Sorry my letter last week was so poopy. I got caught up watching the Bible Videos on the church site and ended up eating up my hour of computer time. Sorry.
Hey-ski, I've got a challenge for y'all. If you haven't already, put lds.org as your internet homepage. That way, every time that you go to use the internet, you'll start things off thinking about your beliefs and something cool will catch your eye. I just watched some cool videos on the church site about religious freedom. Watching the church videos is a great way to increase your understanding of the doctrine of Christ and how it applies today. So the challenge:
1. Put lds.org as your homepage.
2. Look for something new to watch or read every day.
So this week has been pretty good. We are finding a lot of new investigators to teach. We are trying this new way to get referrals from members. In the past, every time that we asked for a referral, the response was always the same: "Oh, Elder, I've already talked with everyone that might want to accept a message, and nobody wants it." So instead of asking, "Do you know anyone that would like to hear a message?" we ask "What's your neighbor's name?" They give it to us, and then we go there, preferably with the member. So far it's worked really well.
My Portuguese is getting a lot better because my companion helps me a ton. Elder Cavalcante is way cool, and he's helping me learn a lot more about the culture here. For example: I don't know why they taught us how to say please (por favor) in Portuguese, because nobody says it. They just tell you what to do. I still say it because I want to be polite, but I don't get as offended when it seems like my companion is commanding me in everything.
We are still teaching Jamil, who is getting ready for baptism. That man is a straight up goofball. Thankfully he is learning to control his language in front of us, but every once in a while he lets slip a swear word or two. He is really anxious to be baptized, and we're doing our best to get him ready, but he loves to talk and it's going to be difficult to teach him everything before this Saturday. Last night we took away his pack os cigarrettes, crumpled them up and wet'm down in the sink. He's getting there, little by little.
We found a few more people pretty strong in the faith, so we will be having some more baptisms this month. We are also working on reactivating a few people, because with two more Melchizedek priesthood holders, the branch is going to become a ward. Super cool stuff, and I got to witness it all.
Like you know, I've been in this same area ever since I've arrived in Brazil, and during this time there has been a lot of growth in the branch. There was one night when a quick arrogant thought passed through my mind that it was me that made such a big difference. But I quickly banished that thought when I realized that all the experiences that God has given me and the investigators that he prepared had nothing to do with me. He did all the work. I didn't make this area, this area made me.
I love you all so much, you are great!