Sorry I got a little behind on the whole email home this week. As you are already aware, transfers took place this week. I just got done signing a paper with President Jayme that makes me being Financial Secretary legit and gives the Church authority to excommunicate President Jayme and me without a disciplinary trial if one of us decides to misuse the money. We are the only 2 people in the mission who have that awesome privilege. As for a Staff update, it is now Elders Gonçalves, Noorda, Rangel, and myself who are the secretaries to the president. I must say, I think this crew will do a good job working together. Elder Guerrette was transferred and is now serving in Manacapuru.
As for more optimistic news, Elder Hodges, Elder Morris, and many other good friends completed their 2 years and caught a plane home at 12 a.m. Monday night. It was sad to see them go, but for the first time, the whole concept hit me in the head...it really does happen. Let me tell you, I have never heard somebody say, "I'm dying," with such a huge grin on their face as I saw from Elder Hodges. After they departed, I got everyone's health cards and credit cards and shredded them to pieces to make the whole thing official. Of course, I had to stay up well into the night to complete the task. Just last night, I was up again until about midnight working out the kinks with the new missionaries who arrived. They all seem pretty cool and I'd like to think my presentation for them went well. The Português just flowed from my mouth like a native... leaving a great impression on them and allowing me to communicate everything I needed to make their lives easier, and in return, my life a lot less hectic in the future from unnecessary phone calls.
Last week went pretty well. I got to see some good friends and we also had a baptism, which is always nice. She was one of those investigators who had been worked on for almost a year. Her name is Anna Karolina Malheiros Nascimento and she is the niece of 2 members who live in Bairro União. It was cool because the whole family was there and very supportive. The only thing that's keeping her active parents from baptism is MARRIAGE...one of the harder things to get done on the mission even though it only costs them roughly $40 USD.
In even bigger news, MANAUS WON THE BID FOR THE WORLD CUP OF 2014! That is a huge deal here. The city got pretty pumped about it and there were quite a few bands playing, people drinking, and kites flying last Sunday. They are going to spend millions or even billions to prepare the city for just a few of the games during the Cup. Being that the stadium is a stone's throw away, a good portion of our area is going to get an extreme makeover. They plan to clear out a ton of houses, which is certain to give the people peace of mind knowing the land their home once stood on is going to be turned into a colossal parking lot.
On a lighter note, we made a lunch calendar for the ward and one of the names got slightly altered to the tune of Taciafada...the last part sounding like "tramp" in Portuguese, which went over real well with Taciara. Fortunately, everyone got a good laugh and I ran my butt downstairs at the speed of light to print a corrected version and hand them out before the damage was done. We were successful and the threat was speedily evaded. Later that night, those same people gave us some food that just so happened not to be poisoned (haha).
We are actually teaching and working with quite a few people who are progressing nicely: Gabrielle, Ana Glaucia, Ana, Laeila, Carol's grandma and sister, Francisco, Thamiris, and Ingrid. Hopefully all goes well with them and they can continue progressing in the right direction. Elder Olsen, my previous companion, is working with Kleyton, the brother of Kleive who we baptized. As for baptisms, there aren't any planned for this week but a few marked for the weeks to come.
As for the questions this week, I work with Julio Monteiro in São Paulo who, more or less, verifies everything I do as Financial Secretary, but as for someone to help out if the computer magically blows up, the answer is no (haha). In regards to whether I can receive pictures through emails, the answer is yes. I would love to see pictures of those I left behind in the States. And Mom, I still haven't received the package, but I'm sure it'll be arriving any day now. That's about it...thanks for all the love and support.