Well, the birthday went well. I feel older and a lot wiser than I felt last year. That happens on the mission. You learn a lot, you grow a lot, and you´re blessed a lot. I feel like I´ve learned, grown, and been super blessed during this past year and a half. I´m happier than I can explain that I still have six more months. This whole being 21 thing is a little weird. I don´t feel 21. I still feel 20. But at least I´ll be home for 22 so I can listen to the Taylor Swift song.
We received word about transfers today. Élder Muniz and I will be staying in our area, which grew! Our super small area was divided between two companionships, but now the other one was taken from the area, so now we have the whole ward to us! I´m going to miss having Élder K. Oliveira and Élder T. Anderson in our house, but Élder Muniz and I are super excited to get to work. Things are going to be awesome!!!
This week was super good. It was hot. The sun was super strong. I thought I was going to die because of the heat, and the sun was really powerful. These are the complaints of a Cearense missionary. It was also hot with really strong sun. But it was still awesome. We got some solid referals from people, we found a new family to teach, and Victor came to church!!! I had a number of super awesome spiritual experiences, but our lesson we had with Victor was a stand-out. We´ve been teaching him in the street on a little patio because his family isn´t super receptive to us. Teaching in the street during the afternoon isn´t terrible because they´re few people until about 4 or 5 o´ clock. But, it´s still not the best atmosphere. So, we headed over to a member´s house, Irmão Wandemberg. Wandemberg is a returned missionary that served in Riberão Preto (other mission in Brazil). We focused on receiving answers to our prayers. As we were talking I saw how excited Irmão Wandemberg was to be teaching and to share the good message again. He talked about his mission with such love and especially talked about the power of his conversion. Eventually we got to Victor and he said "I´ve prayed 3 or 4 times about the Book of Mormon and I still haven´t gotten an answer." As we asked a little more he said that he was waiting to hear a voice tell him that it was true. We clarified that answers come by means of our feelings. Then he admited that he had always felt really good when he was with us, when he read, and when he prayed. But the best part was that he saw that for Irmão Wandemberg, the gospel isn´t just something we talk about. It´s a way of life. It was awesome. He came to church, liked it, and is excited to learn more. The Lord poured out miracles and the member of the stake presidency that spoke talked about how he saw a lady on his mission give up smoking. Guess what Victor´s problem is? Smoking. Ah. Miracles are real.
But why, you may ask, The Freestyle Leg? (for those of you who don´t understand swimming, you´ll need to ask my parents about my swimming history) The mission of an Élder learning a foreign language is 16 transfers in the field. The 400 Individual Medley is 16 lengths of the pool, four of each stroke (buterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle). Today, the sisters of my MTC group (mission of 12 transfers) went home. I´m on my last 4 transfers here in the field, or in other words, the freestyle leg of my mission. I always gave the 400 IM my all during the whole race, but I always had something special in the tank for the end, the freestyle leg. So, with four more transfers to go, I´m going to give it 120% every single day. We´re going to find. We will teach. We will baptize like crazy. Why? Because this is the truth. I know it. I teach it. I live it. I love it.
Até o próximo!