Dear friends and family,
This week was another good week. The work is coming along great. That being said, the baptisms of Lucia and Thayna have been postponed yet again to the 17th. We are really working hard with them, it’s just last second things always come up the day before church. For this, we have 5 baptisms planned between the 17th and the 24th. Lúcia, Thayná, André, Alcívio, and Larissa. Lucia is progressing great, and is ready and eager to be baptized. Thayna. She seems to finally be getting the hang of the repentance process. This week she showed another burst of desire to get baptized, so we´re praying that continues. Andre has always been ready and eager. In fact, he was supposed to be baptized on the very first weekend that I was here. Just, his work ALWAYS gets in the way. He is a good man. Alcívio is a very special guy. He’s about 75 and barely a couple of teeth in his mouth. But he too is excited to be baptized. Larissa is awesome. One month ago from yesterday, we met her. Yesterday, we got a call that she finished the Book of Mormon. So Let’s just say she is eager. The problem, they have been on vacation (yes, she even reads on vacation), and we have not gotten in touch with the father. We can only hope and pray.
I will throw two semi-unimportant facts in here, so I don’t end with them, lol. So here, they have an apelido (nickname) for the number 6. It threw me off for the first two weeks. The real word is "seis" but a lot of the time, they use the word "meia", which actually means "half" so for the first sacrament meeting, I was confused why there was a hymn #120+1/2. When I asked why 6 was called half, they just looked at me and said, like: "Because 6 is half of a dozen. Everyone knows that." Should’ve known. Also, I had a really good lunch yesterday. The wife of Bispo knows how to cook. I may be 35 pounds thinner, but I still like food. Some things never change. :)
Yesterday, we had a really special time that really touched my heart. There is a man in the ward named Gildo. He is a service oriented, extremely friendly and outgoing guy. He cuts our hair. He is less active, only because he, until recently, was an alcoholic. And he was always ashamed to go to church. (To members of the church - reach out to these members. They need friendship, and acceptance.) So anyways, he made it a New-Year’s resolution to stop drinking and go to church. So that’s what he did. And while he was at church, we asked him if we could have a family night with him. He said we could. Another cool thing about Gildo- and I swear, it’s in his patriarchal blessing somewhere, if he has one, that he is blessed with awesome kids. He has 8 of them. They are all awesome, well behaved, courteous, and accepting. Most of them are teenagers. So the cool thing was when we showed up, he thought that we were going to run everything. But we insisted that we just had the message, and that he preside the family night. You could tell, because of his alcoholic past, that he wasn’t used to being a patriarchal figure. He was really shy and nervous. But as the night progressed, we could tell he had the feeling of "This is my family. This is my family, and it is mine. I have been blessed to be in charge of this wonderful family, and until now, I have wasted a good part of it. But I’m not gonna waste it anymore." I don’t know how to put it in words, but all of us could feel the spirit very strongly. I was always blessed with a strong family bond. And we got to share that blessing to a very awesome family. I am happy :)
A lot of other people had the same New Year’s resolution. For this, we had 93 people (a good number) of people in Sacrament Meeting, contrasted to the meager 56 and 50 of the last two weeks. Marcia, another less active member, and her family were also there. We always have faith in our people who we teach, but Marcia is one of those ladies who we just didn’t count on being there. What was more, is she bore her testimony. And it was powerful. And it made us happy.
Tomorrow, I go on splits. I only went on splits once before, and it was with a zone leader. Tomorrow, I go on splits with a greeny. So I’m excited, and a little nervous. He’s a good guy. His name is Elder Uchoa Sousa.
I love you all.
Até a Próxima Semana,
E Sempre Com Amor,