Translation: ``I´m learning Shangan´´, the native dialect that my new companion, Elder Mateus, speaks. He is from Maputo, the capital of Mozambique. He speaks Portuguese, the official language of Mozambique, Shangan, his native dialect, and despite his denial he speaks English quite well too. We are now working together in the São José do Rio Preto Second Ward. Elder Mateus (Matthew) is probably the humblest missionary I have met. I love him so much. I´m really excited to work with him. He already served for 6 months in Mozambique while he waited for his visa. I´m so excited to work with him.
I was able to meet a majority of the members at Church yesterday and at the ward Christmas dinner that they had on Friday. The dinner was kind of lame, especially in comparison to the festivities of Auberry ward. If you thought mormon standard time was horrible in the states you thought wrong. The dinner was supposed to start at 7:30 but, the opening prayer was said at 9:10. It gave us twenty minutes to eat and run to be at home before 9:30. How lame. But the members seem to be pretty cool. It also looks like I will have to put up with some of the same problems like I have had in all the other wards, less actives that don´t want to go to Church because of the bishop. But what´s new right?
Our first night in the area on Thursday was pretty cool. There is a member from another ward that owns a drug rehabilitation clinic in our area. He called us up to share a message with the pacients. It was really cool. We taught about the restoration to about 20 drug/alcohol addicts. One of employees there is a recent-convert that found out about the Church because he used to be a pacient of the Clinic. He was interned, overcame his addictions, met the missionaaries at the clinic and is now baptized and about to become the co-owner of the clinic. What a turn around, huh? I felt super good being there trying to help them out. We are going back tonight to do a family night with all of them. I don´t think the normal kids activities I do at family nights will be as exciting for hardened criminals though.
Tomorrow we are going to have a mission Christmas conference, the only conference in which the whole mission is together at once. I´m really excited. Last year was awesome. I also found a member family that has a webcam so Skype should work out just fine. I´ll call real quick on Saturday to set up a certain time to talk on Sunday.
Well, I guess that´s about it folks, I love you all! Feliz Natal!