Well, I got transferred out of Sousa, Paraíba to....NATAL! I´m in a part of the city called Gramoré. I found out on Tuesday afternoon that I would be leaving, so Sister Ochoa and I went around and I said goodbye to our investigators and recent converts. Cosmo and Margarida gave me some really pretty sandals as a parting gift. It was hard to say goodbye to the people that I grew to love so much, and it was a little hard to leave Sousa. It´s a crazy place, but I love it and I always will. :)
The bus left Sousa Wednesday afternoon at 1 and arrived in Natal at 8:30 (I was traveling with a few other missionaries who got transferred to the capital). From there, President Soares gave me and my new companion, Sister Nóbrega from São Paulo (who was waiting for me at the mission office in Natal), a ride to our area, about 30 minutes away from the mission office. It´s just the two of us who live in our little apartment, which is slightly more sketchy than the apartment in Sousa. It´s also way more humid here and one of our rooms smells like a dead hamster because of the moss. It´s also a lot prettier here: it has more trees and the streets are more organized and are super cute because they have cobblestone and a bunch of brightly colored houses. We always have lunch with the members, like we did in Sousa, but lunch here is even more delicious and has more variety. In Sousa, lunch every day was pasta, rice, beans, and chicken, with very few exceptions. :) It´s also a little bit less hot here, which is nice, but also means that the cold shower is less welcome. All in all, I´m liking it here so far. The ward is more organized and the members seem great. People here are also a little bit less receptive than in Sousa, but still receptive. I´m excited for this transfer! Oh, and my companion is great and super sweet. :)
I got here to find out that Sister Nóbrega and her previous companion had been sick so many times during the previous transfer that their teaching group was extremely small when I got here. One person, to be exact. But that one person is a marvelous woman named Reneide, who is impossible not to adore. She is the cutest thing and is absolutely in love with the Church. She´s already been in the church for a year but hasn´t been baptized yet, because she lives with a man who needs to finalize his divorce before they can get married and she can get baptized. Getting baptized is her dream, and she is so excited. But the work here is a little difficult right now since we´re starting over with our teaching group and trying to find a bunch of new investigators. This week is going to be awesome, though, and I know things are going to start picking up fast.
There´s also a 16-year-old young man here, Vital, who has been a member for 5 years. He LOVES helping the missionaries. He went out teaching with us almost every day since I got here, and he already knows how to do everything and teach all the lessons, so he´s unbelievably helpful. I´ll send pictures of him and Reneide (and my companion!) next week, since I haven´t taken any yet.
I hope everyone has a great week! Sending my love from Gramoré,
Sister Amy Weatherford
The pictures are: me and Sister Ochoa and Fábio
Me, Cilene, her parents, her sister and her daughter, and Andrêssa
Me and Cosmo and Margarida
Me and Francisco and Maria (recent converts) and their son, Francinaldo
Me and Daniel, our less active (who is becoming more active :) friend