Hello from the land down south where it is about 2 degrees away from being able to bake a cake on the sidewalk.
Currently it is raining....but the skies are bright blue with puffy white clouds. Rain is falling from a perfect sky. Is that one of the signs of the second coming? Brasil is sometimes a very strange place.
This week....was hot. And fast. Longest days but shortest weeks= a mission. This week we marked a baptism date with V for February 8th (please pray for her). We also made 435 contacts in one day (not a joke...it was awesome). I taught a man on a park bench all by myself the entire first lesson including the first vision while my companion taught someone else close by. That was a first. I have never taught a whole lesson somewhere that is not inside their house. We were given a huge carton of Talapia (the fish) from an investigator...no one really knows how to cook it so its in the freezer. Went on my first division with one of the young women. It was so much fun. And we had 4 progressing investigators, and 3 inactive families at church on Sunday. It was a GREAT week.
Saturday we did an activity with our ward in the center of the city where there are tons of people. We set up big posters of Christ, Joseph Smith, The Book of Mormon, a girl praying....all with scriptures on the bottom. We had two tables full of pamphlets, O Livro de Mormons, The Family Proclamation, pamphlets on the temple, and a TON of pass along cards. The members came and passed out cards and talked with TONS of people. We all were able to get more than 50 addresses of people who are interested in learning more. Even the primary kids had fun giving out Liahonas (oops the Ensign) and invites to church and candy for the kids. It was so neat. The members really did an amazing job. Various taught about the gospel to people sitting around the center and they were so excited. Especially the Young Women. One of the women in our ward who thinks that girls shouldn’t serve missions was actually there....looking a lot like a sister missionary. And she taught multiple principles of the gospel and got us some great new families to teach. She seemed super happy but when we caught her eye she got super embarrassed and huffy about it. It was....well no offense but it was funny and gratifying to watch her realize that missionary work is for EVERYONE. :) It was an awesome activity and our ward will now do it once every month.
We had a multizone meeting that basically changed my whole mission. It was so....inspiring. And we did some amazing practices that were SO hard but we really walked away from it learning something. I realized that I can teach a lot better than I give myself credit and I need to stop being such a baby about feeling insecure. We did one practice and I actually nailed it for the first time ever. And I felt so good. I think what made it all work out was that I just said what I felt and was confident about it. One thing President talked a lot about is how we need to teach with confidence because we know it is true. We have no reason to fear or doubt what we are saying because we know it is true. Just speak the truth. If they don’t agree or accept move on. But you can leave knowing you spoke the truth and you did your part. He encouraged us to be more creative as well. Not to fall into habits of saying the same thing like its a rehearsed play. These aren’t lessons. They are people. It was overall a wonderful meeting and I walked away from it with a new vision and a new determination to enjoy these last 9 months.
Yep....9 months left. I am just a few weeks away from being technically half way done. But since I will be coming home a week or two early because of transfers....I am already half way done. The strangest part....well besides the whole "I cant believe how fast it went" part....is that now I am missing home less and starting to miss my mission. And I’m still here! But even just imagining leaving makes me sad. The future is full of so many questions. Here is just....work, serve, do your best, be obedient, and draw closer to the Lord. Everything is planned and....although it is not easy....it is a bit easier in a way than real life because you loose yourself so much in good things. It’s really just....the work of the Lord. No big life decisions. It’s funny how when you leave home a mission seems like such a sacrifice, then for the first half it becomes a challenge, the last half it is a blessing and then as you finish….it's almost a sacrifice to leave it all. I love my mission. Took me half of my mission to realize it. :P haha.
Anyways enough sappiness and reflecting. Thank you for all of your emails. I love you all and I wish you a great and cold week while I sit here and cook (my new nickname here is Sister Pimenta....Sister Pepper). ;P Tchau!