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Monday, June 6, 2016

Cars, Trains, City, oh my!

Dearest Fam,

Itaquá is pretty tranquil and laid back. Penha is near the center of São Paulo, and is the opposite of Itaquá. Everyone here is in the rush and busy and I feel kinda like I changed missions a little bit. Even though we're in a more populated part, our area is enormous and we frequently have to take the bus to lunch. But it's good. I'm liking it.

My comp is Elder Moraes, from Acre, a small state in the amazon rainforest. He is full of energy, which is really good since we were doubled in and spent a good part of the week trying to not get lost. Also, the Penha zone has 3 districts with 6 missionaries in each, so it's a little stressful when you're all of a sudden responsible for 18 new missionaries and have to know who is where and what their difficulties are so you can help their district leaders help them and at the same time build a teaching group in your own area to be an example for the others..... it's a bit to swallow in one bite, but we're catching up with things!

When I was in the MTC, 2 of our favorite instructors got married to each other. Guess what? They live in our area! And they both remembered me! How neat is that?

On Friday we had leadership council and it was awesome! We got an awesome training about using family history work with recent converts. Apparently, only 3 of the 140+ recent converts that were baptized this year in the whole entire mission have taken family names to the temple. To fix this problem, we made a goal that ALL of them will submit or take at least one name by the end of this month, and there will be a huge temple trip for everyone to participate. I'm excited because it's such a simple and powerful way to help recent converts strengthen their tesitmonies and serve in the Lord's temple.

We've already met lots of cool members, and the bishop of our ward is exceptional. There are so many people excited about missionary work that love to give us references, so I'm sure we'll see successes here. More to report on next week!

Love you all!
Elder Merrill

RIP my sandals... serious, it ripped

Saying goodbye to Eduardo and Carla :(

Last photo of the gang at the train station on transfer day

We de-iced the freezer in our new house.... it was all ice, there wasn't any space to put in anything (and there was a plastic container fossilized over time in the ice.... like, we didn't even know there was anything in there until it melted)

This isn't Itaquaquecetuba anymore....

One of my favorite parts about our house is that we get a qood idea of how the weather is without even stepping outside! Yes, there is a huge hole in our roof.

Me and Elder Moraes (Moraes-zinho do poder) (this was taken after organizing this morning the dreadful mess of a house we arrived to)

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