There's music blasting in the lan house (where we email) and it's ridiculously difficult to concentrate right now. I kind of want to go poke someone in the eye. :)
Sooo another week here in Cerquilho! I've decided that Cerquilho is probably the prettiest city in the mission. I love all of the flowers here, and being able to just see green hills and trees and such. I'm definitely not in the big city! It's a weird location geographically, because it's kind of in the corner of three different missions. We're in the Campinas temple district, and pretty disconnected from the rest of São Paulo. We keep having problems of finding people to teach that live in other missions, but they don't have missionaries there and it's close to us. Weird problems, right?
Guess what!!! Lucia came to church!! She's one of the first people we taught here in Cerquilho, and I can't understand a word she says. It's glorious. But from what Sister Dutra's told me, she was going to another church and they gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon (how bizarre is that?!). When we came and started teaching her, she pulled it out to read again and loooved it. But she's had some health problems, so didn't come last week. But she came!! And liked it, and her daughter's going to come next week! Thassiane, I can understand. She's the best. "How did you feel when you prayed?" "Foi maravilhosa!!" But....neither of them are legally married, so they can't get baptized yet.
Another investigator that we didn't really think had a lot of potential progressed a TON this week! We had tried to stop by without any success, but then one day he called US to set up an appointment! The next day we were following up on what he read, and he had not only read what we had left him, but the first part through the testimony of Joseph Smith. "Wow, Joseph Smith had to wait 4 years to get the plates!" Uhh....yeah, he did! So he's reading and understanding, and feels good about everything. He smokes, but is going to stop so he can get baptized :) We had a wonderful lesson with him, and then he brought out a bunch of food for us. Apparently they do that in Brazil to show that they're grateful...that's what Sister Dutra said, anyway. So sweet! He didn't come to church, but called us to apologize and felt awful--he had to take his grandfather to the hospital in São Paulo, so a good excuse. Yay yay yay for Ricardo!!!
We've been teaching Ivani since day one here in Cerquilho. She's the wife of the ward mission leader, and has met manymanymany sets of missionaries. She's having a hard time recognizing answers to her prayers, so we've been helping her a lot, and reteaching some basic principles. But she likes us!! It's really kind of a neat situation, because Irmão Celio can give us feedback on what she's thinking. So we know she has a desire to know, and that she really likes us! It was so sweet. The other night we were leaving, and she chased us out the door saying, "Wait! I'm not going to let you walk home, let me give you a ride!" My blisters were pretty bad, so that was nothing short of a miracle. Another cool feedback thing from Irmão Celio is that he can tell us how he feels--it's a pretty unique opportunity. But he always talks about how there's a really strong spirit when we're in their home, and he knows she feels it. That's so sweet, and such a treasure to hear!
On Saturday that was a lunch for the branch and training on misisonary work! How cool is that, right?! The branch is so good. They all want to help, and I've really been able to feel like I've gotten closer to the ward even in the last couple of days. Testimony meeting was really sweet. Pretty much every person in the branch bore their testimony, which is really special. This branch is really close, and you can tell they love one another. And they were soooo good and welcoming Lucia!!
Well, I'm officially out of time if I'm going to try to send pictures. Love you so much! Thank you for your prayers and your love, and all of your wonderful examples. Ate segunda!