Well, I guess I had better start this e-mail with a big JUST KIDDING. Apparently my mission president has a knack for promising things and then at the last minute changing everything. He had told me in the interview that I´d be the senior companion, but when we got to transfers, I looked at the board and saw that I had stayed as the junior companion. I wasn´t disappointed or anything, just surprised. All of my leaders came up to me and told me that they were sure that I would be the senior this transfer, but I just told them that it´s not important and that I am just happy for a change. My new companion is Elder Thiago. He is a Brazilian from Manaus. Coincidentally, he is from the exact same city as Elder Fernandes, but he has a personality completely different. He is really short and all the members think that he was an exception of a missionary because Salt Lake let him serve as a 15 year-old haha. He´s really great and we are going to have an amazing transfer together because it has already started well.
This Saturday we had two baptisms!!! We were only supposed to have one, but at the last minute, the sister of one of our old baptisms decided that she wanted to be baptized as well. We got to the chapel and took a lot of pictures. Everyone was happy and smiling and even the mom of the girl we baptized told us that one day God would prepare a way for her to marry her husband and be baptized, too. I am hoping that this "way" is prepared sooner rather than later! :)
A funny story for you all... So, everyone is aware of the rule that we have as missionaries and how we aren´t allowed to swim, right? Well, I have a confession to make to everyone... I swam after the baptism. But wait, allow me to explain. So after the baptism, the bishop asked us to leave the font filled because there would be another baptism the next day, but Elder Thiago already removed the plug. So I had to grab the plug and do a nose-dive into the font to plug the hole again. It was pretty fun!
So I have made a pretty good friend out here on the mission. He is our zone leader and he is from Spanish Fork. We did a companion exchange with our leaders this week and I stayed with this Elder Bardsley from SF. Turns out that we already knew each other! He was on Student Council in Spanish and we had already met before our senior year. It was such a good exchange and we got a lot of work done. We both were talking about the mission and he was telling me how he is going home at the end of this year. We both decided that it is a lot better out here because we don´t have to worry about anything in the world. He admitted that he is afraid of marriage, and after re-thinking about the problems I´ve had with my past companions I was finding that I am a little scared as well. So if it´s all right with everyone, I am going to stay here, okay? :) just kidding Mom. But it was a great day and I am so happy that I have made so many great friends out here on the mission. Americans and Brazilians!
This week, I have been able to see just how much Satan is trying to destroy this wonderful plan of happiness that our Heavenly Father has prepared for us. In this ward we have a woman who has always helped out with the missionary work in the area. She LOVES the missionaries and when she used to live in northern Brazil, the elders even lived in her house and on P-day took care of her only daughter whom she calls her "princess." Well, the sad news is that her daughter was abused last week and when her mom told me about it, I got so sad and my mind went racing. There are so many great and marvelous things in this world that make us happy. But at the same time, there are so many people who allow Satan to enter into their lives and then he uses them to do absolutely terrible things to the innocent children of God. I thought about this for a long time. I love this family so much and I couldn´t understand why such a haneous thing had to happen to them. God does not permit these things to happen. He loves us so much that He gave us our own ability to choose right or wrong. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who choose to do wrong and they end up hurting those who are choosing the right. The justice of God, however, is inevitable. Those who hurt the innocent children of our Heavenly Father will have to meet their maker at the end if they do not repent. I know that Heavenly Father loves us and doesn´t allow these horrible things happen to us; it´s the devil trying to lead us away from the straight and narrow path by thinking that it was God´s fault. I know that one day we will all be able to rest from these terrible things in the world and that we can live forever in happiness with our families. :) I love this Gospel and what I am learning from it everyday! Thank-you for all the emails and support that I receive from you all. I love you!