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Melting in Alecrim #splits

By 6:42 PM

Oi família!

After anticipating another hard week ahead, Tuesday morning this week
I prayed for a miracle. And Tuesday morning, we received a call that
we´d be having a divisão, or go on a week long split. That only means
one thing - your area is suffering and/or you´re not having baptisms.
We were so upset and felt like this was the worst timing ever.  So,
the STL (sister trainer leader) switched to our area to be companions with
Sister Carvalho, and I went to area Alecrim (where the mission office is) to
work with the STL´s companion, Sister Morais. Here´s the catch that had
everyone worried - she only has one transfer ahead of me. In reality, however,
this was the miracle that I had prayed for, and exactly what I needed.

I taught more lessons, spoke to more people, and learned more lessons
than any other week of my mission so far. Having two novinhas (new
missionaries) together was so good for me, because we are both new at teaching,
there was no longer the excuse to sit back and let the senior companion dominate
the lesson, or answer the hard questions. And boy, did we have some
tough questions this week. It gave us both the opportunity to teach
equally, testify, and learn through the experience.

Sometimes when we teach investigators they´ll say the prayer in our
lessons, and when they do, they pray for us missionaries and our
families. No wonder missionaries are so blessed! Family, know that
there are men, women, and children in Natal praying for you. It always
brings tears to my eyes to hear their humble, simple prayers. It´s a
testimony to me that even the simplest prayer can invoke the power of
God and can still receive just as certain of answers as anyone else.
The power of prayer works miracles. It brings people to the truth, and
it brings salvation to souls. I´ve seen it with my own eyes, and I am
seeing it in my own life as I learn how desperately we need the
atoning blood of Christ and His mercy to be forgiven of our sins. We
have so far to go. I have so far to go. I´m learning that lesson more
and more every day.

Easter is a huuuuggeee deal here in Brasil. On Friday, EVERYTHING was
closed, and EVERYONE was out of town. So we spent a lot of the day
walking around. We passed a street, and I stopped in my tracks - my
body was riveted in place, as if my spirit knew that I needed to go
back to that street. I said, "Sister, we need to go back down that
street." And so we did, and the Spirit guided us to the man that we
needed to teach on that street. José had lost his wife a few months
prior, and as he recounted his life story to us, naturally we assumed
to teach the second lesson on the Plan of Salvation. However, as we
began to teach, I distinctly had the thought, "no, we need to teach
him the 3rd lesson on the gospel of Jesus Christ." So I switched it
up, we taught the lesson, and ended up committing him to pray about
being baptized in two weeks! Every day I learn how powerful the Spirit
is in conversion, and how crucial it is that we are worthy of its
companionship in missionary work. We would not teach if it weren´t for
the spirit.

Did everyone LOVE conference as much as I did? Wow I wish I had time
to talk about everything I learned. Of course my favorite was Wilford
W. Andersen´s talk relating music to hearing the song of the gospel. I
hope you all thought of me, it was such a beautiful comparison and I
echo the same message and know it to be true.

I also loved Elder Cook´s talk (I think) on "what time is it at home?"
I reflected fondly on this, because I, too, check my watch here on the
mission and know that the family is gathered at the table for dinner,
salmon and rice, and there is an atmosphere of love and the spirit. I
am so grateful for the home and family that raised me. By the way, all
the American missionaries got to watch it in English by satellite! So
that was cool. The sessions started at 1:00pm and ended at 7:00pm at
night. Kinda cool to watch it later, I paid more attention too haha.
I had a question these past few weeks about repentance. In the
scriptures we learn that we should "preach only repentance to the
people", and I´ve wondered HOW do I really do this? This week, I
discovered that in order to understand repentance, I need to
understand the Atonement. The Atonement and repentance are like a
reflection in a mirror. You can´t look into a mirror without seeing
your reflection. Although the reflection is the exact opposite of your
physical body, both you and your reflection complete each other
perfectly. Just like this, there cannot be repentance WITHOUT the
Atonement. The mirror, that makes the image possible, is our Savior
Jesus Christ. Through Him, we can see ourselves in a new light, in the
eyes of our God. We can become cleansed, perfectly, through the waters
of baptism, and after that, by renewing our covenants through taking
the sacrament each week at church. Death (the pains of spiritual death
included) really has no sting through Him.

In other news...

I never actually know how hot it is here, but one day on the bus this
week we saw that it was 47 degrees Celsius around noon, not including
humidity. And it only gets hotter in the afternoon. I´m melting here!!

MOM I GOT YOUR PACKAGE!!! Blessing from being in Alecrim
where the office is - I was SO happy when I opened it and smiles and sunshine
and the color yellow were bursting. So grateful for everything in
there, especially the thoughtful expandable folder. You´re amazing
mom! Also, I got LETTERS!!!! Letters from the family, grandma, Emilia,
and Holly. You guys are wonderful people, thank you for everything.

This next week is my last week of my second transfer. On the 14th
we´ll find out if I´m getting transferred or stay here in Natal. As for
now, I´ll continue to do my best to make this area better than I found it
(hopefully not next week).

I love you tons, talk to you next week <3

Sister Brown

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