Thanks for the emails, sounds like you guys are enjoying the last bit of summer. Here it is pretty dang cold- Im only wearing flipflops cause my tennis shoes are completely ripped open. Im tempted to buy new ones, but the are a little expensive, and probably wouldnt last very long. Speaking of cold, our bathroom is still in reform, so in the morning, we are still using the freezing cold shower from the abandoned apartment next door. It usually involves running around in the apartment for a few minutes to warm up before jumping into the icy water. It has been pretty rainy lately, which has given the ocean a greenish hue. Way cool! I am so tempted to go swim in the water, but alas, the little rule book tells me I cant. Maybe one day when I am rich, Ill come back with my wife and 12 children to go walk on the beaches here. haha
We are doing really well here. Elder Brasil is a boss. We teach really well together and he is a hard worker. We are looking at having a good bit of results in this next month. We have a woman that we are teaching with her grandson that is really wanting to be baptised- she is practically part of the ward already- she is wanting to pay tithing and will give us lunch this Saturday. Her cousin lives on the road, and we are teaching her too. She has a desire to learn about the church, and her son has been going alone to church for about a month- he has been asking her if he can be baptised (even before we had the chance to teach him!) We are helping some other great families that need to be married (super expensive - 750 reais) so that they can be baptised too. It is a lot harder of a fight to help someone stay excited and progressing for so long (about 3 months) while the marriage process runs without them having the gift of the Holy Ghost.
When we got to the area, we met a recent convert that has a drinking addiction. Apparently the missionaries that were here before didnt help him cure his addiction before baptizing him- very sad. Now he is having difficulties. Every time we go there, we smell alcohol on his breathe. He has had a really difficult life- his wife left him and took his child to the Bahia (very far away). We got to his house one day,and he told us he drank. He was very sad. That day he got an envelope in the mail from his wife. He grabbed it, and slowly opened it and slid out the contents- it was the photo of what looked to be the elementary school graduation of his little boy. -a smiling boy that he hasnt seen for years- I looked up to his face and saw his watery eyes and that half smile pulled to the side of his face, without the need of words to express what he was feeling, and I almost started to cry. Up until then, I wasnt able to tell how much pain and regret he must pass through from not being able to see his son. I guess that is how our Father must feel when we conscously make decisions that draw us away from Him, or choose not to speak with him in prayer.
On the other hand, God is very happy with us when we choose to change for the better. We taught the word of wisdom for a family that the husband has a few addicitons. We decided to start with the most simple to tackle first. We taught the lesson and said *we would like to invite you to stop drinking coffee.* *OK*
*Ok, so will you thow it away, and not drink it any more?* * I will* *Can we do that now?* He laughed a little as he grabbed a tupperward full of coffee grounds and dumped it into the trash, grabbed his thermos and emptied it out into the sink. Wow. Without questioning, or complaining. This man has some faith.
Hope you all have a great week!!!
Love you,Elder Stinnett