How was your week?
So so so good. It was the best week of my mission!
Did you have baptisms this week?
Yes, 5 of them!
When are the next transfers?
They were today. I´ll explain below.
Did you get some shoes?
Not yet, but I might try to get some today.
We just wrapped up one of the best weeks of my mission. Two beautiful weddings and 5 baptisms. The mission President came to the weddings and the baptisms and gave me a big hug after. Then he ended up coming to church yesterday and talking in the new members/investigators class. He testified to all of them about the importance of only one true church. [I have 1,000,000 photos of the weddings and baptisms, so you´ll be able to experience it all when you get the next camera card. I sent one like 3 weeks ago with a letter for dad, so let me know when you get that.]
Everything went so so well and Bishop did a great job with the marriages. I baptized the mom of the Power Rangers, Luciana, and Anderson. Elder Lopes baptized Angelica, Bruna, and Gustavo. We did a ton of running around to get it all good to go. We got to the chapel on Saturday morning at 7 to start setting up and getting the water heated up. It was such a special day, lots and lots of tears. Then Sunday was Fast Sunday. Luciana got up and bore her testimony and left all of the members bawling. Anderson also got up and spoke and told his testimony. I was the last one to talk because little Bruna came to the back where I was sitting and asked me to go up on the stand with her. I pulled the little step out for her and she gave a testimony that just left the spirit so strong for me to give the last testimony. I testified about families and how these two families just entered the path that will lead to eternity.
The husband, Cristiano, isn´t quite ready yet, but he will be baptized soon enough. There were 52 investigators at the weddings. And almost half of them live inside or close to my area. President pulled me and Elder Sol into a separate room with all of them afterwards and we taught the restoration. It was so cool to be able to teach with him. I was so nervous until today, just thinking about the transfer. I LOVE this area with all my heart. It would have killed me to leave them. Elaine, the one from Sao Paulo, is my second mom in Brazil, for sure. She even called and told President to leave me here. We had about 120 people at church on Sunday. That was a true miracle for this ward.
Today has been really hectic because the cell phones aren´t working so we´ve had to find people and basically all of the missionaries have been huddling in the mission office waiting for the transfer. We just left there a few minutes ago. While we were there President came out and pulled me into his office. We talked for about 20 minutes, I will be the District Leader for the biggest district in the mission, and I´ll be training a new missionary who I don´t even know yet. He gets here on Wednesday so I´ll be sticking with Elder Sol til then because he is also going to train. He´s going crazy! He´s excited and nervous at the same time because he doesn´t think that he´s ready. I´m excited for him. President told me that he doesn´t think I´ll be staying in this area for too much longer.
We have baptized more people, 20, in the last 4 months than any other district in the mission. And that´s just me and my companion! Our district has baptized 54, which is more than any other zone in the mission. There are 14 missionaries in my district.
We have an investigator, Marco that gave a really good testimony during our Sunday school class. He talked with President Parrela for like a half an hour afterwards. He will give the papers in for marriage either this week or next week. He said he´s been studying an hour to two hours a day the doctrine. He is awesome! We´ve got another family. Tiago and Tatiane. We re-activated him and she told us that she received her answer and knows that this church is true. They´re going to put their marriage papers in this week as well. We had a lesson this last week at Marco´s house and he invited all of his military friends to listen. We brought 3 members who work in the same branch of the military as him with us. So it was a fantastic lesson. There are some members that live by him that he´s been bringing to church with him each week in his car. His wife, Claudia doesn´t really want to accept anything right now, but she hasn´t been keeping him from doing so.
Oh! So we ended up having the baptism for little Gustavo on Saturday night. The wedding and everything else was in the morning til about 2 in the afternoon. He was SO scared while there were all of the people watching that he just wouldn´t be baptized. He cried and cried. President Parrela tried everything that he could to help the little guy but he wouldn´t do it. We went to their house later that night and he said ´´vou me batizar amanha!´´ [I am going to get baptized tomorrow morning!”] we told him that that wouldn´t work, so we´d go put hot water in the font right then. A few hours later we had the baptism for the little guy. He´s a cute little guy. He´s the one sitting in the chair in the picture behind President Parrela. He was TICKED the whole wedding.
Our ward mission leader is helping a lot with our work and ran around all of the process with us. Bishop and his wife helped both of the wives get their hair all ready and all the make-up stuff going. The wives both got to the wedding an hour and 20 minutes late. Apparently it´s normal for the wife to come late? I dunno cuz I´ve never seen a wedding haha. I was the designated pianist for the weddings. I played some hymns to keep everyone quiet, then two separate romantic songs as each bride walked in. Everyone loved it. Sister Parrela gave me a hug afterwards. Next week I´ll have to describe to you all about my new comp because he´s still in the MTC in Sao Paulo. Elder Sol will train an American.
I´m doing well and I´m happy. I´m excited to go and buy some new shoes and retire these old ones. I love you all very very much. I am so grateful for you and for the family that we have. We´ll be together forever, there is no doubt in my mind about that. My testimony of that grew more and more this past weekend.
Have a great week! Be safe!