almost forgot to send pictures!one is just me and elder cruz at the edge of boituva...kind of looks like the midwest doesnt it. The other is just to show everyone that i still bleed purple and am dooing my best to support them from brasil. Another is us in front of the old chapel and the last is a picture of some food for ya, finally. its called pastel, and its basically like hold able chicken pot pie...or those mcdonalds apple pies except with meat and stuff in them..yumm
Haha, Elder Cruz sure got a kick out of seeing a picture of his brother (Morini Cruz - the Zach Ephron of Brazil - you can see him singing on You-Tube, Mom googled him and sent a picture to Bry) in my email haha.. But yeah, Moroni is one year younger than Elder Cruz, and they have always been members, their dad served in Manaus or Belem I think...not sure. But yeah, he has already helped in the missionary work (Moroni). It is pretty funny, Elder Cruz just mentions his brother and we are instant friends with everybody, sure helps to break the ice and continue teaching, become friends with out investigators and members.
But thats awesome about the Seattle trip! Glad that it was a hit there at Daniel Smith, and next time it will be even better. Gosh mom, you are becoming the regular Artstar...in place of rockstar, get it? But yeah, thats awesome that you were able to see all those people (in our Sammamish Ward), of course tell them all that I say hi, and tell Theresa that I have been putting her tie to good use. BTW, packages still havent arrived yet...Sister Cooley told me that she just got a pair of packages from her daughter that took six weeks to arrive. Hopefully will get them next week at Zone COnference. Should be pretty cool, Elder Costa of the Seventy is going to be there! Wahooo
But, this past week, I was mail king again. Gosh, it felt good. Big big thank yous to Grandma Jeanie, Grandmother (thanks for the Obama stuff), Uncle Paul (thanks for the dawg news), Cascade Crest Young Womens, Kelsey (loved it), Julia Briggs (cuz...most amazing tie ever) Lauren Lytle (pictures rock), and Chelsea Caldwell. You guys all rock, thank you so much! BTW, for those writing letters now or in the future, please follow Lauren Lytle´s example and send me some pictures...I appreciate them oh so much.Today I am sending letters to Chelsea, Lauren, Kelsey, and Julia. Hope that they get to you within two months!
Woo hoooTooooooo the week. So, there wasnt a ton that went down this week out here in Boituva, in terms of adventures that is. I think the biggest thing is that it has been stinking hotttt. Seriously, 38 degrees celsius during the day and 27 at night. Wowza, i think my shoes are melting. Strangely enough, I have completely stopped to tan. I dont burn, but I dont get darker...i just exist now. BUt its cool, my missionary tan is already way chiquezão.
Oh, plus, newsflash, I have hit a huuuuge milestone on the mission....I received my first wedding invitation of a friend! Whoa... But a big congratulations to Lisa! Wish I could be there, but happy for ya! Our ´chapel´ is moving to a different location this week. We will be able to fit 80 people now in the sacrament hall instead of the barely 40 that it was. Keep praying for us to be able to make up the 40 person difference! We are working pretty hard at it. We have some great investigators right now. We found a couple new ones recently, three brothers from 10-14 years old. THey are hilarious, but also they are great. Evandro (the oldest) has already gone to church and a baptismal service. It was pretty funny, in talking to him, we asked `hey evandro, have you read and said that prayer that we asked´ he replied ´no, i dont need to, i already know that what you guys are saying is truth´ pretty cool, although we keep telling him that he really needs to say that prayer, and receive that answer from Heavenly Father that we promised him. But cool huh.
My portuguese is getting better and better daily. It is actually really cool. I cant believe it, I am speaking portuguese almost all day, every day. My only english break is when district leader Elder Anderson (ogden, ut) gives us the nightly call. But seriously, I am amazed daily by the progress that I have made, by the amount of the gift of tongues that Heavenly Father has blessed me with.
I have been thinking a lot this week about spiritual gifts, the gifts of the spirit. As it says in the bible, or Moroni 10, or D&C 46, etc. there are a lot of them out there, a lot of abilities that we can develop. The interesting part, though, is our need to actively seek the gifts of the spirit, activiely work and pray, and also our need to be worthy. For example, why would Heavenly Father gift me with the spirit of prophecy if my goal was to know the result of the future super bowls. Really, we need to always work for the gifts of the spirit, show Heavenly Father that we will use them ´for the edification of the church´ for the blessing of others. Its always something for me to remember that I need to use my time here on the mission responsibly, to allow the Lord to shape me into His perfect tool for whatever situation He needs me in. How amazingI know this work is true, that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. I am so grateful for this gift to be able to be here, devoting my time to the service of others. As Lauren said in her last letter, there really is nothing better than service, nothing that helps us feel closer to our Heavenly Father. As King Benjamin says, when ye are in the service of your fellow being, ye are only in the service of your God.
So, I have a challenge this week for everybody that is reading the blog. Look for one small thing that you can do for someone, and do it randomly, without their foreknowledge. I promise it will be worth it.