This week was great–we were all over the place! On Tuesday we headed down to a little town called Miracatu that has two elders and a tiny branch. I worked with Elder Luchi, who’s finishing his mission this week, and it was great! We taught a man named Fernando who was miraculously baptized yesterday. He’s a former Spiritist (maybe a word?) and Jehovah’s Witness who was contacted almost 3 months ago by other missionaries who asked if he wanted help to stop smoking. He said no, but gave his address anyway! After the first visit, he researched everything he could find on mormon.org, and that’s when I met him. We invited him to be baptized but he didn’t commit. But the next visit, after our division in Miracatu had already ended, the elders showed up at his house and he asked, “So what kind of clothes should I bring to my baptism?” He was baptized yesterday after church, on Elder Luchi’s last day in Miracatu. When Elder Luchi asked him if he felt something different in this, his third baptism, he gave a big smile and said, “YES! I felt the Holy Ghost!”
Spent some time this week in Iguape (the largest city, by area, in the state of São Paulo), then in a tiny little isolated neighborhood of São Vicente called Japuí, and then we finished up in Vicente de Carvalho with four relatively new but outstanding elders. Despite the cold November rain every day, all in all, it was a pretty great week!
I forgot to tell you all a great story from Ilhabela! The man we had been teaching there was baptized two weeks ago. It turns out to be a bittersweet story. One day a few weeks ago his wife just suddenly left him–took their two kids and her things and caught a bus to her parents’ house in the state of Bahia while he was at work. He was devastated and it sounds like he had a very, very rough few days after that. Then he decided that God was trying to teach him something, so he told the elders he wanted to be baptized, bought himself a suit, dropped his coffee habit, and signed himself up for the next temple trip to do baptisms for the dead! He will be an incredible asset to the Ilhabela branch.
For those of you keeping track at home, yes, today is transfer day, but we have no news yet–President is at his house working on it, since he and Sister Cabral were in Recife all week for a mission presidents’ seminar. (That’s what they tell us, at least. I think they were just catching some sun on the beautiful beaches of northeastern Brasil.) We’ll probably be stopping by the office later in the day today, so I’ll see if I can let you know then! And maybe send a picture or two. Sorry, Mom! I am taking pictures (mostly on our phone), don’t worry, but I don’t have a card reader with me. I’ll send them soon! haha.
Thanks for all of the updates from home! It sounds like I might have a niece this time next week, and I’ll want pictures!
OKAY transfer call just came! I’ll be training Elder Veneziano in Embaré, in Santos. Elder Timmons will be training Elder Malta in Jabaquara. Wow! This will be awesome!! Elder Veneziano is incredible. [Note from mom – Craig was Elder Veneziano’s trainer when he began his mission fourteen months ago and he loved working with Elder V.] I guess I’ll be finishing my mission in Santos then! I don’t know if we’ll travel or what. I would guess he and I will be working more with the northern half of the mission. I guess we’ll know after our meeting tomorrow with President!
Have a great week!
São Vicente, walking past the beachfront on our way to Japuí
Part of the São Vicente cemetery where we worked last Monday
On the lonely road to our lunch appointment in Miracatu