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Semana 22

By 1:41 PM

Mom note: This week we had to let Emily know that her dear friend, Max Robison, passed away.  He was 88 years young and had a real zest for life up until the very end.  Emily also refers to a voice recording she made and tried to send to us…we got it, but it is too long to download.  Bummer!  

Hi family,

Wow the past few weeks have been an overload of emotion with news from home. I am so grateful for all of the updates, however sad they are. Max was one of my best friends. Not very many people can say that an 88 year old man was their best friend, but without a doubt we were best together in heaven. I know this is where he wanted me to be, serving a mission and serving the Lord. This morning we ran into a market to grab some food, and there was an accordion playing. I will always think fondly of him and the hours we spent talking about his life, about music, about what heaven must be like. He appreciated my music more than anyone else - when I´m performing back at home, I know that he will be there listening. It´s so hard to be away from home when people you love pass on, but this is the only other place in the world I would want to be - serving my Heavenly Father and His children. Now I just know that he is my guardian angel here on the mission, walking every step with me saying, "yeah! Let´s go!" 

I don´t have much to report this week, mostly because I finally used the recorder that you sent me and made a 20 minute long recording about my week. After I finished recording and saw how long it was I thought, "man, I didn´t talk about a whole lot of things, why is it so long?" So I played it back and discovered the problem: my English is terrible, and I talked SUPER slow because I was trying to remember how to speak English. So. Sorry you´ll have to bear my painfully slow english but you´ll probably appreciate the sound of my voice :)

I don´t have much else to add beyond what I recorded, other than this week we decided to work with recent converts, less actives, and part member families to draw from and create a new teaching group. It brought some fruits this week, and some funny experiences. Girleno is a less active that, when we visited him, told us he wanted to come back to church. He reads the Book of Mormon and the Gospel Principles books every day, and told us that he wants to help his family be baptized too - ótimo! He has 9 people living in his house with him #TheFieldIsWhite. We visited them several times this week, and the 79 year old grandma just loves us to death. She told us that her only dream in life is to learn how to play piano. Sister Lopes practically jumped out of her seat when she heard that and blurted, "SISTER BROWN KNOWS HOW TO PLAY PIANO COME TO CHURCH ON SUNDAY AND SHE WILL TEACH YOU". When she heard that she started to cry and said "Yes yes yes I will go to church!" So I have my first piano student here haha. She can barely walk or see clearly, but we invited her to be baptized and she just cried and cried and said "Oh Jesus" over and over hahaha but accepted our help to prepare her to be baptized. She, in return, gave me one of her rings, and some other items of clothing that I have absolutely no use for but will keep anyway hahaha. Oh the things that you collect from investigators...

I hit 5 months yesterday, and... no one came to church. Ugh. It´s like you exert all your forces to get people to come to church, arrange a ride with the two cars at your dispense in the ward to take all of your recent converts and investigators to church, and then you get there and they don´t want to go/have some excuse (that may or may not be valid), and then you have to start the week over trying to get people to JUST GO TO CHURCH. Probably my biggest frustration on the mission. But what can you do other than pray, right? :) But my how the time has gone by! And the transfer is almost over, just one more week - the odds are all on me that I´ll be transferred. Sister Lopes thinks I´ll go to the interior, we will see. I don´t want to leave!

This week I reflected a lot about Alma 34:31-32. Sorry again, you´ll have to look it up in english:

"Sim, eu quisera que já não endurecêsseis vosso coração, pois eis que agora é o tempo e o dia de vossa salvação; e, portanto, se vos arrependerdes e não endurecerdes o coração, imediatamente terá efeito para vós o grande plano de redenção.
"Pois eis que esta vida é o tempo para os homens prepararem-se para encontrar Deus; sim, eis que o dia desta vida é o dia para os homens executarem os seus labores."

Now is the time that we have to prepare to meet God. With all of the recent and tragic deaths at home, I am reminded again of the necessity we have to prepare, to spend every waking moment. We don´t know when He will call us home. We can´t harden our hearts to the call to repentance, we must continually humble ourselves before God, and perform our labors while here on earth.

I´m grateful for my Savior - who can carry me through the valleys of sorrow, that He understands our pains, frustrations, and anguishes of life, and knows perfectly how to help us. We may not know how to help ourselves, but as He passed through every earthly experience, He knows the way to heal our souls.

Obrigada por tudo, vou falar com vocês próxima semana <3

Sister Brown

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