Monday, April 21
Então família querida, como vocês estão?! I thought about writing the entire letter in Portuguese just as a joke, but I figured that could be a little bit annoying. Serving with a native speaker though, I sometimes forget that English exists...
How was Easter? Mine was great. I did miss the good food though. I ate rice and beans for dinner, but I did get to eat a piece of goat meat for lunch, so that was good. It was really good, actually. Easter morning started out really difficult. I won't go into a lot of detail, but the family of our Group Leader had some serious difficulties that morning. Luckily with a lot of help from the Spirit everything turned out for the better. It turned out to be an incredible experience.
At church Ricardo passed the sacrament for the first time. I gave him one of my white shirts and one of my favorite ties, and he looked great, and did a great job. Next week he will bless the sacrament. He is doing great. Éder and Zé, our Cabo Verdeano recent-converts should get back today, so they will receive the priesthood here shortly too.
Rosa Maria is on fire. She will be baptized this Saturday, which means a trip to Vila Real to the baptismal font. It is really hard for a person here to get used to the church. The people here are born in a lot of false doctrines of the catholic church, and they can be really hard to shake, because their religious mind just thinks that way. However, she is doing well.
Speaking of false doctrines of the catholic church (I don't mean to pick on them, but you may find this interesting,) for Easter they have a lot of interesting traditions. They do quiet parades throughout the town led by someone carrying a silver or gold cross, a crown that is supposed to be the Holy Ghost, and some other weird things. On Easter morning the Padre, or 'Father' walks down the streets from door to door ringing a bell, kind of like the charity Santas on Christmas. He goes to each door to let the people in the house kiss his cross, and then asks for money. He must make thousands, and Portugal is in a crises. Sheesh.
This week Ricardo also turned 18, so we set up a party for him. I knew his family wouldn't do anything, his dad is an alcoholic and doesn't have anything to do with Ricardo, and the only other person in his house is his grandma who has something like 90 years. So we set up a party at Maria and Zé´s house. It was an awesome night; we had a lot of fun. Zé and Maria are the best. They made a dinner, and various deserts. I bought him some Ferrero Rocher chocolates, which I think they have in the states. They are really pricy here, but I knew he liked them a lot. Anyways, the night was great. I will try to upload pics to dropbox.
Well, that is all I have time for. I love you all, and hope you had a great Easter. Shout out to Josh: ''Happy birthday beast! You are the best!''
Have a great week!
Josh, I had a dream about you last night, it was cool. We were fishing together, but we were fishing in a pond that was in our yard by the garage... it was weird...
I love you a bunch, and miss you a ton. I can't believe how old you are getting, it is unbelievable. I hope you have a great birthday, because you sure deserve one. You are a great brother, and an example to me. Keep being a star man, and be careful with those ladies! ;)