It really was when the event occurred that is the highlight of this week’s letter. But more on that later.
If ever there was a missionary that could be more opposite than Elder Neves he has yet to be met, but Elder R. Santos is certainly opposite. He comes from the northern part of Brazil, his state is the equivalent of Texas and does not speak even a little English. He has six months in the mission and has been in this area for 3 transfers now. We get along fabulously! We have a house here and it is quite big. At one time it housed 7 elders, almost barrack-like, now there are only 4 of us. Good space for us.
Had a baptism, will send pictures. The older brother, a recent convert did the ordinance. I forgot my [SD]card at the house as I am far from the house now. I have to get my foot fixed finally.
Today I found that my companion and I are among the six companionships featured in the President’s weekly email for hitting the 3 standards of gold as they are called. These include lessons taught, progressing investigators, and at least one baptism every week. Excellent. Let’s do better next week.
For whatever reason I cannot seem to stop losing weight. It is getting annoying trying to keep my pants up as my belt is a little large now. I think I found the problem, I keep drinking the tap water. I realize this is maybe the cause, but darn it, I will not be limited. I will make my body used to this water!
I am now in 3 Nephi in the Portuguese copy of the Book of Mormon. I will finish it in the upcoming month!
Now onto the cool experience this week. It was Thursday, it was a rainy, stormy, Thursday. Tired and exhausted we made our way to our next appointment. Antonio was a street contact we made the day before. As house numbers here are garbage (you could have 456 next to 23 followed by 79, no joke) we were having some difficultly locating his house. Then we found it. We called. As he approached the gate he told us he was a bit busy and his house was a mess, so he was hesitant to admit us. But with some persistence he let us through the gate. Upon arriving at the house we saw what he was busy about. His door was broken into many pieces and the inside of his two room house was slightly flooded. As it was a concrete floor little problem. But there was also clothes thrown everywhere as well as broken dishes. So what happened? He had arrived home from work 2 hours before and found that someone had broken into his home and searched it for money, which he doesn’t have. As one could see all the food in his house is bean and rice, the cheapest food in Brazil. He was in the process of rebuilding his door, partially with the ruins of the old door and pieces of furniture he was tearing off from his chairs and the like. After about 2 hours of work the door was complete and the wind and rain was shut out of his house. Under the light of the single light bulb that lights his house, we shared with him the message of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is on date for baptism this week and you could see the light in his eyes as we visit this old maintenance worker far from any family.
What else could one say that would close a letter better than that? I love you all, and miss you all, but I know that this work here misses everyone involved. Investigators, me, and you my family.