This week was really good–I had my first Sunday with the Orquidário ward (Orquidário, by the way, means something between greenhouse and orchid garden and plant nursery, and our ward is named that because right by the chapel is Santos’ orquidário, a botanical(?) park), which went really well!
We were kind of busy in the office Sunday afternoon collecting the week’s numbers and everything, then we had ward council and afterward decided to stop by the house of an investigator. The evening before, we were stopping to buy some food in the supermarket and while we were in the line, he came up to us, asked us if we were the Mormons, told us he had requested a visit from the missionaries but never got it, and asked us if we could take down his address and number to visit him! Well, shockingly, we accepted. So we stopped by on Sunday night and he welcomed us in and we met his wife and son. He told us that he had done a bunch of research and decided that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was the Church he agreed with most, especially because of everything we believe about families, and asked us what he needed to do to be baptized! So since then, we’ve taught them about the restoration and the plan of salvation and they’ll be baptized on the 25th.
I thought that was the only big miracle we’d get all week! Then on Tuesday, we decided to visit another investigator I’d never met. He is an American! His wife is from São Vicente, and after living in the United States for many years (he worked in the 77th floor of the Empire State Building as a lawyer) they moved here about 4 months ago. So he’s still learning Portuguese. We taught him in English, my first English lesson ever! It was kind of hard (I had to translate a lot of the First Vision back from portuguese) but really fun! The advantages of having an American companion haha. It was one of the most Spirit-filled lessons I’ve had on my mission, and our investigator was really sincere with his questions and everything and told us he’d like to be baptized at the end.
So we’re praying a lot for our investigators, and we’re doing well!
Since you asked, Mom: Yes, we prepare everything for the new missionaries, starting from that packet that the newly-called missionaries get to the day they get here and receive a bunch of materials. We take care of all the government- and visa-related stuff, too. I do get to see a lot of missionaries, especially in the weeks (like this one) when President does a lot of interviews. Elder Thurgood and I will be together at least until the 25th, when it’s pretty likely he’ll leave but he might stay around. The other two secretaries: Elder Gomez (financial) and Elder Eufrásio (housing and materials) are companions now.
In the Santos zone there are 16 missionaries, and here are some of the ones you’ll recognize: Elder Stokes is training Elder Sharp in Embaré and we live with them (and 4 others, including Elder Ortiz who was with me in Cubatão), Elder Veneziano is training Elder Lindsey (who served for a transfer in Portland, Maine!) in Ponta da Praia, and Sister Sweet and Sister Reis also work with us in Orquidário. The other missionaries I’ve never worked closely with, but they’re really great! I’m really enjoying working in Santos, it’s really different than my other areas but really cool.
Well this letter is super long, but thanks for all the support and everything! Love you all, until next week!