Hey, thanks for all of the news and stuff! It sounds like a super cool opportunity that you had to go on that cruise! Did you speak Spanish with a lot of people on the ship? How is your health doing after such a long and crazy adventure? The other day I learned about a bunch of Nephite stuff that some archeologists found and now I want to go to the Mayan ruins and look for Nephites. Ha! I definitely want you to send some more pictures next week. Thank you for what you already sent! So, my letter may be a little short cuz I´m beat tired, so here goes!
To begin answering your questions: Guilherme is doing super good, but doesn´t have his call yet so I don´t know where he is going, but today I got a letter from Ryan; or rather, Elder Chadburn, he is doing great! Noite branca was the idea of Elder Ayres to finish off his mission. He and Presidente put it all together on his last week. The mighty Elder Ayres is now mission dead and gone. The new assistant is named Elder R. Santos and I hardly know him at all yet because we´ve been traveling all week. President loved the noite branca and for sure we will do it again! Yes, I carry my pillow with me. I am getting super good at living out of a suitcase!
About the ward news, tell Holly congratulations! Also I didn´t know that Kelsey and Karissa sent in their papers! Congratulations to them too! Woohoo!
So, this week:
As you know we got back from Maringá late Sunday night and had the noite branca. Monday we had to go into the mission office and prepare everything for the transfers that happened this week. We made a whole bunch of training materials for the new missionaries arriving. The only bummer is that this time we had 16 missionaries leaving the mission and only 4 arriving, so we lost a few warriors, but the ones we have a great!
We got home and taught a few lessons that night and found this super awesome family that has already been to church several times and everyone dances capoeira! I want to learn how to do that! Tuesday we got up and like 5 in the morning to go to the airport and receive all of the new missionaries. We had a nice little meeting with them and ate lunch with Presidente. After that we had a meeting with Presidente and got sent to Foz do Iguaçu. We left that night at about 10:30 and arrived earlier in the morning, Wednesday. That first day we worked with the Zone leaders and found a super miracle! We taught a family they had who is preparing to be baptized, but has to get married first, and then afterwards taught her next door neighbor, who turned out to be the sister of the Mom and her son had already been participating in the church for years unnoticed! He was living all the commandments and agreed to be baptized Sunday! Jumping ahead in the story a little bit, Sunday was about 45 degrees. Suuuper cold here and the heater in the baptismal font was broken. Elder Pinho who baptized him said afterwards he couldn´t feel his legs for hours, but the boy (Alisson 12 years old) was so excited to be baptized he said he didn´t even feel cold. His Mom cried the whole meeting through and is preparing to be baptized this week!
Thursday we had district meeting and it was good except that it started raining a whole ton ton ton ton. Crazy insane Brazilian rain that never stops. We went on divisions to a ward called Itaipu that needed a little help. The problem was I forgot my rain jacket in Londrina and from our house you had to walk about 1 1/2 hours just to get to the area. I “borrowed” an old forgotten umbrella that someone forgot in the chapel, but about 15 minutes out, in rained so hard it literally beat my umbrella completely to pieces. When we arrived at our first appointment I looked like I had taken a nice swim in the Waterfalls of Iguaçu! We passed by a members house and when she saw us she just started laughing about how ridiculous we looked. Out of the kindness of their hearts they loaned me a new shirt and rain jacket and made us grilled cheese sandwiches :) We taught this awesome family of 4 who received and answer that the church is true and will be baptized this week! The next day continued to rain para carumba and Elder Thiago had the great idea to wear socks, covered by plastic bags, covered by other socks. It worked surprisingly well, although it didn´t smell too good afterwards... That day we found two more people to be baptized next week and managed to teach 8 lessons even though it was raining like the day after tomorrow. WE taught a super spiritual lesson where the father of a family of 10 asked us to give a blessing to every single one of his children. The spirit was super strong and it was a great experience. The members in Foz are super super awesome. Saturday we did some baptismal interviews and other miracles happened.
One of the Sisters suddenly got super super sick and had to be taken to Londrina for treatment (she’s doing better now) but with the help of the Elders from the same ward the still managed to baptized and man in a wheelchair who they had been teaching! Yeah! Sunday we had the baptisms of Alisson like I said above and also a son of a less-active named Erike back in our ward in Londrina was baptized and his family is coming back to the church. Whoo hoo! Hurray for Israel. Sunday night we got back on the bus at 10:00 and headed back to Londrina. The only exciting thing that happened was that the Brazilian army stopped our bus and searched everybody for drugs. That doesn´t happen every day! We got back here about 6:00 AM and I am going to turn off my cell phone and sleep all P-day.
Mom, I love you a whole bunch. Don’t let sad thoughts take over, just remember that you rock. I know that Christ broke the bands of death and hell for us. I know we have a living prophet in our day. I know the Book of Mormon is true and that the priesthood has incredible power. Até mais!
-Elder Iron Man
P.S. Let me know who it is that knows President Tavares! That would be super cool!