I hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving! Thursday morning, Elder Shepherd, our Zone Leader, did a conference call with all the American missionaries in our zone and said, "Hey Zone. It's Thanksgiving in America right now. So while we are all out here sweating and walking in the hot sun, not eating anything, our families are having fun and laughing and stuffing their faces. Hope you have a great day!" Lovely. Hahaha. Mission life is so good.
I cannot believe that it is already December. Time is absolutely flying. I hit eight months tomorrow. That means I can count on my fingers how many months I have left now. Weirdest thing ever.
Anyways, I heard this super funny joke this week. You guys are going to die. So funny. Ready? So the Zone Leaders and the Sister Training Leaders told me that I was going to train this transfer. Hahaha. Hilarious, right? Oh wait. No. That wasn't a joke, that was real life! I am TRAINING this transfer. Freeeeeeaking out. Just a little. Remember how I got to Brazil a month ago? Yeah, this is happening. Apparently my good ole buddy President Hanks in Alabama sent an email to President Parrela and said some things that I'm sure were far too kind. So yeah, I am training next week...
This week was pretty emotional, I won't lie. All week I had so many feelings of inadequacy. I had thoughts of how I can't speak the language, how I don't understand the culture, how I don't know how to be an effective missionary here. How in the world could I possibly train a missionary if I have all these problems? It was honestly the hardest week I have ever had on my mission. Poor Sister Ponce. Dealing with all my tears. She is an angel. Really. However, I learned an incredible lesson this week. I have the help of my Heavenly Father. He is the greatest help in the world. With Him on my side, I can learn the language, I can understand the culture, I can be an effective missionary, and I can train a new missionary. With Him on my side, I can do all things. I know that this next transfer is going to be difficult, but I know, without a doubt, that I can do this.
So, we got to work. And we worked our tails off. Sister Ponce and I made a plan to be the very best missionaries that the Brazil Santa Maria mission has ever seen. Wanna know what we called it? As esposas de Moroni. (The wives of Moroni). Hahaha. The ultimate goal as a missionary. But really. We created this plan that is near perfection. We were able to work with the members so much more, we were exactly obedient all week, we focused on the work, and things were incredible. We doubled our numbers with lessons taught with members and had seven investigators at church yesterday. Yes, seven. The most I have ever had on my mission! I am so beyond grateful for the work that we were able to do this week. I know that because we showed the Lord that we were willing and ready to work, He blessed us so much. I am so beyond excited for the work that is happening here. The members are finally getting excited about mission work and we are seeing miracle after miracle. Things are SO great.
I had a moment yesterday that I want to share with you all. It was during Sacrament Meeting. Fast and Testimony meeting is always killer and I tend to cry every single time. However, this time was different. As I listened to the members of the branch bear their testimonies of this gospel, I don't think I have ever felt so much love in my life. They had the opportunity to go to the temple on Saturday. We had members of our branch go for the first time, after so much preparation. What a blessing to be able to see that. I have so much love for these people here. They have so little compared to the world's standards, but in reality, they have more than the world could ever hope for. This gospel is their lives. I bawled all during Sacrament Meeting. I realized that this world is filled with so many things that distract us from what really matters. Sometimes I find myself thinking of things I did back home that maybe were a little more fun than tracting in the hot sun, or getting eaten alive by mosquitoes, or having so much exhaustion that I nearly pass out during some lessons. I find myself taking advantage of the time I have here and not using it as well as I should. However, when it comes down to it, this gospel is everything. Those little things are so insignificant in the scheme of things. I know that as we all put a little more emphasis on the gospel and the things that truly matter, we will have so much more happiness in our lives. I have seen it in the lives of the people here and I am eternally grateful to be a part of that.
Life is great. Things are going so well here. I think I cried every day this week because of my gratitude for my mission. I will never ever be able to express how much I love this work. I say it every single week, but I am so happy that I am here, serving in São Gabriel. Such a huge blessing in my life. I love this church. I love my Savior and my Heavenly Father. This is the work of the Lord. He is truly present in every minute of it.
I love you all. I hope you all have a great week. I will be enjoying my last week with Sister Ponce this week ): So sad that we are getting split up, but things will be great. She has changed my life so much! So beyond grateful for her. Have a great week and do beautiful things.
|Building the house|
|Horse and buggy|
|Horse and buggy - for real!|
|Melting in the sun|
|Our construction site|
|Prettiest mission ever|
|Sister Ponce building the house|
|So pretty here|
|Teaching like a boss|
|The PIG for Christmas dinner!|