I had a great week in the new area. My last companion is a hispanic from Argentina named Élder Martinez. Ala do Vale is fairly close to Porto Alegre and the ocean and therefore much warmer than Canela!
The very first day we met two very prepared youth. The first was a young man, 17 years old Mateus. We noticed that as we shared our message with his family he paid attention more than the rest. After asking him a few questions we found out that he'd been looking for a church for a while, and after visiting many, he hadn't felt at home in any of them. We shared the Book of Mormon with him, and before leaving we saw that he hadn't even paid attention to what we'd said at the end, he'd already begun reading the chapter we'd assigned to him.
Kelyn was the second. She also is 17, and had broken her leg a few weeks ago. We'd come to her house to visit her brother, who was a referral from another young member. This brother happened to be an unactive member as we found out. Shortly after we sat down his sister came out of her room with her crutches, and rather quickly grabbed a chair and sat down. She immediately gave us her full attention. As we shared our message with her she asked many questions. She interrupted us many times to ask questions like, "So if God always calls prophets, who is the prophet today?" "How can I know what you guys have said is really true?" and my favorite, "When will you guys return to follow up on the prayer I'll say tonight?"
During lunch one day I received an unexpected complement. The sister that had prepared lunch for us asked me from which part of Brazil I was from. When I told her that I am actually American she looked doubtingly at me and said, "are you sure? You speak like a Brazilian."
On Thursday as we were walking down a street the stake patriarch stopped us abruptly and asked us if we wanted a referral. After nodding our heads quickly he lead us to a house nearby and introduced us to a man named Elias. He returned to his work and we sat down to teach his friend Elias. He is in his mid 30's and was very prepared by the Lord. During the first visit he accepted our invitation to be baptized on the 26th, in 10 days. In subsequent visits we found that he really is progressing quickly. He is already praying very well, has read all the chapters in the Book of Mormon that we left with him, and when we taught him about the Word of Wisdom we found out that he doesn't have a problem with anything, not even coffee! He went to church yesterday and loved it, especially because it was calm, and everyone was welcoming.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to give the lesson in the Gospel Principles class on the Sacrament and give a talk during Sacrament Meeting. I'm loving this area and we've already made some high goals to work hard during this transfer.
The view from the front of our house: