Sunday, January 12, 2014

Watt! Elder Watt, again?

Back with Elder Watt and happy about it!

Dear Everyone!

Uhhh, so you guys aren't gonna believe me, but my new companion is Elder Watt...again. So, I'm a Zone Leader with my trainer.  How crazy is that?  I'm super stoked for this transfer because Elder Watt is a powerhouse and a stud of a missionary.  We're going to tear this area up!  So my new zone is called Zona Sul and my new area is called Cidade Leonor.  It is part of the city of São Paulo, and it is one of the oldest wards in all of Brazil if I'm not mistaken.  There is a lot more poverty here than there was in São Caetano, so the way we work here is a little different.  We work mostly in the favelas (slums) here and we meet a lot of new people every day.  The people here are a lot more receptive to the gospel and there are a lot of good hearted people here.  I'm super excited for this upcoming transfer and all the experiences we're going to have in the future. We live in the back house behind a member's house, and we share the house with another companionship of missionaries, Elder Frost who is one of our District Leaders and Elder Huxford who just got to Brazil, and is being trained.  I'm not gonna lie, I love living in a group of four; it is way funnier. 

So I'm sorry that you guys were expecting an email yesterday, but we had a leadership council for the mission, so our P-day was moved to today (Tuesday) instead of Monday. Next week it will be on Monday for sure. This past week was filled with so many experiences, so I'll try to give you guys some good highlights and some info on who we're working with.  So, we have been spending a lot of our time doing what are called "mini-lessons," where we instead of just doing plain contacting, we start right away teaching people on the streets.  Here in Cidade Leonor, it is a lot easier because everyone is on the streets, not doing too much, and the people here are more humble and eager to talk. This way we are able to teach a lot of lessons and see who are ready to hear and learn the gospel, and who are not.  I have never taught so many lessons in one week since arriving in my mission.  After these mini lessons we set up with the people we teach another day to visit them for additional lessons, and that's what we've pretty much been doing all week last week. We already have a few peopel that have been investigating for a little while, that have a lot of potential to be baptized here in the not-too-distant future. We are working with two different couples.  One is Marcelo and Keila, and Marcelo actually was baptized some time ago, but his membership records were lost after he stopped attending for a while, so we are going to baptize him again and his wife too as soon as they get married.  We are also helping Keila to quit smoking so she can get baptized.  All of the kids are already baptized and are active so we are just trying to help give this family an opportunity to get sealed in the temple.  The other couple we are working with is Luana and Kleber, and they are awesome!  They have been investigating for a little while but are taking things slow, because previously they were baptized in a church that turned out to be not quite what they expected.  They are taking their time and really seeing if this is the church they want for their family.  This past week we were able to have dinner with Luana and Kleber at a members house and we had waffles! I didn't bring my camera so I didn't get a picture.  It's weird because every time I'm with Elder Watt, we get waffles from members.  We are also working with a part-member family where the mom, Neuza, is not a member and her husband is somewhat less-active but their daughters are super firm in the church.  Neuza has problems with smoking, but we are setting goals with her and the rest of the family so that they can help the family grow stronger and closer together. 

So those are the people who we are currently working with.  The council that we had yesterday was amazing.  I learned so much about how Elder Watt and I can make our Zone the best in the mission.  We are making a lot of plans, and we are excited for the future here.  I am glad to hear that everything is going well at home for everyone. Congrats on the 1000th Geocache find Pops!  I'll be expecting you to hit 2000 by the time I get home.  Give everyone my love!  I know that this work is true. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and that it is through following His example we can be truly happy in this life.  I hope everyone has a great week and I will talk to you guys next Monday!

With Love,

Elder Schwartz
Last Day with the Old Zone

My Desk

How they get rid of beehives in Brazil

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