Monday, November 25, 2013

The "Waters" of Baptism

Baptism of Josué, Leda Maria, and Nanci (from left to right)

Hey Family!

What a great and rewarding week for Elder Leite and I. Miracles have
been happening in Alcãntara and we couldn´t be more grateful. Sorry
about the whole being alone thing without any of your kids for
thanksgiving. (Minus Noodle Poodle, of course). Is Thanksgiving even
this week? Haha being in an apartment with only Brazillians makes me
forget about stuff like that so that I don´t act all trunky and think
of home. I´ll save that only for when I´m at this LAN house writing my

Well, as the title implies, this week was blessed with some marvelous
baptisms in Alcãntara! After Elder Grow left, Elder Leite and I
started working full speed and contacted many references that we
received from the cemetery activity we did at the beginning of the
month. While many people didn´t show a whole lot of interest or gave
us wrong addresses, there were a few really good ones. We´ve been
teaching a lady  named Nanci and two of her grandkids (Josué-9 years
old and Evellyn-14 years old). Yesterday, we were able to baptize
Nanci and Josué! Evellyn really wants to, but her Dad wants  to go to
church with her a few times and receive our lessons before he will
allow her to be baptized. Although we were a little bit frustrated
about it, Elder Leite and I decided we´d try to make lemonade out of
lemons, you know? Sadly, she wasn´t able to attend the baptizm of her
cousin and grandma. I´m still not really sure why :(

ALSO we had lots of help from the members last week bringing
nonmembers to church, which has made Elder Leite and I pretty busy.
One lady named Leda Maria was seriously golden. She accepted
everything we taught and accepted our invitation to be baptized...
before we even invited her. SOOOO she was able to make that sacred
covenent yesterday as well. One thing that made yesterday pretty
stressful, though, was that our Ward Mission Leader didn´t go to
church. He didn´t tell anyone in the ward counsel about the baptisms
we had  prepared, and therefore. no one knew in the ward knew about it
 (except members we had visited and told them and whatever). SOOO We
planned the entire baptisimal service in like an hour... during
sacrament meeting, but it went well. Some members  really helped us
out and relieved us from some of the stress we were having.

Yesterday was really awesome. It was also the primary program for the
Alcãntara ward, so all of the little kiddos sang primary songs, shared
their testimonies, and taught gospel principles. Exactly the same way
it would have been don in the states.... but in portuguese. I was
asked to share a brief experience too with missionary work before my
mission during the program, and I´m pretty sure I was the only one who
had a chance to speak that wasn´t a member of the primary. what what!

There´s another American in our zone named Elder Evans who arrived
last week. He´s being trained by a Brazillian and has been having a
hard time adjusting to the language, teaching style, and overall
Brazil since he got here. He started his mission the same day as me,
but he was serving in Texas for two transfers waiting on his visa. I´ve
been trying to help  him feel a lot more comfortable in Brazil,
because  I remember how tough it was for me to adjust, and I had an
American who trained me. Being able to show that kind of support has
made me pretty excited to eventually be a trainer and to be able to
serve my companions in that same sort of way.

So yeah. WOOOOO!!! Thank you all so much for the love and prayers that
have been heading my way! The Lord really blesses his missionaries,
and I´ve been motivated to be obedient in every way, that way I can be
worthy of the blessings he has prepared for me. There´s still so much
more time left for me t o grow as a missionary, and I´m loving my time
here! But most of all, I love my Family and Friends supporting me all
thoughout my time here.

Elder Braun

PS I quoted ´´Waters´´ because this past week, I´ve been pretty dang
sick, and, well, I think you can  probably read between the lines. I haven´t
had solid poops for about a week, and I´ve  lost weight even more
rapidly. Woooooooo. Hopefully it´s nothing too serious. There´s no
Pepto Bismol here to save me :(

ME and a pato.

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