So good luck--I'm not really doing any editing on this one--it's a great letter--Grant is doing so well--it's just his English and/or typing skills that might be in question!!!
First off... Russia?!?!! WHAT?!?! That´s so crazy! Nossa, cê é loco! that´s awesome, he´s going to love it! So it will be... a whole year till i see that kid, after I get back from the mission. Man.... I miss him! But he´s going to love it! You got to say hi for me and give him my best love :) He´s going to love the mission and GAH! that´s just too crazy!
So, what a good week! One of the better weeks I´ve had in this area. We have been working like crazy this week and just trying to find tons of new people and just help the ala... ward... out too. In the end, sunday came and we were blessed! So first off, we had this lesson with this rapaz (still don´t know a word for it in english very well... I guess young man) that´s dating a girl in the ward and we had the lesson with him and her family. The dad was all pumped up and waants him to be baptized like now, which I do too, but it was just funny how pumped up he was. Which makes sense because his daughter is dating someone out of the church haha. So anyways, we taught him the gospel of jesus christ and it was also kind of awkward because he was hugging his girlfriend the whole time and being all snulggly with her hahaha. But anyways, it was still a good lesson and i felt the spirit really strong and we invited him to church (his name is Gabriel) this sunday and he totally was going to go but because of miscommunication between us and the dad (we thought they were going to pick him up) he didn´t come. Anyways, we will continue teaching him this week and hopefully he will go to church and then continue to be baptized.
But that wasn´t the miracle that happened. During this, this week we have been trying to get in contact with Alessandro that went to church this week passt. But it was really hard, becaue he lives far away and he works from morning until 6 and then goes to school from 7-11. Also, his mom (on saturday) said he was sleeping but I had told her that we had marked an appointment with him that day but she said she would not wake him up. I got flustered up with her a bit and saying that alright, fine I´ll wake him up and it will be my fault. I just really wanted to teach him and also, it really was him who are marked the appointment so I knew he was waiting for us. But she didn´t let me and I had to let my companion take over the rest hahah. So we only ended up talking with him on friday with a recent convert of 2 years. But there wasn´t any time for a lesson. We just invited him to go to church again with his dad and we would get him a ride. oh funnyk story really quickly. When we left with the recent convert (his name is anderson) we started going to the house of alessandro. And Anderson really wants to go on a mission and was going to sell his motorcycle to help, but it got stolen. So, he was really bummed about that, but I know the lord will give me a way to go! but that´s not the funny part. Alright so, We were walking and there was this girl that he knows and he went up to her and put his arm around her and said, "Have you heard of the true gospel?" hahaha it was great. Also, with some random kid he just asked, "hey how old are you?" "12" "Deacon awesome!" hahah, it just was cool to see how animated he was about the work :P Aniyways back to the story of Alessandro! All in all, sunday came and we found no one to help us give us a ride and we couldn´t go to his house by bus to pick him up, because bus takes a looooooooooong time here. So all in all the dad and him didn´t go to church. I was super bummed because he was our best investigator we had had. But later that night we went to ward consel and he just happened to show up. I guess he had asked Pedro, our ward mission leader, if he could go to the activity at the church that sunday night and Pedro was like, you don´t need to ask, I´m coming to pick uyou up! So anyways, we ended up just teaching him the gospel of christ, giving him a book of mormon, to pray, and invited him to be baptized this next sunday! He accepted and was really wanting to follow Christ in his life. He´s a great kid and I know that he will be baptized. Now, we just have to do our part and help him learn and keep the commandments this week. The only way we can teach him though is 6h30-7 walking to his school so it will be interesting but good. Tomorrow we will teach him the word of wisdom and help him stop drinking coffee (which is always super easy to do with people that want to be baptized). But anyways, it really was a miracle.
Another miracle that happened. We went to church with no one at church. I got disanimated because of that and just didn´t know how we were going to have any success with this happening! But Elder Squires (an elder from the branch here [here there is a ward and a branch and I´m part of the ward. We meet at 8h30-11h30 and the branch meets at 9-12, what lucky bums :P]) said hey you need to talk to a visitor thats here, so right as I heard that, I went running into the chapel and say a guy sitting next to a recent convert. Went over and talked to him and got to know him. He is the dad of that recent convert and we set up an appointement to talk to him tonight at the chapel. because he can´t be taught at his home because it isn´t his home. Also, here´s the thing. He lives somewhere else than the rest of his family and he ca´nt visit them because of the mom (I don´t know the situation entire) So he said to his daughter that he will get baptized in her church just to see her. So, we can have a baptism this week, but the daughter doesn´t want him to just get baptized for that reason. Which makes complete sense, because baptism is a promise we are making to God and not just to see your daughter at church. So, this week we are going to really work with him to be baptised for the right reason. But we also have let the daughter know that she needs to help him have a testimony at once.
Also, at the ward consel! First off, a week back or so, we had talked with the bishop and some of the liders of the organizations to get 15 families that have members inactives or families that have non-members in them and we were going to start working with that. We also asked about the plan of the mission of the ward. So what had happened was that during the ward consel the bishop just basically said we need to do better as a ward. They had all talked about things they could do to help us and all that. and now instead for 15 families we will recieve 35-40 families! Wow! Also, all next month, the memebers will be visiting these families as well! I´m super excited about that. They are also creating a ward mission plano and just getting really excited. The ward is wakening up and the work is progressing well.
Hey, also, Elder Squires has a brother that is working in north carloina with the same exact thing as phil is. He name is Cody Squires. So, if he knows a cody that´s the brother of the missionary that lives here with me! Alright so transfers came and went. Me and my comp (elder Jackson) stayed :P and I´ll kill him off now hahaha. otherwords this is his last transfer :P. He´s way cool! He´s taught me a lot about our purpose being more than just baptising. That´s probably one of the biggest things that I´ve learned with him. Oh but this being all said, I didn´t become senior companion still. But that´s okay just there is more for me to learn! :)
It´s weird, I have to remind myself that I´m 20 years old now. but I´m still a child :] You can never take that away :P hahah. I´ve been trying to send some pictures but I´ts not working! So I´ll print off some and sent them to you. Sorry, it´s been a alittle bit that i´ve written a hand written letter to you guys. I´ll do that soon :) Hey and thanks for the info about astronomy and hockey :) because also, I was talking with an elder my plans after the mish and his plans and for my plans to work better I need to switch my track to fall winter. Which within my plans (haha sounds evil :P) it requires me working like the next day I get home haha. So get on top of that. But with all that being said, I´m at this stage that I don´t want to go home at all. LIke, I get sad thinking about it (the fact that I will go home hahaha) but don´t worry mom, I still love you and want to see you, just don´t want to be home yet :) But I guess that´s how it should be haha :) Speaking of, mother´s day is coming up and if we can use skype I will be using skype in the same house that you saw the pictures of me and you will be able to hear me a lot better. (they are rich :]) Also, thanks for the address of Louie! :)
That´s good that Jonathan got his visa so fast! And I´m still amazed that Jared is going to Russia, That blows my mind hahaha :P I´m glad she got my letter! I still got to write Jordan whoops O_o. Im slacking a little bit on my letters. but I´m trying to catch up haha.
Yeah, it´s cool about Marriner Wood Merrill! it´s also crazy that he had 8 wives and 43 children! Man, he really obyed the spirit of law huh? hahaha. Anyways, I don´t know why but recently I´ve been really into family history stuff. Which is why I just want to talk with Grandma and just record the whole thing and just tell, alright start telling stories hahaha. :P Also, I want to read the book that was made of the family history on her side. Wasn´t there one made? Hey also, do we still have all that work that Grandma Shaw did as well? Because after the mission I would love to look at all that stuff and just get started with family history and really learn more. One of the only things I know is that my ancestors from both sides comes from England right? Hey mom, who was the first person in you line (the shaws) that was baptized into the church? Was it from the beginning? Because I know Marriner was bapitzed like... 1856 or something like that. Anyways, just my mind going crazy :P hahah.
So yeah, this saturday is when Elder Holland will come. And yeah, we just have to have money in our account to show we can make it and yeah we can go :) So I´m VERY excited to learn so much :) Yeah, we shoke elder ballard and elder anderson´s hands. It was awesome :) we were going to take a picture, but they arrived late, but still very awesome :) An expierence I will not forget :)
Not transfered, not new companion, and didn´t recieve the package! But I´m pretty darn sure this saturday I will receive the package. I can´t wait for it :) Hey also how is my IRA account and my savings and checking account? Because yeah I had to loan some money to Elder squires for transfer. That´s hwy there was a big take out of it recently. I don´t want to spend so much. That´s something I´m learning to: how to manage my money better haha. So slowly but surely I´m trying to get better with that. The probelm is every two on the mission we get 125. But that goes very quickly because we use the bus 2-3 times a day. And it´s 3 reais (real is the currency here reais is plural and yes it does mean "real" in english as well but it isn´t pronounced like that) per bus. So it gets expensive. Also, sometimes lunch falls and the sisters forget to give us money on sunday. And we have to buy food for breakfast and dinner. So I end up with nothing very fast hahah. But I´ll get better.
Hey I heard that Elder Schenk had sat up in his bed and started walking as well! I heard that he is in SLC now as well? If so, I´m super happy with his progress and realizing the miralce of prayer and fasting that is happening here. I´m so glad he is progressing well!
Dad you got to get your foot feeling better! :P I´ll pray for it ;) hahaha. But hey, I´m definitely going to start up running and run with you alright? alright :) But anyways, it´s always good to hear about your new running project :) Also, I´still want to build a computer with you too! Just thought I would throw that in there... hahah. Man, I´m just really pumped for this next week and really excited to teach people the simple truth. I´m praying for help this week to get what we need to get done. There was a quote by Abraham Lincoln that Phil gave to me before I lefet on the mission. It´s more or less like this: "When I pray, I pray like all depends on God, But when I act, I act like all depends on me." I really liked this because if we want a miracle to happen, if we want to really have success in our lives, it requires fervent prayer to God, and then doing all you can to do the Lord´s will! Anyways, I wrote lots for ya to read and I miss you all and I´ll talk to you next segunda-feira... how do you say that.... Monday! so Until then and also until mother´s day! Sorry, I never sent anything for you mom on your birthday (like a letter), I was thinking about the other day. But hey HAPPY LATE BIRTHDAY and I´ll try be a better son :P hahaha. Hey IF i sent stuff sometime in the future (as a pacakge) what sort of stuff would you like to recieve? Just keep in mind this is just an idea for right now. Well, anyways, I´m going to head down and rest and write letters and eat. :) and then work :) Tchau! Tchau!
Com Grande Amor,
Élder Grant Shaw Merrill!