As always thank you for your emails and letters. Things are really starting to pick up here in Vila Galvão. Last Monday night we finally got our electricity turned back on which was nice to have lights again and not be taking cold showers. This last week was the last week of my first transfer!! It seems like a long time ago that I left the CTM but at the same time it seems like this transfer flew by! Anyways today is the last day of the transfer which means right now President Ferrin is probably finalizing the decisions about where everyone will get sent. Tonight we will get a call from the zone leaders telling is if one of us is getting sent to another area! Elder Bangerter and I are both really hoping to stay. We work well together and we still have a lot of work to do here in this ward. When we got here we were kind of fighting an uphill battle because this ward has been through A LOT.The members had no trust in the missionaries at all. However Elder Bangerter and I went to work and showed the members that we really wanted to help. We worked with the members a lot and did a lot of family home evening with them and other activities to try and get them excited about missionary work. We started getting more and more references from the members and were blessed for our hard work. This last Sunday we had even had 10 investigators in church!!! I don´t know for sure but I expect that we broke a record for this area. I contribute the success on Sunday to the mission wide fast we took part in on Thursday. I wrote President Ferrin about the results of the fast in my weekly email to him so I am just going to copy the part about the fast.
I know that the mission-wide fast really made a difference for us. I have definitely felt the Spirit stronger since the fast and I know that our investigators can feel the difference too. We have been teaching a family named the Machado´s for a couple weeks and on the day of the fast we had a great lesson with them. I´m not going to lie, going into the lesson I didn´t feel any different than usual, except maybe being hungrier and thirstier than normal. However soon after we said the opening prayer the Spirit in the room was really strong and we had a really good lesson with them. The whole family was asking questions the whole time and responding to questions just how we wanted them to. After the lesson as we were leaving the Mom of the family and the daughter followed us to the street and stood there on the curb for 2 or 3 minutes just watching us walk away. The next morning soon after we broke our fast they called us just to say how much they enjoyed the lesson and that they were very excited to have us over again. I know that they could feel a big difference whenever we walked into their house and whenever we left it as well and I know it was because of the fast. Another way that we saw the results of the fast was at church on Sunday. It was the best Sunday ever!! We had 10 investigators there and they are all really good investigators who are interested in the Gospel. We had 10 people there, most of them had never been to church before, but somehow all of our investigators knew someone in our ward. They all felt welcome and after sacrament meeting they all stayed around talking to the members and to each other for almost half an hour! Our investigators stayed longer than all of the members! That was another result of our fast. Things are looking really good right now for us and I know we have been blessed for our hard work and sacrifices.
That´s about all the news for this week. I am pretty nervous to see what happens tonight with the transfers. I am almost positive that I will stay in this area but I don´t know if Elder Bangerter will stay or go. Here are responses to some questions I got in the emails.
Where do you use the computer? We use the computers at Lan Houses. I think in the U.S. they call them internet cafés. It´s just a place that has a lot of computers and we pay per hour to use them. It´s not too expensive and it´s really close to our apartment.
Does Brazil have Halloween? I´m going to go with no. Nothing like what we do in the U.S.. They do call October 31st Dia das Bruxas but they don´t do trick or treating or dress up. Actually I don´t think they really do anything at all but I guess I´ll find out for certain on Wednesday.
a testimony and doesn´t realize how important it is. You can´t give him a testimony but maybe you can find a way to help him get one for himself.
Thanks again for all of your emails, letters, support, and prayers!
Elder Caleb Anderson