One year later. I've been back in the states for over a year now, and sometimes the mission seems like a dream. All of those people I met, loved, served, taught...they're still over there. I wish I had more contact, but I still maintain some level of communication. And I wanted to share a few things that have happened in Brazil since I left.
People - The week I ended my mission, Delmir was married in the temple. I found out as I was on my way to the airport, and it was an amazing finale to my experiences. He remains a faithful member in what is now the Pedro Leopoldo ward. All the hard work there paid off. Marley, an investigator I mentioned on several occasions who just needed to get married before baptism, was baptized several months ago. In what was one of the most heart-breaking moments since returning, I was informed that Emilio, Delmir's brother who we helped baptize, died in a motorcycle crash in March.
Our dear, slightly crazy friend Monica disappeared after being accused of killing her mother. I'm not sure what to believe there, but no one has heard from her in quite a while. I stay in contact with Daniel and Neia - they're doing well, and continue to thank me for my role in changing their lives.
The most information I get from Ipatinga comes from the family Elder Willden and I contacted, the sisters taught, and were baptized soon after. They were sealed in the temple, the mom (Damiana) is the relief society president, and the kids are some of the strongest youth in the stake.
Laudir and Eunapia were baptized by Elder Newman in Divinopolis soon after I left. They and Edna remain firm and remarkable.
Places - Pedro Leopoldo is now a ward, part of a newly split stake in 7 Lagoas. Divinópolis became a stake as well. Of the four areas I served in, three were branches when I arrived. Now all four are wards.
Me - So it turns out life goes on after the mission, a fact I didn't want to accept last October. Well, I'm still around. Active member of the church. Attending BYU, studying finance, preparing for a career in investment banking. And I still know it's all true. Still trying to be better. Still striving to be more like my Savior.