So first things first…I thought the wedding for Derek and Rebecca was on the 18th of December not the 28th! So I want to say for reals, Bom Casamento!! Espero que vocês têm o casamento incrível e acredito que Elder Janis é correto…vamos fazer de novo seu casamento no ano e meia! rsrs Será legal demais!
I am very, very excited to talk to ya´ll tomorrow! It does not seem real that it is Christmas and I have almost 7 months on the mission…time is flying by so fast!
We had our Christmas Party with all the zones in Manaus and Itacoatiara. (It is about four hours away from Manaus) We started off with talks from President and Sister Klein about Christmas and keeping the Holy Ghost within our companionship and how we can realize our name for this transfer, which is “Transferência dos Presentes para o Rei, Profeta e Salvador”. Service and sharing the gospel are the best presents to the King because through this manner His children can gain a testimony and return to him.
After the talks, we had Santa Claus and received a gift bag full of junk food and goodies. 🙂 We returned back to our seats and watched the Photo Movie with pictures from the year. We ate an awesome lunch and did Secret Friend ( I received a journal that I am using to write the blessings of the day and events), visited the IPNA, which is like a Zoo with things from the Indians here. It was interesting and I attached some photos.
We end up not moving to Parque 10 de Novembre this week because Sister Cortez’s knee started hurting really bad and we end up having to go to different areas via onibus almost every day. I feel like we live on the bus. It looks like after Wed. this coming week we would be able to have a break for awhile but on Friday Sister Cortez slipped and fell on her bad knee so we are most likely going to be doing Doctor visits the rest of the week or longer.
On Saturday there was a performance for Christmas at the Temple. Sister Cortez and I sang with all the missionaries from the Manaus Zones. It was fun especially to have everyone taking photos like we were pop stars. Here in Brazil, Sister Missionaries are very, very popular; random members are always asking to take pictures with you and shaking your hand. So Saturday I was pretty much blinded from lights flashing but it was really fun.
While we were doing the presents for the different families for Christmas, Bishop Navegantes asked if I would sing Love at Home (Onde Há Amor) this past Sunday. I haven’t sung solo in so long but it turned out pretty good.
We are still working with Jéssica and on Wed. will be able to do a FHE with her family. Her mom is making lasagna and whole bunch of other food for us. It should be pretty good!
Here in Brazil, Christmas is celebrated today and on 25th is the day to just stay with family and relax. We got permission from President Klein to stay out until 10:30 pm at the house of a member. We got many invites but decided to party at the house of Judite. I cannot wait for ya’ll to meet their family mom and dad. They love us a lot! lol Every time we visit their house they give us more food then we can eat and one time when we had lunch there I think Sister Cortez and I both ate 6 plates! This is huge because we normally only eat 1 and half, maybe 2. But they kept dishing out more food until we started covering our plates. lol Not all of the family is active, they have inactive and nonmembers. We will also be celebrating with their neighbors, so will be a great opportunity to share the gospel.
Tomorrow, we will go to the stake center to have a Zone Training Meeting (and hopefully receive the first half of your packages mom 🙂 then over to another family that is one of our favorites for lunch and then jet over to the other side of town to talk to ya’ll! Yippee!
I wanted to leave the best for last…I was able to bless three different families this Christmas.
Jian-His mother was only 12 when he was born and when was he was 1 or 2 years old got Polio. His mom tried to abandon him at the Hospital but her mother found and took him home. He now is restricted to a wheelchair and his mom is the only one taking care of him now since his grandmother died. Sadly his mom is into drugs and drinking but he is very strong in the gospel and the church is trying to help out so he can be self-sufficient after his mother dies also. I was able to bring over food and a white shirt and tie for church.
Francisca-This lady is very special! She in the final stage of cancer but is still very strong in the gospel. I was able to buy a towel turban for her hair and other stuff to help her be cared for and feel lovely. 🙂
Irmã Marcia e Família-This family is having a lot of problems with rebelling children and money. I was able to buy a toy for Sophia, the daughter of the only daughter of the family, towels for the rest of the family and lots of food. They were very grateful.
All in all it was a great experience and the joy and testimonies these families have are incredible.
Adoro-lhes muito! Quero desejar um Feliz Natal e todos os seus sonhos serão realizados!