Another great week for Elder Grow and I... and Elder Rogesson. Huh? Confused? I´ll get there. Grab the popcorn. This letter gets pretty exciting. But like I said, I´ll get there. Thank you Ryan for the great letter this week! I love being informed about the happenings going on in everyne´s family back at home, so it was very much appreciated. It´s kind of funny... I don´t even remember sending you guys a letter, so it must of been a long time ago and I can´t even think about what I would have wrote about. Thanks for updating me on the happenings with some of my friends, Mom! I really appreciated it, even if there were some that I might not have been too happy to hear about, but I digress. Also, what´s up with the US Government? Stuff being shut down and what not? I hope that doesn´t affect the missionaries waiting on visas. I´ve still got some buddies from my district at Provo who are waiting, and it´d be cool to see them soon. Elder Hamilton just arrived last week, and he´s in the zone next to me! I haven´t seen him yet, but It shoud happen at zone conference or our next training. Also, Sister Colvin, the sister from Spokane, arrived last week too. WOOHOO!
Conference was so awesome!!! We attended it with all the missionaries and members in the stake at the church building next to where we live. Everyone (except the misssionaries) showed up late for the first session, including the stake president, so there wasn´t time to set up a tv in another room for Elder Grow, me, and another American missionary to watch it in english. So themorning session was all in Portuguese for the people here. It was fine, but I had to focus reeeeeeeeeeally hard to be able to understand. The rest of the sessions we were able to watch in English. Great to hear the actual voices of our prphet and apostles in the native tongue. I noticed a lot lot lot about members helping the missionaries out. We could certainly use more help from the members here in Alcântara, so we´re making it a goal to involve them more with us and invite them to invite others to share the Gospel!!!!! Fun stuff. It makes me wish I could have helped the missionaries in the home ward more. I tried too whenever they asked me, but I could have done a much better job seeking out to help them out with whatever they needed. I´m hoping that yáll can try to follow the counsel of our church leaders and ask how you all can help the missionaries. Once I get home, I´ll certainly try my best to do that. Overall, wonderful conference, I was pretty devastated for it to end, and it sounds like following twitter was fun too.
So this week was super different and exciting than expected. It was the first week of tranfers, so one of the elders from the area that shares the apartment with us left and was replaced by another brazillian. It´s kinda weird though, because the new elder in our apartment, Elder D. Silva (Deangeles Silva) and I are already friends on facebook... Before my mission, I joined a facebook group with other missionaries serving in Rio, and I remember a random Brazillian who added me as a friend who I accepted. It turns out it was him!
Now for the exciting part... one elder in our zone (Elder McGregor) had appendecitus (Spelling fail) and had to go to the hospital. While he was there, his companion, Elder Rogesson, slept in the hospital over night. It turned out that Elder McGregor had something way worse than just Appendicytus (here we go again...), and had to stay there for some other emergency surgeries. SO, Elder Rogesson joined Elder Grow and I this past week ( through ) in Alcântara. We had a tripla, and because Elder Rogesson is Brazillian, I was able to learn mmuch much more Português. , Elder Grow stayed with Elder McGregor in the Hospital (I´m still not sure why) all day, and I joined Elder Rogesson in his area, Apolo, to teach his investigators. I learned that Elder Rogesson was a professional soccer player in Europe and played for a team in Milan, Italy. He played against teams like Manchester, Barcelona, Chelsea, and other teams over there. He only played for abot 8 months, though, and decided serving a mission was more important than playing professional soccer. Pretty dang inspiring for me that his faith was so strong to give up a career so noteworthy to serve the Lord as a missionary. He had an emergency transfer and will be with a newcompanion now. Elder Mcgregor only has a little under two transfers left, so he´ll finish up his mission in the secretary´s office.
As far as teaching goes, Elder Grow and I decided we need to find more new people to teach. Many of our investigators were either to hard to get a hold of, not keeping commitments, or are just waiting on getting married. Sadly, we cut ones, and left them in the area book for missionaries of the future of Alcântara to try and visit and finish up their teaching when they are ready. We were able to teach lots of new people from contacts we´ve been doing the past few weeks, and even have the date September 20th marked for baptism for a man named Edilson and his sister Solange. They loved our first lesson and the Spirit really testified the truthfullness of the Book of Mormon. Plus, neither of them live with someone out of wedlock. Two birds, one stone. Lots of teaching and opportunities to develop more confidence in the language. I couldn´t be more blessed!
I hope everyone back at home has the opportunity to reflect on the wonderful messages that were delivered at General Conference. I, myself, received a personal witness that our prophet, Thomas S. Monson, truly is a prophet of God, and has the divine keys of our Heavely Father to teach unto his children the needs to return to his presence again. I truly can´t wait until our next General Conference in 6 months. Maybe next time there´ll be an exciting new temple somewhere :) I love you all, love this work, and couldn´t be happier for all my Lord has blessed me with!
Sorry folks for not getting a picture with Elder Rogesson this week :( Next time I see him, I won´t hesitate to get it.