Sounds like new years at home was a ginormously spectacular, grand ol time. New years here in Alcãntara was pretty cool as well. Everyone in Rio usually goes to a beach to ring in the new year, and there´s usually a cool fireworks show, but clearly, we didn´t do that. We live on the 6th floor of our apartment building and had a pretty good view of all the fireworks in both our area and the area of the other two elders (Called Trindade). Although fireworks here aren´t as fancy and colorful like in the states, and they mostly sound like gunshots and bombs and stuff, it was still pretty cool.
As far as those packages go, I haven´t received anything since the Christmas packages, but this Wednesday we have zone training, which is when I should receive mail and boxes. I´m glad to know you received the SD Card!!! There´s not really a huge rush, but when you get a chance, I´d like it if you returned it back to me that way I can send the next one home.
This week had some pretty good progression in Alcãntara, with a great big increase in our group of people to teach. In the past couple weeks, we had been teaching the same people without finding anyone new, but this week has definitely changed a bit. Two families that we´ve been teaching (Bruno & Ranna and Fernando & Grace) were both able to make it to church yesterday for the first time! Bruno and Ranna have actually been to church many times in the past, but not since we´ve been teaching them. Ranna has many relatives who are members of the church, and they already know just about everything there is to know about the organization of everything. We´re working really hard with them to have a testimony of the Book of Mormon and understand WHY God would call Joseph Smith to restore the true Gospel of Christ in this dispensation. Since their legally married (Miracle!), we had marked the 11th of January for their baptism date (this Saturday), and we´re praying super super hard that they´ll be ready. They are already living the commandments, so hopefully all will go well this week for them.
The Temperature on Friday broke some sort of record in Rio for how hot it was. Some members told us that it got up to 49 degrees celcius, but to me it just felt like I was taking a bath in the core of the flipping sun. That was a pretty tough day, especially since everyone and their dog decided to go to the beach, so no one was available to
teach. I have never sweated so much in my life, but woohoo the weight keeps on dropping. Lots of people have made make-shift showers in the streets, so lots of people go out in their bathing suits and... well,
take showers to cool off from the weather. Last night, it was so hot that all four of us moved our beds to the balcony of our apartment and slept outside intead of in our stuffy rooms.
The teaching has been improving, We´re starting to get a lot more references from members and other missionaries, so we´re keeping busy. I love you all and the wonderful support I receive from you all back at home. Unfortunately, my SD Card adapter stopped working, so until I find a new one, I am unable to send home anyphotos through email :( Just look at the ones you have now and imagine a slightly tanner
(maybe a little burnt), skinnier version of me. Tchau, minha amada família!!!