Hey! I hope everyone had a great Christmas and getting ready for the New Year. Christmas was AWESOME here!! We had zone meeting Christmas morning at our chapel and that was a lot of fun. The Sisters in our zone made American pancakes and we all had a great Christmas breakfast together. We also did secret Santa gifts with our entire zone so that was a lot of fun and I got some chocolate and a recorder (like a plastic flute) and I learned how to play Silent Night. After that Elder Muniz and I went to the Mission Office because some missionaries came in to use Skype and the phone to talk to their families. We spent all afternoon in the office and I got to Skype my family too which was the BEST!! It was fun to see them all on Skype and share some time together on Christmas Day.
Later that night one of our investigators, Angelica, was baptized! It was so great!! The Bishop and 3 families from the ward came. Angelica´s family came too so that was awesome. It was great to be able to celebrate Christmas Day with a baptism. Angelica is great and it makes me so happy to see her so enthusiastic and excited about the Gospel. From the first time we taught her she was always super excited about it all. She had been receiving the Liahona (or Ensign) in the mail for about 8 months and had been reading it but was a little unsure about visiting the church. Well one of her friends ended up inviting her to church about 3 weeks ago and she came and now she is baptized. I confirmed her a member of the Church on Sunday and I am excited to see her continue to grow in the Church. The ward has been great at fellowshipping her and she already has some really great friends in the ward. It was the perfect way to celebrate Christmas. There is no better way to celebrate Christmas on a mission than with the baptism of one of our investigators!
Overall it was a great week. We changed some things around in our apartment and I am excited about that. Including, we now have warm water! Here in Fortaleza it is very rare to get heated water but we bought a device that heats the water as it comes out. It´s super nice because now we can take warm showers. Anyways, it doesn´t seem like that big of a deal but it is. Haha. The more time I spend here the more I realize how many things I took for granted in the United States. I feel like I´m at home with warm water, but then I open my eyes and see all the bugs all over and realize I´m in Brazil. It´s good though, and I am really loving things here. It´s weird how accustomed I am to everything here.
This week we also had the opportunity to meet with a man who is in charge of a lot of libraries here in Fortaleza, including the one at the University. He met with us because he says he wants to put a Book of Mormon in every library in Fortaleza. We are working with him and meeting with President Souza about it tomorrow but that could be cool.
Also this week we came up with a plan for the missionary work here in the Aldeota Ward and how we are going to be more productive. Aldeota is really different from most everywhere else in the mission because it´s mostly just all tall apartment or commercial buildings. It is a lot harder to come in contact with people and to teach people because every building you have to get buzzed in by someone.
Anyways, we came up with a plan to visit the less-active members in the ward. We had a meeting with the Bishop on Sunday morning and got some good insight from him and we are all excited about it. We have quite a bit of work to do but we are ready to do it! Also, I came up with this piece of paper to give to members when we visit them for lunch. The paper has spots for the members to write 10 names of people they love and then we are going to encourage them to think and pray about those 10 names for one week and then at the end of that week there´s another spot on the piece of paper where they will write 3 names from that list of 10 with the addresses and phone numbers for us to go teach (I´ll attach the file so you guys can see it). Anyways, we are super excited about the missionary work here in Aldeota!
It was a great week and we are excited for another great week. I hope you all had a great week and you are all getting ready for another great year. I have been working on my list of goals for this next year and I don´t know about all of you but I am pumped and excited for the year 2014!! It is going to be great!
I love you all and hope you are all doing well.
Until next year. J
Angelica with Elder Muniz and me right before her baptism on Christmas Day!
We had dinner with Bruno and 3 members from the ward last Monday night.
2 are returned missionaries and one is 17.
Elder Muniz and me with the Christmas lights in the background.
This was taken right after our baptism on Christmas Day.
Both of these pictures were taken from a balcony at a member´s house that we had lunch with this week. They have an amazing view of the BEAUTIFUL beach and ocean here in Fortaleza, Brazil!
I could seriously just sit on their balcony all day everyday enjoying the ocean breeze
and the waves crashing on the shore. So nice!