Wednesday, December 14, 2011

12/12/11 Letter

Dearest Family Carpenter e outros,
Happy Holidays! All I hear about is Christmas parties and shopping and eating! Everyone must be getting fat. 
Last week was quite amazing gente. On Monday night, we had the best missionary work meeting with our ward mission leader EVER. We went to the chapel and he had bought us salgados (which are pastries with meat inside, such as ham and cheese) to eat with french fries and Coke! Que maravilha! Talk about awesomeness. We are planning on doing a cool activity next week for the ward and we got together a good heart-breaker lesson for Eva.
On Tuesday, I did a division with Elder Wanderley and we taught some cool people (despite the rain coming down), and at night we had to switch back so that Menezes and I could teach Eva with Danny! It was a good lesson but her granddaughter was screaming and nobody was paying attention. Eva said that she had not smoked for a few days and she started talking about how she had bought a new dress to wear at Church. So we butt in and said, "That´s good because you´ll be able to wear your dress to your baptizm this Sunday." The rest was history. We took her cigarettes away and she got baptized on Sunday! Yay! She was all nervous on Sunday and kept saying that she would take off and that her back would hurt (since she has some back problems), but after the baptizm she was fine. Danny baptized her and practically went all the way down with her so that she wouldn´t have to bend her spine. Oh Eva! Now the family is complete! The two grandparents and the 3 granddaughters who are 8 and above. Sadly, their 2 living kids aren´t very interested in going to Church, but they´ll wake up sooner or later.

On Thursday, we had our Christmas Conference! It was fun. Sister Oliveira talked about how we need to be happy wherever we are because that is how it´ll be for the rest of our lives. Totally true. We watched some videos about Christmas and with MoTab singing, and everyone had some music that they´d been practicing and sang for all to enjoy. It was funny because all of the sisters got up to sing that one hymn "Plains of Judea Where Christ Was Born." Uh... I don´t remember the name in English. So the sisters sang in front of everyone but let´s just say that it wasn´t up to par, so ALL of the Elders and President Oliveira got up and sang the hymn with gusto! It was a crackup. We got presents too! Some good chocolate from Switzerland and a dirty clothes thingy. It´s not a bag nor a hamper. It´s some mesh thing that folds up like the shade you throw up in a car while shopping at Wal-Mart. And I got a tie for my birthday and Zona Monte Líbano got certificates for completing our monthly goals in November! Sweetness.
At Church, we had William and Beatriz´s parents. Irmão Luis finally got back from swamp land! And they LOVED Church and are planning on getting married and having the ceremony at the Church and getting baptized! YES! I love this family. Sueli is the sweetest lady ever and she even has a testimony now! She´s been reading the Book of Mormon and is in Alma 36 now. It´s only been like 3 weeks since she´s had the book. So we have wedding and baptismal bells ringing on Christmas weekend!
Good week to all! Remember the true meaning of Christmas.
-Elder Carpenter
Brazilian Fact #1: To celebrate the holiday season, everyone eats meat on the 24th until midnight and then the party begins! 
#2: There are members that go caroling but it´s definately not as common as back in the states.
#3: People put up a strand or two of Christmas lights during this time of year! I have yet to see anything that compares to our yard though.
Fotos: The Best Zone Ever: Mount Lebanon Zone! and Feliz Eva!


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