The transfer was June 2, and I got the chance to get mail!!! Five letters and one giant package were waiting for me there. (It was kinda funny seeing me walk down the street, a blonde tall american, in the middle of non-tourist Brazil, with a big package and five letters in his hand.) I have gotten a ton of mail since then too. All the missionaries are complaining that I get more mail than the consulate of Brazil and they don’t get jack squat. It’s hilarious! I love it!
This week was very busy. We were preparing Cristina and Maria Paula for baptism (here is their story), there were interviews with the mission president, and there was the “mission tour.”
Ok…now I will sum up what happened this week. As for the Book of Mormon reading, Cristina has almost finished the book of Alma, and she got a book of the principles of the gospel Sunday. In four days she read all of it!
This week, we visited Maria Paula and Cristina every day. When someone has a baptism date, you follow up with them every day until the baptism … since Satan is pretty smart. We were teaching her about temples and what temples are for and she started expressing her desire to go to the temple. Finally she asked us if she could go visit. What a “coincidence” (not at all): Saturday was already planned for the ward to caravan to the temple. We made a few calls and got her a ride to go visit the temple.
Saturday was crazy. We started the day planning everything for the baptism, then frantically trying to arrive in another part of Sorocaba for the mission tour (I will explain what this is later) and then literally running to catch a bus back to our area for the baptism.
After the baptism, we had more time to talk to Cristina and Maria. Their day was great. The two of them got up in the morning to go to the temple. They rode with the ward members and spent the whole day visiting the temple, looking at things in the distribution center, and eating. After they got back, they were baptized that same night.
On Sunday we went to visit them to see how they were feeling after they were confirmed to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. When we arrived they said that we interrupted their study session. We were a little confused about what they meant until we entered their house. As it turns out, when they went to the distribution center by the temple, Cristina had bought every book known to man that the church has published and a bunch of church magazines from the past several years. If that wasn’t enough, the Relief Society and Young Women groups were more than happy to give them everything about personal progress and every other program, booklet or notebook that they had. All these books were strewn about the table. They really had been studying! We have figured out that they don’t stop. Literally. Hahaha. We just started laughing. They started laughing too.
Cristina said that her reason for reading and studying like this is because she doesn’t have work or school at the moment and because she is a new member, she has a lot to catch up on. The rest of our visit included them excitedly explaining all the programs of the church to us. We said very little—hahaha. It was a good experience to see newly baptized members so dedicated to learning.
The tour of the mission is when the Area Seventy comes to the mission and travels to each part of the mission speaking about what he knows we need to do better. Elder Ciro Schmeil of the Seventy came to our mission and was traveling to all the different zones on the mission to speak to all of us. It was very inspired and the spirit was very strong.
Now I am here in the LAN house freezing to death. It doesn’t rain much here in Sorocaba, but it rained last night and it is raining now—not that warm tropical rain, but like cold Oregon rain. It’s like being at home again . . . very cold. My fingers are cramping up and freezing into large macaroni pieces. It’s just like being on the football sideline on a cold night. Your fingers and nose freeze and you can’t feel your face. The funny thing is that it’s probably only 60 degrees right now. It’s gonna be hard going back to Oregon!
I love all your letters and I am trying to respond to them! Have patience with me; I am only one person!
Love you all, and have a wonderful week!
Frozen Elder David Burt