Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Ola Familia!
It has been quite the week. Yep, it is definitely feeling like summer here! We had a few days of rain actually which was very nice but then four days in a row of super super hot. It is only just beginning but I don´t think I have ever been this hot in my life. The good thing is that there are always tons of people at the ice cream shops to talk to. :)
We had an area 70 come to visit this week! It was Elder Mazagardi (I think that´s how you spell it...). He gave us three zones a two hour training about the mission. I understood bits and pieces here and there but I really felt the Spirit and was rejuvinated to work hard again. Some of the things he encouraged us to do are to read from Preach My Gopsel every day, read 2 Nephi 31 every day, practice a baptismal invite every day in companionship study, to make our contacts more varied and exciting, and to try making contacts with people who live near the Church (and super lucky for us, the Conference was held in Ribeirão Preto in our chapel!). I learned a lot and we have a lot of things to work towards. I played for a small choir who sang the classic, "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing". They sang only one verse in Portuguese (I didn´t have the translation for any more) and I think it went pretty well. After the Conference they also had these auditions for a choir to sing in the streets at Christmas time. I tryed out and made it for altos! There are 16 of us and it is led by a missionary (Elder Ruberson) who is singing opera at BYU. He has a super good voice. I am excited to be a part of this group and to share some Christmas love in this happy, busy city.
Our weekly planning was truly a miracle. I´m the kind of person who really likes to be organized so I was excited to get everything straightened out (see below). I sometimes feel like I have no idea what is going on here, but I am now starting to get a little bit more into the groove. I know more of what to expect in different situations like almoços and Church and contacts. It is a lot to take in, especially when you cannot really explain how you are feeling but we are working through everything and finding great success. I am really excited for our investigators and to find a lot more of these people. It is ridiculous how trusting people are here. Nearly every other contact we make is willing to give us their name, address, and phone number after just a minute of talking to us. That would never happen in the states! I think it was hard and happy in both California and Brazil, but just a different hard and happy. We teach a lot more lessons here and I feel like we are doing more actual missionary work, but it takes more of a toll on your body. Preparation days every week always get me rejuvinated for the rest of the week though and I think I will be fine!
I have been meaning to tell you about the other two Sisteres in our apartment. Our apartment is actually really big with five rooms and extra beds to make space for other Sisteres to stay with us when they are visiting from out of town for big mission Conferences (like this week, we had just two extra Sisteres stay the night). There are two other Sisteres who live there as well, Sister Huntington (American) and Sister Amorim (Brazilian). Sister Huntington arrived from the states from me, and Sister Amorim has been out for 5 transfers. It is pretty fun to have roommates. Having an American there to speak to in my language and culture at night also helps to keep my spirits up. They are very nice and hard working. They work in the area right next to us (Imparanga) but we pretty much only see them in the morning and after we come home at night. We actually share the ward with another pair of Elderes as well. None of us actually live in the area we are working in (the other pairs have to take the bus every day), but luckily Sister Jales and I live close enough that we can walk. The other Elders are Elder Worthin and Elder Ruberson. They are both Americans and Elder Worthin has been in Brazil for 6 months and Elder Ruberson for three. The members serve all four of us lunch every day, and it is very helpful to have someone to translate if I miss something important. We work together with the ward a lot and are able to help each others´ inverstigators sometimes. I believe that the more missionaries we have out in the world, the easier it will be for us! It is great to have the support of all of these Elders and Sisters who are working towards the same goal and are having similar experiences.
I am gaining a huge testimony of prayer. God really does answer every prayer and is willing to give you any righteous desire of your heart. No matter the trial, God wants to help us and give us support, we must only be humble and come to Him. I am also learning the importance of patience in times of trial and how to give up everything to Him. We can do all things in the strength of the Lord! He has done everthing for us and yet still is willing to give us more. This Church is so true! Everthing will be worth it.

I love you all! Thanks for all the support!
Sister Marchant
P.S. If you ever get a letter from me, please send me a quick little note or email back saying you have recieved it because I never know how reliable the mailing system is. Thanks so much!

Oi Presidente!
We have done a lot of hard work this week. It has been really hot and we have been feeling a little bit sick but I think we are over it now and are better. (don´t worry mom, today I feel great) I have really come to know and appreciate the enabling power of the Atonement and the importance of prayer this week. I know that we can do all things with Christ. He wants to help us and is 100% in charge of this work. What have we to worry about? We are doing great things for the Lord!
This week we had an amazing weekly planning session. We took the time to really go through our Area Book and straighten things out. It had been unorganized and needed a thorough inspection. We found a lot of new names of people we need to visit and of different things we want to do with this area. There really are so many people to teach here! I did not fully realize until this week how much work there is for us to do. I was remotivated about the work and am excited to keep going strong.
We had also had some great lessons with Sebastião and with Paula and Anderson this week. Sebastião loves the scriptures and always shows us something he has read when we come. We taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ and he really liked the 5 steps of the gospel. He talks about them every time we see him now as well. We committed him to be baptized this Saturday! He was a little unsure at first and thinks that he is not quite ready yet, but we talked him through a lot of his concerns and I have faith that he can make it. He is still working on giving up coffee but if he can do this I think he will be ready to enter the waters.
Paula and Anderson are making major steps forward. They are living together unmarried and this week we taught them the law of chastity. At our next lesson they said they had thought about it a lot and agreed to work towards getting married! They also made detailed plans to overcome addictions to smoking and drinking coffee and beer. They still have a little ways to go, but they are making huge improvement. They always come to Church and have such strong faith. Their family is truly an inspiration to me. Their daughter, Carol, is also investigating the Church. She comes every Sunday as well and has great friends there. She usually sits in on the lessons, but we are going to really try to focus more on her this week. She is only 11 but has a great desire to learn more and I think she could be ready to join the Church as well in just a few weeks.
We have had some great miracles this week! The people of Ribeirão Preto are very open and willing to talk to us. We had some awesome contacts and are working hard to keep everything organized. We are reaching many of our goals and are striving to work as hard as we can together. It is hard work, but it is very worth it. I know the Lord can help me do all things that he needs me to do.

Síster Marchant

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