I LOVED this week. I am so grateful that I am finally figuring out how to be a good missionary! Haha for real. Last week, things seemed to click for me, and this week, I was able to apply all of that and feel successful. It was such a great blessing this week. So huge (:
So this week, it rained almost every day. GREATEST THING EVER. But before it rains, it is so dang hot. Like unimaginably hot. Like 110 degrees. So it's extremely hot from about 9 am to 4 pm, then it rains the rest of the night. We end up dying with the heat. Absolutely DYING. But at least, the rain comes. Isn't that how it is with life too? We get the killer heat and feel like we can't go any longer, and then we get the rain, right as soon as we are about to pass out. Hahahaha. Worst analogy ever. Forgive me.
Anyway, things are going SO well here in São Gabriel. So well. I feel so beyond grateful for the progress that the members are making here. We have made a complete switch in this area now. We are working 100% with the members. They are ready to be the greatest missionaries in the world. We have been doing some really cool things here, and it is finally sticking with them! When we got here, we have initiated Ward Counsel, and they were doing it about every three weeks. They are now doing it every single week! Whaaat? Also, we are doing these really cool trainings with the members, teaching them how to share the gospel EFFECTIVELY with their friends and their neighbors. We aren't going to stay here, the members are. So they have to know how to keep this area running. It has been a fantastic thing to be a part of.
So we usually have 50-60 people at our branch each Sunday, but yesterday, we had 87! Whaaat? I was in tears, looking around at how many investigators were there, how many less-active members were there, and how all of them were interacting. What a fantastic sight as a missionary. For real. I am so filled with gratitude that things are finally working out here! It has been a VERY long and slow process, working with the members, but things are getting going. We are going to have a ward in no time (: There is no doubt in my mind about it (:
So many miracles happened this week. We have been working with a less-active member, Eva, a lot. She is the cutest lady in the world. She hasn't been to church in over 10 years. Last week, we figured out that she has been struggling with a coffee addiction and doesn't feel like she can come back to church. Anyways, the Elders gave her a blessing to have more spiritual strength and get over this addiction. Guess who hasn't had any coffee all week, or even has the desire to drink it? The power of the Priesthood is so strong! It just helps me realize that I NEED a worthy Priesthood holder in my home. That power is so incredible and I can't imagine raising a family without it. Eva came to church yesterday, too! First time in over 10 years. And she LOVED it. I am so beyond excited for her. She is the cutest ever.
I learned so many things this week, of course. Sister A. Silva and I had a few minor difficulties this week. I don't know if I have ever told you much about her, but we are SO beyond different from each other. Haha. I can't imagine two more different people. She told me something last week that explains our differences perfectly. She thinks that purses are ugly. Hahaha. I was dying when she told me that. We are so different, but we are learning so many things from each other, and I truly love her so much. I don't know how we are managing to get along so well, despite our MANY differences, but things are going so well with us now. We were able to talk through so many things and really figure out what we needed to do to have more unity in our companionship. Everything starts with our relationship as a companionship, and I am so grateful to have such a fabulous companion. We are becoming such great friends (:
Another thing I learned a lot this week is accountability. At the end of the day, the only thing it comes down to is: Did I do my part for the Lord today? Every single night, as I kneel down and tell my Heavenly Father about my day and what we did with the time He gave us, I am able to tell Him that I did my very best. I think that is why I am feeling so happy. This time is going by far too quickly, but I know that when I come home in a short 7 months (yeah, freaking out), I will be able to say that I served my mission with everything that I could have possibly given; my heart, my might, my mind and my strength. I love this work and I feel so grateful that I get to be a part of it.
Yeah, so you read that right. We are down to 7 months now... I found out my release date. September 23. What? Two weeks earlier than I thought? Terrible. Just so you know.
Anyways, I love you all so much. I am so grateful for all that I have in my life. I have been blessed with the greatest life, the greatest family, the greatest mission, the greatest friends, the greatest companion, and the greatest church. I can never express all this gratitude that I feel each and every day. I love you all dearly. I hope that you have a great week! Always praying for you (:
PS - I am so beyond thrilled for the soon-to-be Elder Card. Going to be the greatest blessing in the ENTIRE world.