This week was really really crazy fast. It's such a cliche thing to say, but it's always the truth. Monday through Wednesday were so busy they were gone before I had time to catch my breath. Transfers are always super nuts, and this one was no exception. I won't focus on it too much in this letter as nothing particularly different happened, aside from the departure of my friend and companion Elder Gledhill, leaving me and Elder Cushing alone as secretaries. Watch out world.
1) Conference- Conference was amazing. I'm pretty sure I said that it would be in my last e-mail, and I was definitely right. It was pretty much the only thing that happened all weekend, but that was just fine by me. I've been reading through the talks again this week and remembering just how inspired the prophets are, and how much we need their words to guide us today.
As a missionary, I must say my favorites were by Elder Uchtdorf Saturday morning and Elder Ballard Saturday afternoon. They not only responded to direct questions I had leading up to conference, but focused on a subject rather important to me at the moment: missionary work. I'd encourage everyone to read Elder Ballard's talk again, and then pray for individual missionary experiences. Help out in this marvelous work!
Also, when President Monson said that the Sunday Morning session was one of the most inspired he'd ever heard, I decided it was probably important to study that a little bit more. He is the prophet, after all. He knows what he's talking about when it comes to inspiration.
2) Are You Not Entertained?- In case you are feeling a lack of entertaining anecdotes recently and an overload of slightly more hefty, spiritual things, here's a couple fun little experiences from this last week:
Nilton- Saturday night, while making contacts outside of the church, we encountered a homeless man named Nilton. We had an extended conversation with him, which made me laugh a bit. Classic Nilton quotes: "Me and my friend over there on the sidewalk (Gestures at trash can) were just talking about how we wanted to come to church." "I live on the street. I take a bath once a week, if that." We actually ran across him the next day after morning conference. He seemed really surprised when we called him by name and shook his hand.
Pharmacy Girl- I went to the drug store the other day to buy some medicine for some missionaries. I went with one Elder Tsukuda, a Brazilian elder. The girl at the counter asked him how to pronounce his name, and he told her. She asked if he was of Japanese descent. He said he was. She said that he was the most attractive Japanese person she'd ever seen. I don't think I've ever seen an elder so embarrassed.
Office Olympics-We had the office olympics between conference sessions on Saturday, featuring competitions of Chubby Bunny, paper airplane flying contests, office rolling chair races, etc. I won. It was awesome.
3) The Right Moment- We had one investigator at conference, the same eternal investigator who drank coffee and hasn't been coming to church or progressing at all. We were pretty happy to see her, and went to visit her on Monday. We found out that she's pregnant, and is extremely excited. She's thinking a lot about her son's future, what kind of a life he'll lead, and about the significance of family. She even said she wants him to be baptized in the LDS church and maybe even to serve a mission. She recognizes our value system and wants it to be a part of her family's life. We also found out that they will be moving at this time next month. She's not drinking coffee anymore and doesn't have any problems with the commandments. I earnestly believe that this is the right moment for her. They say that people have moments in their lives where they are particularly open to the gospel message, and I hope and pray that this is hers. And that she decides to be baptized and join the church. Not just for her sake, but for her little future missionary! And for this potentially eternal family. And I'd also love if it was before they move...
All righty, then. I think that's about enough of that. Next week I'll try to pull some even crazier and even more spiritual stories out. I'm looking forward to a week full of hard work and whatever God has in store for me. It's always something good. And usually pretty fun, as well.
I love what I'm doing. I love the Lord. I love the people of Brazil. I hope you all are well. Work hard, do your best, never stop praying.