And a happy new year!
Preparation day is new year´s because there´s nobody in the city... Brasileiro só quer saber de praia!
Christmas was great. We had our little christmas miracle.
So Brother Bernardo invited us to have a christmas supper at his house. Cool. "Can we bring someone who we´re teaching?" "Of course!" So we started thinking about who to invite. Angelina... at the beach. José... visiting family in another state. Luciano... has relatives visiting. So we started going through the telefone looking at the names of our investigators and ex-investigators when we saw the name Noemi (no-em-EE). She had been avoiding us and we had dropped her from our teaching pool, but we felt that we needed to invite her. "Merry Christmas Noemi! How is your week going?" "I don´t think this Christmas is going to be very merry..." She then began to tell about how the month was going. Son has cancer, daughter needs kidney transplant, husband left her to live with another woman... and stole everything from their apartment, lost her job, oldest son ran away to join the army... So when we called her up to invite to a Christmas dinner she couldn´t refuse such an obvious answer to her prayers. There she was received with open arms and got all the hugs and kisses that she needed that we as missionaries couldn´t give. That´s how work with the members needs to be. I can teach. I can testify. I can give blessings and promise that more will follow obedience. But I can´t invite someone to my home to have dinner and feel the spirit with my family and feel the love of the Savior in a Christ centered home.
We are gearing up for another mission transfer and things in the mission office are crazy (as usual). We´ll be receiving 21 new missionaries! More than double the number that any other Brazilian mission will receive this coming week. So everyone will train...
New Year´s eve was crazy with tons of fireworks. We didn´t even enter our area yesterday because of potential danger. Every new year´s eve, the gangs go crazy in the favela try to kill as many of their rivals as possible in the three hour span where the thousands of fireworks overwhelm any sounds of gunshot... I don´t know if the nametag is bulletproof but I didn´t want to try my luck.
I know that the Lord lives. I know that this is His work. I know that He does His own work in His own time... and the that when we align our will to His things go better. Because He knows the path much better that I do.