Pedros baptism with members and missionaries from the Maricá branch present.
Me and my old companion, Elder Inácio.
Alright, I apoligize for the 2 day delay in sending this email. These past two days were... well, crazy. It´s a miracle that president let us send this short email on Wednesday. Pretty much, we had transfersand I got TRANSFERRED. I was actually pretty devastated to hear that I was leaving Maricá. I´ll explain why a little bit later. Anyway, I got transferred to an area called Bangu which means I´m back in Rio. Bangu is known as the hottest place in Rio, and with summer just around the corner, I´m ready to sweat all my weight away. Again :) Bangu is pretty close to the other area I passed in Rio, Ramos, but it´s in a different stake. I´ll also be white-washing this area, which means that the two elders that were here before got transferred and me and my companion were put here to do work. There haven´t been baptisms here for a long time, and the attendance had been dropping, so we´ve got lots of work to do that way this ward can become stronger, and more children of God can receive this wonderful message we share.
My companions name is Elder Silva. He´s pretty new in the mission (3 months), and I´m excited to work with him. He´s from Recife in Brazil. He´s got a really big heart and love for this gospel, and although his knowledge isn´t super big of the doctrine we teach, we´re excited to get some work done here!
Sooooo General conference was awesome! I was able to watch it in my first chapel that I served, Alcantara! The Maricá branch also had a baptism during conference! The other dupla baptized a man named Pedro, and he´s a very humble, but incredible man. During conference, I was impressed about how many general authorities talked about the importance of supporting and following the prophet. I feel like with all the problems the world is passing, both spiritual and physical, we need the guidance of a servant of God more than ever to help us overcome all of these trials that we as members of the church of Jesus Christ pass through. I did listen to elder Godoy´s talk in Portuguese, which was pretty fun. The rest, I watched with the rest of the American elders in our zone in English.
Maricá seriously was super hard to leave behind. I´ve said this many times before, but I really really love the people there. Both members of the church and non-members. Being back in Rio these past 2 days has been very tough on me, but I know that it´s all in the Lord´s hands. I hope I can just forget about myself and get to work. But our last week in Marica was FULL of miracles.
Remember Marlon and Juliana? Out of nowhere, Marlon wanted us to have lunch with him and his family. After we ate and we asked to leave a message with them, I asked Marlon what he felt he needed to do to follow the example of Jesus Christ more in his life. He said that he felt he needed to be a better example for his kiddos and be baptized, and we were like, "Hey that´s a good idea, buddy" So we taught him a bit more and he´s getting baptized! I won´t be able to attend the baptism... But at least I had time to say goodbye to them S and thank them for the wonderful experiences I´ve had teaching them. They said they have to be the first family I visit after I come back to Brazil after my mission. Without a doubt that´ll be true.
We were also able to bring Carla to general conference, and she LOVED IT. She heard Elder Bednar´s talk, the one directed for people investigating the church, and she loved it, felt like it was exactly for her. I´m not sure how the Elders visit with her was yesterday, but I´m very positive she´ll be baptized in the near future.
So yeah, Every thing that´s great and incredible has to come to an end, like an ice cream cake of vacation, even when it´s not what you want. I´m just so incredible grateful to my Father in Heaven for giving me the wonderful priveledge I had to serve in Maricá. That branch went from an attendance of 25ish (some weeks were under 20) to a steady attendance of a little under 60. Members started to get super excited to do missionary work. And we were starting to get in a rhythm to have baptisms weekly within both duplas.
I love you all so much and this incredible privelge I have to serve the Lord and preach the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ to all parts of Rio de Janeiro. Thank you so much for your support. I´ll be praying for BYU to end the season strong :)
ME and my new companion, Elder Silva.