Well...this week has been a good week! We had 5 baptisms in the zone, making a total of 10 baptisms for our zone this last transfer. But now the transfer is over and it is time to get people marked for this next transfer! So the news is that not much happened in our zone. Nobody in our 4 elder apartment is leaving, so that is super nice because I really like our house! Just a few changes. We have 8 areas in our zone so 16 missionaries. And I think only 3 of them left. Because it's a new zone, we didn't expect that many people would change. But we are super stoked for today! Because me and Elder Dunford have the first baptism of the transfer in the whole mission! Bruno is finally getting baptized! (The guy who was having difficulties with his family). He ended up not telling his parents that he would be getting baptized. He's 24 so he can do that...and he thinks that it is the right choice to make! But me and Elder Dunford are super stoked! This guy is suuuuper cool. I freakin love this ward so much! This will probably be my favorite area on my mission! I wouldn't mind if I had to stay here for 5 transfers :) But we'll see what happens! Me and Elder Dunford are stoked to stay another one together! But that probably means that next transfer there will be some changes. President doesn't usually keep companionships together for more than 2 transfers.
Okay...so the couple that I told you about...we had an incredible lesson with them this last week! First of all...a group of young adults in our ward (including Bruno!) had a huge party at this one rich girl's house (who is also in our ward) so including Jessica and Carlos (the dating couple we are working with) there were 6 of them. And they had this all day pool/movie party at this girl's house. And then we came over at the end of the night to teach them. We taught the plan of salvation and it was so awesome! Everyone contributed and it was just way cool. I've never been in a ward or branch that had this many young people! And they are pretty close to my age...so I'm pretty close to all of them! I love 'em to pieces! Every time I am with them I feel like I'm back with my friends again! That combined with teaching the gospel is just about the best combination ever! But Jessica and Carlos really liked the plan of salvation! Carlos was asking a bunch of questions because his dad died when he was young and he was wanting to know how the sealing thing worked. Ah, man it was such a great lesson! And Jessica has been reading a lot of the Book of Mormon. She said that she read some and then put it down...then couldn't stop thinking about it because she wanted to know what happened next in the story! So she kept picking it back up! Then Mauro (one of the guys there) said that when he first started reading the Book of Mormon, he didn't even like reading! But for some reason he loved reading the Book of Bormon. That was a cool testimony! Because there are lots of people here that don't like reading. :/ We marked them for baptism for the ! :D We need to get them married or living in different houses... :/ so that will probably be the only stumbling block..and they smoke a little...and probably drink coffee. But that shouldn't be a huge deal! I'm sure they will be baptized on the date we marked!
Okay next, funny that you mentioned Brother Gouveia...because this last week I got a phone call from President Fluckiger...he said that he wanted me to call to Madeira to talk to Brother Gouveia because he had cancelled his interview with President Fluckiger. So I actually got the chance to talk to Brother Gouveia for quite some time on the phone this last week. He said that after I left he fell a little bit and then didn't want to go through with the interview...apparently there were a few things that happened since I left as far as the branch is concerned...but as far as Brother Gouveia goes, we had a nice long talk and we resolved some things...I asked if he was going to give up...and he said no, I can't go back. So I trust in him in that he will do what is right. He is such a good guy. I think I'm going to get his email from my planner next week and start including him in my weekly emails home. So yeah...there's the news on that one.
This week I learned a lesson on humility. So I had another day were my allergies were really bad, to the point where I couldn't function. I think Heavenly Father gives me these days to teach me a lesson on humility. Because I've been so prideful with my allergies that I never go to God or anyone for help. I pray and ask for the allergies to stop being such a bother...but nothing happens...And I think Heavenly Father has wanted me to humble myself even more and ask for a Priesthood blessing...but this occasion was a little bit more humbling. I was laying on the ground in our house when we came home for lunch. And I really couldn't do anything because my eyes were red and watery, my nose was running like crazy and I was just sneezing a ton...and my head was pressured with crap. So the other Elders came and picked me up and put me in my bed...and I said, "Are you guys crazy?! I am not goin to sleep! Just give me a blessing and we'll make lunch!" And Elder Dunford was like, "no. You need to rest a little bit..we'll make lunch you rest." And of course...I battled with him again. Then he said "Do you think somebody that has a smoking problem prays for help and then puts a cigarette in his mouth? If you want Heavenly Father's to help you...you need to rest a little so that you have more energy. We'll make lunch and then after we'll give you a blessing." This experience, as small and simple as it was, taught me a lot about humility. I never thought of it that way...but it struck me clear as day what Heavenly Father was trying to tell me...we need to let others help us, no matter how humbling the circumstances are. I felt like a child being picked up off the ground and put in my bed...but it brings the reality of the Lord's invitation to be submissive even as a child unto his father. Just a little humility lesson I learned.
Tell Kyle and Erika congrats on running the crazy man race! I can't believe they did that!
Well I hope all is well with the family. Thanks for all the love and support that I receive. :) We're going bowling today! :D No time to waste! haha. I love you! :)
Elder Colton Wayne Richins