Hey there, Mom and Fam,
It´s been a great week for Elder Grow and I. Truly for sure. I guess all of the banks in Brazil (or maybe just Rio) were on Strike against the Government. It didn´t really affect us too much, and although I´m not really sure why it happened, there was some small riots in downtown Rio. I think it finished today though, whatever the problem was. HEY, I received the package you sent to São Paulo!! I was so surprised it arrived. I considered it a lost cause, but the ties and calender you sent arrived to son safe and sound, even if it took a little over 2 months to get here.
So I was studying in the New Testament a little bit this week, and was reading in Acts. I came across a really cool scripture, so cool that I think I want to make it my lema, or motto for my mission. If yáll want to look it up, it´s in Acts 6:8. Voçês vão gostar. You´ll see why I like it so much. One of the churchs next to where we live writes their own newspaper, usually with a bunch of articles attacking other churchs and celebrities and people who aren´t members of their church and what not. There was an article about Taylor Swift titled , ´´This is for the weak´´, Obviously in portuguese. It was talking about how she has ruined the definition of strong relationships because of the songs she writes and how she uses men to have a career. Needless to say, I didn´t like it... like at all.
As far as portuguese goes, I feel like I get more and more comfortable with speaking each and every day. Understanding people is still something I need to work on more, since so many people here have different accents and dialects, but my testimony of prayer and patience has difinitely been tested and grown as a result of it. Missions are tough, but I know through the help of my Father in heaven and the atoning sacrifice of his beloved son, Jesus Christ, I can withstand any trials that are placed in my life.
Elder Grow and I have had a tough time finding new investigators this past week. We have lots of references from contacts that missionaries in other areas did, as long as our own contacts, but people are almost never at home when we visit, even when they say they´ll be available. It makes it tough for us since we walk everywhere that we visit, so we have to plan really well to visit every house that is close to each other each day.
HOWEVER, we had a nice little miracle happen this week. Thursday night, Elder Grow and I decided to visit a couple (Leonardo and Adriana) that we had been teaching. They were attending church every week when I first arrived in Alcântara, but because Leonardo got another job, he wasn´t able to go to church anymore. Adriana didn´t want to go to church without him, and since he was never home because of his two jobs except to sleep, they became disanimated to get married, even though they still wanted to be baptized. Anyway, we visited them after not having stopped by for a few weeks, and Leonardo was back to only having one job. We taught a great lesson about commandments and they expressed how willing they are to get married and baptized! We´ll be working with the Bishop and Ward mission leader to have them married and baptized the 26th this month and have them confirmed on the 27th. Elder Grow and I are super excited for them and love seeing their faith.
I love you all so much! Mom, you are seriously a blessing in my life. I couldn´t be more happy to have you as my loving mother, supporting me all thoughout my mission and sending me lovely packages with a wonderful calender and goofy ties (One has a letter to bryan written on the inside, i found out). Keep me in your prayers as I strive to spread the Lords work to everyone here in Alcântara!
Here´s a photo with one of the priests in our world. His name is Feynner and he´s always willing to acompany us with our teaching and visits.