I'm coming off my first Brasilian cold which means that I'm officially adapted to the country as it probably didn't drop below 60 degrees here. : ) President and Sister Genaro also caught it. We spent Monday preparing for the week and Tuesday receiving the new missionaries who arrived for the first time in the afternoon instead of the morning. We spent all morning training the trainers with president and the afternoon with the newbies. They were a good group and a lot more excited for not having woken up at 3 in the morning to fly here. Lunch was excellent as usual, but especially the Nutella strawberry ice cream. As the arriving Elder Lawrence said, "Woa." We will call all the newly arrived missionaries this week to see how they are doing.
We spent Wednesday and Thursday preparing for our conference in Marilia Friday. We slept in Londrina with the secretaries. As we arrived before them we decided to try and infiltrate the apartment complex alone. We got in! Name tags open the doors and people are already accustomed with the elders entering.
Friday we braved cold and rain to get to Marilia. Our focus was definitely on helping the many young missionaries and leaders re-learn what we consider the basics of the work but which many do not know, i.e. how to find, teach, baptize, confirm and retain. We changed the way conferences worked with divisions into groups of leaders/sisters/missionaries in the morning and afterwards training with lots of focus on practices (fun, innovative practices : ) Two more conferences this week and one next week, on the road again!
Saturday we just worked, and it was nice. Contacts keep the missionary happy. One was lots of fun with the bus driver who had watched "The Other Side of Heaven" the night before after finding it on you tube. He lives two blocks from a chapel!
Sunday we brought a couple of families to church and had some confirmations, one of a young woman who is going strong, confronting strong opposition from her family. Now she has a testimony and no one will take that from her. The other young women puts her mission papers in this week!
Sunday we also gave an hour training to all the leaders of the stake on hastening the work. It was well received and (if i say so myself, well delivered) and our relationship with the members is on the rise. Perhaps this is highlighted best by the reference we received from my friend the shoemaker Sunday night, one of his neighbors. The work continues to move upward and onward in Brasil.
Maybe this is a little short today but so many of the things in the mission are spiritual and perhaps impossible to put into words. This is the very work of God and His hand is continually manifest in what we do when we do it with all our heart, might, mind and strength. Continue the good work back at home! I love you, pray for you and am so grateful that YOU are my family: )