This week we spent doing exchanges with the missionaries in São Vicente! We started out in Areia Branca (which is technically in the Northwest Zone of Santos, not São Vicente, but it’s separated from everything else in Santos by mountains, and surrounded by São Vicente, and definitely has a São Vicente feel to it haha) and spent two days there. Unexpectedly, I actually worked in my official designated area (Jabaquara) for the first time since I was transferred there! There’s a little neighborhood called Saboó in the industrial zone between Areia Branca and Jabaquara that both wards claim. I don’t really know what the debate is about, but anyway, my Panamanian (Panaman? From Panama?) companion and I ended up working there for a day. How exciting! haha.
From Areia Branca we headed to Vila Jockei, which is São Vicente proper. (I hope you’re following along on a map….) Went on my first morning run in a long time with an elder who lent me his running shoes and who was definitely way faster than me haha. The next day was back in Rio Branco, my old area! That was a lot of fun. We even got to stop by a few minutes at the mission farewell of Rafael, the young man there who will be serving in Salt Lake City! That was awesome. From Rio Branco we headed to Parque das Bandeiras, which is the first area of the mission that I visited (with Elder Kocinba over a year and a half ago!). Church there was great, then we came back to mainland São Vicente and worked in Ala 2, which is where we are now!
Yesterday’s Day of the Dead activity was great–a few members and the missionaries from around here went to a cemetery here in the center of São Vicente which was packed with people visiting the graves of deceased relatives. In case you were imagining a traditional American cemetery, it’s pretty different here–most of the graves are in what’s called a “vertical cemetery”, which looks just like an apartment building but is actually full of graves. It’s kind of like a bunch of drawers, and each drawer has the name of the person, dates of birth and death, etc. written on it. On the 2nd of november people go to the cemetery to light a candle in memory of their loved ones.
I felt like we had a wonderful opportunity to literally mourn with those who mourn–many people were in a happy mood yesterday, but some people I talked with were very, very sad, and we were able to comfort a lot of people and share messages about the plan of salvation and eternal families. Overall, a very successful activity! I have a few pictures that I’ll send next time I have my memory card adapter.
That’s most of the news from this week! We’ll be doing a few more divisions just to finish up the transfer, which will be on Sunday.
Have a great week, love you all!