Saturday, January 4, 2014

Christmas Gifts

Christmas Gifts from the Relief Society Sisters in the ward
Dear Everyone! 

It was so awesome to be able to talk to you guys for Christmas!  I don't think I would rather have anything else.  I was glad to hear that everyone is doing well and that everyone is staying busy and is happy.  I can't believe that I've already been out for eight months!  Man the time passes SO SO SO fast!  Christmas here was fantastic!  Like I said, we spent Christmas Eve and Christmas day at the house of some members.  It was so fun, and there was SO MUCH FOOD.  I'm pretty sure I gained like 20 pounds, but it's ok, I'll walk it off.  And don't worry about me getting presents because all of the irmãs (sisters?) from the Relief Society brought us a lot of goodies and treats.  It was awesome and I'm so grateful for this ward.
So this morning we got the news about transfers.  I'm going to leave São Caetano and I'm going to be a Zone Leader in another area.  I'm a little freaked out because I just got more responsibility and I don't think I'm an adequate missionary for the job, but I believe that everything has a purpose, and I know that we are given weaknesses to be humbled and turn these weaknesses into strengths.  So that's kind of the big news.  Elder Fernandes is going to stay and another missionary is going to come and be District Leader here in São Caetano. 
So other than Christmas and the transfer calls, this week was pretty normal.  It's been really tough to find people to teach lately because it's the end of the year and everyone is either at the beach or are traveling somewhere.  Elder Fernandes and I have been trying to make the best out of it and do all we can.  Last week we got a list from our Bishop of 33 former investigators to go out and check on, so we've spent the majority of our time contacting these people.  Tuesday we had a Zone meeting with the Stake President, and he left a message with us about the goals he has for the stake.  President and Sister Tanner attended as well. It was a really inspiring meeting and I feel like this zone is really going to see a lot of success in the future.  The only thing that was super exciting this week was that, as we were contacting the list of former investigators, we found a family that is really awesome and has a lot of great potential.  We didn't get a chance to teach all of them, but we taught the son, Lucas, who is 23 and he seemed like a really awesome person.  The rest of the family arrived right after we got done with the message for Lucas, and they all seemed really interested in what we do as missionaries and what we believe. Unfortunately, we weren't able to see them again this week because they were going to travel, but I have faith that Elder Fernandes and his new companion are going to work miracles with this family and in this area.
Well, that's about all that happened that was super exciting.  Next week I'll be sure to get some photos of me and my new comp in my new area!  I love you all and I hope you all have a great and safe new year!

Elder Schwartz

Zone Rudge Ramos meeting with Stake President Costas (left) and Mission President Tanner (right)

Elder Andrew Schwartz talking to family and brother (Elder) Nate on Christmas Day.
Best Christmas present ever!

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