Elder Braun and Elder Evans
What a grest week Elder Evans and I had! Maricá is still beautiful and although our area is GI-FLIPPING-NORMOUS, we´re still having little miracles every day that keeps us busy and faithful. Our apartment is pretty big, with two bedrooms (in one we sleep, the other has our suitcases and closet), a spacious kitchen. and a big room where we study and dry our clothes. There´s also a balcony that over looks the highway that heads to the city´s beaches, which stays plenty busy at night. At times it´s pretty loud at night, but we´re usually to tired for it to be a big deal. The house smells... fine. Ha
It was a normal transfer, although I was pretty surprised that I left Ramos after only being there for one transfer. Elder Evans has the same time that I have on the mission, like we entered the mtc on the same day, but he was in a different zone there, so we never met eachother. He didn´t get his Visa until November last year, and he served in Houston for 3 months, so he only has 4 months in Brasil. He speaks pretty well, though. Probably better than I did at 4 months in the mission. We´ll see if I get my birthday package before my birthday this week, since we´ll have zone meeting. If it isn´t here by then, I probably won´t receive it until next month. Maybe I deserve that since I opened the Christmas package early . But if I get my birthday package this week, I´ll wait until the 18th to open it.
So I´m playing the piano in sacrament meeting!!!! Let Sister Reese know about that. It´s crazy, since it´s like an organ with two different groups of piano keys, and I never learned how to play organ, but I´m getting the hang of it. It´s old and doesn't work perfectly, but the branch asked me if I could play, I said 'kindof', and I guess in Portuguese, kindof means YES. So cool beans. They haven´t had a piano player there in years, so even though I made a few mistakes here or there, they all thanked me a lot for my talents. Those 8 years of piano lessons were totally worth it.
This week, we focused a lot of contacting references of people who were baptized in the church, fell away, and the church was able to find them again. It started out pretty tough finishing these references, since there were many that lived in areas that were 2-3 bus rides away from the church house, and many were addresses that didn´t exist.
HOWEVER, we found some awesome people this week too. There´s a lady named Rosemary and her son Fernando who were super firm members when they lived in Rio, but they moved to a community in our area called Saquarema 4 years ago. She tried to find the church building closest to her, but without a computer or members who lived closeby. she was never able to fin it. When we knocked on her door, she greeted us saying, ´´ELDERS! I´ve been praying that one day you would find me!´´ She still reads the Book of Mormon, and she was able to visit the church in Maricá yesterday. 2 bus rides is nothing for those who love this gospel.
Also, we met a man named Márcio and his wife and daughter Simone and Isabel... Dang were we so happy to meet them. Such a wonderful family. The moment that Elder Evans and I met them, they treated us like we were family, like we were already their best friends, and I already love them to death. Márcio was baptized in Alcãntara, yep my first area, 20 years ago, but because of members and the distance required to travel there, he found himself becoming less active after about a year. He now has a pretty big role in a different church, but said that since God sent us to his front door step, God must have sent Elder Evans and I for a purpose for him and his family. Márcio was baptized before he met his wife simone, and their 17 years old daughter Isabel instantly accepted the Restauration and are reading the Book of Mormon. They even told us that the day we met them, Márcio´s mom, Rosimar who we are also teaching, was praying that God would bless their family, and they interpreted our visit to be that exact answer!! Haha God works in mysterious, yet wonderful ways.
Anyway, we´re finding wonderful families every day and working super hard to help them accept this restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End. I´m loving every second of it! I love you all and the support I receive from you.
1) Elder Evans and I being bosses with our most powerful tools.
2) The piano/organ we use in the church house.