Hey mom! Yep, this week will be busy. Today we had a long meeting with the President. Tomorrow the new missionaries arrive and we pass the transfers. Wednesday we pass the day at the bus station and on Thursday the old missionaries go home. Elder W Silva is doing great and really there´s not much to do for training. Everything was passed to me in a couple of days. Yes, we do have a testimony meeting with group arriving and the group leaving. It´s at the president´s house. He lives on the 14th floor of a very nice apt. building right near the beach. His house is actually in my area and we pass near it a few times per week. We go to the dinner for the newly-arriving missionaries, but not for the ones going home. At the dinner for them, Sister Soares cuts the bottom part of each elder´s tie and hangs it on the wall next to their picture.
Yeah I don´t think the church is having many more problems with Visas. Actually there really aren´t many Americans being called here anymore. In the last 3 groups that have arrived, only 1 american has arrived in each group. These groups have about 8-12 missionaries come in.
That´s funny to hear about the new missionaries. I can´t believe they have so many wards to work with. How are they able to work with all of these bishops? One thing I´ve learned is that missionary work is always more successful when the members love and accept whatever set of missionaries comes in, even if they are not the most obedient or focused. Sadly, there are some members here on the mission that are quick to talk negatively or complain about the missionaries´ work and slow to do anything to help or encourage them like give references or serve them. But it´s also sad to see when one set of missionaries is able to work so well with the ward and have so much success, and then another set arrives that isn´t able to keep up the same reputation. Successful growth in a ward requires lots of unity between the members and the missionaries. This means that the missionaries should have lots of humility to be able to work according to the ward´s needs and that the members should humbly support and help the missionaries.
Great to hear about your week and I hope your class is going great. My week went well. We worked really hard during the week and were able to have lots of investigators at church and baptize a man named Tadeu.
Lately the only emails I've been receiving every week are from you and dad. I used to write to a couple of friends more frequently but it´s been a while now. Every once and a while I send a few pictures to friends from high school or BYU or send a little email.
Love you too!