These last few weeks have flown by. We’re really busy, there is always too much to do. Even on Pday! But today I’m finally going to write about this area, my companion and everything we’ve been doing this past three weeks.
So my new area is Jardim Paulista. The Ward Jardim Amanda here grew so big that they had to split into two separate wards, and now Paulista is even bigger than Amanda. Jardim Amanda is the biggest neighborhood in South America, but its not our area. We have Jd. Amanda 2, Jd. Paulista, Parque de Café, Nova Avorada, and a bunch of other neighborhoods. We have to walk fifteen minutes from our house to get to our actual area, and we need to take the bus to get to the area where were working. We live in a house in Amanda, above a mechanic shop. Its a pretty big house for missionaries, but we do have four of us living there. Its also really messy, and its hard to keep clean with this many people living here, so Ive given up. I still clean a little, and keep at least my area organized, but the rest of the house is pretty messy. Its better now than when I first got here, but still pretty bad. Its me, Elder Heaton, Elder Ricardo, and Elder Fa. Elder Ricardo is Brazilian, from Recife. Elder Fa is Tongan, but he lived in the states. My companion is Elder Heaton, from some town in Colorado that I cant remember. But his family is moving to Denver. He has 9 brothers and sisters, so I think his parents are busy. His older sister is getting married soon, and their going to wait for Elder Heaton to get home so he can go to their sealing in the temple.
Its starting to get really hot here. Because the seasons are switched, as everyone back home is going into fall and winter, were going into summer. December is when it gets the hottest. We started using sunscreen because the sun really beats down on you when you walk around outside at midday. Every day we get to take a little break where we sit under a tree and eat a little snack in the shade. Its not much time to rest, but when we’ve been walking around in the heat for hours, its a blessing. Its paradise just to sit down and eat an apple. The problem is that our area is pretty big, and the people who were preparing for baptism live pretty far apart. But its going to be worth it.
Now for our investigators. We try to visit a family every night, Solange, Claudio and Jessica. Solange was a reference from a member that my companion got last transfer, but she still isn’t baptized. Although, everyone else around her is. Her daughter, her niece, her sister, even a boy she used to babysit, have all been baptized because we met them through her. Shes ready, the only problem is that she isn’t married. But her and Claudio are going to get married soon, we just need to keep helping them. Its not hard when she likes to make us dinner and cake. We also met another kid who she used to take care of, and hes really interested in the church. Solange got a little frustrated because she sent the missionaries where her sister lives to go visit her sister, who was then baptized in two weeks. Shes been investigating the church for months and cant get baptized, but her sister already is. Its funny though, its just a problem of waiting for all the papers to go through for her marriage.
We walked to the neighborhood on the outskirts of our area the other week, because we had a reference there. When we talked to the family, we found out that 4 months ago Elder Heaton met them at a church activity, and it had taken 4 months for us to get their address. But we invited them to church, and the 13 year old boy went the next day. And the next week. He also went to a church dance, and is excited to go camping this Saturday for another church activity. His name is Eduardo, hes really excited about everything to do with the church, and really excited for his baptism. His mom and dad haven’t been to church, but they read a part in the Book of Mormon, and they really like us visiting. His mom is really excited about his baptism, and shes already talking about him serving a mission. And she hasn’t even been to church! Its awesome, he really wants to serve a mission. He started taking an English class, and he wants to practice talking with us so he can go to the United States for his mission.
These are our investigators that are progressing the most right now, we have a bunch of others that were teaching too. The members here are really cool. Our Bishop works at IBM, and speaks English fluently. His son wants to start going on splits with us twice a week, and start learning English with us and his dad. There’s a member who helps us a lot who’s Colombian. He works at IBM too, and speaks with a really strong accent. In his house the whole family speaks a mix of Portuguese and Spanish. Its pretty amazing to see how much Spanish I can understand, it shouldn’t be too hard to learn after the mission. The members have also been doing a lot of activities where investigators, less active members, and members all get together, sing some hymns and read some scriptures, and then eat. Its really fun, and its great to take our investigators there. They make friends with members, and we get to eat cake! This area has a lot of cake, I hope I don’t get fat. But I don’t think I have to worry when its getting so hot.
Well, Ill make sure to send more news about whats going on next week. Until then, tchau tchau from Brazil!