Well, I got the good news! Sending a shout-out to Trev and Kenz for getting engaged! Parabêns noivos! Marriage is a cool thing. Here in Fortaleza it´s a common practice to just move in together and be "married". So sometime we have to get people married before they can be baptized. I´ve been party to two marriages now and both have been such happy ocasions. But every time I´ve felt the Spirit touch me and explain that these marriages are only for this life. I feel so blessed to know that when we are sealed in the temple, the holy house of our Father, it is truly marriage for eternity. There will be ups, there will be downs, but in the end, death doesn´t terminate anything. So, that´s my dois centavos about getting hitched. Parabêns de novo! Send me a piece of cake! (or maybe not. It´ll probably be a rock by the time I receive it.)
Other cool news, I was in the mission office today and was looking through the materials and letters for my last zone. President Souza sends letters to all of the recently baptized people in the mission and I was looking to see if he had already sent one to a couple we had baptized. As I was looking I saw one for a girl Élder Bradley and I had been teaching named Andressa. It was so fulfilling to see this letter because we prayed, and studied, and thought, and debated for a long time about how we could help her accept the baptismal covenant. Then, we were transfered and I didn´t receive anything else. But just to recieve this news filled me with this inexplainable joy. We contacted her one day sitting on a bench and now she´s a member of the only true and living church on the face of the whole earth. What a privelege to know that our efforts in talking with everyone honestly worked out.
For information´s sake, the world cup here is probably like the super bowl in the US. We have to be in the house 30 minutes before the game and can´t leave until 30 minutes after the game. But this is only for games of Brazil, and games here in Fortaleza. So, not a ton. You can always know when Brazil scores a goal though because the street sounds like and explosion. There´s huge fireworks and a lot of yelling. It´s like Todd yelling at a swim meet, only 100x louder.
But I placed "fique simples" as the title for a lesson we had with a womon this week named Elene. Her husband, Luiz, is a recent convert of a few weeks that just recieved the priesthood yesterday. My companion, Élder Tamanho, has a real way with people and as he talks with them all of their defensiveness seems to just melt away. But this past Thursday my companion got sick and couldn´t leave the house. So, we did a quick in-house exchange and Élder Freeman and I went out to cover both of our areas for a few hours (it´s the same ward, just with two sets of missionaries). We´d been teaching Elene for a little while and our last lesson had been about the word of wisdom. She really likes her coffee and was very hesitant to give it up. When Élder Freeman and I passed by she began talking about how much she loved her coffee and how she didn´t want to give it up. I began throwing out reasons like crazy about why she shoud stop drinking coffee (Élder Tamanho is also very smart and has a heap of scientific proof about how coffee is bad for you as well, and I got this from him) though I didn´t do it quite the same way that Élder Tamanho does it. She didn´t like what I said and began to get a little defensive. But then Élder Freeman cut in and simply said "Elene, I know that God lives, that Jesus Christ is our Savior, and that They called Joseph Smith to be a prophet..." and just bore his testimony. Instantly she callmed down and began to accept what we had to say. It was amazing to me to see how just a simple testimony can really totally change someone´s view. The next time we passed by she said to us "well, I didn´t drink coffee this morning". Wow. The Spirit rocks. So, challenge of the week, bear your testimony to someone. It´s simple. It´s easy. And it´s works miracles.
Até o próximo!