So my new area......... It is an area called Caldas Novas. Look it up! It is way pretty here, but the church not so much. hahaha
I am really excited to work here.
They had a branch here 10 years ago but it closed because the members werent doing very well and no one was following the commandments and everything was wrong. So for these ten years there has been a few families that just had a Book of Mormon and a hymn book and would meet every sunday. Now President opened the area again and now it is a branch. He had the assistants here for about 4 or 5 months but their time on the mission finished so he put me and another new missionary here. My companion is a Brazilian and he has 4 months in the mission. It is really exciting! We took about a 3 hour tour bus ride to get here. So it is really far. And it is just us here. We dont have leaders or anything. The branch is really small and struggling a bit to stay open. On sunday there were 21 people at sacrament meeting including me and my companion. When we started the meeting there were 10. I am really excited to help this branch out a lot. We wont do a lot of proselyting because it is a tourist town so it is hard to find a person that lives here and doesn't work on Sunday, but we are working more with the reactivation of members. There are a lot of inactive that we are going to help out. I am really excited to be here and to work here.
When the area President of Brazil (Elder Costa) visited our mission a few months ago he talked about rescuing the less actives. He said that for every less active that we rescue, we will will baptize one or more people. The retention rate is very low here. It is a little less than 4% so he wants us to focus more on retention than finding a bunch of people to be baptized then two weeks later be less active. It will be fun to work with everyone and to see this branch get bigger. Right now we meet in a school house, but they are signing papers to buy a house to have the church in. We walked by it. It is pink. haha Maybe for a service project we can paint it another color.
I am still being 100 obedient here. always will be.
But for your questions, my birthday was good. A lot of members baked me a cake my last day in Ipiranga so that was nice. The wife of the president gave me a call on my birthday so that was good too. I still havent gotten those packages. They said that they only give mail and stuff out at zone conference or misson conference. But we are having a misson conference in March so it wont be too long. By then you will be in ID! haha.
I am really excited for you guys to move! It will be good to be close to the family. Continue to pray for guidance. If you decide to move to a place that has some land with some horses or something, I wont be sad. Or snowmobiles too. hahaha. I hear the hunting is pretty good there too. I am excited!
Love you all!!!