Bom dia família!
Biggest news of the week is that the newbies have arrived! The American Sisteres and Elderes for this transfer came in last Wednesday. They are doing great and moving right in. One of them is Sister Casperson! She is living in our apartment now as companions to Sister Rodriguez.They are really great and hardworking. They are in charge of Campos Eliseos A now. The office elderes are also training an Elder Johnson now too so we have 7 missionaries in our ward! Our ward is so full. This Sunday we had 95 people in Sacrament Meeting which was even more than last week. I thought last week was a once in a lifetime opportunity but once again our chapel was way full! Bispo Fabio e Irmã Sueli are very on top of things and never stop working. They are so excited to work every second and are willing to help with anything we need. I am never going to find another ward quite like this one. Part of me wants to stay in this area until the end of my mission!
I also saw this week...Sister Shipp!!! It was SO great to see her again! She is such a strong missionary and will be so great here in Brazil. The night she arrived she actually stayed with us in Campos Eliseos (we have lots of extra beds and there was a zone conference in our chapel the next day) so I got to talk to her a little bit and catch up on the past 5 months. She loved California and is also excited to start here in Brazil. I could really see myself in her as we interacted with the other missionaries and a few members that first day. I was so scared and silent when I arrived here too! I feel like I have changed SO much since being here in Brazil and have really grown since that first day. Moving to Brazil after getting your visa is kind of like starting all over again as a missionary for the first few weeks. You really can hardly contribute at all and have no idea what is going on. I am so grateful I survived through that stage and that I can be a true part of the work now every day. I understand this language better every day and it is not holding me back from anything anymore. Eu amo Portuguese demais!
The sad news was that Debora was unfortunately not baptized this week. Her husband has CRAZY work schedules (basically he doesn´t ever stop working either) and doesn´t find out when he will be off until the day before. Debora really wants him to be present at her baptism which we are all up for, it just makes it hard to plan. But she said for sure during this week or next Sunday it will happen. I know how important this is and how much she needs the gospel in her life! We will continue to visit her often and encourage her to stay strong and committed even amongst any struggles she may have with support from family or personal motivation. She is such a happy person and is SO prepared to be a member of the Church its not even funny.
We have worked a lot with Marisa too this week. Her daughters are on fire and attend basically any reunião the Church has. When we told them they could be clean of all of their sins and worries through baptism this week they said they wanted to get baptized tomorrow. They would be very ready if only their mother was as excited. We have a rule in the mission that you cannot baptize kids under 18 without their mom or dad being baptized as well. They have had lots of problems with kids going inactive fast and then still being responsible for this covenant they made. I think it is a great rule. It is a little sad in this situation though because the girls are so righteous and ready! Marisa really likes the Church too and is super supportive of us coming over and her daughters learning everything possible, she is just super active in her current religion still and has no desire to switch. But she is coming to Church almost every week as well and is reading the Book of Mormon like crazy. I think the gospel will touch her life and she will be able to feel the difference between her religion and the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ as she studies more and truly prays in faith.
I love these investigators so much and really love the ward members and other missionaries here. Life is great and I continue to learn a lot about the gospel and about myself each day. Every single youth in the Church should serve a missionary. It changes you SO much.
I love you all tons!
P.S. Last night I had a dream in Portuguese that I was at Subway trying to buy a sandwhich, but they would only give me white bread, cheese, and meat. All of the vegetables were just sitting right there in front of me but they wouldn´t give me any! I begged and begged until they said I could pay extra for the veggies. Story of Brazil. Be happy for every single green thing on your plates and eat your fruits and veggies with pride. They have a lot of great fresh produce here but no one ever serves it. The food is super good though, just not very healthy. :)
Foi uma semana boa e corrida. Nós tivemos oito Sisteres em nossa casa uma noite esta semana com a transição com os novas Americanas. O dia depois a reunião de zona foi muito boa. Eu amo nossos reuniões aqui. Nós temos líderes de zona e distrito muito bons e eu sempre aprender muitas coisas em nossas reuniões semanais. As praticas são muito eficaz, e nós estamos aplicando elas mais agora em nossos estudos em casa também. Eu estou gostando as temas dos treinamentos destes meses passados e agora me sinto muito mais confortável com todas as lições e com Pregar Meu Evangelho. Eu sei que tem muito poder e dedicação nesta missão.
Nós trabalhamos muito com Debora e a família de Marisa de novo esta semana. Debora esta progredindo ainda mas não foi batizada este domingo passado. Ela quer que o marido dela possa assistir, que seria muito maravilhoso, e ele só tem folga o próximo domingo. Ela prestou um testemunho forte esta semana conosco que ela quer ser renascido e começar uma vida melhor. Vai ser difícil sem muito apoia de sua família mas ela esta determinada ainda. Vamos continuar a ajudar ter um testemunho mais forte do Livro de Mórmon e de perseverar até o fim.
As filhas de Marisa são progredindo muito rápido. Elas vão a todas as reuniões e atividades da Igreja e estão fazendo boa amizade com as Moças aqui. Nossa lição passada foi o Evangelho de Jesus Cristo e as duas filhas mais jovem falaram, "Quero ser batizada amanhã!" Nós ainda tem muitas coisas ensinar, mas elas estão aprendendo rápido. Nossa ala continua ajudar muito, especialmente a Presidência das Moças e o Presidente do Sociedade de Socorro, Irmã Sueli. Marisa continua ler o Livro de Mórmon muito e ir a Igreja, mas ela não está mudando muito como as filhas dela. Ela está muito animada que suas filhas estão melhorando e mudando, mas ela ainda gosta de sua religião Espirita. Ela frequenta as duas agora e acha que Espiritismo é certo para ela e nossa religião é certa para as filhas dela. Não faz muito sentido para mim que ela pode acreditar em as duas, mas estamos tendo ensinar muito sobre autoridade e que realmente só tem uma lugar com toda a verdade.
Estou tentando muito para receber revelação por nossa área esta semana. Eu posso sentir-se o Espírito forte e estou recebendo respostas a minhas orações. Eu amo esta obra!