Que benção! It´s a blessing to email you today. It´s Carnaval here in Brazil so most everything is closed but luckily we found a lan house that was open. And I finally got the Christmas Letters! So today, it is kind of like Christmas! Hurrah!
Big news first - it is sunny today and man, it is beautiful here. Smaller news second - I was made senior. Elder Fernandes was transferred last Monday to BH where he will serve very capably as district leader. My new companion is called Elder Sipião from Curitiba. He is a fantastic missionary, a convert of 4 years to the Church and it has been a real pleasure to serve with him this week. But I will be honest - it was stressful this week. Now, the responsibility of where we go, what we do, how many lessons we teach and everything is on me. For anyone that knows me, I can let stress and guilt get the better of me sometimes. The greatest blessing and promise the Lord gives us is ``Ask and Ye Shall Receive.` I´ve been asking a lot this week and I´ve been receiving a lot this week. Like Elder Hales said in his talk last conference, `The Savior has promised that He will make us equal to His Work. ´Follow me`he said ànd I will make you fishers of men. As we follow Him, He blesses us with gifts, talents and the strenght to do His will, allowing us to go beyond our comfort zones and do things that we´ve never before thought possible.` I know that this is true - I am not equal to the work of the Lord just yet, but I feel like I´m making progress and I know that the Lord is with me in this process of changing and becoming a converted disciple of Christ.
One of the greatest blessings we received this week was the baptism of Cassio. Cassio is a friend of the president of the young men here in the branch. He was already taught by the missionaries last year but moved to Sao Paulo before being baptized. He moved back to Tres Coracoes recently. Cassio has a really sincere desire to serve Christ and my faith was strengthened as I heard him talk about his desire to be baptized. The whole week, I had been praying to find someone who was ready to be baptized and the Lord answered our prayers.
We are going to have a fireside in two weeks called the Search for Happiness and our goal is to bring 40 investigators to the chapel. I ask you´re prayers in this endeavor - it is going to be a really great fireside.
We were practicing and studying as companions today when I just felt the Spirit testify that this work is true. I, really suddenly, just felt incredibly happy because I know that the gospel has the power to cleanse us of our sins. I need that cleansing, that purity of Christ so much in my life. I am so grateful for the incredible hope of the gospel - that we can change! That we can be different and through Christ, one day we can receive a fullness of light and truth. Man, the gospel is true. I know it.
I hope you all are happy and healthy and close to the Lord. I know the Lord answers prayers. I heard a quote in the CTM that I was thinkning about the other day that I´ll close with - If you´re not as close to the Lord as you were yesterday, guess who moved? The Lord is constantly waiting and ready to help us with our difficulties - just trust in Him and do what is right. It will all work out for the best. I love you all.