Holy cow, where can I even begin? This has been the craziest, best week of my life! I have hardly any time to write, but I will do my best to fit it all in!!!
So I am serving here in São Gabriel, which is one of the most Southern points of our mission. It is SO beautiful here. Seriously. I am in love with it already. I can´t express how much I love it. Everything is perfect. Exactly how I imagined it. The people, the culture, everything. It is such a blessing to be here and I know that it is exactly where I need to be.
My new companion is Sister Natalia Ponce and she is from Chile! We only speak in Portuguese, so I´ve had to learn very quickly. She is incredible! I´ve actually been out a transfer longer than she has, which is a little strange haha. So technically, I´m the Senior Companion, but she is my trainer. Haha. We love each other so much already. She is 22 and comes from a completely inactive family, but has such a strong testimony of the gospel. I love her so much and am learning so many things from her.
Food here is fabulous. Rice and beans every single day!!! I love it so much. The members feed us almoço (which is their big meal during the day) every single day. Then we don´t have dinner. And we walk everywhere!!! So needless to say, I have already lost a lot of weight... I didn´t gain too much in Alabama, but that is ALL going to be gone within the next week. Seriously. The food is so good though. I absolutely love it.
So this week was very interesting! Sister Ponce and I were double transferred into São Gabriel, which means we have no investigators, no knowledge of the area, no member support, nothing. What an entrance, eh? Our area book with all the previous investigators hadn´t been updated since 2009, so we just got to work. We have been going out, meeting with members, working with our Branch President, trying to do all we can to get people to teach. And guess what? It is working! The work is moving so quickly in Brazil. It seems like everyone is interested in the gospel. I am so excited for what is going to happen here. We already have a baptism lined up, so things are going to be great here. LOVE IT.
I cannot express how much I love it here. The people here are so kind. I have so much love for them already. Even though I cannot speak very well, they are so willing to help me out. They have such strong testimonies of the gospel. I was bawling all during Sacrament Meeting yesterday because of the Spirit I felt there. It was so strong. They have such a strong desire to share the gospel with everyone they meet.
President Parrela is incredible! I love him already and I am so excited to work with him. He told me at transfer meeting that I have to get to work. He said he´s got some high expectations for me and expects me to be fluent by the end of this transfer... He needs me to get working with the other sisters here since I have already been out for so long, so I need to be able to speak the language well. PRAY FOR ME. My Portuguese is already so much better and I am getting to the point where I feel comfortable teaching now. It is so great. But seriously, keep me in your prayers.
A little about my mission: We have around 150 missionaries here and only 28 sisters! AH! Can you believe that? We had almost 150 sisters in Alabama... Haha. It´s definitely different, but I love it. We have a goal of baptizing weekly, so we are getting to work here in São Gabriel! I am expected to eat a ton of honey and lemons every day so that I can be healthy. I DO NOT like lemons, but I am forcing myself to do it haha. Maybe one day... Our zone is awesome. We have 5/8 that are Americanos. Our Zone Leader actually played basketball at Utah State my freshman year. His name is Cameron Shepherd, but I didn´t know him! We know a lot of the same people though! Small world huh?
I am sorry that this email is so scattered, but things are great here. I love it so much. I love Brazil so much and I know that this is EXACTLY where I need to be. Things are so perfect here. Except for the fact that my feet are killing from this walking. It´ll be great when I come home with extremely calloused feet. Can´t wait (;
I love you all so much. Thank you for everything. I hope you are all doing well. WRITE ME. Even though it will take forever to get here. Haha. I love you all so much and hope that everything is great. LOVES!
P.S. No air conditioning here... SO hot. But at least we have hot water for showers (:
Minha companheira (: Yes, she is beautiful,
but she´s taken, so don´t ask (; I LOVE HER.
Last day in Mississippi ):
Sister Murray and I! Ahhh I miss that girl so much already!