Ok, so I tried to send pictures, but it's not working on this computer, so you'll have to wait until next week to see..... My NEW DAUGHTER!
Sister F. Santos is from Campinas, São Paulo, as is Sister Durelli, and she is such an angel. I was kind of afraid of her at first because she looked really serious, but I got over that quickly enough. She's super mature and extremely intelligent, and she has such a strong desire to work. Our first day out she walked right up to a man at the bus stop and started sharing the Book of Mormon with him without me or Sister Durelli saying anything. I don't even have to train this girl! I'm pretty sure she's the one training me and Sister Durelli. She's also so loving and sees the good in everyone. Basically, she's everything you could ever want in a companion. How am I so blessed all the time?
Sister Durelli is a firecracker. She's more outgoing than I or Sister F. Santos, so she keeps the trio fun and spunky, and makes people not as scared of us. I was kind of bummed to be put into a trio for the third time (aka, more than anyone else in the mission), but I'm really loving it this time around! I feel like we three make a good team and we're all pretty chill. I'm super excited for this transfer!
We started out the transfer with a baptism (woot woot!). Iasmin, the younger sister of Italo (who we baptized a month or two ago), has been close to the waters of baptism for the past couple of weeks but just never had the courage to go for it. Finally our Zone Leader, Elder Mariz, counseled us to tell her that instead of praying to know if she should get baptized, we should invite her to pray for the courage to get baptized, because she already knew that she should. It worked! The moment I invited her in this way, a light went on in her eyes and she smiled and said, "Yes, I'll get baptized this Saturday!" It was a beautiful moment! Sometimes people just need to realize that they really already have the answer they've been seeking, but they just need the courage to do what they know to be right.
On the morning of her baptism, Sister Durelli and I tried to prepare Sister F. Santos for whatever we knew would happen to stop the baptism. Something always happens. "It could be anything," we said. "Just wait, you'll see."
As we were finishing up our morning study, Elder Viera called to tell us that the Church building was out of water (as was half of the city) and that the baptismal font wouldn't fill. "Didn't we tell you?!" we both said to Sister F. Santos. We then pulled our faith together to come up with ideas. Everyone here has those huge blastic water jugs, so we thought we'd ask all the members to bring one to help fill the font. We even started filling two of our own and went to knock on our neighbor's door to ask for his. He's the ward mission leader, our neighbor. He scoffed at our faith and said, "That's ridiculous. It'll take you all day and a lot of work! Just get permission to baptize on the beach or in the lake."
Ohhh yeahhh, we thought. We live by the ocean! And by a lake! Then we got all excited to have a baptism in nature and called the Elders to see if we could get permission from President Andrezzo. President didn't give us permission. He told us just to use the font of another chapel close by. Why didn't we think of that?
So we hopped a bus with our sweet little Iasmin in toe and left the city of Salvador (ooo, how exciting!) to hold the baptism in the neighboring city of Lauro de Freitas, where Sister Durelli had previously been serving.
The new American Elder, Elder Hall (who finally got his visa after 7 months of serving in Colorado) got to perform the baptism and no one gave the poor guy a chance to practice saying her name before they both got into the water. Iasmin da Anunciação Santos. There was a good, awkward 5 minutes or so of Elder Hall trying to get her name right while every body in the room tried to put in their two cents to help him out, which only caused more confusion. In the meantime, both Elder Hall and Iasmin were bright red from embarrassment. Ha ha ha! Oh, how ya gotta love baptisms in Brasil!
I'm glad to say that it was all smooth sailing from there on out. We're now preparing a young man named Edson to be baptized this coming week and he is SO shy that it's hard to teach him. The only reason we even know he's actually interested is that he keeps coming to church on his own. Sister F. Santos knows exactly how to talk to him, so I'm pretty sure the Lord put her here on purpose.
Well, that's all for now, folks!
I love you all and I LOVE this gospel! GO ON A MISSION!!!!