It seems like each week this transfer gets better than the last one. On Tuesday we visited a contact I´d made the previous week named Natacha. She is a 16 year old young woman that was having a few health problems recently. She told us that she had been searching for a church to join but hadn´t found anything that she´d liked. As we taught her and her mother the Restoration, everything made sense to her and she became excited. Later that day we visited a very poor lady named Seloni that lives with her depressed cousin Ivonette. After we taught them they accepted to be baptized. I talked with Élder W. Silva afterwards and we made plans to do the same thing I´d done with Élder Diamond in Carazinho for Daniele. We wanted to get the members´ help in gathering clothing and food for them.
On Wednesday we brought the other missionaries to Jacira´s house so they could interview her to be baptized. Up until the interview she had kept putting it off and saying that she´d waited 10 years to be baptized and she could wait a little longer. After almost 2 hours of talking with the other elder she came out almost in tears and shouted, "Yes! Yes! I have to be baptized this Sunday!" The rest of the week she had the firmest determination to be baptized that I had ever seen. She realized that it was in the midst of trials and tribulations that we need to seek out and come close to Christ, not when everything is going well.
We visited Natacha again on Thursday and taught her about the Book of Mormon. She told us that she had prayed to know if our message was true and she had felt the same feeling she felt when we were describing the First Vision. She knew without a doubt that she had received an answer to her prayer. We committed her to baptism and she said, "Not even my boyfriend will stop me from going to church and getting baptized!"
Friday morning we had District Meeting and I gave the 10 minutes of English. I made a game similar to charades where there are 2 teams, and they take turns sending one of their teammates to act out an animal or insect using actions and sound only. The catch is the names of the animals are in English and the first team to shout out the name in English gets the point. I had already done this many times and so this time I´d chosen super difficult ones like Humming Bird, Praying Mantis, and Dolphin (as opposed to Dog, Cat, Cow, etc.).
Friday afternoon we visited Angelica, the contact we´d made last week that had already been taught by the missionaries in Santa Cruz. We´d already taught her several times and so we challenged her to be baptized. Unfortunately she´d chosen a different path and didn´t want to give up the world to be baptized. She told us, "It´s always been my dream to get 2 tattoos and to be a magazine cover model and I know that I won´t be able to do that after I´m baptized." The saddest part is that she is only 12.
The same night we visited our recent convert, Lucas, that had been baptized 2 weeks ago. We gave him the picture of his baptism and he showed it to his friend, Luan. He also showed Luan the Book of Mormon picture book I´d given him and began to explain to Luan all the things that he had learned. I was super impressed with our 9 year old convert when he explained what his CTR ring meant, showed his favorite parts of the picture book, and then pointed to a picture of Joseph Smith and said, "If you´re going to go to church you have to know who this guy is!" Before we left Luan came up to us and asked if he could be baptized. Lucas leapt right up and showed him exactly how to be baptized in the water and even remembered the words that I had used haha!
Luan took us to his house nearby and we talked with his mom, and 9 other siblings. The next day we returned and taught them the Restoration. What surprised me the most was that everyone paid attention and even told their friends waiting outside to wait because they wanted to listen to our message. They are very poor yet there was a different spirit about their home. They recognized the importance of what we were saying and asked very intelligent questions for a bunch of kids, the oldest being 16.
Saturday night we went to the farewell of a young man here that will serve in Argentina. His family lives right in front of our house.
On Sunday as we were opening up the chapel an older couple walked up and asked us if it was the Catholic church. We told them where it was but invited them in to attend the services. They accepted and walked right in. Soon after, a member rolled up in front with Luan´s family, the back door opened, and kid after kid hopped out, I didn´t know that 9 kids could fit in the back of that car! We picked up Natacha and her cousin Tamirez who were waiting all ready at their front door, and even Lurdes walked to church. The bishop´s jaw dropped when he saw the 17 investigators we´d brought to church. After church we held Jacira´s baptismal service and Élder W. Silva and I sang a special musical number. Later when we visited her at home she said she´d only cried from joy twice in her life: when her daughter was born, and when we sang at her baptism.
This Sunday marked the last Sunday that we have President Wright as our mission president. The mission had made a goal to have baptisms in every area as our thank-you and farewell to him, and the majority of the 100 some areas did so!