[Vacation delayed the posting of these emails. Sorry to leave you all hanging on where she got transferred!]
July 28: ITATIBA the land of the huge hills and few park benches.
Well....I am currently in Itatiba! It is a city about an hour from Campinas famous for its huge mountain like hills and cold weather. HOWEVER....it is also the land of the S family (who I ADORE and met when I went on a division here a year ago and also in Jaguariuna where their daughter C lives....they are my family away from home. And Irmã S has her own sweets business and makes chocolates....I am in Zion.) My companion is....SISTER S. Who I lived with in Castelo for two transfers. It is the best! She has just one transfer less than me on the mission so I am finally blessed with a companion where all we do is WORK. She knows what she is doing and I think I know what I am doing. SO we are going to baptize the whole city and help make the needed changes in this ward. It is very interesting to see how Jaguariuna and Castelo both prepared me perfectly to face the challenges that this ward has. I am very excited. I feel that there is a TON to do but I feel like I am supposed to be here and my purpose is very clear. The ward is very excited that me and Sister T (who lives with us and has the same time as me...she is from Argentina) are here as well. We bore our testimonies yesterday and called the ward to the work. They seem really excited. Things have been a bit dead here for...almost a year. I’m excited to the challenge. It’s only been 5 days and we have already marked 2 baptisms and found a whole new teaching pool. The Lord is on our side and I can feel it! It’s awesome.
The only down side is that none of my other areas prepared me physically for this area....the hills are long and huge....I have almost died going up and equally going down. But...I guess I won’t need my knees in my life after the mission. Also to get to our meetings we have to get up at 4:30. That was an unpleasant announcement. Oh well. I am leaving soon. I might as well just run myself down to the last day and get home dead. Better me than a newbie. ;P
It has been 60 degrees all week and I have almost died. I feel like Lucky from 101 Dalmations....my nose is frozen....my ears are frozen.... the saddest part is that...its in the high 50s and low 60s!!!!!! THAT’S NOT EVEN COLD!!!! So I have discovered once again that I have become Brasilian. And that I will die when I return in the middle of Virginia November.
Well I wish I had more....just that things are awesome and will continue to be awesome. 16 weeks! Bittersweet. <3 I love you all and have a good week!
A must see if you haven’t.....
August 4: Short Term Memory Loss
I really don’t remember what happened this week.....
We worked. A ton. We had the most lessons and new investigators I have ever had on my whole mission. Ever. We met almost all of our weekly goals! We are kicking it and trying to ignore the little bumps that come along with the ward.
I am getting stronger and I can now climb the hills without dying. So that is a plus.
I studied grace this week. There is no topic more interesting to me than the power of grace and the atonement. We studied D&C 93 and Jesus the Christ chapter 9 as a zone and had a very fascinating discussion about it that really opened my eyes about what it means to grow "grace by grace". Even Jesus Christ came to Earth and did not receive all the information and glory of God at once.He learned step by step in the times He was ready. THAT is what made him "qualified" to be called the Son of God....he had to learn how to communicate and NEED His Father in the process. Imagine if we were all born talking, eating, walking, knowing everything.....would we really NEED parents? No. The same with our Heavenly Father. If we dont learn step by step we wouldnt need to come to him for help. Nor would Jesus have needed to. Growing grace by grace does not mean one day we are bad and the next we are good. Sometimes it means that we are already good....and the next day we look to be better. We do not go from graceless to graceful. Just like Christ. We can ALWAYS do better. Our potential is INFINITE. If we believe it is and work to prove that statement. He asks us to be perfect because He knows that we are capable of it.
We through a surprise bday party for Elder S and President and the Assistants came as well. It was fun. It was a good way to finish up an EXCELLENT meeting. I saw Sister H again! From my district in the MTC. It was great to see her!
Well unfortunately I cannot remember much else from this week. Or maybe really nothing else happened. Sorry guys. Ill start making a daily list so these emails are more interesting. Have a good week! :D
August 11: Short and Sweet
This will be short and sweet because I do not have time to write a lot. But I have some little updates!
J B: Is a recent convert (about 60 years old) who did not know how to read a few months ago....but is now reading the entire Book of Mormon! Out loud to us every week! He reads about 30 pages a week! He is already in the middle of Alma. It is amazing to see his progress. He is a live example of the power of God and the reality of miracles.
G: We prayed to be able to enter in at least one house. We had a list of people that the missionaries in 2012 talked with them in the street and wrote their address down.....we went to the first name on the list. G. She opened the door, let us in, we taught the first lesson, and she accepted baptism for the 24th! It was crazy! She will have to make some pretty big changes in her life to be ready that day but she is showing her faith and wants to move forward!
S and O: They are family members of a member in our ward. WE had a really neat first lesson with them! IT felt like for one of the first times I knew EXACTLY what to say and I felt 100% confident sharing it. The spirit was very strong and they agreed to meet with us tomorrow night again. After the lesson the member said it is the first time that her sister (S) has received the missionary visits....and ASKED them to come back and marked for a return visit. She always just listens politely and then never wants to hear more. But this time was different. She also informed us that over the past few years S and O got married legally, O stopped smoking, AND he stopped drinking. And now he only drinks coffee. Talk about PREPARED! IT was very exciting seeing the hand of the Lord literally preparing these people for the right moment. Its been 25 years of Irmã D trying to share the gospel with her sister....who knows. Maybe now is the right time.
"Teaching the One": This week our zone leader gave us the very inspired challenge to look for "the one" needing the gospel and work to help ever individual person feel the love of Christ, be that member, or no. So we took the challenge and it was amazing the difference. We were able to feel more love for each person we came in contact with. We felt inspired to teach specific principles and we knew exactly what scriptures to share. I studied a really beautiful story from the liahona of july 2013 I think about "Teaching the One" that gave us a new vision as how to help this ward and this area. It was a very spiritual week full of true love of Christ. It was a neat experience and gave me a new vision for the rest of my mission. :) Here is the talk....you will need some tissues. I have read it twice and I cry every time! haha.
Love you all and have a good week!