Hello my wonderful belovable family!
Happy belated Thanksgiving, and an EXTRA Happy first Day of December!
I'm sorry I didn't write last week, the computer got messed up. Anyways,
this week was kinda rough. We had these two firm baptisms, and we were
all pumped up all week long and things were going great. Then on Friday
one of them fell through because of a problem that was discovered in the
interview, and the other one decided that he just wouldn't leave the
catholic church. So by Sunday afternoon when we were baptism-less, I was
pretty bummed out - dare I say it, discouraged. (Not to mention I was
wearing the wrong shoes that day, and my feet were killing me so that
didn't help a bunch.) Then I remembered this conference talk about faith
from last April that I had read a little while ago. It said that
'discouragement and despair are the very antithesis of faith...' and
that 'disappointment is an inevitable part of life [missionary work],
but it need not lead to doubt, discouragement, distraction, or lack of
So my companion and I stopped and sang a little hymn and said a prayer,
asking to have the spirit with us again, and to keep working hard and
increase our faith. Afterwards we headed over to this lady who went to
church with us for the first time that day. (Its kinda cool. We were
walking by her house on saturday, and she was sitting out front and we
just said, "Hey do you want to go to church with us tomorrow?" Sunday
morning we passed by, and walked with her to church. That's it. We
hadn't taught her anything.) This brings us to Sunday afternoon when we
went by her house to follow up and see how she liked it. We taught her a
lesson about the gospel of Christ and invited her to follow His example
and be baptized in His church. She said YES. It was sweet. And right
then we marked the date for this next Sunday. We taught her how to pray
and then asked her to say the closing prayer. She did and then I asked
her how she felt and she goes, "I feel really really happy. I feel like
I have wings, and like I could fly." (And then picture me and how I felt
at that moment) So this was definitely God's answer to the prayer we had
made 1 hour earlier.
I know that there is so much power in prayer and I just need to have
faith and patience in this work and in my life. I know that even when
baptisms fall through, there are SO many people that Heavenly Father is
preparing to receive and accept the gospel. So the experience with
Joelma was a big pick-me-up that I needed. I'm thankful to be here as a
missionary and to learn these lessons.
In other news, this area is f a n t a s t i c. I am LOVING the ward, and
the area. Right when we got here, I was in love with this area, and I
told sister lindenlaub how the only thing that this area doesn't have is
good sidewalks or buses. And how it's way awkward to try and walk side
by side but you cant because there are crazy drivers and no where to
walk on the main road. The NEXT WEEK we saw these construction workers,
and I asked what they were building, and they're making SIDEWALKS!!!
Yayyyy. What blessings! And we found out that there is a metro station
kinda close, that works way better than buses for when we have to go to
meetings. Yes, this area is getting better and better.
The only downside - bug bites. I never really see the bugs, but then I
just have bug bites everywhere. And then I scratch them all the time,
and then they bleed, scab, and turn into little bumps or scars or
whatever. So my arms and legs are covered in little bug bite scars and
bumps . If I run my fingers over my skin, its like reading Braille
because there's so many dots. (now I just need to find a blind
Brazilian who knows Braille to translate the message for me.)
So things are good. I'm a little thrown off this year for Christmas. It
does NOT feel like Christmas at all. Its super weird. On the one hand,
I'm trying to remember that its december, but at the same time I kinda
don't want to because I don't want to be trunky or miss home or any of
the joyous Christmas traditions that are happening. So it all evens out.
Basically we sing Christmas hymns and that's about it. But I'm happy
that its Christmas in America!!!!!! And I love you and want to hear
about all the fun and happy Christmas things that are happening at home.
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE you so much.