My Dearest Family,
I love so much hearing about the wonderful experiences you´ve all had in DC and other historic church sites. No, I am not jealous at all. Ok, maybe a little. But I´m still happy for you all. Mike sent a touching and nice letter about an experience he had from his mission. Thanks a bunch! I want to write you back, but this dinosaur computer is having enough problems writing this email, and the time we have is short.
This past week, Pres. Lima (Now known as Elder Lima since he´s an area seventy now) returned to his home in Manaus, and our new Mission President and his wife arrived! Their names are Pres and Sister Cabral. I haven´t met them personally yet, butwe will have a zone conference and we´ll be able to meet them.
With the World cup in full motion, and Brazil in the quarterfinals, everyone´s excited and talking about it. I hear there was overtime in their game against Chile. While we had weekly planning during the game, all of our neighbors were shouting and screaming and cheering and showing feelings of dissapointment, but ended with lots of screaming and fireworks. Good luck topping how much fireworks this week atin Wyoming. But even with all this craziness, Elder Inácio and I have had lots of tender mercies and blessings.
This past week, our companionship strived to reach our key indicators.... those of you who have served missions probably know what I´m talking about. Our mission has a standard of excellence that has been something pretty tough for most elders (12 lessons w/memb, 20 new invest., 210 street contacts, ect), but together as a district, we were determined to reach it. Elder Inácio and I taught so many new people, we ran out of book of Mormons and restoration pamphlets! We had 15 investigators that said they would come to church, and we did tons of planning that way eah and every one of them would be there (Callingnight, morning, passing by their houses, inviting members to visit them, TUDO), and even though we only had 3 of them at church yesterday, I felt satisfied knowing that we worked our hardest this week so that every child of God would have a chance to hear our messege of the restored gospel of Christ.
One of these investigators was a man named João, whose wife is a less active member of the church. Our branch President invited her to provide lunch for us every, and we´ve been able to get to know them really well. We found out that Ana and her daughter used to help the missionaries a looong time ago a ton with references and teaching investigators. We´ve been singing hymns every time we´re at their house and they love it. João wants to be baptized, but they aren´t married, and after reading the Family: a Proclamation to the world with them, they´ve committed to get married! They´re progressing very well, and we couldn´t be happier. We´ve already talked about temples and being sealed for time and all eternity is one of their greatest desires.
Elder Inácio and I also met a lady named salomé who went to churchand seemed to really enjoy it. She´s always had lots of questions about religion, and loved how we had an answer for every single one of them. We´re working really close with her and her kids to receive and recognize an answer from the Holy Ghost that this is the true church of Christ.
I´m still playing the organ in our branch´s sacrament meetings and I´m getting way better! Us 4 elders sang a special musical number, Joseph Smith´s first prayer. It was sooooooooo awesome. We sang the first two verses in English, during the first half of the third verse, three of us hummed the music while Elder Carvalho recounted the words from the first vision, and we sang the rest in Portuguese. Many of the sisters there were crying, and the spirit was super strong. I was able to give another talk in the branch, and I´m happy to see that things are really starting to change in the branch. When I arrived, the attendance was around 25, and we had an attendance of 47 yesterday!
I love you all and I love this work. I´ve bult up a wonderful trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and his atoning sacrifice that he paid for each and every one of us. I love you all!