Well, this area is very different. The work is more about coming up with ideas to find people. We have been asked not to plan contacting as part of our day or using it as any kind of back up. This is from the APs and President, because when you look at how many people the missionaries have contacted in the past (50 to 100 people a week), and of those people contacted, they had 0 progressing. So we come up with activities for the ward. We play normal football and American football to find people. There just isn't a lot of work here. Most of the less actives live in little villages and it's hard for them to get here.
We have a someone set for baptism on the 21, an 8 year old girl. Most of her family are members but completely inactive. Working with Isabel is really helping her family.
Our ward mission leader is in his 80s and still going strong. He drives us to our visits in the villages only when we have a fixed lesson. Otherwise we use the bus, which is so unreliable, but yeah. His name is Pompin and is a funny guy. Okay, an example - so the elders asked him to invite people to the ward activity. So he called some members and they said they were working. He very boldly said, "No, you don't! No one works here on Saturday evening!" He will just call them out! Also, when we have a lesson in one of the villages, we will do pass bys while we are there. He will knock for us and will start shouting their names. Then he knocks a couple of times and then waits. Then he knocks once more and says they are not there - let's go. He is funny guy, always talking and will talk as long as he can.
Oh, there is a branch here and our branch president lives like 10 km away from Portugal, so it is far for him. He is always wanting to take us to visits in the villages also.
So Elder Bennett is from Idaho but was born in Arizona. He is about 200 pounds and 6 ft 2 in, or something like that. He played baseball and football in high school and is hoping to walk on to BYU's football team when he gets back. He is an athlete!!! He is an awesome missionary!! He is very different from Elder Douglas and Elder Alacama, but it's good.
This week I have learned the area very well. Elder Bennett gave me a booklet map and had me find where we were going and stuff like that. He wants my opinion on everything. Sometimes I feel like I don't hear his side of what we should do, so I have to be sure to ask him. He had me planning lessons for people I didn't even know. It was hard, but good. Sometimes I wonder why he is always asking me what we should do when he knows the area better. I'm really learning a lot because this work up here is harder and I'm having to come up with stuff to do. Once again I feel like I don't speak Spanish. The accent is hard to understand. It comes from their language and is different from the South American accent that I got used to, but it is good!!!!
Hope you have a great week!
Elder Craig MacKay