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A Birthday, Mother's Day and Little Critters!

By 6:37 PM

Mom note: Emily's birthday was May 7th.  I sent her birthday box many weeks ago, and I'm happy to report that she got it in time to open on her special day!  I've included some photos from her birthday in this post.  Additionally, we had a wonderful Mother's Day Skype with Emily.  Oh how quickly that hour flies!  Emily got to talk to her maternal and paternal grandparents, Adam, her best friend Holly, and Dell and I.  It was full of smiles, tears, and laughter.  Among many details and stories, Emily told us that she and the other sisters in her apartment woke up that morning to discover that they ALL had lice.  Fortunately, I had sent Emily with medicated lice shampoo which they shared.  They spent the morning dealing with that fun aspect of serving in a developing country, but fortunately, I think lice treatment is readily available!  The highlight was we were able to hear her bear her testimony in both Portuguese and English.  What more could  we ask for?!


Wow, yesterday was the best day of my life. I loved every single second that we spent talking together! It was such a surprise to see grandma and grandpa Brown AND Peterson there!!! And I died when I saw Holly <3 I was sooooooo happy to see and get time to talk to you all individually and together. Of course after the fact, I realized I should have brought my recorder to record the whole thing.... ah man. Guess I´ll wait 7 months and try again at Christmas ;)

Well, I don´t have a whole lot prepared to tell you about this week because I just talked to you all yesterday, but I wanted to tell you a little bit about some of the work this week.

The 6th and the 7th were awesome, because they were full of birthday celebrations for me! We had our zone meeting in Alecrim, and the sisters surprised me with a cake. Also I got a bunch of cards from people and that was the best thing ever. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE SEND CARDS ALWAYS, it makes missionaries so happy!! 

Then the next day on my birthday I was surprised again with good old American pancakes - drizzled with condensed milk and sprinkles #brazilianstyle. Then we all enjoyed the contents of my minion package! You´re an angel, mother. 

Birthday Party!

They were able to find an EMILY coke can for Sister Brown's birthday party, but I know that those are not the names of the other sisters!  Maybe they each picked the name they "wish" they had!

Because it was the first week together with Sister Baker and Sister Rodrigues, we went on splits to show them the two areas. Turns out we will be covering the 4 "neighborhoods" (loose term to describe the area) closest to our apartment and the other sisters will have the other 4 farther away, near the chapel. I love having the opportunity to work with other missionaries - you get to learn from their teaching style, contacting approach, and just get to know them better and feel of their testimonies and spirits! To me, it´s a great way to develop my own testimony and faith. So I worked with Sister Rodrigues for a few days this week, and we had some great successes! We marked 4 baptisms this week. I made a realization that my purpose as a missionary is to help other draw closer to Christ THROUGH the waters of baptism, so why wasn´t I inviting more people to be baptized? I had a little more faith this week, and was rewarded with people accepting the invitation to be baptized. 

Sister Rodrigues, Sister J. Baker, Sister Carvahlo, Sister Brown

Sister Brown and one of the sweet young girls who is planning to be baptized this week

We have an investigator named Guilherme that just gets it - he is a 19 year old boy that we started teaching a month or so ago, a neighbor of some other investigators. You can see the difference when people want to change their lives and feel the spirit when we teach. He has been reading the Book of Mormon, and when we talked to him about baptism he said, "what can I do to be baptized?" I about fell off the stool I was sitting on when I heard him say that, like AH yes that is what we are here to help you with!!!! :) As we helped him realize what commitments he needed to keep in order to be baptized, he began to recognize WHY - and that is the job of the Spirit. To testify that these things are important, are crucial to our salvation and will improve our lives and we will be blessed. He said in his prayer at the end of the lesson for help to reach his goals of keeping commitments and being baptized. It was the sweetest moment for me. 

Honestly I don´t have much else to say hahaha, other than we have been making lots of yummy food this past week! Tacos (the taco seasoning you sent a while back was finally put to use and it was PERFECT thanks momma), sandwhiches, and then tapioca almost every night! 

There are a few things that they only eat here in the Nordeste that I love - tapioca, couscous, and açai. The best things in the world that I will be SO sad to leave behind. There are a million fruits here too that I´ve never heard of before in my life. Brazil is crazy.

Até próximo,

Sister Brown

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