I deeply apoligize for the technical issues I had last week with the computer here (I´ve made a note to myself to NEVER use computer number 2 in the online café here), but I had some time last monday to write a hand written letter about the past week. That way, when the letter arrives, you all can still have a record of my week, and I don´t have to worry about writting about two weeks today!
I would like to know what time would be best for you all for me to call on Christmas. I´m planning on using Google+ like on Mothers day, and keep in mind that Brasil is 6 hours ahead of Spokane time, 5 hours ahead of utah/idaho time. I´ll need a username and password to be able to access google+, mmkay?
The 6 elders in our house chipped in to buy Christmas lights for our house! Now we have delightful lights outside our window every night singing us to sleep! I took a Picture to include in this email, they aren´t much (the lights) but it´s the best we could do.
We didn´t get a chance to watch the Christmas devotional here. To be completely honest, I forgot that the church has a christmas devotional. I guess it´s not a thing here in brasil, or Rio, to watch it. How sad :( BUT We are still singing in the cantata or christmas choir, and yesterday, and Area Seventy was able to watch it. It was incredible, and I hear that they´ll do an article about it in an upcoming Liahona.
As Elder Gonzales and I were arriving in the chapel in Andaraí, where we had the performance yesterday, we got a little lost. We asked a random pedestrian if he could help us find a street where one of our churchs was. He said he lived close by and was willing to walk with us towards the chapel. As we were walking, we talked to him about his Family, his profession, his Faith, and so on. He told us that he has a drinking problem and that his Family is passing many difficulties because of it, both financial and spiritual. As we were walking with him, we invited him to the chriismas performance and to receive a visit from the sisters who served there, and how they would be able to help him. We said a short prayer for him as well, and he thanked us a lot for being na answer to his prayers. Antônio said that yesterday morning, he had prayed that God would do something to help him overcome his addiction. We presented him to the sisters after the performance, and he thanked Elder Gonzales even more. There´s seriously something incredible, a truly magnificente feeling when you know that you were part of God´s work in answering the prayer of someone in need. I found it very interesting how it seemed to be part of God´s plan for Elder Gonzales and I to get lost in the middle of Rio, that way we could offer a humble man help necessary to return back to Christ and feel the wonderful spirit of Christmas this season.
I love this gospel so much. I love the marvelous experiences I have here every day as a missionary. Even through the going isn´t Always smooth, and seems rough more than usual, I know that the Lord uses people simple and small to perform his work. Just like Gordon B. Hinckley said one missionary Conference, "You´re not much, but you´re all that we got, so we´ll have to make the best of it" I know that all of us, IF WE ARE WILLING TO WORK A LITTLE, can bless the lifes of those who haven´t yet received this marvelous message of the restored gospel of Christ.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas and my prayers go out to all those at home who are passing through difficult moments. I know that our Father in Heaven loves each and every one of us and that his plan is that our families become and stay eternal. I love you all, and wish you the best!
And here´s a random chocolate piezinho that a lady in the Ward made for us. Suddenly, I wasn´t aso now I don´t feel completely left out after hearing about thanksgiving last week :)