Monday, January 30, 2012

1/30/12 Letter

Dearest Family,

My joy has been at its fullest this last week. My joy is full to hear that all is well in Mesa Zion.

This past week was exciting because we had plenty of awesome things happen. I had my last interview with President Oliveira, where we renewed my temple recommend and finished up some things in order to go home. On Friday, Elder Duarte and I went to go see the doctor because he has a skin rash, but she didn´t go to work that day since she was a little sick. As we were leaving her office, we realized that our cell phone had fallen out while on the bus. Leaving a cell phone or wallet anywhere other than your pocket means that you can say tchau to those guys! But, we said a prayer and got our bus to go home in hopes that the bus driver could help us out. After a few calls and some helpful, honest workers, they found our phone on the bench that we´d been at and we went to the terminal to collect our prize. Wow! The Lord works in marvelous ways! While we had been thinking of giving up on the phone, we decided to trust in the Lord, do what we could, and see what happens. These are the moments in which God can truly help us.

We have been teaching Nelson and his family this past week. While all are opening up and learning with us, the only one which was ready and willing to be baptized this week was Deia! She is a mother of 6 (3 of which are "married") and a great example of faith. We shared with her the Lord´s teachings about forgiveness and she was basically teaching us. She said that even when someone does something to hurt her, that she´ll go and ask for forgiveness. Deia is so humble and loving! Every Saturday morning, she leaves at 7 in the morning to clean her widow neighbor´s house and wash her clothes and dishes. This is OTHER than having to clean her own house afterwards. Hands down to Deia. She was ready to be baptized. Now we´re helping her husband to get baptized this Saturday and also her youngest daughter who is extremely shy. Think of how I used to be when I was 12, and double the shyness and that´s Samanta! We´re learning how to be friends with her, but it´s difficult when she runs inside the house every time that we get to their gate.

Then, there´s Raquel, Sabrina, and Bruno who came to Church this week and partook of the greatness. Raquel has been a flip flopper of churches, and has currently stopped at the Baptist Church. She´s heard lots of strange doctrines and things and there are certain things that she doesn´t agree with about what we believe in, because of all the teachings that she´s had. But, her son Bruno is 14 and really interested in the Church, since he doesn´t go to the Baptist Church. They´re reading the Book of Mormon which is excellent.

In response to your question, we almost always eat at member´s houses or they give us money to eat out or make food at home. If we eat at home it usually means that we´ll be eating top ramen, spaghetti, hamburgers, French Toast, or stuff like that. If we get a reasonable amount of money, then  we´ll eat at the restaurant which is 9 reais. Restaurants here are just like normal good food, nothing fancy like Olive Garden or Maccoroni Grill,hahaha. And the members here like the missionaries again, so they make us good food. Nobody here is very rich, but they cook with love which is all that matters! There is only one lunch we have here which makes us scared because the lady is less active and kind of crazy. She talks about how she´s going to burn her house down and stuff. Yeah... 
Well, this next week should go by fast because we´ve got plenty of work to do. Endure to the end! Loves!

-Elder Carpenter

Fotos: The Gang, and double baptisms (Elder Lira and Underwood baptized a lady that uses a wheel chair)!

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