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Semana 28

By 6:08 PM

Oí família!!

This week´s email will probably be all over the place, so I´m apologizing in advance...

To start, it was another week of battling to baptize Neuma. Because her baptism fell through on sunday, she promised that thursday would work. So we arranged everything, baked a cake, were super excited and had the ward all involved, and then when we got to her house.... another string of excuses (some valid) for why she couldn´t be baptized then.. satan works SO hard in these people´s lives! Now the third time that her baptism fell through, we didn´t trust much when she told us that friday she promised she would be baptized. We walked away so dissapointed the both of us just cried. Now I understand a little bit of how parents feel when their children, whom they do everything for, don´t listen to counsels given, are disobedient, and choose not to follow what is right. I can´t begin to imagine how Heavenly Father must feel. I really prayed with my heart that night to find comfort and peace. But we went along in faith, and when we showed up at her door the next day she asked, "is everything ready for my baptism?" and we were like "of COURSE!" and proceeded to scramble and get everything together hahaha. In the end, we made it to the church and she was baptized! Unfortunately her two sons who were to be baptized as well have been spending lots of time at the house of their stepdad and he won´t let them be baptized... so we will keep trying to work with them in the future. All in all, I felt so relieved and happy for her! When I asked Neuma how she felt after she was baptized, she said, "alegre!" or "joy!". Her life is so hard, and it made me so happy to see her spirits lifted and really feeling true happiness.

This week I studied a lot from Jesus the Christ (a-ma-zing) and have two quotes I wanted to share. The first is about prayer:

"He who would really pray - pray as nearly as possible as Christ prayed, pray in actual communion with God to whom the prayer is addressed - will seek privacy, seclusion, isolation; if opportunity permits he will retire to his chamber and will shut the door, that none may intrude; there he may pray indeed, if the spirit of prayer be in his heart; and this course was commended by the Lord...prayer is not compounded of words, words that may fail to express what one desires to say... Prayer is made up of heart throbs and the righteous yearnings of the soul, of supplication based on the realization of need, of contrition and pure desire." (ch. 17)

This really changed my perspective on prayer, and I want to develop a better relationship with my Heavenly Father through this attitude of prayer. There really is a difference between saying a prayer, and PRAYING to God. I hope to see more miracles wrought in my life and the lives of others through more sincere prayers.

The other quote is about true happiness:

"True happiness is lived over and over again in memory, always with a renewal of the original good; a moment of unholy pleasure may leave a barbed sting, which, like a thorn in the flesh, is an ever-present source of anguish. Happiness is not akin with levity, nor is it one with light-minded mirth. It springs from the deeper fountains of the soul, and is not infrequently accompanied by tears. Have you never been so happy that you have had to weep? I have." James E. Talmage

Sunday was an awesome day. Not only was Neuma confirmed a member, but we baptized two other teenage boys - Arthur and Matheus. They were baptized along with their friend Jonathan, who is from the other sisters´ area. Those boys are CRAZY. I don´t have words to describe how sunday went other than photos of the crazy kids haha but they really are such awesome kids. 

After church, all of the missionaries in our district went to Cidade Verde to help out with a stake event called the "mini CTM", where they had some missionary training for the youth, and then split into groups and we taught them the Restoration lesson and and intro to missionary work. Then afterwards, the stake had a "cantata" or a choral program and everyone from the stake went. It was SO FUN because I have stayed long enough in the area that I know a lot of people from the stake, especially from the Cidade Verde and Alecrim wards, and it was so fun to see everyone and talk to members that I just love! It was a great close to the week.

In other news - Benedita (the senhorita that I baptized) had her 80th birthday party on saturday, and she just begged that members from the church and the missionaries go! I asked Benedita what kind of cake she would have, and she said, "é bolo do Divino Pai Eterno!" which in the catholic church, the "divino pai eterno" is the Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost as a dove and Mary. Which, to me, didn´t answer my question of what type of cake she would have.. but when we got to the party and saw her cake, I realized she had answered me correctly! She had a gigantic cake with a picture of the Divino Pai Eterno on top. I expected nothing less from Benedita, haha what a sweet old lady that loves Jesus.

Our Bishop and his first councilor with Benedita

We got all of our new kitchen appliances this week! It was better than Christmas (almost)!

Sister Lopes my beloved companion from last transfer, is a Sister Trainer Leader in Souza (super far away) but she has to come to the capital for mission counsels every month, and this morning she surprised us and is going to spend P day with us today!! I was SOO happy to see her! An awesome surprise to start off the week.

Well that´s all I´ve got for this week. Thanks always for the updates, I LOVE you guys so much! And hope you aren´t burning in the western fires that are all over the international news here in Brasil.. we passed a TV in the supermarket this morning and saw news coverage of the fires in Arizona and New Mexico. I´ll pray that the rain that is drenching us every other day here get´s sent your way!

Com todo meu amor,

Sister Brown

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