In more ways than one!
First, the weather here in Sao Paulo has gotten hotter. Sleeping at night hasn´t always been the most fun. I thought I was getting used to the heat but it turns out that it´s been abnormally cool for the summer here so far.
Second, I jumped the gun and just assumed that I would be staying for a total of 11 weeks because I came 2 weeks early. Paulo, the person who is in charge of most of the logistics for the missionaries like travel dates, who´s in what district, etc talked to our district. We´re all leaving after we´ve had a total of 9 weeks. For 3 Elders that falls on their normal transfer dates for their missions. For the rest of us, we´re all leaving on February 26th. Yeah, on my birthday! The reason we´re leaving on a Friday and not a Tuesday like we´re supposed to is because there´s a seminar for Mission Presidents on the Tuesday we would be leaving, I think it´s March 2. So... we´re leaving on a Friday instead! I´ll be just over two weeks early for transfers. I´m assuming I´ll be put in a companionship of 3 elders temporarily. We´ll have to see. That puts me at just over 2 weeks left here! I thought I had more time with the language, so I´m going to have to kick it into high gear to meet my goal of being fluent in the lessons when I leave.
Last Friday, we went proselyting. Elder Knapp and I were given 4 Books of Mormon to place. We had to stay within our normal boundaries that we have during our P-Day adventures. It was such a wonderful experience! Except for getting a bit sunburned. I was only outside for 3 hours! I guess that´s plenty of time to get sunburned here. The first person that we talked to was kind of interested in a book so he accepted one when we asked if he wanted one. The second person we talked to was great. His brother-in-law lived in Salt Lake City for a while, I don´t know if he was a member or not, but he knew about us. He said he didn´t have a lot of time because he worked a lot but we assured him that it´s okay to just read a little bit here and there when he has time. Elder Knapp and I were able to bear our testimonies and he wanted a copy too. We walked around a bit more and ended up at a bus stop. We talked to a lady and we caught that she said "all words about God are good" or something like that. Unfortunately we couldn´t finish our conversation because her bus pulled up but we were able to get a book into her hands as she ran to catch the bus. The 4th person was an amazing experience. The Lord really has prepared people to hear the gospel. Elder Knapp and I walked around a bit more but decided to go back to the bus stop and talk to people while they waited for the bus. There were 3 people there when we came back. I didn´t really notice, but as we were talking with the two of them, Elder Knapp saw the other lady look over at us and move closer to us so she could hear what we were saying. We finally were able to talk to her. She was so desperately interested. We couldn´t catch everything she was saying, but she said "There´s something different about you. You´re not like the others who preach around here." I felt so good about giving her a Book of Mormon. We had more time after that so we went back and got 2 more copies. An older man was interested but here in Brazil, people sometimes think that they have to pay for a copy but we assured him it was a present and when he was holding it, he was holding it to his chest like you would something really precious. It was really neat! Apparently the area around the MTC is a tough area. People are used to us missionaries coming around with Books of Mormon so they aren´t as receptive as the rest of Sao Paulo, but we shocked a few people when we our whole district placed a total of 26!
Speaking of district, my district has gotten even larger. Originally there were 8 of us, then 2 more Elders who were in the Provo MTC got their visas and joined our district. Well on Saturday, 3 more came from Provo! We´re up to 13 Elders! Elder Bostrom was one of the 2 Elders that came first, and the other 3 were in his old district in Provo! Funny story about Elder Bostrom, he was talking about how in his family it´s tradition to name the firstborn of the firstborn Thor Bostrom. I remembered a guy named Thor that was in my ward at BYU-I my winter semester so of course I asked Elder Bostrom and that was his brother! It´s such a small world here in Brazil. I never would have thought so. I have a connection like that to almost every Elder in my district so far it´s weird but cool!
I´ve been reading the New Testament for my personal study and I´ve made it through Matthew. I´ve surprised myself because after personal study is over I don´t want to stop reading! I just love reading about Christ´s earthly ministry. I want to know more and more! There´s just not enough time to read though. I´m starting to truly love reading the scriptures for probably the first time in my life.
That´s about it for now. It´s been a great week, again! And next week is going to be even better as President Brinton, my branch president, says.
P.S. Does anyone know of a Larry and Jaydean Rackham that lives in Boise? I´m assuming I´m probably related somehow. I ask because one of the other branch presidents and his wife are friends with them. have thought so. I have a connection like that to almost every Elder in my district so far it´s weird but cool!
I´ve been reading the New Testament for my personal study and I´ve made it through Matthew. I´ve surprised myself because after personal study is over I don´t want to stop reading! I just love reading about Christ.