I apologize this is coming one day late! We had a meeting downtown on Monday so Elder Miller and I are taking our P-day today. This past week has been a really productive, hot, and tiring one. Technically Brazil is supposed to be in the middle of Fall right now but it´s been getting into the mid to high 80´s everyday. It´s good though because we get home and I have absolutely zero problems falling asleep as soon as I hit the mattress. We´re working in particular with a family of 4 who all accepted baptism for the 19th--Jaime, Gildete, Gabriela and Guilherme. Their story is a really neat one. When Elder Miller was with his former companion, Elder Tupou, Bishop had asked them to visit an older member of the ward who had just gotten done with a major foot surgery. While they were there Gildete knocked on the door as part of her business delivering gas and water to everyone who calls in to order it. She dropped the supplies off and walked out, but a few seconds later opened the door up again and told the missionaries she had the distinct impression that she needed to talk to them. So, they did, and eventually got to know Jaime, her husband, and her 2 kids, Gabriela (21) and Guilherme (22). We´ve had a couple of really spiritual experiences in our lessons with them. Twice Gabriela cried because of the spirit that was there and the types of questions they´re asking are just exciting to hear. Gildete has loads of questions about life after death and has told us no other church has been able to satisfy her desire to know what´s going to happen in the next life. She´s finally found the right Church that´s going to be answer everything. We´ve got a lesson scheduled Thursday night on the Plan of Salvation. Seeing people like her, yearning to know things I´ve known since Sunbeams, makes me really grateful for the simple and yet profound doctrine we´re familiar with as members of the Church.
José continues to love his experiences at church. He wasn´t baptized this past week because he wound up in the hospital for a couple of days but he´s recovering and we´re hopeful for the near future. Dimas has been running into some heavy opposition from his wife but he knows The Book of Mormon is true and if his moment isn´t now he definitely has the foundation to accept the gospel in the future.
I´m finding the time I have to play piano going up which is SUPER rewarding for me. Every Sunday morning at 7 we have a Priesthood Executive Meeting with the ward and then a good 30-45 minutes of down/study time before we´ve got to start getting rides arranged for investigators to come to church. So that´s my piano time. I brought with me some really cool hymn arrangements in a book that Grandma Julie got me (thanks Grandma!) so I´ve been working on those. My personal study has been really enlightening lately as well. President Perrotti emphasized in the training he gave yesterday the importance of each missionary experiencing conversion by applying the doctrine of Christ personally in their lives and in their teaching. He recommended that we study King Benjamin´s talk in the beginning of Mosiah and I´ve found some really interesting connections between putting off the natural man and the nature of light, truth, intelligence, spirit, and elements as explained in Doctrine and Covenants 93. I have no idea how people can say they don´t think the Church is true. There is SO much to learn and so many things that tie together between the standard works that just aren´t possible to be categorized as man´s wisdom or expertise. It´s been really exciting for me to be learning what I have been.
I love and miss you all. If I´m forgetting to answer any of your questions please remind me! Time is super short when it comes to email but I will continue to do my best to squish in as much as I can.
Love, Elder Sears