Behold, it came to pass that the great and abominable church did create a holiday on the 8th of December. And the name given unto that holiday was that of Nossa Senhora da Concessão. (Our Lady of Concession?) Behold, as Elder Tenney and Elder Ammon were coming back home from the Mission Office after dropping off Wedding Documents for a family they are teaching, a great procession began in the middle of Manaus because of said holiday. Behold, it was a mighty procession, in which 50,000+ people did participate, and which did cause much rage and confusion amongst the drivers in the city center. Much to the dismay of the Elders, they stayed on the bus home for FOUR hours, two of which were in the same spot, waiting for said procession to pass. Behold, Elder Tenney has a great headache, and upon arrival was very grumpy because they still had to inform their families and Presidente Jayme about their week. And it came to pass that finally they have arrived in the Lan House, and are able to send such messages for a short space of time. This message is written on a keyboard by Elder Tenney, or, I, Elder Tenney, do write these things.
So, I woke up and said, "Today is gonna be awesome!" We had some study time, made mango/acerola juice, cleaned the house and had planned to go to the staff to drop off some papers; More info on that in a bit. Little did we know that there would be huge traffic jams all over Manaus. It was crazy!!
So, Zone Conference was on Tuesday. Still no package. President Jayme has changed, though. He only has 7 months left until he goes home, and he gave us an ultimatum. He wants to turn over a mission that is 100% obedient, diligent, faithful etc. He has been very merciful over the past with Elders and does everything he can to not have to send them home unless they really need to. Now it is different. Secret Combinations and iniquity are amock. President Jayme said in order for him to go before the judgment bar at the last day without the "blood of our sins on his vestments", he will not tolerate anything. He laid down the law and those who do not fulfill will go home. He gave us the example of Gideon and the 300. It started as 32,000 soldiers, but they ended up with less than 1% of their original force and still made mighty miracles because those that were still there were the Called and Chosen. So, to start the first weeding process, President Jayme had a quick 2-3 minute interview with everyone with a single question: Will you rededicate yourself to serve the Lord with all your heart, might, mind, and strength, or will you continue to do things your way and more than likely go home? With Gideon, it was a question of are you scared to die, and 22,000 said yes and went home. I think almost all the missionaries said they will continue on. The second phase is that of who will drink from the water cautiously and who will go down and slurp up the water and die (go home). President Jayme said he doesn´t know how many missionaries he will give to the new President. Right now there are 127 here in the Manaus Mission. Last year was 200+ when I got here! 6 leave at new year, and 13 are scheduled to come here. But in February, 20 are leaving. Pres. Jayme said if he only has 30 missionaries to give over, he will be happy because it will be an obedient mission. Lots of missionaries are showing true colors now by their attitudes. Some are sad now because they can´t continue on how it has been, as kind of a lax thing. For me, I got kind of this fire kindled inside of me, like I´m ready to just go and throw all of Manaus in the river and baptize them. It´s a strange feeling.
Enough about that, let´s talk investigators. So, The Golden House turned out to have problems. Coffee and Wedding. When we started teaching they were like, "yeah, yeah, we´re married." then we taught the Law of Chastity thinking it was ok and then, "Oh, no, we aren´t married." NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooooo............................!
So, we rushed all the documents and if we are lucky we could do the wedding on Christmas or a little after. (The wedding is for a couple called Neto and Sandra). Sandra´s whole family lives in that house. Her sisters, Maria, and Irasema and brother Nicolau will probably get baptized a little bit before. I´m super excited. Sometimes when we pass by, the Jehovah´s Witnesses are there teaching some of the brothers, but when we show up they all perk up and smile at us and invite us in. (JW´s have to sit outside). Sandra has been reading the Gospel Principles book from church and she really likes it, but we put an emphasis on the Book of Mormon for her to be reading and praying to get a testimony of it. Oh! Zone Conference ended up being with Center Zone instead of North, so I didn´t see Elder Poulton... I hear he is doing good though! There´s a chance I could be his comp next transfer.. (That´s more just me wishing. But it´s a possibility.)
Good News! I got a bed! We got it from another elder´s house and I have had 4 nights of wonderful, peaceful sleep. Just to let you know, Christmas is on a Saturday, so I don´t have to worry about church interfering with it, unless President Jayme says it should be on the Sunday. I might end up knowing on the 22nd when and where and how I will call you. We are looking for a member with a phone...
I am going to renew my visa this Friday. A little late, but I think I will only stay in the jail for 3 days. (Kidding)
Thanks for all the love and support! Love you all!