No, I did not go to Rio for the Olympics. Itaperuna has a similar statue and we made the loooong climb up to visit it. I´ve seen the statue every single day here, and have wanted to visit it since coming here.
This week has been pretty crazy but definitely a good one. And nothing epitomizes crazy like Manoel. I wrote a little bit about him last week, how he is so happy despite suffering countless accidents. He´s still beaming smiles, and I´m starting to understand why he has so many accidents. We were walking and he passed us on his motorcycle, and waved at us emphatically in his sincere pleasure in seeing us. But remember, he only has one arm! I couldn't help but laugh as he raced past us without any hands steering the motorcycle. Despite many physical hardships, Manoel is coming to Christ. He´s shed many a tear testifying of the love he´s felt from our Redeemer.
Igor is 20 years old and has attended church now 4 times. We've been teaching him, and it´s been amazing to see him change. His sister was baptized about a year ago but he never had a desire to visit the church. Just before I arrived here, he woke up wanting to visit the church and since then he´s completely changed. He works at night and sleeps during the day which makes it hard at times to visit him, and so were surprised when he called us this week asking what he needed to do to be baptized and prepare for a mission! It was definitely a great surprise. He struggles with same sex attraction, but has a great desire to come unto Christ, and knows there is no other name whereby salvation cometh, as well as in the gospel is found true happiness and peace.
And, we also met a young women, Michelle that has also completely embraced the gospel. We met her talking with people in the street. She went to a church activity about 3 hours later and has impressed me with her sacrifice to come to the church the last two Sundays. She lives way out in the country yet has made it to church before us both times. Her whole family just drinks on the weekends, yet she is setting the example for them and I am sure will help bring them to Christ.
This week, I read a talk by Pres. Hinckley, and while the talk in general was fantastic, there was one line that struck me. To paraphrase he said that the world in which we live in is incredibly wicked, and he did not know if Sodom and Gomorrah were more wicked than today. And that talk is from 2004, Twelve years ago.
Enjoy the view