It definitely does not feel like Christmas because it´s just the dry season, but everyone has their pisca-pisca (lights) up for the holidays so they do celebrate :) I still don´t know anything about talking on Christmas but tomorrow is Conferencia de Natal so hopefully I´ll know then. We haven´t gotten mail yet but I´m guessing that´s tomorrow too. Know one really knows anything because Presidente Nogueira changes a lot of things. I´m so excited though for tomorrow, I get to wear jeans and everything. I´ll for sure send pictures! :) Our new Brasilian is a little shy but she gave a very cool lunch message about how we need our families to gain exaltation, and her own family isn´t a part of the church, so it was kind of sad. She´s from São Paulo and has a strong interior accent. People from the northeast confuse Paulistas with Americans which is really funny.. it´s mostly because they have almost American ``r´s`` as in Porrrta. Is that how dad speaks Portuguese?
No baptisms this week but we did mark the baptism for next week for two of the coolest people I´ve met here! Matheus is a 14-year-old who looks 20 who was a street contact, but was seriously the most direct person ever. It was so refreshing to see after seeing so many flakey people who say they´ll go to church but don´t mean it. Then we met his uncle, Neto, who is just like him and they both came to church, had great questions and we taught the first lesson afterwards. I´ve been waiting this whole time for someone to really understand what the Restoration means, and these guys get it. When we asked Neto if he will be baptized this Sunday he said, ``if this is true, then of course I will`` Then Matheus said he´d do the same thing and find out if the Book of Mormon is true. It was just the coolest lesson ever. I want Jaqueline to finally divorce her rotten husband who is living in Rio with his other woman and baby and marry Neto! The funny thing is that he actually is kind of flirting with her. YES! Pray that nothing goes wrong with this baptism. We need good strong priesthood holders!
That´s so great that everyone´s so sad to come home from their missions! You should look up a talk called ``The Fourth Missionary`` It changed the way I look at missions. Basically it says that you can be completely obiedient, baptize a lot of people, do everything you´re supposed to, but if you haven´t completely and thoroughly turned your will to the Lord your mission will not profit you anything. It was kind of a wake-up call. The first missionary is the one who breaks rules, goes home and lives with regret. The second breaks some rules, finishes, and lives with regret. The third is obedient but is seeking more for the things HE wants and not the Lord´s will. He expects a reward in the end of all his work. The fourth missionary understands that the work IS the reward. The mission really should be about changing who you are. The fourth missionary is the only one who benefits. Like the apostle Paul said more or less, I can work miracles, have all the spiritual gifts in the world, prophesy, preach repentance, but if I have not Charity it profiteth me nothing. Don´t be weary in well doing!! My expectations for my mission have nothing to do with the number of people I baptize, but the person I become. If I go back home and forget everything, my mission was a failure. Alma 27 says, ``What manner of men ought you to be? Even as I am`` It´s not what you do, but who you are.
I think one of the miracles of this season is that we actually have done some service. Sister Seal was inspired to visit an old investigator that Elders taught a long time ago who went to church many times but never was baptized. It turned out she had just had eye surgery and needed help cleaning her house. She was dumbfounded that we found her again and that knows we´re sent from god. She told us our church is the only one who really seems to do what we preach. My favorite thing she said was ``se chama oração, ora premiero, depois faz ação`` Dad can explain :) Our area book says that she only lacked reading the Book of Mormon and praying to know it´s true. I believe we might be the missionaries that were meant to baptize her! Our other service has been cleaning the chapel and helping Jaqueline get ready to move to Rio. She gave a talk on Sunday on faith! You really do need to meet her. I think she sent mom a friend request on Facebook haha
Can´t wait to hear your voices and see our cute house at Christmas! Never give up just because people reject you! Remember it´s you that has something they need, they´re the ones lacking. Testify of what you know with power. More importantly, LIVE IT!
Com muito amor,