Dear Family & Friends,
Did you all miss my email last week??! I missed writing! I hope everyone is doing well. We had a surprise temple trip and got back late. So here is my past 2 weeks in a flash:
First, I LOVE TO SEE THE TEMPLE! All the missionaries serving in the interior (about half the mission) got to go to the Campinas Temple for our Pday. This is why I didn't have time to email last week. I feel so lucky because this is the 4th temple I have visited during my mission (Provo, Sacramento, and São Paulo are the others). It was SO beautiful! Perfect spiritual upliftment for me. Just what I needed! I am so grateful for the temple. The temple truly is the house of the Lord, the closest place to heaven on Earth.
General Conference was great! I have to admit it was a bit different listening to everything in Portuguese. I missed hearing the power in Elder Holland's voice! But it was neat to hear the talks of our prophet and apostles translated live. All the music was still in English so everyone was asking me what the words meant haha. The theme that stood out to me from the talks was that of knowing for yourself, gaining your own testimony. This was perfect for the 3 investigators we had watching with us at the church building. I really enjoyed conference!
Last Sunday was Election Day here in Brazil. Posters and flyers EVERYWHERE. There were a few roads where you couldn't even see the sidewalk. The roads with the schools, where people voted, were the worst. Here in Brazil, everyone over the age of 16 votes. It's a law. If you don't vote, you have to pay R$3 (about $1.50). Not alot of money, but kind of riduculous! I thought that was interesting. I'm not sure who won the election and I'm not sure if people are happy or sad about what happened. I don't really understand politics, especially in another country!
The weather has been SO hot. I have no idea how many degrees it is, all I know is that I have not stopped sweating for days. There is no air conditioning anywhere. And fans can only do so much! And guess what, it's only October. It's still spring. Which means summer is going to be even worse. I think back to my high school cross-country days running in the heat. This prepared me! Also it seems like all the bugs have come out to play. Lots and lots of bugs! But it can always be worse, so I will put on a smile and "keep swimming" -like my mom always says, but now, in my own sweat :)
Yesterday was "Dia das Crianças", (day of kids) a special holiday for all the children under 12. I think this is just so cool! They have parties and the kids get presents. I know my little sister Addi would love this! All the primary kids got treat bags at church. Super cute!
Yesterday at church Sister R. Santos and I taught the lesson in Relief Society (the class for the women) about missionary work and the "fruit", or blessings of the gospel, in our lives. The lesson turned out really good! My companion shared her conversion story and had everyone in tears. She was baptized because of her friend. We as members don't realize the impact we can have on just one person! And just one person can affect generations of others. During the lesson, when I looked around at all the moms and ladies in our ward, I felt so much love for them. I love Rio Acima! These people are my family.
These past few weeks have been awesome! We've been having investigators at church and we have a few on date for baptism. We will keep working hard and I know the Lord will continue to bless us!
I LOVE AND MISS YOU ALL!
P.S. I had some great pics to share this week but the computer doesn't like my camera today. Next week, I promise!