Until now, I haven´t met the new mission president or gotten a call or letter or email or something of the sort from him, but I am anticipating that in the coming week we´ll have that opportunity. I´m excited to hear an Angolan accent :)
This last week we had a special zone conference with the missionaries from 4 stakes together in the mission office and had our last meeting with President Cordon. It was a bittersweet meeting... Bitter on the one hand, because we lost a very special family who has given all they have to the development of us as missionaries, and in helping thousands of people in Paraná accept the restored gospel. Sweet on the other hand, because we had chocolate/strawberry pizza... hence bittersweet. Sister Cordon gave the little dog poop in the brownies object lesson that Bishop Monnie did back in the day, and talked about how just a little bit of disobedience will ruin our ability to have the Spirit with us. (I still remember sitting in the living room of Bishop Monnie when someone... I think it was Crismon Lewis... started chowing down their brownie before Bishop could explain that it wasn´t to eat). President Cordon opened up a question and answer session which was one of the neatest experiences I´ve had on the mission until now. He really is a wonderful man, and will be dearly missed.
Today is a very special day. Because we marked the marriage and baptism date of Vilson and Valdete in the courthouse!! This has been the longest, most complicated series of hoops I have ever had to jump through... I think it might be easier for the USA to win the World Cup than to marry a divorced man with a widow in São José dos Pinhais with universal union of stuffs (that´s more or less how you translate `Comunhão Universal de Bens`)... When your mix in money, it all gets complicated. But after almost 2 months of fighting, we marked the date. July 20th. If you want to, you can mark it on your calendar too... everybody in the ward is.
So there exists here a big huge series of parties in the month of June to celebrate the special day of a bunch of catholic saints... And while the church doesn´t exactly sponsor a Saint John party, they basically do, but call it the Festa Junina which is to say `June Party` (this is basically the same thing we do... it´s not a Halloween party, its a fall festival!) It originates from the NE of Brasíl, and the hometown of Elder Silva has the biggest party in the world for this particular celebration. The stated reason for the party is to celebrate the harvest of the corn (remember that the seasons are flipped here and we are now in winter) but here in the south of Brasíl where there isn´t much corn, it just to have a big party and drink `quentão` which is a hot grape juice/ginger drink. It was pretty much the best party I´ve ever seen in a church, and all without alcohol! We had well over 20 investigators there... Now we´re talkin!
Speaking of parties... Even though I won´t be at home for 4th of July, last night we got to watch the fireworks, as Brasíl celebrated their victory over Spain (3-0) in the Federation Cup! I wasn´t watching, but when you are in Brasíl, you hear about EVERYTHING that happened in the big games. Looks like something has awakened in all these Brazilians who had been looking forward glumly to the World Cup because they had no hope for a very young Team Brasíl.
Dos Filhos Destes Solo Es Mãe Gentil Pátria Amada Brasíl
We´re fighting off a little bit of sickness so pray for us.