Letter #55

Dear Family and Friends,

What a week! We left our apartment last Monday at 8 pm, got to our first stop at 11, and stayed in the terminal until 3 am when our next bus arrived. Following a nice 4 hour nap, I arrived back in Vitoria. It really is a beautiful city.

Met my new companion, Elder Cordeiro, and then we both went with the secretaries of the mission, a senior couple, to a mall to renew my visa and have lunch. I had some spare time, and was able to sneak in a conversation with Pres. Young which was awesome of course, and then it was back to the buses. We went on an errand, with permission of Pres Young, and then had a nice car chase through the city, by taxi arriving just in time to catch our bus. Tipped him 13 reais, and was happy to sleep again on the bus. Another 4 hours, then another wait, before arriving back at our apartment at 2 am. If you didn´t catch all that, thats ok. Readers digest: Bus, wait, bus, wait, “oi presidente!!!´´ bus, wait, bus and then running on fumes the rest of the  week, but definitely felt force beyond my own to work hard, start the mission off right for my companion and share the gospel with everyone.

My companion, Elder Cordeiro, is from the South of Brasil. I honestly prayed for a companion from the south, and it worked out. He´s from Tubarão, Santa Catarina. Tubarão means shark. I don´t know a lot yet, but he has an amazing story that really has inspired me. He was adopted at 16, baptized at 17, and here with 19. He arrived here not with low confidence, but with no confidence. There have been lots of opportunities to help him, and he´s already improved to the point of talking with people in the street. He´s totally different from any other companion, yet is humble, teachable, has a testimony and carries a sweet spirit with him. There have been a couple times this week where I stopped in the middle of our studying together in the morning, just to bask in the spirit present. I´m excited to see what will happen during our time together.

Tanner´s story of escargot reminds me of a time a while back when I told someone we were mercenaries (not missionaries) and asked where he lived. He looked like he had seen a ghost. Fortunately, I think those days are past. I’ve had a chance to see a couple past companions recently, and they’ve all commented on my progress in Portuguese. Sometimes, we´re moving and progressing so slow we can´t notice it day by day, yet others can. So, remember to do the little things. Become a little better, a little more Christlike each day, and we´ll reach our full potential, we´ll become fluent, in the language of love. And I love you all,

Elder Schenewark

The great escape.

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