Hey everyone! Bom Dia pra todo mundo! This week was Chique demais! It was great! It was kinda funny cause the week started off pretty slow. Last p-day we went to this park thing that has a little man made lake. And bummed there and ate popcorn and drank Tereré. Which is basically a tree that is ground up and dried and that put into a cup and filled with water and drank. Its really bitter but really refreshing especially when it is super hot outside. All the Brazilians are crazy about tereré and not very Americans like it at first but I tried it my second day in Brazil and I liked it alot. Its especially good mixed with limão juice. Which is a mix of lime and lemon. In Brazil they don't have limes or lemons by themselves. Its just one fruit of the both mixed together. That was something I thought was interesting when I got here to Brazil. There was a ton of little fishes in the lake and we would throw popcorn in the lake and watch tons of fish fight for it. It was really cool. I will include a picture of tereré so you can see what it is. That night we ordered pizza to celebrate my 6 months on the mission, I also still need to burn a tie to celebrate 6 months. ¨months you burn a tie, at 1 year you burn a white shirt, and at 1 year and a half you burn a pair of pants. Its just missionary tradition. Tuesday we had lunch in our area which doesn't happen very often, so we got to go to work right after lunch, instead of having to walk an hour from the other Elders area to our area. We tried alot of less actives homes but most had moved or weren't home, we were walking to the other side of our area without really knowing where we were going and we passed a man who was just sitting on a bunch by a park. We said hi to him as we passed and then we felt prompted to turn around and make a contact with him. I learned something very important in that moment. I learned that I need to always been in tune with the spirit and be looking for the elects of God. At that moment I was worrying about the language and how much I still needed to learn, and I almost missed the calm prompting of the spirit to stop and talk to that man. The Spirit did something very rare in that moment, he prompted three people at the same time to do the same thing. Elder Cordeiro said that it was like the Spirit had shouted in his head to make a contact with that man, and as we were in the process of turning to face the man and talk to him the man called to us to stop and come and talk to him. So we sat down next to this guy on the bench and started talking to him. He explained that he always saw us in the street and had wondered who we are and what we do. He explained that he had asked some friends of his who we were and they said that we are people who are only out to cause trouble and corrupt and ruin people. The man whose name is Ricardo said that he wasn't sure if he believed that and so he had wanted to find out for himself. He said that when we walked past him today he said he felt the powerful urge to stop us and talk to us. So we talked, he was an active member of a church here in Brazil called the International Church of the Grace of God. They are a church that don't like Mormons. We started teaching him the first lesson, which talks about families, Prophets, Christs ministry here on the earth, the apostasy, and finally the restoration. We went by the Spirit, I taught about the Prophets, for whatever reason in this lesson I spent more time explaining the prophets than usual. Its kinda funny how these things work, cause they just roll out of your mouth and you don't even realize what you are saying. I like it when it happens, cause that means its The Spirit that is putting words into your mouth. E. Cordeiro talked a little more about Prophets after this and asked Ricardo if he thinks it it would be necessary to have a Prophet on the earth today. He said yes that it would be great to have a Prophet on the earth and that he wished the earth had one. After this E. Cordeiro said Brother Ricardo I KNOW that there is a living prophet on the earth today! It was sweet when he said that it was like the words slapped us in the face but in a good way. We talked a little bit more but there were a bunch of teenagers dinking off on the street right by us, they kept driving by really fast on their motorcycles which made a ton of noise, and it wasn't a great place to be taught by the Spirit. So we asked him if we could come by another day and give the rest of the lesson to him. At this point Satan tried get his foot in the door, Ricardo thought for a minute and said well I don't know I am happy in my own church right now, I don't remember what happened after this but we talked a little more, and he said we could come back and teach him. We gave him the restoration pamphlet and committed him to read it before we returned, he said he would. After this we left and visited some other people, the next day we had a district meeting in the city next to ours called Lucas, this is where the Sisters are, it is only and hour from Sorriso. We had problems with getting our passage marked on the bus, and were delayed an hour getting on the bus, we had a good meeting and training there in Lucas and the Sisters were great and made us lunch and dessert even. Our Sisters are really sweet. After this we left to go back to Sorriso but our bus was delayed again and we didn't get back to the house until after 7 that night so weren't able to visit the people we wanted. Thursday we went on splits with the other Elders in Sorriso our zone leaders. I went with Elder Chaves to his area. We walked a ton that day their area is huge, we visited some recent converts and less actives and some investigators. It was walking from 1 in the afternoon until 9:30 that night. It was a long but rewarding day. Elder Chaves only has a few months left on the mission and he is always saying Boa Sorte Elder Kennington Boa Sorte. Good luck with the mission. He is pretty trunky and excited to go home but he still works hard and gets stuff done. I'm glad I still have a year and 6 months left on the mission, the mission is sweet and is going by too fast I think. Elder Cordeiro and Lima visited Ricardo that day and said that he had read all the pamphlet and was super excited about what he had learned. They said he had even memorized part of the first vision and had repeated it when Elder Lima talked about it. He accepted to be baptized and they had also found out that he already been to our church before in another town, but he hadn't taken much note and there were no missionaries there. The next day We got back from lunch and I wasn't feeling to great so I laid down on my bed for a little bit then got back up and my stomach and head were hurting really bad. E Cordeiro asked if I was ok, I said ya but I needed to lay down for a minute until I felt better. So I laid down and woke up more than three hours later when the sun had already gone down. I was feeling better but my stomach was still hurting and I still had a minor headache but I asked E Cordeiro if we had some people we could see, he smiled and said yes but we have to leave right now to make it worth our while. So I dressed and we went to our area. I was still feeling pretty sick but I just tried not to think about it. We went and visited an investigator who was pretty stressed out cause his brother was having problems with his appendix and had a surgery that morning. We talked to him for a while and he seemed alot happier and in better spirits when we left. E Cordeiro said that sometimes as missionaries our purpose is to give comfort and help people through challenges. I'm glad I got out of the house that night and worked a little bit. The next day we brought our branch president with us to meet Ricardo and some other investigators. We taught Ricardo the rest of the lessons and all the commandments. He accepted to continue living them all since he was already living them all, accept that he drank a little coffee every once and a while but he accepted to stop without questions. Our Branch President who was a convert shared some helpful stories and was really impressed by us and Ricardo. He gave us high fives after the lesson and congratulated us. Elder Cordeiro spent alot of times on his knees asking for guidance and inspiration on behalf of Ricardo and came to the conclusion that he was ready and needed to be baptized this Sunday, because we felt that Satan would work hard this next week. The next day on Sunday Ricardo was to church early to receive his baptismal interview. He passed with flying colors and I sat and talked with him throughout church. He was super excited about there being a Prophet on the earth again today. He was super excited for his baptism and kept asking about it. We held his baptism right after church and there were many members who stayed and attended. I was really nervous cause it was my first baptism where I would perform the baptism. Wow I was nervous I could barely enjoy church. I had already memorized the baptismal prayer in Portuguese, I don't really know what I was worried about. But as I was changing into my white clothes I pleaded with Heavenly Father that he would allow everything to go fine. We had a super cool Baptismal service. A member played I am a child of God on the piano and Elder Cordeiro played along on his violin that he has. The Spirit was so strong and a feeling of peace washed over me and everyone. As we went to the baptismal font which is located outside I felt nothing but peace. I remember as I raised my hand to the square my mind was just at peace, and all the words flowed without effort. The baptism was perfect. Ricardos full name is José Ricardo Hermes de Freitas. I was having a hard time remembering his name before but in the baptismal font everything was clear in my mind. I performed the ordinance and as Ricardo came out of the water he had tears in his eyes. The Spirit was powerful and the look on his face was a look of wonder and refreshment. As he was descending the stairs from the font he just marveled and said the Spirit is sure strong with us right now. He will be confirmed next week in sacrament meeting. I'm glad the Lord allows for miracles to happen in our lives. And that in the times we need him the most he is there to lift us and guide us. I hope the Lord will bless us with more Ricardos on the mission. He was truly one of them who is only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it. But now he has found it. My time is about up but this week was great. I'm going to Cuiabá on Wednesday for a zone conference with them. I look forward to seeing president Reber again. But I love you guys and I hope you are well. btw I hope you spell check this letter mom. I am having a really hard time spelling things right and I'm typing really fast cause I had alot to write and not much time.
Love you all so much!