Email received January 5, 2015

Oi gente!
Está semana foi bom! As vezes foi um pouco difícil, mas foi bom!
This week was great! At times it was a bit difficult, but was good!
     Monday we had 2 FHE´s that we helped with. The first was with the family of the girl we baptized. It went well! The other one was with a family that is awesome! the father is less active, but we are trying very hard to help him come back around. He is getting better with reading and praying and was even at church yesterday!!! That was so amazing!
      Tuesday we had district meeting in the morning. Then we went and talked to one of the people we had found the week before. He´s really open and receptive, but he is very dedicated to his church. But still! After talking with him, we had lunch in one of the farthest parts of this area... It took a good 30-40 minutes to walk there. At mid-day. In the sun. It was so hot!!! And when we got there, the sister didn´t know we were coming. She thought she signed up for January 30th. Not December 30th... So she made a quick small lunch for us. After lunch one of her kids went out back and got us some Green Coconuts! He climbed up the tree and got some coconuts for us. These coconuts had water in them instead of milk. So we drank the water. It was pretty good! I coulnd´t drink a whole lot, but it was good! And then after we broke it open and ate some of the meat. It was definitely a new thing for me. After lunch we came back and then went to the other side of our area. So it was about 40 minutes to get to the house from lunch, then another 20 to get to where we were going to work that day. And all during the hottest part of the day.... It´s been one of the hottest weeks I´ve had thus far and very little wind. So it was even hotter. But it was a good day.
      Wednesday we had lunch in basically the other corner of this area. So it was very long again. Not quite as long, but still about 30 minutes. This day and the day before we had lunch in the far reaches of the area of the other companionship. So we were in their farthest areas for lunch. After lunch on Wednesday, we went with a  member and a young man to the member´s dad´s house. With my luck, this was in the farthest part of my area that I have yet been to.... I had never even seen that part of our area. And now I know why. It was 40-50 minutes to get there... But anyways, the visit went well! The member´s dad is a less active and is living with a non-member "wife". So we´ve got some work there. But it´s all good! We walked more than 10 miles that day. And a good portion was in sand. So basically walking on the beach... Made it a bit more difficult. And it was new years eve. So everybody was partying and traveling and drinking and not being smart. So we did basically nothing outside of the appointments we had set.
       Thursday we did basically nothing. It was new year´s day and I swear that that is a bigger deal than christmas. Everybody was still partying, still drinking, still not being smart, and half the town was at the beach. And in the afternoon, when they all got home, they just slept. So we did very very little. It was frustrating. I don´t like to do nothing here. And it was even harder because everyone was making such poor decisions. But everyone made it through safe into 2015!
     Friday we did basically no work again. We had Zone meeting from 8-5... So our whole day was spent there. But Elder Medina and I found out that our numbers for the month were some of the best in the zone despite the fact that I felt like we did nothing at times. The Zone as a whole had 950 baptisms in 2014! Only 50 shy of the goal of 1000. So that was still good even though we came up a bit short. And this year will be even better!!
     Saturday was a decent day. We only taught 8 lessons, but we found 3 new investigators! So that´s always good! Now we just have to go back and help them learn more!
     Sunday was great! We had less actives and pesquisadores in sacrament! They all loved it! After church we had lunch again long ways from the house. But it was really good! After lunch we visited with some people in that area and taught some lessons. Then we came back closer to the house to take a couple youth out to teach. We went to teach a friend of one of the young men and it was awesome!  when we got there it was pretty normal. We were talking with the mother and daughter for a while. And after a bit, she stopped us and told us something really amazing. She said that earlier that day, she was napping and had a dream. Her dream was that she saw a group of people coming towards her. Boys, girls, and 2 men that stood out from the rest. And when those people got to where she was, she felt peaceful. Backstory, the young man with us was leading us to her house. But we went too far. So we had to turn around and we walked up toward the front of her house. And when we were a ways away still, the daughter saw us and started yelling because her friend was with us. But the mom told us in that moment that when her daughter started yelling and she saw us, she knew who we were. She knew she had seen us before. And she felt the same peace she felt in her dream. So amazing to hear that!!!! She had a dream that same day that we would be coming to visit with her and then we came that night. Truly amazing and mysterious how God works. But oh how marvelous are His misteries!! It was truly amazing to have such an experience and to be able to help them feel the Spirit of our calling and message. Really truly an awesome experience!
Despite the slow times and downs, it was a really good week! I am really looking forward to another week here to help and find more and more people!
I hope and pray all is well with everyone back at home! I hope everyone had a safe and happy new year and is excited for the year ahead! It truly will bring much experience and many good times!
Até próxima semana!

Elder Gunnoe

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