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Semana 26

By 1:11 PM

E aí família??

Well, tomorrow I hit 6 months on the mission.. one third of the way done! Since when? Where did the time go? All of my friends are home from their missions, getting married, ah this is so weird…

This week we worked SUPER SUPER hard, I think the hardest I have worked on the mission so far, but Satan worked his hardest too.. I´ll return to that point a little later.

We focused all of our efforts on Neuma and her family. Her and two of her kids we had been preparing to be baptized for this week, which consists of visiting them every day to make sure they stay firm, and making sure we cover all of our bases to prep for their baptisms. Unfortunately their life situation is a bit complicated, as usual here. Neuma and her pregnant 16 year old daughter always argue about the baby when we visit, and after wasting a week of barely getting to teach them beyond listening to them fight I finally had enough of it.  I shared Mosiah 2:41 and talked to them about obedience to the gospel, and then just talked and talked and talked. I don´t even remember what I said to them. But after I was done, the room was silent, and I was filled with the Spirit and felt full of God´s power. It was one of the coolest teaching moments for me on the mission. I truly felt like those Book of Mormon missionaries, who teach by the power of God. I have fasted and prayed for the spirit, that I can teach to convince the souls of men, and God answered that prayer. I knew that what I had said was straight from the Spirit, and that it was everything that they needed to hear. I hope to make every lesson of my mission that powerful.

Saturday was the day of their interviews with Elder Phillips our district leader, and after a super crazy afternoon we finally got to their house and.. the boys weren´t home. So we had to go chase them down at a local soccer field (naturally, we´re in Brasil), and get them to come back home for the interviews. I won´t go into details but after several hours we finally managed to get them interviewed and ready for their baptism together. Then, sunday morning happened.. We got to their house, and turns out that a member of the family has diabetes and was up all night sick and needed to go to the hospital, so Neuma had sent her kids to the house of their dad and they couldn´t go to church.. I was SO sad! All 3 of our baptisms fell through in one stroke, the morning of. I just walked away feeling defeated, there really was nothing we could do... however I have even MORE desire to work even harder next week so that everything works out!

It wasn´t just us that had baptisms fall through, the other sisters had one fall, and our entire zone had 8 baptisms in total fall through - it was a hard week, but the next has huge potential! Pray for our zone that we can win this battle and our baptisms won´t keep falling!

This week Adriano, my super awesome convert, gave us another reference named Henrique. We taught him about the Book of Mormon and gave him a reading assignment. The next day he came to us with a story - he had gotten ready for bed and told himself, "nah I´m not going to read this, why does it matter?" and he went to sleep. He then had a dream that he was reading a part in the Book of Mormon that Adriano had read to him in our lesson (the invite from the introduction). He woke up and thought, "oh man, I need to read that book!" So he read the part we left him, prayed, and got an answer that it was true. He told us that he worked on sunday morning but that he was going to do everything he could to get work off to go to church because he knew that dream was an answer from God. So cool!!!!

This week I printed off pictures of my baptisms and gave them to all of my converts, with a note on the backside. After Adriano read his, he told the other sisters about how he felt - "I can´t remember the last time that I cried. But when I read what Sister Brown wrote me, I just cried and cried and cried." I LOVE MY CONVERTS! They´re like my best friends.

Other news for this week - we managed to destroy our ENTIRE apartment this week. First, it was the microwave.. someone tried to cook an egg and it exploded. Then, the refrigerator broke so that everything inside froze solid - our eggs, fruit.. then when we tried to clean it out the fridge door came off. Then, after we thought our bad luck run out... we moved one of our huge water jugs from off the water dispenser into the kitchen sink, and when we set it down, the entire sink came unglued from the counter and crashed to the floor. Which meant that the water jug fell too, and broke, so our kitchen flooded with water. All in all, it was a successful week.. hahaha but no worries, Sister Soares is coming to our apartment to buy us new kitchen utilities and help us fix everything hahah.

To close my email I just wanted to share what I learned in my scripture study this week of Helaman 5. I´ll share with you what I wrote in my journal:

"This morning I had some awesome insight into Helaman 5. I want very much to be like the missionaries Nephi and Lehi. By their words, they taught with immense power and spirit, and convinced thousands to change their ways and repent. Even though they had great success, they had much trial. They were thrown into prison and ready to be killed, but because of their faithfulness, the Lord protected them in a pillar of fire - consequently, they were spared from the lamanites, the people were afraid and humbled in their defenseless state, and were converted to the Lord. I thought a lot about this chapter - from both the perspective of the missionary and the people who they were trying to teach. About the pillar of fire - the people were very afriad, but the missionaries knew it was the power of God. We must be on the Lord´s side to understand and recognize His power - if we do not serve Him, we do not know Him. The people were covered in a cloud of darkness - without the light and truth of the restored gospel, we are without direction in this world. Sometimes even then, the world holds us captive with her distractions and the enemy tries to choke out the truth. But if we pray until we have faith in Christ, that cloud of darkness will dissipate (v. 41) and we will be filled with the Spirit (v. 45). This is just the beginning of what  Ilearned, but my eyes were opened and I am so grateful for the scruiptures and how they are a pattern for our lives!"

I love you all, love the mission more and more every day, and am excited to keep learning and growing! Talk to you all next week!

Sister Brown

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