How do the people dress there?
Normal like there. Some wear cowboy clothing, just like you see it in the movies.
Do you have some lady's who are like your moms in Rosario?
for sure. there are a couple, but not like i had in the last area.
How did this week go?
Very well. My investigators are coming along very nicely.
Do people decorate for Christmas?
Kinda, but it´s really weird seeing everyone with Christmas lights and Christmas trees because it is so hot here. They all have snowy decorations, yet no one has ever seen snow before. So just a little different.
Has Elder Mason been able to work or has he still been layed up?
Yeah he went out and worked this week. He´s looking fine now.
Are you able to get out and do some exercise and work out a bit?
Eh, if you count resting my body and my eyes and doing exercise in my dreams as exercising then yes! haha
Do you wash/iron your own clothing or do you have someone that does that for you?
Yes we do all of that on our own. It´s really not a hassle though.
You had an old beater washer/dryer in your last apt.. did you just take those with you?
Yes we have an older washer. Then we just hang the stuff out to dry. It´s so hot though that usually it dries in an hour or so.
|Joao Marcelo and Jessica behind Carson kneeling, and Party after their baptism|
|Joao Marcelo, Jessica with their mother Mariza, Elder Avelar left and Elder Shepherd|
This week went by really fast, but we had quite a bit of success. We had our baptisms for Joao Marcelo and Jessica on Saturday! It was so great. I attached a photo of them and then the party we had in the chapel afterwards. Sorry for not emailing yesterday, all of our emails were shut down til about 7:30, but I had a family night set up, so I couldn´t come back to email. There were SO many people at the baptism. We spent a lot of the week inviting people and getting the branch excited about the missionary work. We had about the same amount of people there as we normally have at church on Sundays, so it was a large success. These two will be awesome in the church. They both have already said that they want to serve missions. The mom in the picture is Mariza, she is Joao Marcelo´s mom. Jessica lives with them as well, but she is Mariza´s niece. Sorry the photo was taken on my companion´s camera, so the quality isn´t super good. My camera died and I forgot to recharge it the night before, so I just had to pass all of the photos over to my card. We are really seeing a lot of progress here in the branch. My first Sunday the attendance was 42, then this Sunday we are all the way up to almost 70. So people are really getting excited about missionary work.
There was only 1 baptism in my branch all of 2011, and has only been 4 this year until now. We baptized those two on Saturday, and this Saturday we have two more that will be baptized and then next Saturday we have 1 that´s ready to go. So we are seeing a lot of success right now, relying heavily on Heavenly Father. We are doing our part, and His promise is that He´ll do His. This next Saturday we have the baptisms for Rogerio and Junema. She is Rogerio´s mother-in-law. Rogerio will be legally married this Friday, then baptized on Saturday. His wife, Loriane, was baptized some 5 months ago when they were separated. It´s amazing what the gospel has brought into their lives. They got back together because of it, and now they are getting married. We have another couple, Vanderlei and Mari, that will be married legally on the 21st of December, and baptized on the 22nd. So right now everything seems really far apart, but that´s how it goes when no one wants to get married in this blasted city. It cost 22 bucks to get married here, but costs almost a thousand to get a divorce. So everyone gets scared because of that. Right now we are really focusing on incomplete families. So we´ve really been helping them out. That was President´s counsel to me last week when he came and gave us our monthly interviews. I´ve been trying to focus on the heads of the families, because if they come, the whole family comes. It has been working really well.
Sounds like Thanksgiving went well. Tell grandma Frome thank you! and tell grandma and grandpa Shepherd thank you! If people want to do presents, just have them give you money and put it into my account. It´ll be much easier and won´t have to worry about shipping anything expensive. Tthen i can just get things here that I need! I never buy things right off of my card, I go to a bank and just pull it.
We have been passing a lot of members and inviting them to do visits with us. So that is really helping our investigators make friends in the church as well. I hate how fast time goes by during the days sometimes. I feel like I have so much to do in so little time. Last night we had a way fun family night. It was with Jurema and all of her kids. So there was like 20 people there total. When we got there it all seemed tense, so we started the night as quick as possible. No one really sang the hymns with us, so I decided I’d change up the message I was going to give. I gave a message about the four principles of happiness: Faith, hope, charity, and love.
Boy did that change the mood. I asked everyone what they were most grateful for; they all responded that it was their family. Then I explained how each principle leads to the next one, and that we can´t have love for our family members without the other 3. It got everyone thinking. Then I ended the message on that note. We did some jokes and got everyone laughing after that. We played some ``magic`` tricks to get all of the kids laughing. I love little kids. so much.
I think that they think I´m an alien or something; I´m like a giant white creature to them. ha-ha. I ran around and played tag with like 10 little kids as my companion talked with the adults. Then we ate some treats and left. I made two giant chocolate cakes (on orders from Jurema. ha-ha). It was a really fun night. I’m excited for their special days on Friday and Saturday! I´ll send pictures of the wedding and baptism next week. This week should be really good as well. We´ve got several key appointments set up, and they will all be baptismal committing lessons. The worst thing someone can say is `no, not right now``. Thank you for all of your love and support! I love it. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and blew lots of money on Black Friday!!! Talk to you next week. The church is true.