I look forward to the package coming my way! I sent one to yáll in Spokane, I think, so we´ll have to see which country has faster shipping.
Lots of fun adventures here, and perhaps if you were able to understand the title, transfers are this week! There´s a few big changes for me as a result, including a NEW COMPANION. That´s right, as of, I won´t be companions with Elder Grow anymore. It´s pretty mixed felings for me. He had a ton of experience as a missionary and it was super nice haviing an american companion, but it´s time for a lot more..... well, Brazil. My new companion´s name is Elder Leite (which translates to Milk. Braun Milk. Brown Milk. Haha), and I´m super excited to have him as my companion. He was in my district my first transfer and I even had a chance to have a division with him. He was the first missionary I had a division with in my mission, and he is a super nice guy. I think he started his mission in April, so we both don´t have a ton of time total. Another super cool fact about him: He was the other missionary that Elder Grow trained! There´s kind of a weird tradition where missionaries call their trainer their dad, and since Elder Leite and I have the same dad, we´re brothers! I´ll be staying in Alcântara, so they haven´t seen the last of me! Elder Grow is going to a place called Caxias, much closer to the center of Rio.
To answer your questions (Mom), I´m not sure the exact number of members (baptized) in our ward (and it is a ward, not a branch) but we usually have a little over 100 members show up each week. Not too much compared to back at home, but enough. Taking showers is still super ghetto here (plugging our showerinto an electrical outlet) but as the weather has gotten hot, I´ve learned to forget about it. Cold showers might be the best thing ever after a hot day of lots of walking and teaching. Our neighborhood isn´t too bad, I think. We live in an apartment complex on the top floor, so I´m never worried about getting robbed or anything. our apartment is next to the center of Alcãntara, so sometimes it gets a little loud at night, especially on the weekends, but I´ve gotten used to it. I´m usually to tired to notice.
This week was Elder Grows birthday, so Me and the two other missionaries in our apartment made him a dessert called parfait. It´s pretty much like a layered pudding cake. Pictures will be included. We also went to the house of a recently baptised family (one week before I arrived) and they had a nice little party thingy for him. I think I´ve talked about them a bit. Aguinalda and Rogerio. They´re the best. One goofy little thingy that has been happening recently... My socks are all getting close to having holes in them, or they already do. Cadaca I should have expected it with all the walking we do, so I´ll be planning on trying to find some more soon.
This week, Elder Grow and I were working on contacting people and references from the activity we had in the cemetery last week. We also received references to contact from mormon.org and calls that people had made to the church headquarters (pass-along cards and what-not). We were able to teach a lot of new people, and families, so hopefully we´ll be able to have more progressing investigators for Elder Leite and I. It has been pretty tough lately being able to teach our current investigators. A big problem that we have is that we´ll mark a date to teach them ,and when we stop by. nobody´s home. We have a cell phone that we can use, but each companionship is given a few amount of credits each mont which we have to use to confirm lunch appointments with members, call investigators, and so on. We only get 25ish calls, so we can´t call people as much as we´d like.
I finally was able to recieve mail since last month, and got wonderful letters from Valerie, Bryan Holly and Heidi, and The Beehives from the Sullivan Ward. Those letters were truly all that and a bag of chips, and just what I needed to lift up my spirits and keep on working, even if success hasn´t been coming as much as we would like. I´ll plan on writing letters(since today has been pretty busy) for all yáll.
Memories are being made and prayers are definitely being answered. I love this mission. I love this Gospel. And I love you all!
Here´s another picture of Rogerio, Elder Grow, Me,
and an awesome young convert member of the ward, Feyness