Dear Mom and Dad,
Another week in João Pessoa a Missão Celestial!
I feel like this last week has been one of the hardest weeks yet, but I also feel like I´ve improved more rapidly than any other time on the mission. We seemed to do a lot of divisions this week with other missonary companionships, and most of the time I remained in Mangabeira when Elder Gilliam went out to others. I don´t know if I ever mentioned that he´s our District Leader, but that´s why we do a lot of divisions, haha. I feel like it´s a great opportunity for me though, because not only do I get to spend time with more brazilian missionaries, but being "senior" comp in my area helps me feel more responsible, and I feel like I´m a lot more pro-active in those circumstances.
We had a very special baptism this week! Her name is Mel, age 28. She was the VERY first person I ever contacted on the street alone. Let me just say, I feel extremely blessed that she progressed and was
baptized, because 99% of missionaries usually say their first contact was terrible, haha. But it just so happened that Heavenly Father placed an elect person who was very prepared to hear the gospel in front of me, and despite my lack of language skills, the Spirit touched her heart. We first met here on Friday the 17 of January, which was my third day in Brazil. She is so awesome! She even made us dinner on Saturday!
Thanks for the birthday wishes! And yes, I got the card you sent me!! Thank you!! I got it last Tuesday or Wednesday I can´t remember for sure. I don´t know when you sent it, but now you know roughly how long
it takes. I´m planning on sending a letter home this week, so i don´t know how long it´ll take to go the other way.
As for the answers to your questions in your email, yes. It´s VERY hot and VERY humid. Always, haha. But when it rains it feels really nice, and the nights are actually very pleasant. The description of Mangabeira you found sounds exactly right. Also the word Mangabeira means (I think) "next to the mango field" or something like that. It´s basically a word that means it´s near a place that produces mangos.
My shoes are holding up well, but I can tell that they´re really starting to wear down faster now. We aren´t allowed to wear sandals, but I wish we could! I don´t know if that will ever be a possibility, but who knows.
I´ve now met 4 people here who served in SP Interlagos, and 2 of them know Matt! I told Matt about it in my email last week, and I think one of them talked to him this last week. Small world, huh??
I hope the snow slows down up there in Arkansas! That´s just ridiculous! Also, my time is about up. But I love you all! I hope you all are doing great up there! I look forward to next week´s email!