|Happy 20th Birthday to me!|
Sorry I am a day late this week. Our p-day is is actually ). Anyways, here I am and WOW WHAT A WEEK!!!!!!! I can't even begin to describe the amazing week that I had! It was full of emotion, the spirit and fun! I will try to show how great it was in this email! I probably will forget a bunch of stuff but I'll try to hit all the highlights!!because of our Christmas Zone Conference yesterday (
First off, last Monday night was fantastic! We had a great fun family night at the home of President Barbosa and his family! He is the first counselor of the mission presidency and he lives in our ward! I think I have talked about him before but he and his family are great! He invited us over because his oldest son was going to be ordained to the Melchezidik Priesthood and he wanted the missionaries to be there. We gladly decided to go and it was so awesome! I felt the Spirit so strongly and remembered of when I was ordained and when I was preparing to go on my mission. I did a lot of reflecting and was once again overwhelmed at how fast the time has been flying! It is so crazy.
I got to go on a division or split or whatever it is called in English, with Elder Silverio in Itinga. It is close to our area so it wasn't far and we had a great day together! Elder Silverio is from Brasilia which is the captial of Brasil. He is actually just out here for 3 months doing a "test mission." He has some health problems in his knees so the Church sent him out for 3 months to see how he worked as a missionary and if he is able to work normally! He is finishing up the test mission and man he is doing great! There was one cool lesson that I particularly remember! We went to contact this man named Juan. When we got to his house he answered the door and was really nice! We found out that he lived with his wife and daughter and we asked if we could leave a message with them. He said yes and invited us to come in! They lived on the second floor of their building and the stairs to go up were really steep. Elder Silverio can't go up those types of stairs so we asked if we could have the lesson right there in front! And we did! They sat on the stairs and we stayed standing in front of them! We taught them the first lesson and it was so great! I got to talk about Joseph Smith (I love talking about that part!) I have learned so much about the Restoration being out here on my mission and teaching it everyday is one of the best parts of being a missionary for sure! We invited Juan and his wife to go to Church and pray to know what we taught was true. After we invited them to do that Juan said, "I don't know why but I feel like I am going to get a positive answer." It was so awesome! I had a great time with Elder Silverio and he will be a great missionary wherever he ends up serving for his 2 year mission!
we had a great lunch with a brother in our ward named Cosme. He almost always schedules our lunches but this week he changed it so we could meet his wife! She is a member but she has been inactive for a couple years. I was a little nervous to meet her because she has been going to a different church, and one that really doesn't like the Mormons. Anyways it all turned out good in the end and Anna was really nice! We joked a lot with her and Cosme and invited her to church ! We even said we would go to her church night with her if she came morning! But it didn't work, at least not this week because she didn't show up! Next time!
was also a cool day because I got to do another split in Imbuí with Elder Tavares! It was great to be back on the coast haha! I realized that I missed those beach views and the ocean breeze quite a bit! We had a fun day together and I got to visit some old friends! I got to see the Reis family that night as well and it was awesome! I am excited because Elder Tavares is actually going to be going home at the same time as me so we will still see each other a good amount!
was interesting. I have to go back to the beginning of the week to tell the story. So Elder Estevam is the man! We have become the best of friends and we always are talking and joking around and having fun! This week I noticed that he started to get a little quiet. He wasn't talking a lot and I was kind of worried. I tried talking to him on the day it started to see what was going on and helping him but he didn't want to talk. I figured it would pass and that he was just worried about going home and his family or something but the next day he was still acting all weird and ignoring me a little bit! I was so confused and thinking that I had done something to offend him! I eventually got frustrated because he wouldn't talk to me and seemed like he didn't want me around. The splits were already planned but they came at good times haha. I was a little weirded out because he said by he would be better. So I got back to São Cristovão and Elder Estevam was back to normal. I was relieved and we had a good day. He just kept saying, "one day I will get the courage to tell you why I was acting weird." So I was all good!
So that leads us to ! was my birthday and I was so excited! I woke up and opened up the package that Mom had sent me for my birthday and it was awesome. Elder Estevam was filming and said after I had opened, "wait a second I got to grab something." He left the room and came back with a present! I was shocked because he said he wouldn't get me anything because he was out of money! I opened it up and it was this awesome Broncos wood carving thing! I will send a picture! He then explained that was why he had been acting weird because he needed me to want to go on splits so he could set up getting the present and it was stressing him out a bit! It was awesome and I loved it! And I also learned later that there was another part to his acting weird that went a long with my birthday but I'll get to that in a minute. All in all I have the best companion ever!
The rest of was great too and we had a great Church meeting. Marlene got sick so her and Evely didn't come. We visited them later that day and Marlene was feeling better. Overall they are doing well. We have been fasting and praying for Evely and thinking of a way we can connect with her again.
Lunch was fantastic. Sister Sielma had us over and invited Bishop and his family and they made me Chicken Parm!! I had forgotten that I had told her that I loved Italian food! And Bishop's wife made me an AWESOME cake! It was so good! I felt so loved!
Yesterday () was also awesome! We had our Christmas Zone Conference and it was fantastic! Both of the zones here in Salvador were combined and we had a blast. The morning was full of trainings and learning! We got to give a quick training about these baptismal invitations that President Bangerter made. It went great! My zone also did a special musical number; we sang Silent Night, or Noite Feliz in portuguese! It also went great! After lunch we started the activity part and we all put on regular clothes and went and had fun! President Bangerter has all these fun games we played and he taught everyone (minus the Americans) how to play kickball haha! Playing kickball with a bunch of Brasilians who can kick a ball before they even walk is definitely interesting haha! It was a blast. Then President said that phrase that everyone was waiting for, "We are going on a walk." We left the chapel and walked across the street to.... the beach!!! If you guys remember last year when I was in Itabuna we had our Christmas Zone Conference in Ilheus which is a city near there and we also went to the beach! That year we were the only ones to go soI lucked out both years! This time we just went onto the sand real quick and put our toes in the water for like a minute then we had to go back but it was awesome. The other people out there probably thought we were crazy haha!
We left the conference at about and had plans to head over to President Barbosa's house with the Sisters because I was told that they had invited us over for Family home evening. When we got there I walked in and Sister Barbosa called to me from the kitchen and said "Elder, all of your lunches for this week fell thru!" (She is the Relief Society President and organizes our lunch calendar) I walked down the hallway asking her why and when I got to the kitchen I was greeted by a bunch of members and the Sisters screaming "Surpresa!!" They through me a surprise party!!!! Haha it was awesome! They started to sing happy birthday in portguese and it was awesome. I learned that Elder Estevam set the whole thing up too which is the other reason he had been acting weird all week. Love that guy! Then there was another surprise which was a video from home! So this girl in our ward ended up talking to my mom on facebook and mom sent a video with a bunch of friends from home saying Happy Birthday! I got teary eyed because it was such a wonderful surprise! I felt so loved this week by the amazing members here and it made my 20th birthday an incredibly special one!
So real quick I wanted to share a thought! At the Christmas conference President Bangerter shared the scriptures from Luke 2. I had given a message using that chapter this week since it is almost Christmas. I love how the shepherds hurried to Bethlehem when they heard about Christ. I thought about how we need to have that attitude with the gospel in our lives! Are we doing our best to quickly follow God and his commandments? That is my quick question for us to ponder this week! I love you all and thanks for being amazing!
Have a great Christmas week!