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Semana 19

By 3:44 PM

Olá querida família :)

Wow have I got lots to talk about this week! Last week´s P day we went to Alecrim to do some "cheap shopping" - I bought the most beautiful 2 person hammock! They hand-craft them in the interior, amazing. I´m taking advantage of the culture here and spent this morning lazily snoozing in my hammock, listening to some classical music and the rain batting against the window :) finally a peaceful day amidst stressful missionary life! P day is magical.

We´ve hit "winter" here - which means it rains through the night and the morning, and around noon the sun burns off the clouds and it´s back to heat, but this time infinitely worse because it´s even MORE humid.. good news is that the sun is less powerful (sort of).

This week, now that Guilherme is a member we could teach lessons with him, so he introduced us to his friend named Adriano. We started teaching him, gave him a Book of Mormon, and he came to our weekly activity at the church! This week it was a talent show.. I sent some pictures. Guilherme and Adriano trained together in "capoeira", which is a martial arts/dance here in Brazil. It´s really cool, look it up on Youtube. They did a presentation of the dance and brought the traditional instument that goes along with capoeira, called "berimbau". They taught me how to play, too.

Thanks to Guilherme, Adriano has become a new progressing investigator! This week after we taught him the Restoration, he read and prayed about the Book of Mormon. When we asked him how it went, he said he felt like it was all true - success! He will be baptized next week, if all goes well. Seriously, if everyone would just read the Book of Mormon, pray about it with a sincere desire to know, I KNOW that God will answer their prayers. That´s just how God works - we have to put in our part and He immediately gives us blessings - like a testimony of the Book of Mormon! What a blessing in my life, it has changed everything.

Friday was MISSION CONFERENCE with President Soares, and guest speaker Elder Mazzagardi from the Seventy and Brazil Area Presidency (same guy who spoke when I was at the CTM). It was really fun to see everyone, I am starting to know more people and feel less new haha, thank heavens. 

I learned lots of great things from the conference and wanted to share what I wrote in my journal about it:

"I loved everything that Elder Mazzagardi had to say. He talked about how music is an expression of the desires of our soul, and that it has a powerful effect upon us and other people, and can either reflect or distinguish our light. He talked a lot about light, and our responsibility to be a light to others, that we need to avoid things that will destroy our light - avoid behaviors, thoughts, actions, and decisions that will deminish our light. I thought about how this reflects to my patriarchal blessing and setting apart as a missionary - how relevant and true! He also talked about how the eyes are the window to the soul - that the key to seeing one´s light is to look into their eyes. This made me think of the scripture in Alma 32:6-8, that Alma BEHELD in the eyes of the people their humility. Elder Mazzagardi also talked about the importance of santification through the Holy Ghost and personal conversion, for both investigators and missionaries. The miracle of conversion will withstand for an eternity, and this is our missionary goal - help others experience a true conversion through the power of the Holy Ghost."

Friday was both a great day and a really hard day.. I still can´t believe that I missed Adam´s High School graduation, my only sibling. It was the first time that I have cried from homesickness... but I am still so grateful to be here and know the eternal rewards make up for the sadness of missing my best friend and brother!

Saturday we found a family (WOHOO!!!!) - Sister Lopes and I were wandering the streets in a neighborhood we have kind of neglected, and as we passed a few houses she stopped in the middle of the street and said, "there was a woman in that house..." and I immediately said, "let´s go back." The Spirit really is our guide here on the mission! It´s such an amazing sensation, being guided by the Holy Ghost. It´s such a testimony that this truly is the work of the Lord, and no one else.

And to wrap it all up.. ANOTHER BAPTISM YESTERDAY!!!!!!
Yesterday was such a blessing. We had arranged with Adriano to meet us at Guilherme´s house to pick up everyone (Hugo, Weorrana, Guilherme, etc.) while we waited for our ride. When we got there, Guilherme said that Adriano had brought a friend and arrived already, but was waiting for us. Wohoo! So we all waited for our ride (a recent convert who is awesome, but is ALWAYS like 45 minutes late, no matter how early we try and get him prepped for an activity) for about an hour, and not 5 minutes before he showed up, Adriano left. He told us he was going to buy a snack. After our ride showed up, Adriano was nowhere in sight so we called him, and turns out he had gone home and didn´t want to go to church anymore because he had a headache... we were so upset! Nooooo!  People have the worst excuses, and satan is pretty good at convincing people to put off going to church. We tried our best but just had to go. So we were at church with our two investigators (Hugo, and the friend of Adriano who he had brought but didn´t even come himself). About 10 minutes later Adriano showed up! A member had called him and picked him up, turns out he changed his mind. What a tender mercy from the Lord.

On top of all this, I had a mission landmark: Guilherme blessed the sacrament. And what´s even better, is that GUILHERME BAPTIZED HUGO!!! I never thought that I would see the day where I stayed in an area long enough to see one of my very own recent converts baptize another. I felt truly uplifted, rewarded, and blessed.

We have exciting work up ahead, and we are starting the 3rd week of the transfer already! Keep on praying, writing, and supporting me, the more prayers for missionaries, the better. I know the power of prayer works miracles, I see it every day.

I love you all, and I´ll talk to you next week!

Tchaus e beijos,

Sister Brown

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