirão Preto,

This has been a sad past couple of days, while also exciting and good. I have been transferred from Poços de Caldas 1 to Jardim Jandaia. I´m had a pretty tough time saying goodbye to my area. Every missionary I talked to was so sure that I would stay because it is very rare that a new missionary stays in his first area for just one transfer. This last week was so amazing too. We had been working with a family with inactive parents and 4 un-baptized kids. They are such an amazing family. I don´t know why the Spirit helped me so much more in the lessons, but every time we were there it was so easy to break from my usual lesson plan and follow the Spirit and say things that specifically pertained to them. It was so amazing that one week we had to teach them. Literally, if we had never met them I would have had no major problem leaving the area and going somewhere new. But, that family was just amazing. We made a visit to them on last Saturday to say goodbye and tell them the news that I was leaving too. They already knew that Azevedo would be leaving. We all had a good cry together. Renata, the mother, cried really hard to know that I was leaving. It was amazing the relationship we built with them in only one week. I learned a really valuable lesson from that really helped me realize my true purpose as a missionary. Many would think that it was a failure there because we didn´t baptize the kids and the parents hadn´t been back to church yet. But I know that we brought the Spirit into their home and because of the things Renata said to me, I know we had a big influence on their lives. She told me that I have been forever engraven in her heart, right next to the elders that baptized her and her husband 20 years ago.

Now for the really sad news. not only was I transferred from the area, Poços de Caldas 1 closed. Not enough missionaries are arriving every transfer to compensate for those leaving. Many areas have to close because there are no missionaries to fill them. I can´t beleive there won´t be any missionaries there for at least one transfer to continue the work we started there. I hope the ward will be able to keep working with the families we were teaching. 

My new area is Jardim Jandaia, a neighborhood in the actual city Ribeirão Preto. My new companion is Elder J. Santos from Goiana(city), Pernambuca(state). He is an awesome guy and I can already tell we are going to get along great. He is a friend to everyone. And he is an amazing artist. I saw a painting he did while I was in Poços. It was absolutely amazing. So that´s gonna be cool to see more of the stuff he can do. As sad as I am to leave the Poços, I know that the Lord is directing this work. Also in my district is Elder Antone(the former Elder Christensen from my CTM group). I´m excited to be close to him and it sounds like we will get to go on splits together so that sheould be really fun.  I´m excited to get to know this new area and teach new people. I can´t wait to have great experiences here too.

Last week we had a Zone conference that was amazing. It was awesome to meet up with two of the other elders that were in my CTM group. We all have had struggles with our first transfers. We all notice that there are things in the mission we would like to see done differently and we also promised each other to never give in to being mediocre missionaries but that we would lead the mission by example in the direction it needs to go.  We also learned a lot of great things from the Assistants and the President. It was a very nice spiritual boost.

Well it´s been a lot of bitter sweet experiences this last week. truly what missionary work is. I´m so glad to be hear doing the Lord´s work. And I cant believe how fast the time is already going. One transfer in the field already done. Much love to everyone and thanks for all the support.

Elder McLelland

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