Well, as always. thanks a ton for the great email and for not forgetting about me. This week, we had tons of cool events for me to share with you all. I think I´ve got the package set to send home to y'all. I´m not finding anything distinctly from Rio since I´m not super close to the downtown, but I hope you like what I´ve put together in the package.
Since the pianist in the ward here left on his mission, The Bangu ward was left without a pianist, so they asked if one of us (Elders) knew how to play the piano, and they picked me to play. So I´m back to playing the hymns in Sacrament meeting! Dang ever since I was a kid, practicing the piano, I never realized how much what I was studying would be needed in my mission, but I´m super grateful for having used that time growing up to help out those here in Rio hear the beautiful hymns in the true church of Jesus Christ.
Speaking of music, 4 Zones in this mission (The four closest to Rio) put together a speacial musical performance for the Helping hands convention last saturday. We sang a beautiful arrangement of ´´Sou um Filho de Deus" and "Chamados a Servir" (I´m a Child of God and Called to Serve). We also sang an arrangement of Praise to the MAn that was way bomb-diggity. I saw some members who I had served with in Ramos. And we passed the Maracanã as we came back to our areas. Yes, I took pictures.
We were walking down the street one day this week, and we heard a guy singing O Elders de Isreal (To be quite honest, I don´t remember what this hymn is called in English. I think is Elders from Isreal? Maybe? #brainfart), and we went and talked to the guy. He was in a small pizza shop, and he told us that he´s an inactive member from the church, that he served a mission in São Paulo 20 years ago (His wife as well), and that he recently moved here in Bangu. SOOOO we talked to him some more, and he and his wife are excited to come back to church again! Their names are Cesar and Duce. And the best part? You won´t even believe, so I got photo evidence: Cesar looks just like Pat Finley. Yes, the Pat Finley from the Movie Heavyweights. Just a little more tan and with a goofy moustache.
We had found some people from the men we reactivated last week, some really interested in learning more, but they weren´t able to come to church yesterday and we´ll continue to work with them so that they can be blessed with this great gospel. The Ward had a family baptized (by the other missionaries serving here) and the only members there were the bishop (who showed up 30 minutes late) and a young married couple that had taught them once. Can you imagine how these new members must of felt to have such few people supporting them on their special day to be baptized? I made a goal to attend EVERY convert baptism that happens for the rest of my life in every ward that I happen to be living in. For the REST OF MY LIFE. Why? Because these people deserve our love and support for the decision they´ve made to be baptized in the church of Jesus Christ of LAtter-Day Saints. I hope all of you at home can do the same, and even better, help the missionaries find those who can be blessed by the message they share.
I love you all and am so magnificently grateful for your love and support.
Maracanã (With the Christ Statue in the upper corner)
Me and Pat Fin... I mean Cesar