Dear Family & Friends,
This powerful trio here in Santana has been extremely blessed. Sister Pinon, Sister Nascimento, and I are working "até o pó" (until the dust) day in and day out and WOW, this area just might burn to the ground because we are on fire!!! I'm learning to let the Lord guide the way and seeing the positive effects of working WITH the members of our ward- this is the secret.
My favorite moment from the week was last night during our "noite familiar" (family night) with a few investigators and families from the ward. Larissa, a 19 year old girl we are teaching with a baptism date for , was there with her brother, along with another investigator Jacilene and her son. The Bishop, his wife, and two other couples from the ward came too and it was awesome! We had a lesson on the Gift of the Holy Ghost, played games, and ate popcorn. I just had to embrace the moment and look around the room at everyone laughing and smiling together. This is truly what the work of salvation is all about: friendship, love, and happiness, together with the gospel of Jesus Christ. AH loved it!!
We had members come out with us for several of our lessons this week and it was great! So much more special when a member invites the investigator to church and shares his or her testimony. If you have the chance to go to a lesson with the missionaries or offer to have a family home evening in your home, it makes the world of difference to the investigators to have a friend and you will see the blessings of the gospel in action! We have Andrea and Geovanna, a mom and daughter, all set for baptism ! So excited!!
was another Brazil World Cup game so we were inside most of the day. It wasn't quite as crazy as the first game but still very exciting! There is another game tonight too so we have an all-day Pday today (normally we have to proselyte after ). We were talking to people we met on the street the other day and they were asking Sister Pinon and I if we were visiting for the World Cup because we are Americans. I guess there are lots of tourists here but I haven't seen any because we aren't super close to the stadium. Nope, we are here in Brazil for something so much more important than soccer... your eternal happiness and salvation!
is the half-way mark of my mission! 9 months!!! Wow I can't believe it. In some ways, I feel like I just arrived in the mission field and I still have no idea what I'm doing. In other ways, I feel like my whole life has been spent as a missionary and everything else was a dream. It's weird! A mission isn't always sunshine and roses, and I am being pushed and stretched in ways I never imagined, but it's the best thing that has ever happened to me. So blessed to be here!
This morning I was reading in Mosiah 18:8-10 about our baptismal covenants. When I was baptized, I made a promise to my Heavenly Father that I would bear one another's burdens, mourn with those that mourn, comfort those that need comfort, and stand as a witness of Him at all times, in all things, and in all places. More than this, I promised to do these things WILLINGLY. Am I truly living up to my covenants? How many times do I focus on me, how I'm feeling, wallowing in self-pity, when there are people right beside me that need my help? I need to be a better listener, more observant of others. Yes, being a missionary has it's challenges, but when I turn outward and offer a helping hand and loving heart, my own problems melt away. This is what I promised when I was baptized and took upon myself the name of Jesus Christ, having a determination to serve Him until the end. And now, I have the honor and priviledge to be set apart as a representative of Him with power and authority to act in His name, to help others make this sacred covenant with God. How great is my calling!
I love you and miss you all! Have a great week!
Sempre Sorria (Always Smile),