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Semana 33

By 11:05 AM

Hey family!!

Another week in what has to be the hottest place on earth....... I´m burning my skin, my hair, my eyes (might be a problem in the future), and calories. Wohoo! 

I just want to apologize in advance - my english gets worse and worse every week.. I´m sorry!

As for news this week -

Our investigator Francisco, who was the man that basically dropped from the sky into our hands that had already been taught by missionaries for lots of years, has been really challenging. What started out as "I only drink on the weekends and smoke 4 or 5 cigarettes per day but I promise you that I will come to church on sunday, adoro vocês e adoro a igreja (love you guys and love the church)" turned into a week of discovering that he is actually an alcoholic and is drunk every time we met with him, smokes constantly, and lies to us about  what he´s doing. I think he really does want help, and clearly he does have heartfelt desires to progress with the church as he was almost baptized 3 years ago, but he´s not willing to put the effort into changing. What makes me so sad is that we have so clearly laid out the solution to all of his problems, through the restored gospel, but he can´t seem to apply it to his life. The other thing that is a punch in the gut is that this guy is the same age as dad, but because of an addiction ridden life looks like he´s about 60 years old. You really learn on the mission WHY we have commandments, and I am so grateful that I never had problems with the Word of Wisdom...

This week we also had to cut José, due to an undiscovered problem with the Law of Chastity (I hate it when people lie) and just no way to help him. It´s super hard to work with the people in the favelas because they have zero money and no way to provide, and their lives are ridden with addictions - but we try to help the best we can. We did find a new investigator from the favela named Vânia - we taught her the Restoration, she loved it, went to church with us on sunday and will be baptized next week!! Wohoo! 

It´s been a few weeks since I sent news about Felix and Nazaré and their family - after they went to church a few weeks ago we gave them a pamphlet on the Plan of Salvation and when we came back to teach they had questions and everything! It was a beautiful lesson and gave them even more motivation to figure out the marriage situation. We are still working on that but I have faith and high hopes that when they get married they will get baptized! 

We found another family this week that was taught by the sisters 8 months ago but never went to church - we haven´t taught them yet but the parents are married and have 3 kids so we are going to try and work with them - wish us luck!

Sundays can be the best and the worst days- best because you see your investigators coming to church, have baptisms and confirmations, and feel the spirit. But they´re the worst because you also see your investigators NOT coming to church..... it´s like a huge marathon sprint all week and then you get to the finish line and you don´t win - so disappointing but that´s why the mission flys by because you work hard and you progress with people and when things don´t work out the first time you keep pressing forward!

To close my email I wanted to share with you guys what I learned this week about faith, through my study of Jesus the Christ, the New Testament and the Book of Mormon.

"This week we have had a lot of success in our work, and I think it´s partly due to what I´ve learned this week about faith. I studied in Mormon 9 and Ether 12 about how faith is more than just a principle of action, but a law of heaven - faith is actually PREREQUISITE in order for God to participate and act in our lives. This is why we have to first "believe in Him" before the Lord can work miracles in our lives. No one worked miracles before exercizing their faith (Ether 12:18) and not only do we need faith but the Lord acts ACCORDING to our amount of faith (Ether 12:29). And how do we build our faith? Through studying diligently the scriptures, praying, teaching the gospel, bearing testimony, and keeping the commandments.

I love you guys, sorry the news sometimes is less interesting than other weeks, but know that I am working hard and learning and loving and growing every day!

Talk to you all soon,

Sister Brown

p.s.  don´t worry - also happens to be 98 degrees this whole week - summer hasn´t arrived yet. pray for me! 

Some people have been asking what the significance of the thumbs to the right means…it is a mission sign for BAPTISM!

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