A few of you have asked what Elder Dixon has been doing on the Mission. A few weeks ago, we were called as the "team leaders" for the Brazilian missionaries. That really meant that he was called as the team leader and I am the sidekick. I occasionally feel the motherly instinct kick in and check cupboards, but mostly, it is Elder Dixon who is working closely with the Elders. He helps them learn to budget their time, their money and their mileage. A couple of weeks ago, he also had to take over the car for one of the sets of missionaries.
The car issue needs a bit of explanation. In the mission cars, there is a monitor called a TiWi. It reports bad driving to Salt Lake. If you have too many violations, your driving privilege is revoked. The funny thing is that Elder Dixon has had five reports on his driving! Elder Residori said that is a mission record. In his defense, he was given incorrect information about how it works. He is doing much better now, but really dislikes the TiWi.
So, if those assignments have not kept him busy enough, he was just called as the Second Counselor in the Branch Presidency. He is pretty anxious about that call. Although he tries with Portuguese, he is less than competent and sometimes does not understand the people. (I just got hacked by Elder Dixon on the last sentence!)
Before we came on the Mission, I prayed that we would be needed and that we would be busy. Elder Dixon has told me to consult with him before I pray for anything!
It was transfer day. I cried like usual. This time one of our sweet sister training leaders (Sister Lindsay) went home, and one of the Elders who has been with us as a Zone leader from the first was transferred. We also saw our sweet little Sister Tapia transferred. She cried because she was looking forward to meeting Drei, Kaitlyn and Titan at Christmas. We will miss them.
We also had a shake up among our Brazilian missionaries. Sister Barros is now assigned to work with an English-speaking Sister. They are doing well. Elder Santos is now working in a Spanish Branch in a rural area. The two new missionaries were separated and placed with Elder Castro and Elder Sousa. It will be a great thing. It will allow all of them to grow more, to improve their English, and to become better leaders. I look forward to watching the growth.
Amazing things happened this week in the missionary work. On Tuesdays from 10:30 until about 12:00 we have District meeting at the Papermill Building. We meet in the Relief Society Room at the back of the building. We had concluded the meeting and I was emotional because we were losing missionaries. They wanted some group pictures, but I stepped into the hall because I was crying. I looked down the long hallway, and at the front of the building, a woman was trying to get in. I quickly walked to the front and called to her. She returned to the door and explained that her car had died and would we help her. I said "of course" and invited her into the building. She had been wearing high heels and had taken them off because her feet hurt from the long walk. She helped us take pictures and then we loaded up two of the Elders to take her to her car and see what could be done. She explained that she had just had the engine rebuilt and it cost $2,500.00. We drove for probably a mile and an half before arriving at the parking lot at the school where she had left her car. The Elders popped open the hood to see the problem, but the car started right up. My mind processed it all quite quickly (which is a miracle in and of itself) and I pointed out to her that she was supposed to meet the missionaries. Why didn't she simply ask for help in the school where her car was parked and where she had just volunteered? Why did she walk the direction she did when it was residential and to go the other way would have been businesses? (She is from the area and would have known that). Had I not been in the hall when I was, had she not come to the door at that exact time, we would not have met. She gave her contact information to the Elders. I look forward to hearing how it went.
In a different location, two English-speaking Sister missionaries engaged a man (Marcio) in a gospel conversation. They found that he was Brazilian. They contacted our High Councilman, who speaks Portuguese. He set up a time for the Brazilian Elders to teach Marcio. Marcio knew everything they taught him was true. He is committed to be baptized this month and was at Church at the Branch today. He told the brethren at the Branch that he had known of the Church for 20 years, but had avoided us and the Jehovah's Witnesses. He said that the young sisters made it difficult to avoid them, and he does not know why he agreed to go to Church. Once he did, and heard the doctrine, he knew he had found the truth.
We have another man who was scheduled for baptism today, but had to have surgery on Friday. He did not want to get his cast wet, and wasn't secure that we could keep it dry. He will also be baptized this month. We owe his conversion to the persistence of Elder Santos. Elder Santos never gave up on him, even when George was struggling to keep the commandments.
I got some sweet pictures of some of my grandchildren