First off, happy anniversary to my Mom and Dad who got married on this date 27 years ago!!! Wow, congratulations or "Parabéns!" as they say here in Brasil.
This week has flown by but it was a really good week. This week mostly consisted of preparing things for the missionaries that left today and the missionaries that are coming tomorrow.
On Thursday we all got together as a mission to have our Christmas Conference. It was awesome!! We had a short training, an awesome talent show, a ton of food, watched a short film, and it was all tons of fun. It was really cool to all come together as missionaries to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas and to learn more from Christ´s life because that is the reason we are all here in Fortaleza, Brazil, to invite others to come unto Christ. It has been a great experience this week teaching about Christ. It´s really something special to be a missionary at this time, right around Christmas time, and invite people to really focus on the true meaning of Christmas and to come closer to our Savior Jesus Christ. Feliz Natal!
Friday I took 5 Elders to the Polícia Federal to renew their visas, including my old companion Elder Christiansen, so that was fun to spend some time with him and also my old Zone Leader, Elder Cetraro who lived in the same house as us. Friday night we had the ward Christmas party and it was a lot of fun to be with the members and celebrate Christmas with them. I really love the people here in the ward!
Last night all the Zone Leaders called in to me with the weekly numbers for each zone as they do every week, and we had a really great week! We baptized 63 people! We were all really excited and we are excited to just keep working harder and to baptize more and more each week, especially as our mission continues to grow and grow.
Today we had transfer meeting so I got up bright and early at 3:45 this morning and took all the Brazilians who were going home this transfer to the airport, and the Americans went to the airport after transfer meeting. It has made for a long day so far but it´s good.
Tomorrow we are now receiving a grand total of FORTY-THREE new missionaries!!! President Souza announced this morning that that is a mission record! We are all super excited. It will make for a long day tomorrow but it will be good! I am excited to welcome them here and excited for all of them. Elder Allen told me that welcoming the new missionaries is one of his favorite parts of being Mission Secretary. Last time I was a little overwhelmed because I didn´t really know what I was doing but this time I am ready and excited! Wow, 43!! So awesome!
Also, Elder Allen has been transferred which we knew was coming. But something really cool is that he is opening up a new area of the mission in the interior in a city called Canindé, which is about 2 hours from Fortaleza. He and the 3 Elders that are going with him (all will be new missionaries that are coming tomorrow) will be the first missionaries there. I knew that I would only have 5 weeks with him and I am sad that we won´t be companions anymore but I am super excited for him and he is really excited as well. So my new companion is Elder Muniz, from São Paulo who we have been living with and is the Financial Secretary. He´s super cool and we get along really well so I am excited about that. We´ll be living with Elder Cardozo from Paraguay and Elder Vallo from Argentina, who both speak Spanish so maybe I´ll learn a little Spanish which would be cool.
Anyways, I had a great week and am really loving it here and excited for the new missionaries to get here tomorrow! I hope you all had a great week and all is going well with everyone. Thank you all for the love and support.
Until next week.
Drinking coconut milk right from the coconut!
It´s super good and they have these all over the place here in Brazil.
Elder Allen and me at the Ward Christmas Party!
Elder Lopes (Assistant that I dropped off at the airport this morning) and I
enjoying chocolate cake for breakfast!