Oi de Novo, Familia e Amigos!
The only housekeeping this week is that I recieved two Christmas packages, one from you and one from Gma Gentry. Finally! My companion says that next time, you should put a bunch of Catholic stickers and pictures of Jesus on it, so the people in the mail won´t mess with it. It seems to be intact though. I´m still waiting on my money card though, and I really need it. I need to buy a hair trimmer so I can cut my giant chest hair lol.
As for responses, it sounds like you guys all had a great week. Tell my brother´s my advice for finals is to be patient, listen to Mom and Dad, they´re smart, and take the test, don´t let the test take you. There´s like no Christmas spirit here, because no snow, and because like 3 people actually have decorations. And it´s like 85 all week. Oh well! I´m glad to hear that wrestling still sucks. It´s too bad that Gabe is allergic to everything under the sun, but my companion is also named Gabriel, and he´s allergic to many of those things and pineapple, which everyone loves to drink here. Hopefully that helps. My boy B Lee emailed me this week, so that was really cool to get. I´m also having a really good time. I´ve grown to love Itajubá, even with all of its strange culture and flaws, it´s a fantastic place.
This week was super cool. I´m getting to know the other missionaries from my district a little better, even though everything is really far apart here. The weekly meetings and shipping them in for weekly baptismal interviews is helping, and I´ve got some good friends here. A bunch of the other missionaries introduced me to Chimarrão this week, which is a kind of herbal tea thing that the people from the southern part of Brazil, the Gaúchos, drink. You put it in a wooden goblet looking thing called a cuia, and drink it with a metal straw/sieve called a bomba. It looks like grass, and it tastes super weird, but I really like it. I´ve included a picture. There´s a lot of cool food here, like Açai, a berry that they freeze or something to give it the consistency of ice cream, which I plan to try and bring back to the states. It would be a huge hit in Highlands Ranch. In other news, our Mission President, President Hill, came to visit us with his wife here in Itajubá this week. First they checked our apartment to be sure that it´s up to par, then he took us out to dinner at a really nice asian restaurant called Shittake and then we went and taught lessons with him along with us all night. Check the mission Facebook page for more of my face! I was a little nervous, but it all worked out all right. Apparently this is super abnormal, especially during my training period. Especially because we´re the furthest point of the mission by a long shot. Apparently President Hill loves Itajubá though, so he made the trip. It was great. And he was able to help us out a lot with our church meeting, because . . .
As the title suggests, this week we had another baptism! This time, it was a girl named Érika, who´s 11 years old. She had been going to church with a member for three months before this, and last week, after the baptism of Tereza, she asked if she could be next. We said sure, and this week we got everything ready. She´s super serious, but she´s really smart and she´ll really be a great church member, even being young. President Hill baptized here. It was a really beautiful experience. We also brought her mom and brother to church, and we have a huge group of investigators here, so hopefully we´ll have even more baptisms next week. I´m really seeing the power of Jesus Christ in my life. These people have all had their fair share of challenges and problems, but they´re united together under the same gospel. I´m so thankful for the Church. The support and hope for a better world that these people find really touches my heart. I´m so thankful for the chance I have to serve a mission. I plan to bring the biggest number of people possible that I can unto Christ. I will succeed!