Oi! FELIZ NATAL!!!!
With all the love in meu coraçao Elder Heath
So I have some BIG NEWS! Elder Maltos and I had our First Baptism in our area! Cite sau juan! We have been teaching Lucas for 2 weeks and he was baptized yesterday after sacrament meeting! IT was so awesome! HE asked me to baptize him too, which was a huge honor! The Baptismal font was outside and the water was cold but the sun was hot, so it was perfect. We have a really awesome ward and pretty much the whole ward was there watching the baptism. We got in the water and I asked his full name. He said Lucas Veras Gama de Araujo, and he said it so fast, I was like what?! Once I got his name right It seemed like I forgot all of my Portuguese. ha slowly but surely I said the prayer and it was awesome!! I felt better than I have ever felt! It was amazing! But it was such an amazing blessing to help Lucas be baptized. He has a ton of friends in our ward which is awesome too! IT was an awesome day! 1st baptism with many more to come :)
So you want to know a little more about my companion? haha things are going great with him! I think he has the Bible memorized, and he knows every scripture! I like teaching with him a lot, and he is a pretty big jokester so we have a lot of fun together. He doesnt know much English, but I'm helping him learn. The most English he knows is through songs. He likes a lot of rock and roll. So he learned English through rock haha He is awesome! He is 26 and has 1 year left.
Things in Brazil are a lot different! I tried to send a picture of what our area looks like. We have one paved road in our city. Dirt and rock roads everywhere. The houses are made from brick and are really open to let wind in. The houses are really small probably about the size of my room and Danielle's room together. In my area we have no big buildings. We are about 1 hour from the big city of Fortaleza For about a family of 6. It makes me really appreciate all of the things that we have. The kids don't have hardly anything, and so I like doing simple little magic tricks to give them some candy or something. It is fun to see their faces light up when candy or a couple centavos come out of their ear, or appear from nowhere :) ha
But the people here are so nice! It is amazing to see how satisfied they are with what they have, and how important family is to everyone! Family is everything in their lives! And the people are so willing to give up so much for us as missionaries. A lot of times for our lunch appointments, it is only us eating with a couple kids, because they don't have enough food for everyone. The people here are amazing.
Mom, I love the shoes you made me buy! I wear them everyday and they are so comfortable! thank you so much for getting them for me! I am doing great with clothes too! Learning how to sew a lot too :)
I hope I answered all of your questions, sounds like you are doing amazing as usual! WE also had the opportunity to hear from president Costa, President of the 70 this last week! IT was awesome! Thank you for all the you do for me! I love you all so much!
This letter is probably going to be really scattered because there are so many things that I want to tell you that has happened. I guess ill start at day one...
WE arrived at the mission home and spent all day relaxing and resting in the mission home. We ate lunch with President Souza and it was so good! Right across the street there is a McDonald's and a Burger king! We didnt try it because it is about 14 bucks for a meal. Then I meet my trainer/first companion in the field. People were receiving comps and most of them were Americans so I was thinking I would definitely get an American... That is what I thought. MY Companion is Elder Matos! Born and raised in Sao Paulo. He is awesome! He knows lots of Portuguese but hardly any English. It is a little interesting at times but he is really patient with my language. As we walk down the street I ask about everything we see and he is more than glad to tell me once...twice... three times haha. We have had a lot of success! WE are opening a new area in Fortaleza! Called citz sao juao! It is about an hour from the beach, but other than that, i not really sure where haha.
So when we arrived our first night we got locked out. And we had no keys. So it took about an hour to get into our place and that was a lot of fun... waking people up to ask questions haha But we got right to work. ELder Matos has been in the fiesld for about a year and he knows the Bible better than anyone I have ever meet! He is 26, and loves heavy metal music. haha he plays drums, so everywhere we go we are always singing and playing beats. Dad, You will love this. One day I started singing Earth,wind and fire and Elder atos knew it! So we sing ..Do you remember?... all the time haha
We have been getting to know members here... there are not a lot...yet. But the members are so nice! I have gotten to play guitars in members houses that was really cool. Sing some songs to the kids. I have also learned some cool majic tricks with coins that the kids really like. Dad I know exactly what you meant when you said that the people you meet in Brazil hardly had anything, and you just want to give everything to them. Even though the people dont have much, they are the happiest people on the PLANET! Even the people who dont want to hear our message, and are really set in their lives invite us in to have dinner with their families. There is one member in our ward that I have to bragg a little about. Anna Maria. She is one of the Nicest ladies I have ever meet! We meet here the first day and she says that her and her house serve the Lord and so we are always welcome. Every time we walk by she gives us fudgecycles and talks. She likes singing hymns together too. So we sing hymns as loud as we can when we go to her house. She is really patient with my Portuguese and is always teaching me when we visit.
So first day in church was pretty fun. It is definitely different. WE dont have a building or anything just some benches with a covering over top but that good feeling is definitely still there. All of our members are really nice and really friendly. It is cool because a lot of the kids in school learn English and so the kids were coming up to me saying random words in English. I like it a lot. But we got called in right after sacrament and we were asked to give the gospel doctrines class... I thought I was scared to do that at home in English... haha It went surprisingly really well. We were definitely Blessed, and giving the lesson in Portuguese was awesome! I felt so good after. And when I was teaching people were nodding their heads like they understand so that is a good thing haha
Well I am just about out of time, but I just want to let you know that I am in great hands here. And I am loving everyday! IT is hard work but it is good work! Tell Aimee that I miss her too and give here a hug for me. Ill send pictures next week! AS far as Portuguese... the first couple of days were pretty scary because everyone has such a heavy accent here and talks SOOOOOOOOOOOO FAST! But I am starting to really pick up on what people say. Keep praying for me. I love you all and I miss you! You are the best! And DANIELLE, Thanks so much for the letter! I dont have time right now to write back but next week I will! I love you all so much and I Know that this church is true. I have already seen conversion this week and how this gospel changes lives for the better! We had 3 people come to church with us this week! I love being a missionary! And I love my family and friends!