An excerpt from my letter to the president:
This past week, we had about 10 people marked for baptism in the zone, 4 were baptized. The other 6, were put off until this week because of various problems, but with the other people that went to church, it looks like every area in the zone will baptize this month, except for one, and we'll have about 12 to 15 baptisms this weekend. We're going to plan a Noite Branca (white night) and baptize everyone at once in the same place! We're really following up well with the investigators and we're really hoping and praying that this week, we'll manage to have great results.
The week was very good, one of our best weeks yet together. We're managing to fill our planners with good plans and appointments with many people, investigators, less actives, references, members and everything it's a very good feeling to have it all planned out. We're helping a family return to church which makes me super happy! And they're an Awesome source of resources because they know EVERYONE in their apartment building complex thing. And so like we're just sitting there in their house and someone comes in and we start to talk about the church with them and they're interested and become an investigator! It's awesome. We're also finding less actives and part member families, I feel like we'll have a lot of success in this area. The best part is that it's only like 10, 15 minutes from the church (walking).
Elder Rockwood is a good missionary, he's humble and forgiving and full of faith.
How is Carnival going? How does it change your missionary work? I would think it’s harder since people are probably in the party mode and not in the looking for something to better my life mode. How long does it last??
It's actually already over, it's only from like Friday until Tuesday or Wednesday. There's more people drinking and partying and traveling but it wasn't That different.
How did things go with Wilson and Josi this week?
So we could've baptized Wilson but Josi wasn't 100 % on board and we want her complete support. It's difficult because they can only be visited like from 1 to 3 in the afternoon, and we usually get out of lunch at like 2 and so we're usually running there just to talk with them and Josi is already leaving to work :/ But we're confident that this Saturday, we'll be able to baptize Wilson, for him to be the example for his family. Josi is a bit reluctant to be baptized quickly, but she's interested, she's coming to church even without us going there to get them or calling them :) Which is awesome. She just needs to stop smoking and it's baptism!
What else is happening with you?
I'm reading the old testament again, I'm in Deuteronomy now, it's pretty interesting but for some things I really need the manual to help me understand.
We're helping an atheist to believe in God. There aren't many atheists in Brasil but when I find one of them, they're not atheist for much longer :) He says he's atheist but I don't believe that he believes that, he just says that he doesn't believe. He has a lot of questions, and a lot of ideas and theories that has nothing to do with anything haha but in the beginning, it seemed like he just wanted to debate, prove us wrong, but now he says his question, let's us answer, if he has a doubt, he brings it up, but if not, then he accepts our answer. It's very interesting the change that has happened. And it certainly wasn't our fault, it was all the Holy Ghost. It's amazing the influence He has. I believe that within a month, Maico (like Michael in English) will be baptized in the restored church of Jesus Christ
What is your favorite memory with each of your siblings??
The 3: BULA BULA BULA BULA BULA "stooooppp"-rie ".....BULA BULA BULA BULA"
"NONE-KNOWER NONE-KNOWER!" "YEAH, LAWNMOWER LAWNMOWER!"
Rowing with Jon
Man, James left the house and I was 10...I was young. But I remember when we got the xbox and he bought halo and mom and dad were like "I don't know about that" but then you ended up letting us keep it and I remember that James and I were playing Halo 1 one time and it was the part with the flood and we were listening to the Crazy Train haha, good times.
Rie "Bobby, stay away from my sister" or when I sat between her and Trevor or when Michael mysteriously and randomly appeared at our front door on his bike haha.
Rie and Jon, lifeguarding
Rie, dress up haha, I'm not gonna go into details
I wish I could remember better....I suffer from weak memory disease.
Trampoline, James would bounce us up and catch us by the head and push us down again saying something like "be healed" or something else.... that I don't remember.
When Jon and I made the wooden swords that were sick that took like 3 hours to carve! And then we fought with them and they broke after like 30 seconds :(
Or when Jon bought those gloves and we fought, and he always won >:( made me angry but it was a good memory.
Or working at Zaxby's after Jon and hearing about his stories through others
or the noodle-pvc or pvc-bottle fights
Wow that's really a lot of memories. I need to write a book of my pre-journal memories so I can always remember.
What do you wish we had done more of as a family when you were growing up?
I don't know...it was pretty awesome as it was. Perfect? Of course not but at the moment I can't think of anything that I would change or do better
I'm happy when I'm helping my neighbor.
Hey do you guys remember that prayer rock that I had beside my bed to help remind me to pray? I think one of you gave it to me...but I don't remember who. Well with one of the less active families, we were trying to help them to pray and read the scriptures and I remembered that prayer rock! So I was looking for rocks to use, but not like any rock, an ugly rock, but like a pretty rock! Like a white rock! So we were at lunch and what did I see? A tree! With what in the base? Pretty white rocks! So I asked eh sister "Hey can I ask something strange?" "Uh sure" "Can I have 2 of these rocks??" She said okay. In the house of the less actives "I have a present for you 2!" I got the rocks and put one in each hand and asked Elaene "Which hand do you want?" She chose one hand...then the other...then switched again haha and I opened up my hand and the other one too and they thought that was funny. So we gave them rocks :)
I like to talk too much. Sometimes I don't give time for my companion to talk, but it's because I'm so excited and happy!
The bishop changed recently, as I may have told you, and this new bishop is AWESOMEEEE!! He has a great understanding that for a ward to really grow, it needs to be focused on missionary work and he has many plans and ideas of how to double and triple ward attendance in 8 months! He's awesome, I want to end my mission in this area because it really has potential to become an area that baptizes every week, every day of the week :)
To close my email a funny conversation. My companion was talking with one of the other American elders in Portuguese and he asked "hey Elder, is there anything we can do for you?" And the other American "Um...yeah, you too" "....bye elder" hahaha! He's been in Brasil like 5 months already but I think Rockwood just spoke fast or something. But that was funnny huh!
I love you all! Study the scriptures! Pray! Go to church!