As the end of the year and Christmas has been rolling closer, things have started to get a little harder over here (work wise). People are leaving for their summer break to their families all around Brazil, so we didn't have as much teaching to do as usual. Everyone has just entered their Summer Break about a week ago, and it's getting really hot!
So, this week we had a Christmas mulit-zona conference up in Piracicaba! We went up there on Tuesday and it was actually really fun! Apparently there was a ''Secret Santa'' thing, but neither me nor my companion knew that, so we weren't allowed to participate. :( Haha, oh well. It was still a really good discourse that President Canuto gave. Also, I got the shoes!!!! I started wearing them the next day, and they are so awesome! Thank you so much! The shoes are really good, and I have a feeling that they'll last for a while. Also, up at the conference, I got to meet up with a lot of other American missionaries, and its always really good to talk to others from back home. I got to talk to Elder Arnson and Elder Maxwell, who are both from my CTM district. Elder Arnson actually is in my zone, and I see him every Tuesday at the chapel, but it was cool to talk to Elder Maxwell. Also, since we got here, there's only been other American group come here who weren't visa waiters. Elder Akina is in my district, and he actually has a blog too! If you want to know more about what its like over here, you can check his out!
There was recently an emergency transfer, because one of my zone leaders is going home- Elder Costa! And also one of my district leaders this Saturday. Elder Costa is super cool, and we've been in the same zone for two transfers now. We always played foosball together, and now I'm pretty good because of him haha. Attached is a picture of him. Apparently, there's going to be a lot of changes going on within the next couple of weeks, with where people are going. We're also getting an American zone leader! Yeah!
Well, since it's Christmas time, I'd just like to bear a small testimony, but I'd also like to do it in Portuguese!
Para esse Natal, lembram que Ele, Jesus Cristo é o presente. Por causa Dele, nos temos um esperança que ninguem pode tirar de nos. Eu sei que Ele vive. Sei que Ele sofreu por nossos pecados e desafios para que possamos ser limpos e voltar a presença de nosso Pai Celestial. Ele deixou o exemplo perfeito para todos nos a seguir. Fazendo isso, nos ajudará com qualquer coisa em nossas vidas. Eu amo essa igreja e sei que é verdadeira. Eu sei que o Evangelho abençoa as famílias e nos ajuda para entender nosso proposito aqui na Terra. Sei que esse evangelho foi restaurado por meio do profeta Joseph Smith. Eu testifico que essa igreja é a mesmo igreja que foi estabelecido por Jesus Cristo, que é restaurado, e que Ele guia-lo por meio de um profeta vivo- Thomas S. Monson. Eu tenho um testemunho forte sobre essas coisas e estou muito grato por esse oportunidade que tenho para estar aqui no Brazil. Eu espero que todos possam ter um Natal muito feliz!
Love from your son and brother,
Elder Matthew Collins
Elder Costa goes home today!!
Elder Maxwell and Elder Arnson, who were in my CTM District!
Just another morning here in BRAZILLLLL!!
Our last full zone picture
Another view of our zone!