Hey! Checking in once again from Vila Velha, Fortaleza. What a great week it has been. It started off great Tuesday when I did a companion exchange with a brand new missionary from the MTC. His name is Elder Yaman and he is from Panama, which is pretty cool. He is adjusting to the language and culture and I always like spending time with new missionaries because it makes me remember when I first got here. I love being able to help them and make them feel comfortable. We did A TON of street contacting just so we could be active and talking the entire day and we had some great visits with some of the people we are teaching. The Ward Secretary, Tiago, spent much of the day with us so that was awesome because he is one of my best friends in the ward here.
Wednesday was definitely the most exciting day of the week. It was just a typical Wednesday with our weekly Zone Meeting and after Elder Bini and I were walking to a member´s house for lunch. Our cell phone rings. It´s my good friend Elder Zwick. He says that he had just received an email in the Mission Office from my sister saying that I have a NEW NEPHEW!!! I was so shocked and couldn´t believe it but soooo excited! (He was a month early.) She had sent an email to the Mission email (thanks to Elder Allen), and Elder Zwick read it to me over the phone. There I was on the streets of Vila Velha finding out that my sister had had her baby! It was awesome!! The next day at the Mission Leadership Council in Aldeota, Elder Zwick gave me the photo of Cooper James Smith! Congrats Brittany and Corbin!! I am so excited for you guys!
The monthly Mission Leadership Council with President and Sister Bonini was so great! President explained a lot about how to be a leader and really motivated us to become better and to remember that the Lord trusts in us. He reminded us that we were called leaders for a reason and that we need to always follow the Savior example on how to lead. It was great and it really motivated me to work even harder as a leader and to have more of a desire to help the missionaries in my Zone.
Friday I did a companion exchange with one of our District Leaders, Elder Tenney from St. George, Utah. He is the man and we had an awesome day doing a lot of street contacting and teaching some awesome new investigators. He has the same time on the mission than I do and he plans to go to BYU after the mission. We focused on having fun as we shared the Gospel with people that day, and it truly was a blast! (And I would just like to give a shout out to Elder Tenney´s mom because he told me that she reads my weekly blog!)
The rest of the days this week Elder Bini and I really worked hard and were able to continue teaching many of our progressing investigators and also met some great new families that we have started teaching. Unfortunately, it was a little hard to have people come to church yesterday because of people traveling and celebrating Sete de Setembro (Brazil Independence). But one cool experience was when Elder Bini and I went to visit someone this week and they weren´t in their house. As we were walking away, a ton of little kids came running up to us asking me to speak English (happens about 3 times a day, everyday). But this time it was cool and one of the little kids said that he and his family had visited the church before. I asked him if his parents were home and he said yes as he led us to his house, where we met a couple who had been taught by the missionaries and had visited the church but had a few doubts so they didn´t continue going or continue receiving the missionaries. They seemed very excited to see us and welcomed us in. We spent about the next hour and half answering their questions and helping them resolve their doubts. It was a great experience and they really are excited to have us visit again and said they are excited to come to church again next week.
Anyway, a lot of other things happened this week, including an awesome visit with a less active couple as we talked about President Uchtodorf´s talk "Venham, Juntem-se a Nós" and we had a great meeting with our new Ward Mission Leader and all the Ward Missionaries. The world better watch out, because Ala Beira Rio is about to go crazy with missionary work!! I really like this ward.
I hope you all have another great week. Thanks for all the love and support.
Until next week.
Elder Yaman from Panama, Central America.
Elder Tenney from St. George, Utah.
Elder Bini, Felipe (Elders Quorum President), and me
Elder Zwick, baby Cooper, and me in the Mission Office!