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Elder Maruska - 12/1/2022

Bom tarde!

How is everyone doing? It's really weird to have a day off in the middle of the week, but we find ways to make the most of it!

I realized last week that I didn't send any pictures which I know for most of you is probably the best part, so I throw a few extra ones in this week.

Today's email is going to be short and sweet. On Sunday night, we received our transfer news and Elder Helsley sadly is leaving the area after only one transfer together. This last week with him was probably our best as companions. We had a special church sacrament meeting (Sunday service) that we were trying to invite everyone too. Every day for the past week and a half has been focused one way or another on this past Sunday. We set the high goal of 20 non-members in church. After all of our work on our end and working closely with the members, we were able to bring 14 people to church on Sunay as a ward! Many for the first or second time too which is amazing and very exciting moving forward.

This week we had a few good and funny moments during our lessons. One of the awesome moments came from contacting on the streets / looking for inactive members, but unfortunately with little to no luck. We were walking around and unable to find members in their homes nor people who wanted to talk to us, but out of nowhere this guy comes up (while we are trying to talk to these people that didn't really want a lot to do with our message) and says, "Hey Elders!" Turns out this younger man, Nikolas, had been taught by a few missionaries not too long ago. We realized Nikolas was probably the person we were meant to meet in that area, so we stopped our contact and went to his house for a lesson. He happened to live on the same grounds as another church, but he made sure to tell us he isn't member of this particular church; he just takes care of the grass. The good and funny moments came from our two lessons with him this week. While he is an interesting lad, he has a lot of faith and a real desire to follow Christ which is always good to hear. He said he wanted to come to church (another awesome thing to hear) but he wanted to come alone - without his wife and son - even though his wife has read all of the Book of Mormon. It didn't make any sense and his reasoning was that he wants "to be free" sometimes. 

Yesterday, we went into the city to pick up our new companions and my new trainee. His name is Elder Falanchi. He's was burned and raised in Centerville, Utah. His parents are Brazilian and were born in São Paulo, so his Portuguese is better than mine in a lot of ways which will be fun. Lastly, for those of you who don't know, Elder Falanchi's first day as a missionary in the field was yesterday, so it's going to be an important but awesome journey helping him learn more about how he can be the best missionary he can be.

I am excited to be training and I will definitely have some fun stories to share as we take on this journey together as companions. I hope you are all doing well and looking forward to the Christmas season.

With love from Rio,

Elder Maruska

Photo dump! Last couple of weeks :)

Plus Thanksgiving dinner this year was pizza again haha.

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