Hello again from the South! No, not Georgia, nor Texas, but South America. Here in Brazil it´s really hot. But that´s normal. Sounds like a great week with the Grandparents in town. They´re probably really spiritual after all that time in the temple, and send my best to them! I´m missing Texas Roadhouse now, but that´s alright. The food here´s really good, so I don´t have too many issues. Dave needs to hit me up with some sweet details about Prom.
This week I got a new calling and a new companion. I´ll explain a little about both. First, for those of you unfamiliar with the mission, each missionary has a companion, a district, and a zone, ascending in size. With companions, one is the senior, that leads the work, and the other is the junior, that follows, but still plays a big role. Each district has 4-10 missionaries, and each zone has 20ish, depending on the place, and the district has one leader, that reports to the 2 zone leaders. I was called as district leader here in Valinhos, and I´m now the senior companion instead of the junior. As a district leader, I have to care for a group of missionaries, being an example for them in my work, authorizing anyone leaving the area, and helping them to do their best to baptize. Here in the Valinhos district, we have me and my comp, Elder J. Nascimento and his new companion fresh out of the CTM, Elder Azevedo, a trio of Sister Trainers (I don´t really understand what they do), and another Sister training a new Sister. I also have to track all of the numbers for the district each week, such as number of lessons with members, number of new investigators, number of investigators in sacrament meeting, and so on. I then pass this information to the Zone Leaders. I also have to lead a district meeting each week that involves doctrine and practices. It´s a new responsibility, but I´m really enjoying it.
My new companion is Elder Azambuja. I´d send you a picture but my camera is out of batteries and I'm too cheap and keep forgetting to buy new ones. He´s from Rio Grande do Sul, and as such, he likes chimarrão and barbecue, and everyone refers to him as a Gaúcho. He likes milkshakes, and thinks everyone here in Valinhos is pretty crazy. I agree. He has 10 months on the mission, and he´s still yet to actually serve inside Campinas. Me too.
This week we've been working a lot to help our investigator Nei stop smoking. He´s been making a big push this week to cut down from a pack a day, and now he´s down to less than half. Prayer and fasting help a lot when trying to kick bad habits and addictions. It´s cool how the gospel does what a bunch of programs and hospitals struggle to do.
I know that Jesus Christ lives, and that He is my Savior. Through Him, I can be clean and return to live again with my Heavenly Father. We have prophets today, and they still speak to people. Miracles have not stopped, and they will not ever stop. God loves each one of us, and I am privileged to work as His instrument to help people come closer to Him. It´s His work, and with God on my side, I will succeed!