Hello from Genibau, Fortaleza!
This week has been AMAZING!! Not because anything specifically happened or anything but it is just so amazing to be able to share the gospel with people here. First off, the members of the church here are awesome and they take great care of us! They really LOVE the missionaries. Everyday we eat lunch at a members house. Lunch is the big meal here and it´s usually always beans and rice, and then some kind of meat or pasta. Also, there are so many awesome fruits here and always super good juice! So at noon we eat at a members house and then from 2-9 we are out on the streets teaching and contacting. We walk A TON! It´s interesting because people just sit outside their houses here. Especially later in the day when everyone is home there´s just groups of people all sitting right outside their homes. You kind of expect a parade to becoming down the street because the street is just lined with people sitting. They do this because it gets very hot in people´s houses and they like the breeze outside; This makes it very easy to start talking to people. When we are on our way to an appointment we walk by people and give them a thumbs up and say ``Tudo bem?´´. Everyone is so friendly and nice here. It makes contacting and teaching new people so awesome and we have had some great experiences this week.
We are teaching quite a few people. We our teaching an 11 year-old girl whose aunt is a member. She is named Isadora and she is doing great! We are also teaching a man named Carlos, a woman named Marcela, and then we found two guys this week who are awesome! One is Felipe who is 20 and the other is Walyson who is 19. They both seem excited about hearing more after we taught them the message of the Restoration and prayed with them. Unfortunately, neither of them came to church but we are going to work with them both this week and hopefully they´ll come. It was kind of disappointing because out of all our investigators (we expected 6 at church) only 1 came. But still, 1 is better than none! Also, church is really nice because the chapel is air conditioned which is like unheard of here! So that was a nice break from the heat, humidity, and constant sweating that we experience all day everyday. I´m getting used to that though. It´s amazing how used to things I am already after being here for just two weeks. There are so many things that are so different than how life is in the United States, but I am learning to quickly love the differences. Even though air conditioning for an hour a week is quite nice.
Anyways, our one investigator who came to church was Katia, who is 24 and her husband is Tiago (27), who got baptized last week. Yesterday he was confirmed, which was awesome. We are working with her and trying to get her prepared to be baptized. We had an amazing lesson with her last night! She told us she hasn´t gained a testimony of the church yet and that during fast and testimony meeting everyone got up there and said that they knew this was true or that was true but never said HOW they knew it was true. After Elder Christiansen shared a scripture and shared his experience, Katia asked me how I knew that the church was true. I told her that my testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel came overtime, as I continued to read the scriptures, pray, and live the gospel principles. I then had her read a verse from the Book of Mormon. Ether 12:6 where Moroni talks about faith and that we receive no witness until after the trial of our faith. I love that scripture and she seemed to love it to. Right after reading the scripture out loud she explained how her faith must be tested first and then she will receive a testimony as she just continues reading, praying, and living in faith. It was awesome! We are super excited for her and it was a really amazing experience.
Also, last night we found 3 new families! We taught two of them last night, one with 3 young kids, and another with 1. Tonight we are teaching the other family that has a little baby. We are way excited about all 3 of them!
Well that´s all for this week. What an amazing week it has been. Oh, I forgot to say anything about my portuguese. Everyday it gets a little better and everyday I am able to communicate and understand more than the previous day. I keep a little notebook with me during the day for new words and also have been working on memorizing ``Called to Serve´´ in portuguese as we walk throughout the day. I also wrote out President Monson´s quote, ´´the heavenly virtue of patience is necessary´´ on a notecard and taped it to the wall write above my study area. Thank you all for the support and love. I feel your prayers! I hope all is going well for everyone.
Until next week, tchau!