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Semana 18

By 4:43 PM

WOHOO hey family!

So you got the pictures - transfers came in this week! Sister Carvalho was shipped off to Mossoró, and I waited 7 hours at the bus station for my new companion Sister Lopes to come in from interior too. She is from Florianópolis, super intelligent and works hard - everything I could want for another companion, she´s an answer to my fervent prayers. 

Wow I have so much to tell you all about this week. To start...

It´s crazy to think about where I was a year ago this time of year - studying music in Vienna, with no desires to serve a mission. How a year ago exactly this past week, I had a dream about serving a mission that has changed me forever. This week last year, I was in Switzer5land, anxiously (and secretly) waiting for a mission call from a prophet of God, to serve a foreign people, land, and language. It has all come full circle to me, this week.

Guilherme was confirmed a member of the Church yesterday, and received the Holy Ghost. On top of that, he was sustained and received the Aaronic Priesthood. I have never been so happy in my life. Only through the power and the work of God could I be the hands to help bring this young man to the truth, have a change of heart, desire to serve a mission, receive the Priesthood, and in one short year have the opportunity to go through the temple and serve his own mission. I feel so humbled to have played a part in the life of this young man - this is one experience that has confirmed to me that I needed to be here, and I have begun to fulfill my calling as a missionary.

This is the happiest I have ever been.

I hit 4 months this week! I´m starting to love every second of this work - even the defeats.  This week had a few (as do all weeks). Some weeks back, Sister Carvalho and I had contacted some young women on the street (the same woman that cried during the First Vision) and we revisited them this week to try and confirm their baptisms. When we visited them, one had said that she had read the Book of Mormon and prayed, and that she didn´t get an answer. The other hadn´t read. They then proceeded to tell us that they were not interested in our message, said they wouldn´t be baptized, and didn´t want to meet with us anymore. I turned away from that lesson and just cried in the street - I was so upset, I KNEW that they had felt the Spirit touch their hearts, that they had already accepted the invitation to be baptized before, that the door had been cracked open, but they shut their hearts to us once again. I felt so defeated. I truly wet my pillow with tears for the souls of the people here that night. But it´s situations like these that bring me more motivation to keep going. 

This week has been a little tough - Sister Carvalho and I let our teaching group fall through while we were focusing all our energy on our baptisms earlier this month, that when Sister Lopes arrived we didn´t have any progressing investigators, or really anyone to teach. So this week we spent all our time procuring new investigators, showing her the area, and getting shut down. It´s a slow process, but we have some good prospects and should be making great success this transfer! 

This will also probably be my last transfer in Natal, which is a bummer but I´m excited - my only hope is to leave this area better than I found it.

I love this quote from Elder Uchtdorf.  "Patience is not passive resignation, nor is it failing to act because of our fears. Patience means active waiting and enduring. It means staying with something even when the desires of our hearts are delayed. Patience is not simply enduring, it is enduring well! Patience means accepting that which cannot be changed, and facing it with courage, grace, and faith. It means being willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon us, even as a child doth submit to his father". ~Dieter F. Uchtdorf.

I love you all, love this work, love my life as a missionary! Talk to you next.

Sister Brown

PS - got your package, mom! We enjoyed more cookies last night. Also, ADAM I can´t believe you´re graduating high school this week!!! I´m so bummed, I missed Holly´s graduation last year, and I´m missing my own brother´s graduation... geez. #missionprobs but I am so proud of you for getting gold cords! Thanks for keeping the family tradition going ;)


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