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Semana 40

By 2:27 PM

Hey fam,

I can´t believe I´ve made it out 40 weeks.. that´s like seriously a long time and is a full-term pregnancy! By the way, mom and dad you are BOTH looking super skinny. It must be the fact that you guys are empty nesters now...

So I wanted to start off my email answering some of dad´s questions from last week -
My first transfer here in Mossoró was my first transfer as senior companion in a new area, and so it was a transfer of figuring things out. We spent a lot of time working in the favelas, and after a lot of unsuccessful experiences I decided that the favelas, at least in our area, are pretty unproductive, mostly because of the distance from the church and the lack of support from ward members. So this transfer we haven´t spent any time there and are seeing more success in the areas a little more developed. The area we´re spending most of our time is about 45-75 minutes from our house. It´s a little bit of a sacrifice but worth every step :) This transfer we may not have baptized a ton of people, but we are working with families and trying to strengthen the ward rather than being a burden.

This week we had a lot of ward meetings and council to discuss a big change here in Brazil as of this week - every ward in Brazil switched to having sacrament meeting first, at 9:00am. Generally here the schedule is inversed and sacrament is last - which means the missionaries usually spent up until 10 or 10:30 picking up investigators. We saw a drastic drop in the number of investigators, and I don´t think it was just our ward that noted the difference. But we prepared well for the switch and are working to find solutions in the future. We also discussed some other issues present in our ward - the fact that we have members and investigators that just don´t have food to eat or money to support themselves. You know, money could change a whole lot of things around here, in Rio Grande do Norte. It could buy the ward a car to pick up investigators and recent converts. It could ensure that NO ONE was starving right in front of our eyes. It could mean that people would be educated enough to read and write and have a job. It could change a whole lot of things. But where´s the humility in that? The poorest people I know are the most giving and open hearted and loving than I have ever met. But I guess Heavenly Father doesn´t want it to be easy, to just have money. He wants His saint to work together, to find solutions, to SERVE and give of what we do have. To prioritize the things that matter most. I guess this is just the fulfillment of the prophecy that "many are called, but few are chosen.." The Lord is separating His chosen people, even among those who claim membership.

And now I have a question for all of us - what kind of man was, and is, Jesus Christ? What attributes describe His character?

As I´ve been reflecting the past few weeks I read 3 Nephi 27:27 that asks us a question - "Therefore what manner of men ought ye to be?" And Jesus Christ responds - "Verily I say unto you, EVEN AS I AM." And now in response to the question I asked at first, we need to become ALL of those traits that we described as Christ having. I realized that I spent the first half of my mission being a representative of Jesus Christ, from the hour that we left the house until 9:00m. But I realized that every other hour, during our studies, during our meetings and conferences, when we come home at night, on p day, 24/7 our purpose is to BECOME AS CHRIST IS.

I leave my testimony with the words of Nephi, (in 3 nephi 5:13)

Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.

Até próxima,

Sister Brown

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