Yet another week of splits, it has been interesting getting to know so many different areas here in the mission and really getting to work along side so many fantastic missionaries! This week President decided that he was going to send us to a zone here in the Capital, Pirituba. It was super great, one of the zone leaders there is Elder Gimenez, who was my companion for two weeks while I was in Ariston. He was by far one of my favorite companions so far on the missionso it was great to be with him again. His companion right now is Elder Lopes, who is from Cape Verde. He is a great missionary and will finish his mission with me, it was cool getting to know him better. I was truly blown away this week with just how many people in that area have problems wiht the Word of Wisdom. It is really common, but it just seemed like literally every single investigator there struggled with that, it made for a very very full week of following up and making goals with tons of people and lots of prayers. There was a certain family that we are working with this week, a mom who has three sons, one toddler and two teenagers. One of her teenagers is now in a wheelchair because a shooting happened near where they live and he was shot three times. It was amazing to see this ladies faith and true desire to change. In some of these areas there is so much around them that isn´t good. She has had a problem with smoking but when the missionaries taught her she was smoking a pack a day and she immediately went down to 2 cigarretts a day. We were praying so much for her and trying our absolute best to help her stop smoking, well she did it!!!! Haha she was baptized today after church. Even though we were only there this week it felt so good to see her do it and stay strong and get baptized. I was able to speak with several other people about baptism and if they are ready or not to be baptized and I was amazed at the faith of some. One young man who has had a lot of struggles in his life thus far just started crying when we talked about repentance and what it means to him. He truly does want to turn his life around and he knows that thorugh the gospel he can.
It was good working with all of these people this week, it made me really think in these people and how I can help them. They also had Stake Conference this weekend and I was amazed at how this stake truly is focusing on Missionary Work. The talks were incredible and President and Sister Farnes each did a wonderful job as well. It was a priveledge to be there. This morning early we got the transfers from President and found out how it is going to be. Now there will only be two assistents and Elder Farias and I will continue together. That will be fun, we will have an area now, Cantareira, which is right next door to my old area Tucuruvi. I am excited to work in my area and get to know these people. It will be great. Also my old companion, Elder J. Silva is going to be the new mission secretary and so I will be living in the same house as him and wokring with him again, that will be really awesome! I am just so grateful to be receiving so many blessings, I love speaking to so many people about Christmas and serving right now. I love this Gospel and I know that it is true. I love my Savior and I know that He suffered and died for us so that we might live again, just as He too lives. Have a great week everyone and remember to open your mouths!
Oh also I forgot to tell you a couple important details!! First I am almost positive that my Preparation Day will now be moved back to Saturday again since we will be working in the office and our area normally again and not traveling as much as we have been. So please send me emails before Saturday! It will make me really happ! Haha also I am pretty sure that we can do the following, I can start to skype you all at like 3-5 PM são paulo time! I am pretty sure that would be 10 AM to Noon in CO! I won´t be able to skype you for that long, just the normal time length, but now you can tell me what time in that period works better for you! Tell me a time and I will be on! But yeah, let´s go with that. So just tell me and I will be on then! Also, will we do skype again, that worked out well the last time.
Second we hung up the tree that you sent me mom!! I put up the ornaments and we put on appropriate christmas music and ate some food and all of the missionaries who work int he office wrote the blessings that they have on the ornaments and we hung them up! We also put up the pictures of the families of the other missionaries as well. So that is exciting, our apartment is ready now! Also Elder Farias is really psyched that he stayed with me because he wants to have the stocking that you sent mom, haha thanks! Love you all!!
Dec. 7, 2014-
Hello there my wonderful family!! Como vocês estão??? Espero que vocês estejam bem. I have had quite a wonderful week here in Sorocaba! Again! President asked Elder Farias and I to come to Sorocaba and work with the elders from the Santana Zone in the Vila Progresso area. They are two great elders that I already know really well, Elder Patterson from Murrieta California and Elder Musick from all over the place (his dad is in the military and I think he is most recently from New York). It was a great week, haha holy cow Sorocaba is hot! It has been just killer hot here but Heavenly father always gives us tender mercies of clouds or the occasional rain at night while we are sleeping. And sun screen, lots of sun screen. This week was a week of perseverance, haha unfortunately not many people felt too keen to let us in this... BUT that is ok, because we taught a lot of lessons at their front door and we were even more grateful for the great people who did let us in. One time we were speaking with a man at his front gate and he seemed pretty hesitant to talk to us, then we found out that he is from Itapeva!! I knew exactly where his old street was and everything (it´s a small city so that really isn´t that hard actually) but he really opened up and we were able to teach and testidy about the Restoration to him. We asked if we could say a prayer with him and he ask us to come in where we met the rest of his three kids! It was a great experience mainly because we invited him to say the prayer as we always do at the first lesson and he did so good. The spirit was really strong, and I think his kids enjoyed seeing their father say a prayer. It was cool. We also have been talking to EVERYONE about the new initiative the church is doing called He is the Present, or in portuguese Ele é o Presente. The church is doing it here in Brasil as well and we are really striving to tell everyone about it. We have had some really sweet experiences as we have asked people who don´t have time to just let us watch a quick video with them. It brings the spirit so strongly. We taught a man and showed him the video and the spirit was so strong in that little apartment room, he really enjoyed it and talked about how he wanted to be a better dad and husband and how he needed to really guide his family to make right choices. We also had other good experiences, one time we got at the house at 9 and the other two elders hadn´t come back yet and they had the keys so we went to do contacts around the apartments where they live. It was great, we ended up teaching and getting to know a neighbor of theirs and it was cool to see how receptive he was! Small miracles like not having the keys!
It was a really good week, we also had Mission Leadership Council, it was really good, so great to see so many friends and also to see how the missionaries help one another with the problems that we have or difficulties that we have as a mission. It was a really edifying experience! Also this last month we broke the mission record for baptisms in a month, we were really really excited.
Overally I am so grateful to be serving here. I love my mission. I know that the best thing I could be doing right now is serving a mission. I am a representative of Jesus Christ. In what other way could I be more happy during Christmas than being His servant and helping others come to know Him. I love this Gospel. I know that Christ lives. He loves us. He was born, lived a perfect life, suffered, died, and lives again, all so that we too may one day live with Him and our Heavenly Father and our families. I love being here and serving my Master. I am truly grateful to have this opportunity. Love oyu all, have a great week!!