Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Weddings and Baptisms....and Service

Beautiful Wedding, followed by...

Beautiful Baptism

Dear Family!!!

Wow!!! I can't believe it. Doug actually did it. Who would've thunk?  Hahah, just kidding. Send him and Jessica my best wishes.

(I was totally there on the first date). That's awesome that you guys had a fun little getaway in Vegas. That's cool to hear too that Doug's dad did the sealing. It was cool to hear about the inspiration you received while you were in the temple.  When we went to the temple last week I had the opportunity to do a lot of reflection and think about how I could be a better missionary and a better zone leader. I love that we get the chance to go to the temple every three months. When I get home, I'm making a goal to go to the temple as often as possible.

So Elder Vargas has a year and six months on the mission. He's a stud of a missionary and he's freaking hilarious. He speaks pretty good English, but he's trying to get to a better fluency so I'm helping him with a few things.  Before the mission he was working as an internet cafe manager and he worked as a churrasqueiro (barbecuer).  The other two in our apartment are both hispanics; Elder Ramirez from the Dominican Republic, and Elder Ballestero from Columbia. Elder Ramirez is training Elder Ballestero, so he's learning Portuguese, but he has it pretty much down by now.  We all live together and it's a great time for all of us.  Seriously, I love living in a group of four.  Wayyyy better than living in just two. 

So this week was the wedding of Antonio and Vanilde, and the baptism of Vanilde and  their daughter Camila.  It was such a special experience and a sweet spirit was felt by all who attended.  There was a really good support from the ward and there were many visitors too.  I'm so grateful to have been able to take part in such a moment in the lives of this family.  I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ truly can change lives and make people deeply happy.  It was definitely a landmark experience of my mission and a family that I'm never going to forget. 

Unfortunately,  Fernanda wasn't quite ready for baptism, but we're going to keep working with her and we set a goal with her to be ready to be baptized here in two weeks.  This week we also got a lot of good references of people who attended the wedding and expressed interest in the message,so we are going to be working with them these upcoming weeks.  Also, we got the chance to do a little service project for one of the sisters in the ward and help her paint her house. I'll send some pics along. 

Today we had a P-day with all the zone together, and we played some volleyball, and some ping-pong, and the sister brought a lot of food so we got a little fat too.  It was some good zone bonding and a pump up for the week ahead of us. OH, and we got word today that we get to watch the Brazil World Cup game today (Monday June 23rd)!  And our ward has been putting the games on a big screen at the chapel, so we're going to be cheering on the home team with our ward today, but then we have to go directly home afterwards because of the potential danger.  So basically, this P-day is an actual whole day today. WOOHOO!

This Friday, President and Sister Broadbent arrive and assume their new position as mission president.  Everyone has been saying that a lot of things are going to change. Whatever it will be, I'm excited to be able to work with our new mission president.  I'm sad that President and Sister Tanner are leaving though.  They are such amazing people and they have helped me and this mission so much.  I'm so grateful for all the things that they have done for us as missionaries and especially for me personally.  They have helped me to become a better person, and I will really miss them.  Nevertheless, I wish them the best with their new calling -- General Sunday School presidency -- how cool is that!

Well, I love you all and I hope that you all have a good week.  I'll be sure to give you guys the update on President Broadbent and the week went!  I know that this is the Lord's work and that this is His church.  I know that he lives and loves each and every one of us and knows each and every one of us personally. I know that miracles are real and that if we have faith, we can truly work miracles.

Elder Schwartz

Service Pics

More Wedding and Baptism Pics

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