We hope that you are well and happy in your many activities and responsibilities. For the moment, we can only cheer you on from Brazil. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
This past week, we finished inspecting the missionary apartments in the regions of the Pampulha Stake. The stake includes 5 wards in the municipality of Riberão das Neves as well as the Pampulha, Lagoa, and Venda Nova Wards in Belo Horizonte. We are glad to finish this task as it has required multi-hour trips on bus routes that are new to us. The missionaries seem to think that the purpose of our visits is to inspect for cleanliness. We will give an award in the next zone meeting to the companionship with the cleanest apartment. However, we are also interested in issues related to health and safety. For example, all of the missionary apartments have carbon monoxide detectors. However, we did have an unfortunate incident. We visited a missionary house that did not have a properly functioning lock on the entrance. We told them to get it fixed and called the mission president’s wife with the urgent request. Before the issue was resolved, someone broke into their house and ransacked it. The missionaries did lose some money, but the thieves were not interested in white shirts, ties, or copies of The Book of Mormon.
Recently, we have had the opportunity to participate in home evenings and other teaching opportunities in our three wards where we have focused on the topics of free agency (2 Nephi 2) and the mighty changes that we pass through (Alma 5) as we accept the invitation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, to receive the blessing of faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end (2 Nephi 31). We are grateful for the opportunity to help those interested in returning to the path of the gospel and the church. However, we are saddened to see the consequences of choices that lead away from Jesus Christ. This is harder than dealing with bus rides, steep hills, the afternoon sun, and the poverty and misery that we witness each day.
That’s all for now.