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Semana 15

By 8:56 PM

E aí família?! Espero que todo mundo está bem e feliz!

This week was great, although passed slow due to anxious nerves for this next week!! Can´t believe I get to talk to you guys on SUNDAY! And my 20th birthday is friday. So weird, I feel really old leaving my teenage years behind... I also hit 100 days out on the mission. My birthday package is so tempting to look at, sitting in our living room unopened…

Sister Brown got her first "snail mail" letters of her mission this week.  She said she just cried and cried and cried she was so happy!  These letters took at least 9 weeks to arrive!

This week we had some amazing lessons - most notably with a new investigator that was a "contato de fogo", (contact of fire) or that she accepted a date for baptism from the first contact! We returned to her house and taught her the Restoration. As we recounted the first vision to Angela, the spirit filled the air, and she began to cry. We knew that she knew it was true. That is the first time in BOTH me and sister carvalho´s missions that someone has cried during the first vision! We are so excited to progress with her, and hopefully she will continue to act on her faith and keep her commitments and go to church and continue to feel of the Spirit testifying to her of the truth! Really that´s all I can ask for here on the mission - that people will just accept what we have to say and open the door for the Spirit. 

I love teaching people on the mission, and especially love teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. Even though we teach the same principles and lessons with people, every single lesson is different as we apply the doctrine of Christ to the needs of those we teach. Every lesson is an opportunity for me, my companion, and our investigators to learn and grow from the Spirit. 

Friday was a holiday. Brazil has a holiday like every 3 weeks. And Brazilians love any excuse to take the work day off and go to the beach, have a party, or go on a trip. Holidays here are the WORST for missionaries - the streets are empty, NO ONE is home, our lunch always falls through, and it´s practically impossible to teach anyone. So.. we programmed an "integration activity" with some investigators and a less active and some of the young adult members, and went on a hike!!

We hiked through the Parque Das Dunas (google pictures, seriously it´s so cool) which is like a huge jungle with sand dunes all around it. Highlights included seeing a MASSIVE trantula on the trail, taking pictures with it, and then at the very end was an overlook of the coast and the beach! There was even a rainbow over the ocean - ahh o Nordeste é maravilhosa. I love where I live. It is so beautiful here, and a huge tourist hotspot (family I want you to start making plans to visit because this place is incredible). I´ll be sure to send pictures along when I get wifi.

In other news, we got a call this morning that Sister J. Baker and her Portuguese companion will be moving in to our apartment and covering the other area!! YAY!!! Happy day, we were so excited!! Only bad news is that now sister carvalho and I have to basically "open" the other area that we´ve been neglecting because it´s so far away.... pray for us!

During my personal study this week I studied diligence (again, you can never study one thing enough!) and made some interesting observations. In Moroni 9:6 we learn that our lives here on Earth were given to us in order to show our diligence in returning to live in the presence of the Father. This life was set apart for this purpose, and we have a labor to perform here. I realized that the "urgency" to save the souls of man is not just for missionaries. It´s for everyone. As a ward member, our callings are a sacred responsibility - to work diligently in our means to help influence and save souls of others. As mothers and fathers, we are endowed with the gift to bring spirit children of Heavenly Father into the world and raise them in righteousness - and this sacred calling requires SO much diligence! Diligence is not just an attribute for set-apart missionaries, but for all the followers of Christ - a lesson that we need to learn NOW so that one day, we can rest peacefully in the reign of God, knowing we tried and worked with all diligence of heart.

I love you all SO MUCH and am bursting with excitement to talk to you all on sunday! Please have like questions you want to ask me and things to talk about so we don´t waste any time haha. I´ll see you soon :)

Sister Brown

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