Sunday, May 4, 2014

Antonio's Family

Antonio's Family

My Dear Family!

I'm glad that your week here in the south side was good, and you guys did lots of exciting things!  You guys will get a chance to know the other side of the continent a little more down the road.  So we got transfer calls this morning, and I'm going to be staying here in Cidade Leonor for another transfer with Elder Barreto, which makes me super stoked because most likely I'll see Antonio and Ivanilde's wedding and the baptism of Ivanilde and Camilla!  So I'm happy.  Oh, and so for Mother's Day Skype I'm sure I'm good for any schedule.  Since it would be best for you guys a little bit later in the day like 5 pm my time 1pm your time, that's when we'll do it.  We still haven't asked a member yet to use their Skype, but I'll get it all worked out this week and I'll let you guys know exactly a time next week.  I still haven't gotten your package yet but I think I'll get it if not this week I'll get it next week. 

So this past week was really good.  I got a little bit of a cold these past few days because the temperature dropped, but now I'm a lot better.  Like I said, Antonio's family is doing awesome!  We went with them to the registry this week to get the marriage papers all ready, but unfortunately Ivanilde only had a copy of her birth certificate and lost the original so we weren't able to start the process quite yet.  It's going to take a little longer to get everything together because Ivanilde is from another state so she had to call a family member to go to the registry there and get an original birth certificate and send it here to São Paulo.  We should get it either Wednesday or Thursday, so Friday we should be at the registry to get everything started up, and then about 30 days later we'll have a wedding!  But the whole family is doing well; they're loving the church and the members love them, and they are progressing so well in the gospel.  Ivanilde even wants to start paying tithing now before she gets baptized.....

We had another miracle happen this week though!  So remember when I said that we started working with that list of all the members?  Well on Friday we planned on visiting one that lived on the same street as the church but we didn't have time to visit him that day.  The next day we went there and knocked his door (actually we clap here in brazil because everyone's house is enclosed by a gate), and this old man opens the window of the second floor, looks at us, and comes down to let us in.  We do the normal greeting thing as he lets us in, and we sat down on his couch.  He sat down and said that the day before he was doing some reflection and that the church really had been on his mind a lot lately, and that he even commented to his non-member wife that he wanted to go that Sunday to church. The spirit was really strong and we knew that our going to his house to visit him was confirmation to him that he needed to go back to church.  His name is Paulo and he's a retired lawyer who was baptized in 1973.  He was a member when the first stake was organized. We left a short message with him about the Atonement and he went to church that Sunday and loved it.  Now is the part where he needs to get fully integrated with the ward members, and we're going to do our best to help with that.  He didn't stay for the whole block of meetings, but he stayed for sacrament meeting and gospel principles.  So, in Elder's Quorum we had a good discussion about how we can help him to feel welcome and needed, and we marked to visit him this week with a member of the Quorum. I know that Heavenly Father is aware of all of his lost sheep, and I'm so thankful to be an instrument in the Lord's hands to help bring Paulo back to the fold. 

Those were pretty much the highlights of the week. I'm glad that I get to stay here another transfer because there is still a lot for me to do here in Cidade Leonor. I hope that you guys have a good week this week and that you help Elder Nate make the transition smooth.  Give Nate, a big hug and a welcome home from me!

Elder Schwartz

 O São Paulo, São Paulo,... how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
Matthew 23:37

Fastest way for missionaries to get around in Sao Paulo

Zona Sul

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