What a week! This week was super busy and it went by really fast. First of all, we got our transfer calls today and I'll be staying here to finish training Sister R. Santos. I'm excited for another 6 weeks with her here in Rio Acima! Also, was my 1 year mark! Crazy, I know. I can hardly believe it's even possible that I've been on my mission for ONE ENTIRE YEAR.
It rained almost every day this week so that was a bit frustrating, but we were still able to get lots of things done. It seemed like every time the rain came down really hard, Heavenly Father prepared a home for us to enter and people to teach. No doubt He's looking out for these two little sister missionaries here in Rio Acima!
we had another zone conference and President Farnes taught us about being "consecrated" missionaries and giving everything to the Lord. We watched the video clip from "Facing the Giants" when Brock crosses the entire football field with another player on his back. President Lewis, my mission president back in Sacramento, showed us this same clip in a zone conference there. I guess the Lord really wants me to understand the potencial I have as a missionary and the power of my best effort. It was interesting watching the clip again, putting myself in Brock's place, just as I did nearly 5 months ago. And now, watching it in Portuguese! I know, with Heavenly Father's help, that I can continue to give my best effort every minute of every day and never throw in the towel because it's too hard. The Savior gives me the strength to keep progressing as a missionary, keep helping my area grow, and keep encouraging Sister R. Santos every step of the way.
we had a noite familiar with an awesome family we found, Aline and Heber. We watched "Finding Faith in Christ" in a member's home and it was a very good experience for them. They loved it! If you haven't watched that movie recently, watch it this week. It's so good! And even better in Portuguese :) Unfortunately Aline and Heber are moving to Rio de Janiero this weekend. A bit frustrating because we were super excited about them, but hey, they'll be miracles for the missionaries in Rio.
I was reflecting on this past year in the mission field and all the things I am learning, and one thing that stood out in my mind is WHY I am here on my mission:
"When we understand WHY our Heavenly Father has given us this pattern for living [and missionary work], when we remember WHY we committed to making it a foundational part of our lives, the gospel [and my mission] ceases to become a burden, and instead becomes a joy and a delight. It becomes precious and sweet" -President Dieter F. Utchdorf, Forget Me Not, October 2011 (read this talk, it's great!)
I did not dedicate 18 months of my life to serve the Lord because anyone forced me. I did not leave my family, my friends, my country, my language, and the comforts of home because I wanted to go "sight seeing" (if this was the case, I would have quit after the 7 months in California haha). I am here on my mission today because I love my Heavenly Father and the gospel of Jesus Christ. This gospel truly has blessed my family and I have such JOY in knowing that my family can be together forever. This is what I want to share with the world. It doesn't matter where I have served or where I am serving now, the joy and happiness of the gospel of Jesus Christ is the same. It changes hearts! It changes lives! I am so grateful for all the experiences I have had during my mission until now. I am thankful for the time I spent in California and for my two areas here in Brazil. I am learning and growing so much! Truly, serving a mission was the best decision I ever made. So excited for the next 6 months!!!! IT'S GAME TIME!!!!
I'm so excited for General Conference this weekend! Watch it with a question in mind and I can promise you that you will hear and feel something just for you. This is the beauty of hearing from the Lord's servants, our prophet and apostles. Happy Conference!
Love you all!
P.S. we had exchanges with the sister training leaders again and I had the priviledge of being Sister Vaughn's last exchange. She goes home ! I am going to miss her so much. She'll be at BYU so it won't be goodbye forever! She is an awesome missionary. Oh and I forgot to mention that this week I got my "trunky papers" (info I have to fill out about addresses and phone numbers) with my return date of . Crazy! But this doesn't mean I am counting down. I've still got lots to do and lots to learn!