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Semana 30

By 12:11 PM

Oí família!!

I guess serving in heaven couldn´t last forever.. transfer calls came in on tuesday! "Sister Brown! You have been transferred to MOSSORÓ and will be serving as SENIOR COMPANION with Sister Alarcón. Parabéns, Sister!"

That phone call started the hardest week of my mission so far...

WHAT! When I heard all of that my heart flip flopped a few times. 3 things about all this: 1) Mossoró. My first time in the interior. My first time switching areas. Completely different from Natal. 5 hours away. 2) SENIOR COMPANION. I don´t know how it is for other missions but for our mission, with less than 7 months on the mission that´s pretty early. 3) This part is funny. Sister Alarcón is my "sister" on the mission, because she was trained by Sister Carvalho as well. Actually Sister Alarcón was trained by my old companion Sister Lopes as well. Sister Carvalho is training again this transfer, and is in the other area in Mossoró that shares the same house. So right now I am living with my mission mom and two sisters! Pretty funny.

Anyway - leaving Natal was one of the hardest things I have had to do on the mission! Tuesday night we had a little devotional/farewell gathering with some of my recent converts and favorite members, and everyone bore their testimony. I was so touched to hear what Emanuel and Adriano had to say about how I helped them find the gospel and change their lives. There truly is nothing greater than helping someone else hear the restored gospel. 

The next morning I took a bus to Mossoró...

Leaving the captial and going to the interior was a HUGE shock. But then I realized it looks pretty much the same as the drive from Salt Lake to Vegas, once you left the city you just hit desert and nothing.. It´s really dry here in Mossoró. My hair is less curly and pretty :( Also, it is even hotter here. I don´t even know how that is possible but I can´t wait for summer to hit here soon :) .... The stars here are INCRÍVEL!! Reminds me of the ranch.

As for the "work week":
This week was really just full of adjustments. Adjusting to the new area, a new companion, new teaching styles, etc. But missionary work in the interior here is a completely different story. We are more than doubling our weekly pattern - which means that we are more than doubling the number of lessons we teach, the number of new investigators (we had 35 this week, losing 2 days of work with the transfer. That´s like non existent in the capital), number of baptisms marked for the following week and number of investigators at church. It´s pretty amazing how open the people are to the gospel here.  Our area is MASSIVE. Everything is really spread out. Beyond the 3 bairros (neighborhoods) we also have 3 favelas - what I thought was a favela in the capital wasn´t really a favela... This week I had my first Northeastern Brazil favela experience. It is exactly like all of the African villages that I visited with mom in Kenya - shacks made of sticks and mud, dirt floors, a fence of barbed wire and branches. Naked children, rags. It was a humbling experience, but my heart just reached out to these people. The only difference here is that EVERYONE is drunk (okay almost everyone), and everyone frequents the local church in the neighborhood that happens to hate Mormons. Convient, but we still have lots of work to do there and I am so excited!

This week I prayed the hardest that I ever have in my entire mission - I felt completely overwhelmed with the changes, the added responsibility of being senior companion, but I really did feel divine support this week. I know that I couldn´t physically support the burdens that I have now, but I always think of what mom says to me when I get overwhelmed - "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time." That has saved me more than I like to admit. Being strong is something I always want to show, but sometimes we really have weaknesses and need to learn how to get on our knees and ask the Lord for help. That is something that I have learned on the mission - humility.

While we didn´t baptize anyone this week, we spent our time creating a solid teaching group and have some really awesome progressing investigators. I am excited for my time here in Mossoró, Ala Urick Graff.

Love you guys!

Sister Brown

P-day Pizza!

Sister Alarcon, Sister Da Silveira, and Sister Carvahlo

Sister Brown and Sister Alarcon

Ready to go to work!

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