Monday, May 26, 2014

Sao Paulo- Santana Letter 3

Dear Family & Friends,

Despite lots of rain and a few days of not being able to do missionary work, this week was quite productive! Heavenly Father blessed us to be able to make the most of our proselyting time and we found lots of new people to teach.

On Wednesday all the police in Sao Paulo went on strike so we weren't allowed to leave our house. Nothing too crazy happened but it's better to be safe (literally) than sorry. This was the day Elder Nelson was supposed to come speak to us so unfortunately we didn't get to see him. Bummer! But it was nice to have a day to relax and not have to walk anywhere. I wrote lots of letters and we caught up on our area book!

On Thursday we had interviews with President Martins and wow, he is awesome! He talked with me in English so I could understand everything, thank goodness. He actually served in my very same area over 40 years ago when he was a missionary. Santana has a special place in his heart and he trusts us to take care of it! I asked for advice with the language and the first thing he said was "Sister Jorgensen, just be calm. Patience and time" (yes I know, I am a stress bag). He told me if I want the blessings of the gift of tongues, I have to work for it. That means resisting to speak even a word of English, especially in our apartment. It's hard but I know that as I continue to do all I can, the Lord will make this weakness into a strength.

Friday afternoon and evening it rained and rained and rained. Everyone we tried to talk to wouldn't let us in and we were frustrated, tired, hungry (always), and cold. Not knowing what else to do, we said a prayer asking Heavenly Father to lead us to someone who needed our light, that we were willing to work in the rain, but we needed direction. After trying several other people with no success (at this point I was ready to give up and go home), we went to a different area. A little while later, we were walking past a house with the door open and a lady called out to us (in Portuguese of course), "It's cold and it's raining. And you're smiling. You must be of Jesus" Haha yes! We are! I don't remember smiling but I'm glad she thought so. We taught her the Restoration and we're going back on Wednesday. I know Rosa (the name of this lady) was a blessing from that prayer.

Yesterday at church I was called on last minute to share my testimony during Sacrament meeting. It was nerve-wracking but I know the Spirit was magnifying my words because I don't even remember what I said! Lots of people came up to me afterwards, complimenting my Portuguese, telling me it's a miracle I can speak so well after only 3 weeks in the field. Even if they were just saying that to make me feel good, it was a good confidence booster to know that I have heavenly help. I am grateful for the chance I had to share what was in my heart with the members of the Santana ward and our investigators that were there.

During personal study this week when my brain was on overload and I needed to read something in English, I found an incredible talk by Elder Holland called "Missionary Work and the Atonement". I read it before but this time it really hit me. We faced a lot of rejection this week and I was having a tough time. Being a representative of Jesus Christ is not easy. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him? He suffered for our sins and sacrificed His life for us because of His loving kindess (1 Nephi 19:9). When I struggle, I am standing with the best life and example this world has ever known. His Atonement carries me. He dries my tears and heals my wounded heart, giving me strength beyond my own. 

We can do hard things! Just got to remember who we are and why we are here, and keep smiling!

Have a wonderful week!
Com Amor,
Sister Jorgensen

P.S. I tried "feijoada" for the first time this week at our Bishop's house. It's a black bean, meat dish- I have no idea what was all in it but it was good! The other pic was at the mission office waiting for interviews with President Martins. Love you all!

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