Cascavel, Brazil June 23, 2014
Querido família e amigos,
Life in Brazil is soooo good! Yesterday was my birthday (the big 21!) and I couldn´t have asked for a better gift than out recent convert Luan being confirmed! The gift of the Holy Ghost will change his life; his mom who we´ve been working with diligently was in tears at his confirmation and I know she is so close to following the example of her children and sisters in entering into the waters of baptism! Sister Hartvigsen and I were teaching them the other day and Alice was just beaming she was so proud of the decisions her son is making to follow Christ. They started reading the Book of Mormon together and Luan is a super star reader. He has strict instructions to read very slowly from his mom. Alice says he can’t move on until he understands what the scriptures are saying lol. We asked him about 1 Nephi chapter 1 and I don´t think I´ve ever been more impressed by an investigator when he accounted every little detail from the reign of Zedekiahto Lehi reading the book. He then told us how important it was to obey our parents like Nephi and Sam and to try not to complain like Laman and Lemuel! Ele e de poder!!! My heart goes out to their family and I pray so hard for Alice!
In other news my birthday was super special! We had almoço at a member´s house and when I got there she had a coconut with a candle for me! ha-ha, there is a young woman in our ward who is sooo fantastic, Eloisa goes out with us once a week to teach (she´s preparing for her mission!) and she was at almoço with us and told the Irmã it was my birthday… so they scrambled to make something special for me, they didn´t have much time so they found a coconut and stuck a number 9 candle in it 🙂 The sisters I live with also threw me a little party; it was super funny! Sister Hartvigsen and I got home and we have a little study room. We were finishing planning and Sister Hart was saying the prayer to close our nightly planning, but she was waiting for the cue from the other sisters sooo her prayer was super long lol, she basically blessed everyone in the whole wide world by name and was about to move on to the area 70 when we heard about 3 or 4 clicks from the fuse box in the living room and the lights went out! ha-ha it´s all soo cheesy but super cute! Sister Hart reminds me a little of Jessica, her voice isn´t too animated, and she said in a very rehearsed and slightly monotonous manner “O. O que aconteceu?” or “oh. what happened?” and you had to be there but it was soo cheesy and wonderful :). We left the room and sister Corrêa and Sister De Jesus had a BIG cake all ready for me :). They sang, we took pictures then they brought out my present! Cachorros Quente!! (HOT DOGS!) they prepared an ´American´ meal for me. sort of, they boiled the hot dogs and use potatoes, corn and parmesan cheese for toppings, but it was pretty much the best birthday meal ever 🙂 I am so grateful to be in Brazil serving the people here and I truly am feeling at home with the people here, they are so wonderful and prepared for the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Thank you for all the support and prayers, I am so lucky to have you all in my life 🙂