Monday, January 13, 2014

6 Months!

Mama and Fam,

Woot woot friday marked 6 months of my mission, so that was a  cool milestone for me. Unlike the video I saw of Mike and other Elders in his mission doing a bonfire and burning a tie, I did not have any way to do that. Oh well :) This week was full of wonderful surprises and blessings that I´m so eager to share with you all! So turn up that
heat in the house (OR take a little heat from Rio, if that´s possible), grab some popcorn, and let´s go.

First off, we had a zone training last week and was finally able to get some mail since the beginning of December, which included a letter from Valerie, The christmas letter and book you sent me, a Christmas letter from the Kenneys, as well as a package that was sent in October with the second calender you sent me!! I always love getting mail and hearing from my fanclub back at home, so needless to say, I was super grateful to feel everyone´s love!! Thank you sooooo much. I still have no idea why that package took 3 months to arrive while the christmas package got here in less than one, but I´m not complaining.

There´s a missionary named Elder Fontes who was our Zone leader, but he had some sort of stroke during a zone conference we had last transfer. I didn´t want to say much about him these past few weeks because I didn´t want you all to worry too much. He was rushed to the hospital and although it seemed like he would be pretty seriously and permanently injured because of it, his physical and mental capabilities have been returning and he should be able to return back to doing missionary work soon. If you all at home could pray for him, that would be appreciated from all of us missionaries and his family.

Yesterday, I had a chance to speak in our ward´s sacrament meeting! I was the closing speaker and was left with 25 minutes to give my talk, but it turned out super well. I spoke about the importance of exercising faith and testimony with regard to sharing the gospel. I got a lot of good feedback from the members about the talk, too. Some of them said they would have never imagined me being able to do a talk in church in such short time 4 months ago when I arrived in Alcãntara, so I felt the love from the members which made me feel magical.

Unfortunately, our baptismal date for the 11th fell through with Bruno and Ranna. We´re still working really hard wioth them to prepare towards baptism, but we ran into a few speed bumps because they aren´t at home very often which makes it tough to teach them frequently. BUT a member invited to church her cousin, Nilsa, and her husband Jorge. They LOVED what they felt at church, and we taught them the Restoration shortly after. They accepted the 25th of januray to be baptized, so if all goes well, Elder Leite and I will be able to baptize two families this transfer, and help them progress and prepare towards being sealed in the temple in the future. The happiness and Joy we are experiencing is pretty dang amazing :)

Stay awesome family!!!! I´m still sweating the weight away, the new shoes are bought are doing great, and the true restored gospel of Christ will always still be true!

Elder Braun

PS On P-Days, we´re allowed to do activities as a district, and I was wondering if in the next package you send me (There´s no big rush) if you could add a frisbee so that I can play ultimate frisbee with Brazillians? I left mine at home, and the only ones that stores have here are cheap, wimpy frisbees. Thanks!!!!!

PSS I´ll look for an adapter this week so I can send photos since the one I have is still broken.

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