On Monday we reserved hotel rooms for the missionaries departing to home on Thursday. We also went to the bus station (practically our home) and bought half of the bus tickets for transfers. At night we taught a lesson at Romilda´s house and had dinner there. Romilda was really sad that Elder Costa e Silva was leaving.
We arrived early Tuesday morning at the mission home to meet President and Sister Bangerter to go to the airport. We greeted the 13 new missionaries that traveled from the MTC in São Paulo to the Salvador airport. I always love meeting the new missionaries fresh from the MTC and seeing their first reactions to city, especially the Americans.
Then we passed the whole day in the mission home giving training and running back and forth to the office, preparing things. That night we took everyone to the bus station, bought more bus tickets, and sent everyone off to their areas. That was when we said goodbye to Elder Costa e Silva. I was his companion for 4 whole transfers. He always joked saying i would cry when he would leave and i bet him money i wouldn´t. Guess who didn´t cry. haha. Now he owes me ;) A few people stayed at the mission home and had interviews with President. They delayed and ended up missing their buses. Do you know what that means? It means they sleep in our house and catch their bus to their areas the next day. We arrived at our house really late and had to make room for extra Elders to sleep. It´s quite inconvenient when this happens because there aren´t enough beds in our house and people sleep on the ground. (my companion this time).
Guess what we did on Wednesday? First we went to the bus station at 5:30 am to switch some Elders´ bus time to a later hour. Then we went to the office to do a few things. Later we returned to the bus station again to buy all the bus passes for the mission council meeting on Friday.
Thursday was a fun day. We went to the hotel at 8:30 a.m. to assist the departing missionaries get to the airport. President took almost the whole group to the airport. We stayed with Elder Bair (an American) because his flight would only leave in the afternoon. We took him to get a haircut, and to the Mercado Modelo, close to the Pelourinho, and he bought a bunch of souvenirs to take home. Then we took him to the airport! We worked in the office the rest of the day to prepare for the mission council.
Friday morning, we arrived early in the mission home. We had breakfast there and participated in the meetings with all the zone leaders of the whole mission for the rest of the day. There were some really good, spiritual trainings that were passed to us from President Bangerter. That night, we went to (yes once again) the wonderful bus station to help missionaries get their bus passes and board their buses. We got to bed at 2:00 am, but despite how exhausted we knew we would be, we were determined to have a good P-DAY the next day.
Saturday morning I called President and asked him permission to leave our mission boundaries to visit a tourism point. He told us we need to rest, but still gave us permission. I was pumped, but super exhausted. We ended up organizing a cool route to see as many tourist points as possible. We first stopped at the Pelourinho and paid R$ 5 to enter an enormous, ancient, fancy, golden cathedral / museum. As we were leaving the Pelourinho area, we ran into a group of American mormon tourists. They called us over and we chatted for a few minutes and took some pictures. They were from Utah and Idaho. One guy served here in Brazil when there were only two missions in Brazil (Brazil North Mission, and Brazil South Mission) and only one stake. The church in Brazil has grown soooo much since then! Then we took a bus to another catholic cathedral called "A Igreja de Bomfim". This one was free to enter. It was interesting. Close-by there is a small fort and a lighthouse that we visited as well. Everything was cool except for what happened to us. Here´s the story:
We arrived at the fort and we were walking to the little light house
That´s it. We didn´t get to stick around that area as much as we planned on. We thought it better to just catch a bus and leave. We got off the bus, bought subway, and walked to the office. We got to the office around 4:10 pm and hadn´t eaten anything since lunch the day before, so we bought Subway and chowed down. :)
Sunday was our day to really work! Up until Sunday, we saw the airport and the bus station MORE than we did our own proselyting area. Our investigators in Ondina were little neglected this week, being the week of transfers. Although we had very little time to work in our area, I felt happy with the 10 lessons we were able to teach and the new people we found, all on Sunday. I am truly looking forward to being able to teach and follow up on our investigators, inviting them to be washed clean through baptism in preparation to receive the pure gift of the Holy Ghost. To me it is a privilege to be a part of this conversion process in their lives. I´m enjoying this Christmas season serving as a missionary. I like the special contacts we do during this season with the program of #SejaALuzDoMundo ( #BeTheLightOfTheWorld). It is a great tool that we have to contact others and "AWAKEN them to hear about the restoration of the gospel! We must let our light shine even MORE BRIGHTLY!"
We are teaching a few couples who are great people. Both of them need to be married. One couple has plans to get married in January, so we are happy for them. We are teaching some youth as well.
Elder Cantuário is a great companion. He seems to be a well-organized, intelligent guy. This first week of the transfer with him went well, despite all the bustle and stress of the transfers. We really value the time we have to work in our area, and we are searching for people who have been prepared to hear our message.
I know that the time we have in the mission is priceless and shouldn´t be wasted. I realize that every moment is precious and what we do with our time is crucial, especially because time is so short. I am grateful for good parents who have always counciled me to use my time wisely, doing things that lift us up. I am grateful for my growing testimony that I am receiving during my service as a missionary. I trust in the promises of the Lord, and I am grateful for all my blessings. I know this church is true and that Thomas S. Monson is God´s chosen prophet on the Earth to guide us.
Lot of taxi rides and Bob´s Burgers! #secretaryprivileges
Saying goodbye to a few of the returning missionaries. Me and Elder Bair at the Salvador Airport. I knew this guy since my first transfer in the field! Bye Elder Bair!
6 elders in one small taxi!! (you can´t even see them all squished back there! ) haha