This week was full of craziness. But it was good. Every week I love being a missionary more and more and more.
My new companion is Elder Calixto (I will send a picture). He is from Ceará (the state of Fortaleza) and he has only been a member of the church for 1 year and 8 months. In other words, HE GOT BAPTIZED RIGHT BEFORE I STARTED MY MISSION. That is crazy to me. It is awesome, too, to see how much someone can change and progress in just 20 months. I have the opportunity to “train” him, but I´m really learning more from him than anything else. He is extremely humble and hard-working.
This week, the brothers (Igor and Thiago) as well as the cousin (João) of Bruno and Diogo were baptized. Bruno, Diogo, and Igor returned from the Youth Camp excited and VERY, VERY spiritually strengthened. On Sunday, I had the opportunity to participate in their ordination to the Aaronic priesthood. Every day they are becoming more and more and more excited about the gospel. The gospel really does transform lives.
In addition, we were teaching Myllena, who is only 10. She was a referral from her cousin, who is a member of the church. She lives above the house of her great-aunt and uncle, who recently returned to activity in the church. Her parents also want to be baptized, but we will have to keep working with them. Myllena is probably the smartest 10 year old I have met in my life. She has already read 1/3 of The Book of Mormon and understands more than I do! (Or at least a lot more than I did when I was 10). She and her cousin made a goal to serve missions. She was also baptized on Sunday, together with Igor and Thiago and João.
I really learned a lot teaching these four youth. A lot about the importance of completing a family. We are still working with more of their relatives, but as each member of the family gains interest in the gospel, there is another that will see the change in their life and want to learn more.
The baptism ended up being a little bit crazy. We opened the closet door next to the baptismal font and there was ONLY ONE WHITE JUMPSUIT. And it was XXL. In the end, we found a few old, wet, stinky jumpsuits in the womens´ bathroom and everyone at least had SOMETHING to be baptized in. After the baptism we went on a mission to find all of the missing jumpsuits and found some scattered in various houses throughout the ward boundaries.
Even crazier was what happened on Saturday. During lunch, our Bishop called us and said, “Elderes, tonight at 9:00 PM you will go with me to a lesson with a family that will be baptized this weekend that was being taught by other missionaries. I already talked to President Dalton and he approved everything.” So, at 9:00 PM he picked us up and we went to meet this family. The family had been taught by missionaries from another mission who were travelling into our area to teach this family until the Saturday that they would be married (and would be baptized on Sunday). The bishop of the family (and missionaries) found out and, to make a long story-short, the missionaries, not wanting to pass a referral, made a mess of everything. The two bishops explained to the family that they wouldn´t be able to receive a calling or temple recommend if they went to the wrong ward, and to try to make a long story short AGAIN, we ended up going to their baptism Sunday night in a different mission with our Ward Mission Leader and the mission president of the other mission. The mission president of the other mission even gave us a ride home. It is not an experience that we have every day. But, in the end, the family will end up going to the correct ward now (ours) and we will begin teaching the rest of their family. I don´t know if this story made any sense, but it was a confusing and unique experience.
I love everyone!
PS: Mom, we had one week that we only had water from 9:00 PM- 9:00 AM every day, but now it seems like things are a little more normal. The mission is giving all the missionaries an emergency water supply. We are well taken care of.