As you can see we have everything! Two bathrooms, a room to sleep, a room to eat, a room to study, a laundry room, and a great and spacious hall to….I’m not quite sure WHAT it’s for, but it’s big. When I got here it was lacking many things, namely food, but now it’s a comfortable abode for missionaries.
This area is quite a bit different from Bairro Novo. There are a lot of hills, and the houses are a bit more spread out. The roads here are about ¼ paved, ¾ dirt, so that’s kind of cool. I feel more like I’m in a foreign country. I also feel like the people here are quite a bit richer. At least all of their houses seem bigger and nicer.
The ward is a huge help here. Just so you know, in like January, President Cordon closed this area, because the ward wasn’t helping. So he took away the missionaries. But when the missionaries left, the ward kind of woke up, and started working. Members like Cezar, Jefferson, Josman, e Ozair went on visits, and taught friends and acquaintances about the Gospel. They even had some people get baptized! So, in June President Cordon put Elder Croskrey and Elder Woodruff there. The ward kept helping, too, and since I’ve been here they’re been incredibly involved. In particular is Ozair. He and his wife have 21 kids!!! (Most are adopted) They currently have six kids on missions. And the others go on visits with us a few times every week. They really are an amazing family. Ozair is also pretty well off financially and when we have a progressing investigator that needs to get married to be baptized, he pays the price legally for the marriage, which is pretty expensive here in Brasil. It’s about $100 per person! Wow, Ozair is my hero, that’s how I want to be when I’m older.
The people here seem a bit more receptive here. The problem with Bairro Novo was that there were so many dang churches!! Every corner had a different one. Here there are a lot of churches, but not as many as Bairro Novo. Bairro Novo was just burnt over!!
You guys were talking about the weird phone booth’s here in Brasil, so for my strange things in Brasil….
“orelhao” (pronounced o-rail-yaon) which basically means “Big Ear”. They really aren’t phone booths at all. If it’s noisy, or there’s traffic passing you can’t really hear. And I included a dog attacking in the picture, because I know how much mom liked it when I talked about the dogs in Brazil. The orelhao are unique and different and one could make the mistake in thinking they were made to serve the public, but they are, in fact, designed specifically to rob missionaries. You have to buy these “oi cards” to use them, and an oi card costs 6 reais (about 3 dollars). This card is good for 40 minutes to a fixed line, or 7 minutes – yes - 7 to a cell phone. Elder Woodruff and I must go through three oi cards every week. It’s a teal! This money I could be spending on Brownies!!
I’ve been having some really special experiences here lately, and I think I’m starting to understand better how the spirit speaks to me and works through others. I’ve also been seeing how important it is to absolutely love the people you’re serving. I’ll be sure to tell you guys more about these experiences as they continue progressing, but just know that the Lord has been guiding us a ton here.
I want to know how all of you are doing?
How was Autumn’s birthday? How was your senior sunrise? Does Autumn already know some songs on the banjo?
Mom, how is your calling going? How are you liking the ward, now that a year has passed? How’s the neighbor lady?
Dad, how’s the Bishopric? How’s the ward? Are you liking your calling more? How’s the genealogy coming? PS, I wrote Grandpa Twitchell a letter….
Tell me all the news!! I hope you all keep going strong, and keep reading the scriptures and praying.
Well I’ve got to run, but I love you all a ton, and think of you often!
Love Elder Twitchell