Phew! What a week. It has been a bit of a difficult one, but we have had some really neat experiences as well. To start, Sebastião is doing awesome! He received the Aaronic Priesthood last week and passed the Sacrament for the first time this week. It is neat to see him continually progress. He comes to all the Church activities and makes lots of comments in the church classes. I really think he will stay active in the Church and help build up the ward here in Campos Eliseos. He does not know tons of people in the ward yet but is really starting to become immersed and would be fine without the missionaries there.
We had a really difficult, intense lesson with our other investigators Paula e Anderson this week. They had been avoiding our calls and hadn´t been to Church for the past two weeks. Early this week we showed up at their house one night and Paula told us that they did not find what they were looking for in our Church. She said the people were great and that she liked meeting with us but that she wants to look at other churches to decide first. We were pretty crushed and talked with her for a long time. We tried to emphasize the importance of the Book of Mormon and a personal testimony and she said she would continue to read and study. We bore our testimonies with all of our hearts, and to be honest, I felt the Spirit super strong in that lesson, maybe more than nearly any other lesson we have had with them, and we have had a bunch of spiritual lessons. I am really starting to recognize that one way that always works without fail to invite the Spirit is to bear sincere testimony. Every time I try to start to bear my testimony about something the Spirit helps me with the language, and I know that whatever I say can´t be denied. Others can argue about the doctrine or setup of the Church but they cannot deny when I say that I know something to be true. Testimony is powerful and I always strive to end every lesson with my personal beliefs. So Paula said that she might come back in the future and would keep an open mind. They have had problems trying to quit smoking and to get married and I think that they are scared to make any big changes in their life. Sister Jales and I truly believe that some day they will remember what they have felt in the gospel of Jesus Christ and return to His true fold.
We had a ginormous rainstorm this week again. I should probably stop talking about these because they are going to happen all the time, but this time we were in the thick of it. We were sloshing through the street with rain up past our ankles and it made me think of what many of you are experiencing right now but with snow instead. This is something I have never experienced in my life but it is always quite an adventure and we laugh through it all. There is a man in our ward who loves the American missionaries. He is so awesome and nice and always comes up and talks to me and sometimes gives little gifts. This week he gave me one of those colapsable umbrellas that is the lightest thing I have ever felt and will be perfect to carry around in my bag all day just in case. I am ready to take on the torrents!
I think I mentioned last week that we have a new sister in our house, Sister Sperry. She is amazing. She is super hardworking and always happy. Our home is so much happier and the four of us get along extremely well. It is great to come home after a long day and be able to talk to Sister Sperry and Huntington for a little tiny bit. We can really help and support each other as missionaries. There is no way I could do this alone!
I have been studing a lot about charity and love this week. When it comes down to it, charity really is the greatest attribute of Christ, and when we can gain true charity, all of the other attributes will much easier fall into place. In California I learned how to be strictly obedient and work with every rule to the T. Here I am learning to relax and not be stressed out over everything. I am learning to love every situation no matter what happens and to appreciate the small things. Charity has never been one of my strong abilities but I am learning little by little to gain more of it. Studies have really helped me to see the importance of skills like this and how to better apply them into my work. I have been a lot happier as I can let little things that bother me slide away quickly and to focus on loving the people here individually. Every person we talk to is very improtant and a child of God. I hope they can feel that they are important to him.
Wow, I have also really come to rely on prayer. I pray all the time now whenever I need any help or advice and God answers. Isn´t it amazing? We have a 24 hours a day, free, open line to all the right answers. I am SO grateful for prayer and the help I constantly receive from my Heavenly Father. He never lets me down and is always there to support and love me. I hope and pray I can do the same for others, especially for Sister Jales.
P.S. I received a super nice Christmas card from the Milford Ward Primary this week! Thank you so much for your kindness and cuteness! It was greatly appreciated.
Oi Presidente Brum,
Muito obrigado por todas as suas palavras simpáticas. Eu realmente aprecio todo o conselho eu posso receber. Esta semana foi um pouco mais difícil. Quatro de nossos pesquisadores progredindo disserem que não querem receber nenhuma mais lição. Tivemos algumas lições muito tristes com estes pesquisadores, mas nós sabemos que nós fizemos nossa parte. Fizemos tudo que nós pudemos e agora eles têm seu livre arbítrio. Eu me sentia um pouquíssimo do que o Salvador se sente quando os filhos de Deus não aceitar esta mensagem de felicidade. As vezes eu pensa, "como você pode abandonar alguma coisa tão importante e maravilhosa?" Mas eu realmente tenho aprendido amar estas pessoas ainda e saber que Deus ainda as ama mais do que eu. Esta obra é difícil mas com certeza vale a pena. Estou aprendido MUITAS coisas todos os dias, mais do que eu esperava aprenderia. Estou aprendendo habilidades e atributos importantes que eu sei eu nunca poderia aprender alem de uma missão. Esta oportunidade é uma bênção muito grande.
Nossa recém converso Sebastião está progredindo muito ainda. Ele recebeu o Sacerdócio a semana passada e passou o sacramento esta semana pela primeira vez! Estamos muito animadas para ele. Eu amo ver ele cresce. Ele tem muito fé e é muito forte no evangelho.
Muito obrigada por tudo,