|Pedro's baptism last week|
|Lago das Rosas, downtown Goiânia|
|Antes de sair de Rio Verde!|
|The Assistants with Elder Costa and Sister Kuceki (holding her son)|
|Até mais Rio Verde!|
Esta semana foi TOP demais! On the bus ride back to Goiãnia yesterday, I wrote 5 pages in my journal about the trip. I thought about just sending that as my weekly letter, but then I realized I wrote it all in Portuguese… Haha, I’ll try my best to sum it up in English! (note from Scott’s mom: He handwrites his weekly letters and takes pictures of them, then sends me the pictures…I type them up and post them)
Quarta-feira (Wednesday) we went to the roto-viária and got on the bus to Rio Verde, about 3.5-4 hours away. The first half of the ride I just read and studied the scriptures—one of my favorite things to do now! I got some nice rest the second half. We arrived and went to the house of the zone leaders of Rio Verde Centro. We went on exchanges with them for the rest of the day. I was with E. Whiting who is from Illinois and has one more transfer than me in the mission. We made a bunch of contacts and taught a few lessons.
It was nice to experience a little bit of another city. I’m now familiar with São Paulo, Goiãnia, Uberlãndia, and Rio Verde. Rio Verde is pretty small, about 1/5 the size of Goiãnia, and is more like I thought Brazil would be—with more mata, or forest/nature areas. To get to the area where we worked, E. Whiting and I walked down a road that crossed over a stream and had a bunch of cool plants and palm trees. I took a few pictures with my phone (I don’t like bringing my camera with me because, well, I think that’s clear now) that I’ll try to upload and send by next week. It was a pretty calm and laid back are which was a nice contrast from working in the center of Goiania. While the city’s name means ‘Green River’ I never saw a river….
The next day we did the same exchange and left and went to the other side of Rio Verde, with the zone leaders of Rio Verde Popular. We went on exchanges for two days there. I was with E. Romero from Paraguay. We didn’t teach a whole lot, mostly just talked with people in the road, so the days felt pretty long, haha.
The first day in Popular was awesome because I met and talked with Mauro, a recent convert of Elder Romero. He had been a strong leader in the Christian Congregation in Brasil (a widespread church here with fanatic members…) for 30 years and was the leader of the church in 7 cities. After 3 years of depression and feeling lost he stopped to talk with E. Romero and his companion in the road. They started teaching him, and after six weeks of profound lessons he and his wife were baptized and all the anxiety and despair he had felt for so long went instantly away. Because of his extensive experience in his other church, he knows the Bible expertly and uses it like no one I’ve seen before to explain and support the principles of the restored gospel. Hearing his testimony of Joseph Smith, the true church, and especially Jesus Christ was inspiring, and I will do all I can to find more people like him to bring to the restored true church of Jesus Christ. Listening to him for an hour that day was the best part of the trip, along with the…
FIRST CONFERENCE OF THE RIO VERDE STAKE! Oh man it was awesome! Elder Costa of the Seventy came to call the new stake president—PRESIDENT ANDERSON! I remembered you, Dad! In addition to having a great name, he gave a great talk, and so did President and Sister Kuceki, Elder Dias—an area seventy, and a few other leaders. For sure though, my favorite talk was Elder Costa’s! I already heard him talk when he came to the CTM, but this time I understood him haha. He talked about the stake, not becoming addicted to technology, the importance of celestial marriage relationships, and his testimony of President Monson as our Prophet today. It was a great, funny, and instructive talk and I took a ton of notes. Afterwards, E. Zanuttini talked to him and got a picture with him (which Sis. Kuceki has on her phone…maybe it’ll be put on the mission’s facebook page). It was so awesome to hear and learn from great leaders of the church chosen by the Lord, in Rio Verde this weekend!
We only have a week and a half left in this transfer, and it has flown by! I may or may not know if I’m going to be transferred and where to, but I’ll keep that as a surprise for next week J. It’ll be crazy to get my 5th companion in 5 transfers and sad to see E. Zanuttini return home, but it’ll be great! As always, I’m grateful and excited!
Clearly my English is deteriorating, but hopefully you guys will understand this all just fine and have an awesome, blessed week wherever you may be!