Hey mom, sorry that I missed you last week, but I spend the p day in the bus. It was a 24 hour trip to my new area. This will be a hard but rewarding transfer. I have been called to open an area here, train a new Brazilian missionary, and be the leader of the district. It is keeping my thoughts really busy, even overloaded, which is good because otherwise I would be thinking about Ji-Parana all of the time. It was my favorite area, and I felt a lot like I was leaving home. Val was hit by a car the day that I left while she was being pushed in her wheel chair by elder Ivo. That really made me sick. She broke her leg and I think that her arm was dislocated. Man, it really made me wish that I was there and made me think that maybe it would not have happened, but the lord has comforted me and let me know that I am in the right place. All the same, it was hard. Junior was the branch mission leader and one of my best friends in Ji-Parana. He is awesome. He helped us out so much. He is in the age of going on a mission, but he is the only member in his family and is attended college and caring for everybody at home. Everybody kind of lectures him about a mission, which does not help anything. I never asked him about a mission until my last night in Ji-Parana. I simply said, Junior, you know that you have to go on a mission right? He looked at me and said, yeah, I know. I told him to promise me that he would go and he promised, and I believe him. He will be a great missionary. Also, it was hard to leave José. He is so close. I called him Monday when I was waiting for my bus at the station. He cried on the phone and we talked for a while. After I hung up he called again and asked what time I would be leaving. I told him in 30 minutes and so he said that he would jump on his motorcycle and visit me. He arrived there to see me off. He promised me that he would be baptized and that he would call me. I am waiting for the call. He is a great man and will be a powerful member of the church. He is just a little confused right now, as a lot has been happening at home. He is separated from his wife, who he still loves but she does not love him. She also was never faithful to him. One day, he went over to visit her and his daughters (Djeniffer and Davyla who I baptized) and she was there with a different man from Sao Paulo who she had met online and who is now living with her. I and his daughters helped him out, but it is a sad and hard situation. I hope that all is well. Also, my last week we had 2 baptisms. Saturday I baptized Jackoline, a 9 year old girl.
She has been active in the church for more than a year, and her sister who is 15 is already baptized, but she was baptized without her mom knowing which was wrong because you need the mom´s permission. So the mom got ticked at the church but still let her daughters go, but never let Jackoline get baptized. I started teaching and working with her, the mom. She is a great lady and really got to like us. She went to church 3 times while I was there which surprised everybody. She even wants to get baptized now, but she has to stop smoking first. She did let Jackoline get baptized though which was awesome. Also, on Sunday we baptized a lady who we met at an ice-cream place named Mariana. She has a great story.
We taught her for 2 and a half weeks and she received a testimony of the Book of Mormon and became solid. She even started giving us a bunch of references, but sadly I left afterwards. She is great. She was confirmed yesterday. Wow, I miss Ji-Parana. The life of a missionary is hard. I learned that when you serve with all of your heart, it breaks when you leave the area. Afterwards, I had a lot of temptation to try and close my heart, to maybe not get so close to members and investigators, to put on a rougher front, but that is not to be allowed. This work is a work of love, and act of charity, and the heartache that comes for leaving is, as Paul wrote in romans 8, not worthy to be compared to the glory that will come after this life. I have made a firm commitment to work with all of my heart. The lord deserves it of me, as well as his children. I am going to love me new area, and I am going to hate to leave it, but all of this is part of the mission. I love being a missionary. I also love all of you. Have a great week!