Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is here, it's true, and it blesses lives.

Dearest loved ones,
What a cool week I've just finished having!  =)  We worked our tails off and saw the fruits of it--we met 11 new people this week and have been turning our area upside down to let everyone know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is here, it's true, and it blesses lives.  As we were knocking doors in Cassenda (one of the "nicer" parts of our area) a thought hit me:  Part of your duty is to make sure that the people who live where you work know what the church is, understand that it's the Kingdom of God on the Earth, and know who to look for in times of hardship.  Even if they don't accept your message right now, they need to know that the message exists so they can seek it out later.
Well, after that hit me like a ton of bricks I realized that there's a better way to let everyone know that we are here, why we're here, and what we're doing than just wandering from door-to-door when appointments drop or just walking the streets talking to a few people.  We've decided to set aside an hour of every day to systematically contact every house in Cassenda.  It's close to the chapel, there are many apartments, houses, and people.  It might take a few months, but we've decided that it's worthwhile.  And, of course, we'll find a ton of people along the way.
So, we're making a map of sorts (we're still trying to figure out the best way to do this) and keeping a specific record of who we've talked to, how they took it, etc.  We're hoping for wonderful results.
C... on a great track to baptism and both her and M... will be baptized on the 18th.
I'm really enjoying working with Elder Stewart.  He and I complement each other well and he's a hard worker.  It's been a good transfer thus far.
Mom, I'll find out more about Mother's Day this week.  I'll let you know in the coming week.  =)
We were able to see almost all of conference!  I liked it a lot.  Admittedly, it's harder for me to pay continued attention to it all after a few hours of just watching it in Portuguese, but no worries--it was still rich and full of the Spirit.
Mom asked me what my Sundays are like, so I thought that I'd share.  We go to church from 9-12, help out with choir from 12-13, eat lunch (sometimes with members, sometimes not) and then get to work.  We try to plan out our Sundays really carefully because it's difficult to find back-up appointments on a Sunday--everyone is out of the house or receiving a visit from somebody else and aren't very willing to sit with us.  Frequently Sunday's become contacting days.  At night, we've received permission to eat with an American family who lives in our area, the Weggelands.  They are incredible folks and very converted to the Gospel.  It's always a very enjoyable experience.  After that, we head home, plan, get ready for bed and write in journals (or play around a bit) and sleep until P-day.  I usually really like Sundays.
I should be receiving travel plans in the coming week or so.  It appears that I'll be arriving home on the 27th of June at night (7-10 PM).  I'll know for sure soon and I'll send it your way, Mom.

My life is running well, the area is great, my companion's a champ, and I'm loving my mission.
I love you!

Elder Eckman

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