To the best people in the world (and especially the best dad and grandpas and father figures in my life),
Happy Father´s Day! Again! Yesterday was Brazil´s Father´s Day so I´m taking advantage and passing it along. Bummer they don´t let us do a phone call.
Last week was another fantastic one. Friday, Claudio and Edna got married! It was the same place Lena and Reobe got married 6 months ago and brought back lots of good memories. Our trip there was a little more interesting than it was intended to be. All the bus drivers and employees were on strike because the government took away some of their benefits. Elder Vianna and I had arranged a ride with a member for Claudio and Edna and their family but we were left to the busses that weren´t operating. So, we called a taxi :) It was pretty cool. 20 reais (10 dollars) for 15 minutes inside but it was a good experience I´d say. Definitely worth it considering our destination. The marriage was simple as it was with Lena and Reobe, and I came down with some sort of the flu that morning, but it was still really neat to be there in support. Claudio and Edna are from Pernambucu, more towards the northeast of Brazil where it is always and ridiculously hot. Claudio´s brother, Carlos, came to Campinas a year ago, met the missionaries, and decided he wanted to be baptized. So he brought the rest of his family with him, got married, and he and his wife got baptized just under a year ago. Claudio´s told us loads of times that his brother´s life changed so drastically in the past year that he started to get really curious about the Church. So he and Edna started attending with their two kids (Katianne, 7 and Raisha, 3). This was about 4 months ago. Edna loved it and when Elder Vianna and his old companion visited, they accepted baptism the moment they extended the invitation and have had a marriage and baptism marked for August 9 and 11 for a long while. I got to the area and was lucky enough to be part of the whole experience. Saturday they invited us over for a celebration lunch, Brazilian barbecue style. Delicious. And then Sunday came around and they were baptized. Sunday morning was FREEZING (at least for Brazil), so we were worried when we got to the chapel and saw the gas to the water heater had all been used up the previous day for another baptism). We turned on the water without the heater, but instead of coming out freezing it was lukewarm. Not quite sure how but I´m considering it another small miracle. Carlos baptized Edna (his first time performing a baptism) and Elder Vianna baptized Claudio. They´re a really special couple and I´m not really sure what I did to deserve being a part of their conversion. But I´m really grateful I am.
What else to report...we found a man named Robson Saturday. Actually we contacted him on the street a week before but Saturday we were finally able to teach. He started telling us how miserable his life´s been lately and how he´s been looking for some sort of signal that God still cares. He told us that when we stopped to talk to him last week he understood that as his signal. He loved the fact that we gave him a Book of Mormon and said he´d read. Unfortunately he had to take his son to the hospital Sunday morning so church didn´t work out, but we´re praying for him and really excited about his eagerness to learn. He´s given us a solid base to be able to start teaching.
Oh, I finished my first mission journal! Onto the next one :) I´m going with Mosiah 28:3 as my theme for this one. President used that scripture 3 months ago in a Multi-zone and it left a pretty big impression on me. On the food front, in the past 2 weeks I´ve been introduced to "lingua" and "dobradinha." Or in English, cow tongue and cow stomach. I did not vomit after eating. I´m quite proud of myself actually. Betcha can´t wait for a similar opportunity Sister Shell (jr.)... :)
Have a fantabulous week y´all. You´re the best.
Love, Elder Sears
8137--from left to right: Carlos, Edna, Claudio, Elder Vianna all in white!
8132--me and Elder Hill and some other Elders pretending to be "trunky" at our meeting last week (just pretending of course :) )
8116--game faces. Me and Elder Vianna set to go wheel chair racing (one of the things we did at our zone activity on P-day for my birthday)