Above at the left center is our sweet Larisa. We are walking to the bus stop with Paolo. At the bus stop are 12 yr. old Gudalfo, 10 yr. old Willian and 5 yr. old Paolo. It was Sunday, Nov. 16.
Sometimes there are disappointments that are really hard to take when you are a missionary. Larisa, our 15 year old super hero (who is the "mother" of her three siblings), was baptized in July. She is our stalwart Seminary student. She comes for every lesson, our only student, and brings her two younger brothers with her. The Elders have been working really hard with this young "family." Late in October, her 19 yr. sister Daniela was also baptized. She is struggling, but coming to church when she can. The day of her baptism, we were hoping that her 10 yr. old brother Willian would follow her lead. We all had lunch together after church, walked to the bus stop, traveled to the Guaraituba chapel for the baptism. Daniela was baptized (but refused to let anyone take her picture), but William backed out. Ok, so the Elders continued teaching him almost daily, making sure he really wanted to be baptized, helping him get excited about being baptized, getting over his fears of the water. Last Sunday, their 12 year old half-brother Gadalfo was also baptized, and was really happy afterwards. On Monday, after a lesson with the Elders, Willian said, "I want to be baptized too." The Elders were so excited, and hurried to schedule his baptism for the next evening. We are like Grandpa and Grandma figures to these kids; so we went too. Planning a little celebration afterward, we bought a cake and guaraná soda, and rode the bus again to Guaraituba. The water was very cold, but ready in the font, the talks had been given, Elder Esty helped Willian get into the water. Waist-deep in that cold water, Willian refused to continue! After about a half hour of coaxing and much patience, he got dressed, we gave away the pop and cake, were driven home by some members of the ward----and that was that.