Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Hello Dearest Family!!

Haha, it is soo great to hear from all of you! If I wasn´t in a library when I read a bunch of the news, I probably would have made some celebratory sounds. But I respected the quiet, and I am singing inside with joy! I am so happy to hear that the nieces (and ?? from Natalie) are coming! Haha, and I was very happy to hear that Ryn is thinking about me. HOORAY again for Nolan´s recovery! My prayers are with ya´ll, and I love ya´ll so much!

By the way, I finally received Mom and Dad and Em´s Christmas package(s) (there were two of them!) on Friday at zone conference. That completes the circle from everyone! Rachel is excused of course being on her mission. (Thanks for being so considerate and thoughtful Rachel, but I think your amazing matchmaking skills can wait until I get home. Please don´t make me not want to go home at all!;) Thank you Mom, Dad, and Em for those pictures and Brasilian goodies – I also received the letters from ya´ll dated December 28 on Monday January 19. Don´t worry Joy, I did receive your package. Luckily the mailman person knows us well enough that he knew where to send the package slip. I think everything was ok on the address except the apartment number (8) was missing. Another tender mercy! Thanks again to everyone for the Christmas presents, they were wonderful! Pictures, candy, drawings from Caitlyn, taco seasoning mixes, kool aid/tang, paçoquitas, cereal, mmmm! You just can´t go wrong!

Well life is great in Portugal! This past week has been another of finding, working, and teaching. Zone Conference on Friday was great with training and receiving packages. Unfortunately though our weekly planning got thrown off so we had to finish that Monday. But anyway, Sunday was great! Filiu came to church, and Cleusa and Aleisa, as well as Ruben (son of a recent convert, Mafalda, whose dad doesn´t want him to get baptized. Stinker), Osvaldo & Daniel, and Felipe and Matilde. Cleusa and Aleisa were a pleasant surprise because their mom told us that we wouldn’t be able to come by and teach them all as a family because she is too tired from working double shifts. But Luisa (the mom) did say that Cleusa and Aleisa would still go to church and stuff. We´ll see how that goes in February.

Yesterday we had another lesson with Ana to talk about her baptism and have her pick speakers and hymns and whatnot, and she picked me to baptize her! I feel very humbled and honored for this wonderful opportunity. This Saturday is going to be crazy! We have an open house thing (Portas Abertas) starting at 9am, which will probably go until around noon. At 1pm Elder Corry and I will need to start filling up the baptismal font for Ana´s baptism at 4pm, and then Marley – investigator of the Irmãs – will be baptized at 7:30pm. Great day great day!!

Thanks again everyone for your news, love and support! I am grateful beyond expression for having been raised in a wonderful family with gospel principles. I know that Jesus Christ is our Saviour and Redeemer and that He lives! Have a great week everybody! Love,
--Elder Ellis V

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