Monday, April 29, 2013

April 29, 2013 Greetings from Ouro Verde and the ward of "Gold Zion"

Dear everyone,

Before anything else, um aniversário MUITO feliz para meu irmão Andrew. Happy birthday buddy :) I love you and am thinking about you extra today. Can´t wait to hear how your priesthood ordination goes next Sunday. I´m so, so proud of you and wish I could be there. But I´ll be able to tell you that face to face this Mother´s Day when we skype!

About the transfer, Monday night was crazy packing and getting everything together. I was able to say goodbye to Lena and Reobe, Vania, Douglas, and Luis Ricardo and his family. He put on a huge dinner for Elder Barbosa and I and it was a perfect way for me to end my last day in Vila União. I was thinking I´d get transferred way far away from where I was working but when we got to the bus station downtown I found out it was a mere 10 minutes up the road from Vila União, here in Ouro Verde (Green Gold). I´d already gotten to know the house before during divisions with some of the Elders from the district. It´s in the same zone, Zona Campinas, that I was in before. My companion is Elder Miller from Oakland, CA. I think I mentioned him a while back (December, maybe?). I really couldn´t have asked for a better companion. He was my Zone Leader when I first got to the field and he´s a really, really hard worker. And he´s an absolute BYU nut too, which makes for some awesome conversations in the little bit of free time that we have :) He´s headed home after this transfer, so according to mission slang estou "matando" ele (I´m killing him--that´s what you call it when you spend a transfer with an Elder that´s going home at the end of it). We like to call the ward here Ouro Sião instead of Ouro Verde ("Gold Zion"). It´s incredibly strong for Brazil. We had a good 150 members in attendance for Sacrament Meeting and another 7 investigators. The members automatically take care of our investigators there without being asked and are always, always giving referrals. I´m super excited about the work here. Elder Miller and I set a goal for May to baptize 8. We´re really running after that goal and doing everything possible to make it happen. We´ve got a really good teaching group with people progressing. Our focus this week is going to be marking baptismal dates for the 12th. Dimas, one of our investigators, is super elect. We taught him the first lesson but before we could get started the question he had for us was, "God called prophets in the past, right? So where are they now?" Questions like that go a long way in helping make clear the fact that God really is preparing people for us to find. The thing that I´m really liking about the work here is that we´re teaching whole families--3, 4, 5 people at a time. It´s so much more efficient and enjoyable that way. I´m learning loads from Elder Miller´s experience, leadership, and attitude about the work. And since I´ve already been working with him for 4 transfers the transition has been a really easy one to make. The difficulty here is remembering all the ward member´s names and where everyone lives. A good 3 or 4 Vila União´s fit in Ouro Verde. It´s a little bit of a richer area and the missionary´s house is significantly better than the one in Vila União. I´ll leave it at that :) We´re living with two other Elders from the zone--Elder Cox and Elder Mooni. Both of which are super good friends of mine in the field. So I´m looking forward to a really good, productive transfer. God is blessing me a lot, no denying that. And I get to be the ward pianist which is exciting! 

What else...? I´m sure there´s something but I´m not managing to think of it at the moment. Oh, we have one man named José that we´re working with so he can get baptized this Sunday. He told us he´d been praying and looking for a church when we knocked on his door. He´s a really emotional man and various times during church he teared up. I can see the gospel doing a lot of good for him and I´m hoping and praying that this Sunday can be his day. If not we´ll add one more to the Mother´s Day group. Haha. I love you all. I hope you know that. I´m happy here but I continue to miss you. Just a head´s up really quick, President is starting to progressively limit the time we have each P-day to email family and friends. I can definitely see where he´s coming from because there´ve been some problems in the past, but just wanted to let you know. I´m planning to write my big email off to everyone and then in the time remaining I´ll send off the individual ones. Even if I don´t get a response off to everyone each week, I can´t tell you enough how awesome it is to open up my inbox and see so many emails from all of you. It´s a huge blessing for me to read through them and get a good look at the amazing people I have in my life. That means all of you! I wish you all the best this week and will talk to you daqui a pouco :)

Tchau from Brazil. Love, 

Elder Sears

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