Monday, April 14, 2014

Mission Update -- Transfer #3!

Hey everyone!

So I just started my third transfer here in Joao Pessoa, Brazil. I'm still in my first area, but that's fine with me, because my ward is awesome, and this area is one of the best areas in the mission (I heard this -- I believe it). There are lots of rich people here.. hah -- our lunches are always really awesome. My new companion is Elder Anderson, who's from Pennsylvania (we're neighbors in the US! hah). We've only been working together since last Wednesday, but I am loving this transfer already. We both have only been in Brazil for 3 months (as of today), and so I thought that we would have trouble understanding people -- but we've been doing really well! It's nice that we're at about the same level with Portuguese, because with my other companion, who is Brazilian, we would be talking with someone, and then I would get lost, but the conversation would continue between him and the other person -- so in the end, I had no idea what was said. It's hard to get to know people in situations like this. But now, we both have to understand everything that the other person is saying, and so we're learning/improving a lot more with our Portuguese than we were in our other transfers. It's awesome! I feel a greater connection with the people I'm teaching now, because of this. Also, another thing that I was surprised about with this transfer, is that I'm senior companion. My companion served in the US in Oregon for 6 months, so he has been on his mission for 9 months already -- I've only been on a mission for 4 months! The one reason that I can see for this, is that he is new to the area, and I've been here for 12 weeks already -- so I know the area and the people better. Nevertheless, this is a good opportunity for me to learn and grow. That's part of the reason why I'm here, serving a mission! So I'm happy to have this opportunity.

We're teaching quite a few people right now -- but nobody made it to church yesterday, unfortunately. We also had a baptism scheduled for yesterday, but our investigator -- Cicero -- didn't show up! He said that he needed to have his barber shop open because he needed the money and Sunday is one of the busiest days of the week for him. I talked to him about the importance of keeping the Sabbath Day holy by not working on Sundays, and he said he'll alternate weeks having it open and closed.. at least that's a start.. hah. He also said that he didn't feel prepared for baptism yet, so this week we're going to really focus on teaching him and making sure he understands everything and truly has a testimony of The Restored Gospel.

We went to a Ward Council Meeting yesterday night, which was really good, because we got a bunch of phone numbers so that we can work more with the members here. Afterwards, my companion and I were talking with this American guy in our ward, and I spoke in English for a second, and he was like "Hey, you're cheating! You have to speak Portuguese!" haha! He's an English professor here in Brazil, but he speaks Portuguese too -- his wife is Brazilian.

Anyways.. what else.. I'm doing really well here in Brazil. All of the stomach sickness has stopped for the most part, which I'm really happy about! Alissa leaves for the MTC this Wednesday, and I am so excited for her!

I love you all, and you are in my prayers!

Elder Canto

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