Monday, July 29, 2013

Chilly in Brazil

Elder Andrew Schwartz and his little Brazilian friend

Dear Family and Friends,

Man, this week has been crazy!  So much has happened and I'lll try to fit in the highlights.  First off, I discovered that it actually gets cold in Brazil.  This whole week it has been the coldest in Brazil since like 1960 or something.  It was brutal.  Especially getting up at 6:30 in the morning in an apartment with no insulation or heater of any kind.  We turned on the stove and huddled around it to stay warm #missionlyfe (is hashtagging still cool?)  But, I got over it, and today it is finally warming up. So I guess I'll give some things I experienced this week.  Remember that kid Felipe that we invited to church on the way and he accepted?  Well we had an awesome lesson with him this week and he accepted an invitation to be baptized!  However, we got a text from him on Friday saying that he had studied and strongly felt that our church is true, but he decided to go back to his old church anyway.....Literally the last thing we expected!  It just doesn't make sense how he can deny the answer he received.  It's sad sometimes, but people do have their agency and can make decisions for themselves.  I wish him the best.  So that was kind of a downer for the week, but things got better.  We have five pretty firm, progressing investigators: Joel (the old man we walked with last week), Alan ( a 13 year old boy), Paublo, (a 16 year old boy) and Erica and Carlos (a couple waiting getting married so they can be baptized), and they are all awesome!  They are all progressing really well and we think we will likely baptize three of them this week, so hopefully those go through.  Another experience we had this week was with a less active family last night.  The father, Claudio, has been struggling with a drinking problem for a while and we have been trying to help him and his family.  We stopped by there last night and we came in and asked the wife, Claudia, if everything was okay.  She started to break down crying and told us that Claudio has still been drinking and that he tried to kill himself.  I couldn't really understand what was going on because my Portuguese isn't that great, but Elder Watt took control of the situation and firmly testified to Claudio that he needs to start living the commandments, and that he needs to be a man and take care of his family.  I could feel the Spirit very strongly as he testified, and Claudio accepted the counsel, and we left a blessing on the home.  I know that this gospel changes lives.  I know that as we live it, we become better people. I'm so lucky to be raised in such a fantastic home with parents who love me.  I'm sorry that this letter was a bit of a downer, but everything is going great.  I love Brazil.  I love the people.  I so badly want to help them, and I know this gospel will bless them.  I love you all.  Thanks for all of your support and love.  I know this work that Nate and I are doing is true.

With love,
Elder Schwartz

P.S.  I chose my soccer team. And choosing your team is huge here. The people say it defines you as a person.  So, my team is the Corithians. VAI CORINTIOS! 

Corintios Logo

Colorful view of the city

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