Hello family! Thanks for the emails and the opportunity to choose a shirt color of my very own! Everyone was particularly funny today with their emails. I was having a good laugh.
Well, this week was a good one. I'll start with the highlight: interviews. I always love interviews. Recently, I have just enjoyed the time to sit and talk to Irma Terry. Before our interviews we had a zone meeting and all of the elders decided to take a picture of them without belts on. President never wears a belt and we all think it is so cute, so they took a picture. President took longer than usual this time as it was his last round of interviews with us, so it gave me a good bit of time to talk to Irma Terry. She has become such a dear friend and has taken good care of me while I've been here. It was good to just have time to talk to her as she mended an elder's pair of pants. (They were BAD.) The poor elder didn't bring a spare pair, so he stayed in the bathroom for a good half hour while she fixed them.
My interview with President was great. It was really like I was just talking to a friend. He never knew that I wasn't planning on serving a mission when we came here and ate with them. I felt so much his love for me and for the mission and it was much like my last interview. It was sad, but mostly a wonderful experience. We both have such good hopes and expectations for this great area. Things are really going to take off here with more hard work and getting the members even more involved.
We also had stake conference this past weekend, which was great. We got to go up for the Saturday session because the choir was singing. Elders Schutze and Caussé were at the conference and it was so good to see Elder Causse again. I got to talk to him a bit after the session and I sure hope that I get to see him again. I feel like I am really part of the Europe Area of the Church. It has been amazing to get to know such wonderful leaders.
At the Sunday session it was in an auditorium and as I was in the choir, we were on the stage. We could barely hear anything because of the acoustics in the room. But, afterward we sang a hymn and it sounded great. I got to see some of the members from Seixal (ps Jen, Carmen says hi!). It was great to see her and talk to the other members. I was shocked at how many remembered my name. Wow.
I had some funny things happen this week: I had a dream the other night that the Patriarch, Irmao Castro, was in a marathon for all of Europe and don't worry, he took first place. He smoked the competition. Funny what stake conference will do to your dreams. Yesterday we went over to the Caleiras to see the new baby. They have two dogs that roam around. Usually, they follow us home or down the street. Mind you, these are pretty good sized dogs. This time, one of their dogs followed us for literally a 25 minute walk until we got to another members' house and we had to shut her out of the building. The other dog followed us about half of the way, but probably got distracted and lost us. I felt strangely safe and like I was on Lassie.
Things are going really well with Leide still. She's looking into getting her papers processed and we have a girl getting baptized today and she can come because she has the day off. So we talked to her about baptism and what would happen. She then asked what she needed to do to be baptized. Wow. She is so amazing. The order of the lessons makes perfect sense for her. I know that she will get baptized some day and will bring her family into the Church in Brasil. It just may take a while, but she is one of the pure in heart.
More has happened, but time is short. I love you all and I hope that you have a great week!