Dear Family and Friends,
This week has been a good week. Basically, Brasil law states that a wedding has to process 16 days before it happens (at the least). Other thing is that the bride and groom need an actualized (within 60 days) birth certificate to get the process started. Today, Marrone gets his birth certificate, and tomorrow Marrone and Diessica will go with us to the Registry (?) with the documents, and mark their marriage on the 17th of July, (and their baptism on the 18th). :) It will take a little bit, but hey, we're getting things underway.
They are just awesome. To give you an idea, Marrone and Diessica are about 20ish. They’ve been living together for about 4 years. Marrone has a tricked-out low-rider, and Diessica has a cat. Marrone is fairly talkative (but not too much) and Diessica is way quiet. In church last week, we were assigning who was going to go out on visits with us, and Marrone volunteered. We initially thought it was a great idea, so we accepted. But upon further thought, we decided that a person really needs to have the Gift of the Holy Ghost to deal with all the temptations, controversy, and rigor that Missionary Work throws at you. So we decided just to take him to a few less-active families. Give him the Missionary-Lite treatment. It went over alright.
I must tell you about Helmutt and Rosane (yes, it is pronounced just like Helmet - its German apparently) and their family. They are awesome. Helmutt is an ex-alcoholic. His brain is actually a little... cooked... because of his past. And so he has problems with attention, forgetfulness, and stuff like that. Rosane is a saint. She stuck with him through thick and thin, interned him, and nursed him back to health. Other missionaries had visited there 1 or 2 times in January, and gave them a Book of Mormon. But then they stopped going there, because the only way to get to their house is hitching a ride from the members and heading to Coronel Barros, a small town about 20 minutes outside of Ijuí. The missionaries at that time didn’t have the trust of the members, so those visits stopped. Well, now that we have a good ward with huge trust in us, we go out with a member literally every day. So we don’t mind the two-times-a-week 20 minute car ride. We started going there the week before last with the Bishop, whom they accepted warmly, especially Rosane. Rosane has, since February, read the book of Mormon cover-to-cover. She is literally so excited to be baptized, but refuses to be baptized without her husband, because "she's not a widow yet." She’s got spunk. He is also great, and we're pressing him to be baptized. I’m not sure what he's waiting on yet. We're really trying hard to get them to commit to the 11th of July. They’ve gone to church these last two weeks.
Speaking more on the amazing trust our ward has in us, the missionaries in Ijuí have started something called the "Referral Tree". I recommend this to the Ward Mission Leader of the McKinney 1st ward. Basically, it’s a wooden tree, and 3 fruits - Banana, Pear, and Apple, representing the 3 wards - Ijuí, Centro, and Jardim. Basically, it’s somewhat of a contest, whoever has more fruit on the tree (with names, phone numbers, and addresses) wins. I know that missionary work was never a contest, but this gives mare incentive for the members to give referrals. And I think it will work. It was my idea, btw. Vamos time pera (Go team pear)!
We had some surprise visitors to our District meeting on Tuesday. As my companion and I were giving the spiritual thought, we saw, entering from the back, Presidente and Sister Parrella! So it was an extra elaborate and powerful spiritual thought, lol. But we did interviews. And it was really good. Presidente gave me some advice that I should read the Conference Liahona and Jesus the Christ in addition to my daily study of the Book of Mormon, New Testament, and Preach My Gospel. Accepting this advice has caused that I wake up earlier and start my study each morning at 7:15ish instead of 8. It has been so awesome. Members and Non-members alike, (if you’ve got a decent reading level), Jesus the Christ by Elder James E. Talmage is the best biography of Jesus Christ that exists. If you don't believe me, read it.
Speaking of which, Grandma and Grandpa Wassom are the only ones to accept my challenge from last week, apparently. C'mon guys. :)
Yet again, I am short on time. But it suffices me to say that things are great, and we have investigators with potential. Ooh. And we played volleyball and ultimate this morning, and it was super fun. I love volleyball and ultimate.
And I love you guys.
Com Amor, Elder Wassom
I’m not sure if I already sent you a pic of our awesome chapel. The food is all stuff that our High Councilman gives us every Tuesday :) and the paper pear I explained in my letter. The other two are of a fun day of volleyball and ultimate.