Elder Maruska - Week 38 Botafogo + Mission Office + Rio Temple is dedicated
Hello hello hello!
How is everyone doing this wonderful Saturday evening?! I hope that you have all been doing well and staying healthy!
I am alive, doing very well, and enjoying the mission! Thank you for your patience with my updates / this little hiatus on the weekly emails. Let's just get straight into this update!
First question to be answered, where am I living now in Rio? My new area is called Botafogo and it is part of the south region of Rio! A big part of coming to Botafogo was being called as the next Financial Secretary. The calling comes with an array of responsibilities, but they all revolve around the finances of the mission here in Rio. As a secretary, I work out of the mission office here in Botafogo with four other Elders. This week, we finished another transfer and with that, came the completion of my training! It has been a lot different working out of the office as a missionary, but overall, I have really been enjoying the new companions, the dynamic in the office, and the new ward that I am serving in.
This past transfer was amazing and filled with experiences that I will never forget:
Happy Mother's Day! Thank you Mom for raising me into the man that I am today! I would not be here, in life or on a mission, if it was not for your faith!
Rio de Janeiro Temple open house! Not only our mission, but all of the missions surrounding Rio came together to bring as many people as possible through the doors of the temple before it was dedicated. Through all of the collective efforts, we managed to take 70,000+ people through the temple via a tour.
New companion - Elder West. Elder West is from Sandy, Utah. He is a big golf guy so you know we had a great time together during my training.
Botafogo Ward! I moved from a strong, faith-filled branch in São Pedro to an awesome, faith-filled ward in Botafogo! There is nothing like meeting new members and hearing their stories.
We met a wonderful man named Alfredo. He has so much faith. We have been teaching him for the past 6 weeks AND have a baptism planned for him next week! Super excited for Alfredo and his decision to be baptized. I will be sure to touch on this more next week!
Working out of the office has been a very different experience than what I expected coming on the mission. Being a part of the "backstage" of the mission is not the easiest, but it comes with some great lessons and plenty of opportunities to find, teach, and continue to grow as a missionary.
The Rio de Janeiro Temple was dedicated! An experience filled with the Spirit and one that I will remember for the rest of my life. Elder Stevenson, one of the Twelve Apostles, made the trip out to Rio to dedicate the temple. We were able to participate virtually and it was a very special dedication. I know that the temple is going to bless lives all across Rio as people learn of the gospel and as more members continue to do God's work from within the temple.
Another companion - Elder Caldas. Elder Caldas is from Curitiba, Brazil. Curitiba is found in the Southern part of Brazil. He is another secretary here in the office and I am excited to see what we will be able to accomplish together this next transfer in and out of the office.
I am almost 9 months into my mission already! I know that this is the Lord's work. I know that this Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is the Lord's church here on earth. I know that miracles exist and can be found, whether small or big, in our lives every single day if we look for them. I know that we have a Father in Heaven who loves each one of you individually and perfectly. I know that Jesus loves YOU and that anything is possible through Him!
I hope you are all doing well! Thank you for all of your prayers, your love, and your support. The mission is not easy, but I know I am where I am meant to be. I know that was a bit of a shotgun email, but I will make up for it with some pictures. I am excited to get back to these weekly updates and stay better in touch with all of you.