You can now put an end to yet another chapter in my mission. I have been transferred yet again to another area here in good ol´ São Paulo. I have actually completely left the big city and now I am about an hour or two away from Rio de Janeiro, another state here in Brazil. The town´s name is Lorena and it is about the size of Logan or Spanish Fork (imagine walking all day long from one end of Spanish Fork to the other). This place is extremely pretty! In this town, all of the roads are cobblestone and the houses are well-kept and expensive. Sometimes I forget that I am on my mission in Brazil and think that I am at Downtown Disney because of all the little shops on the side and the small roads. The ward here is a lot smaller than the others I´ve already been in, but there are a lot of really strong members and a great bishop to help the ward grow. I was really sad to leave Presidente Dutra mainly because I had made so many strong relationships with the members and my converts. We were getting ready to really start working on that house I was telling you all about and we were ready to baptize a lot more people. I realized that my time had ended there and now I am needed in another area, but it´s still really hard. We helped a kid become active in the Church again and now he is getting ready to go on a mission. His cousin, who is the Young Women´s president, told me how much she appreciated our work with him and how it helped her family become stronger in the Gospel. I couldn´t have thought of a better way to leave that ward.
I received a calling in this new area. I am now the district leader out here in one of the hardest parts of the mission. My companion is Brazilian again (I am starting to think that Americans don´t exist anymore) and he is, yet again, from Manaus. This is my third Brazilian companion and all three of them have been from the same city. Now I have absolutely no reason to NOT visit Manaus when I come back. His name is Elder Rederson and he is awesome! He likes to goof around, but knows a lot about the Gospel and teaches very well. He has a guitar and he plays every night as I am talking with my district about their day. We get along super well and it looks like we will be baptizing the rest of this family they have been teaching before I got here. I am so blessed to have been called to serve in this mission. I am trying to not be biased, but I am in the best mission in the world :).
Something really funny happened as we were teaching this family as mentioned above. We marked their baptism for this Sunday, not yesterday but this upcoming Sunday, and the son had a little bit of doubts. Turns out he didn´t want to be baptized again because he had already been baptized before. We explained that Christ taught us about on certain baptism (Luke 12:50) and that when we find it, we need to go after it quickly. Then, out absolutely nowhere, the daughter of the family asked something really strange. "Do you believe in warewolves?" I said, "No." She then replied that there is a legend that warewolves come in the night and eat little children who haven´t been baptized yet... "That´s why the Catholic Church baptizes babies!" is what she explained to me. Turns out there is an old legend here in this tiny town about warewolves and babies and eating and yeah... I found it quite hilarious!
We broke a record out here in our first Sunday. We held a baptismal service and baptized a man in less than 13 minutes! One of the other areas was baptizing someone and with my new calling, I am the one who has to interview him first. Someone had forgotten the white clothes for this guy to wear for the baptism, so we had to hunt for them before the second session of conference started because he had to leave. We finally got a hold of the baptismal clothes, organized a meeting-to-go (said a prayer, read a scripture, threw him in the water, left another message, said another prayer) and made it back to hear the first hymn of conference still! I was impressed and the guy who was baptized was overly-filled with happiness.
I am having a blast out here and I have a very good feeling that I am just now entering into the best time of my mission! The homesickness doesn´t exist (just when someone starts to play music again) and I am having so much fun with the other missionaries out here. I love my family so much. You all are my motivation to keep trying my best. I am really proud of my brothers and sisters as well. You all are great examples to me and when I get home, no one will remember me and you all will have to teach me how to be cool again ;) as if I was cool BEFORE the mission haha. Have a great week everyone... OH and I hope everyone knows that it´s getting close to winter down here so it´s getting colder. Now it´s only 88 degrees instead of 98! Haha Love you all! Tchau!