We had an All-Mission Conference on Wednesday so that President Sousa could bid farewell and give his last advice. I had a last-minute idea to put together a book with a picture of each missionary on a page with their hand-written expression of thanks/love/testimony. I'll spare you the details, but let's just say that Sister Sousa was as thrilled at the end result as Craig wasn't with all the logistics, since the logistics were crazy! What a supportive Companion!
Here is a picture taken at the Conference with the missionaries who serve in our ward. The Elders are all office Elders with us (for now). They are hard-working, valiant missionaries. I adore them and am grateful for their patience with me. The sisters are so sweet and encouraging to me. I hope to have them over tomorrow on their P-Day. There are usually as many investigators sitting with them in Church each week as there are missionaries!
|Nice of them to let the old people sit!|
One of the miracles of the Church organization is the way the mantel of leadership is passed. President Sousa brought President Bonini into the office on Friday to introduce and show him around. I hadn't met President Bonini before, but President Sousa looked COMPLETELY different, as if the weight of the world (or at least 223 missionaries) had been lifted; and as I shook President Bonini's hand I got a confirmation that he was called of God to lead this mission now. Being the naive (or at least optimistic) person that I am, I invited them for Sunday Dinner today, then tried to cook with my pretend oven and stove on pretend pans. (I think next time I'd have a thicker surface if I just used tin foil. And Brazilian tin foil is thin!!!) They were gracious about the burned specs in the stroganoff and the cookies that didn't hold together (come to find out, the brown sugar I bought wasn't regular brown sugar, but raw sugar - don't try that in cookies!!! As for the stroganoff - Brazil has no sour cream - thank heavens for substitution tips on the internet!) They neither one speak English (not that they should - I should be speaking THEIR language!!!) but Craig is getting better and faster at interpreting, and I can understand about half of what is being said.
|After dinner in our lovely apartment|
Rather than catch a bus at 5:30 and spend three hours getting to the Conference on the buses like the other missionaries in our area did, we were picked up by President Sousa at 8:00 and rode in their car for 90 minutes. I've told Craig I want to offer a jar of his peanut butter to the AP from the US to tell President Bonini that we are too old to get to the All-Mission Conference this Wednesday with the young missionaries, and that he should give us a ride. Craig won't let me. Not sure if he just doesn't want to share his peanut butter, or what... ;)
We are so blessed to be here on a mission in this place that is so special to Craig. It's very scary and quite different, but we are so glad to be able to serve and hope that our contribution can help spread the good news of the Gospel, which means the whole world to both of us.
Our Love to All!