Monday, July 7, 2014

Families and Birthdays!

Me and Elder Bitnoff, one of the Elders from my district in the MTC. His first area in Brazil is Ramos, 
my second area! He arrived about a month ago... 11 months after he started his mission.


What a wonderful week it sounds like you´ve all had. I can see Natalie has certainly taken in some of the Brazillian culture in her life, wearing shorts that almost don´t exist (watch yourself, missy). It sounds like these past few weeks were a blast, and although I would have loved to be in Star Valley celebrating with everyone back at home, there´s no other place I´d rather be than right here in Maricá.

We met our new mission president last Friday, which was an awesome experience. President Cabral is definitely a powerful man, and as stake president in Fortaleza, he had so much growth that the stake he was leading divided 2 times. 

I´m pleased to say that my week was quite swell as well. Thursday (July 3rd) was Elder Inácio´s birthday, so I made him a cake that ended up kind of being brownies. I´ve lately fallen in the habit of forgetting to take pictures of cool things that I see or do, so unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of it and I´m realizing that right now. Drats. 

Saturday was one of our investigators birthdays, so we went to her party she had to say hi and wish her happy birthday. It´s the same investigator that works for one of the city representatives campaign (Vanda), and she invited us to leave a short message with everyone at the party! Golden! We shared with everyone a breif message about the Book of Mormon and how blessed we are to have the fullness of the gospel restore through the words of our beloved prophets with the book. Lots of people were interested and Vanda shared her testimony of the Book of Mormon with them. What a party! Vanda is progressing really well, but because of her work duties, she still has not been able to come to church. Luckily, she went to a relief society activity last week, met some of the sisters there, and instantly started to be friends with them. 

We recently reactivated a part member family, where the mom is a member and the dad isn´t, they have a daughter who is a member, but her husband isn´t. Ana and João (the mom and dad) have already committed to stay firm in the church, we´re working really hard for them to get married now. Juliana and Marlo (the daughter and her husband) also came to church, and it was Marlo´s first time. He loved it! Since he works in the Army, during the World Cup, he´s been working a ton (14 days in a row, away from his family), but after the world cup, he´ll be back at home like normal, and we´re super excited to help prepare him for baptism!!!! :) !!!!

This month is ´´Missionary Work Month´´ in the branch, with lots of activities and such planned for the members to get more involved with missioanry work and helping the elders. This Saturday, there´s a huge activity planned, and that morning, they will be working with us, knocking allllllll of the doors close to the church and inviting everyone to the activity.

We also have another investigator who came to church for the first time yesterday, Shirlei, who has a son who´s a member in Rio. She loved it, had lots of questions answered by the members, and even offered to help out with the activity this Saturday by making a cake to share. I mean, I won´t complain or anything. 

I´ve learned a LOT these past few weeks about love and charity. With transfers next week, I´m trembling with the thought that I might be transferred. Elder Inácio and I are building a great rhythm together, and we´re starting to get great results in Maricá. I feel like my work here is only beginning, and the love I have for everyone in this area is incredible. I love this work and the gratifying feeling I get from planning and teaching with all the power of the Spirit I´m capable to harness.

Elder Braun

Elder Inácio and I after a lesson with Ana and João

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