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Semana 42

By 8:08 PM

Olá famíliaaaa!

So this week´s email is going to be a little unorganized and answering questions, but it was a week of miracles and news of past areas that I´m super excited to share!

Being companions with my trainer again has been fun because we reminisce about our old area and past transfers together, and hear updates together. This week we found out that my first baptism on the mission, Tiago, has not only continued firm in the church, but his FAMILY was baptized by the sisters! We had some problems working with his parents and brother but the Lord prepared them to accept the restored gospel. Sometimes we really don´t recognize or realize how far our actions can take someone to salvation, and influence their families and friends.

This week, we were talking with the elders about miracle experiences on the mission, and I shared about Maria and Aldberto accepting the gospel in Mossoró and preparing to get married and baptized, but that I was transferred and didn´t have an update on them. Not five minutes later I got a conference call from the assistants from my old district leader in Mossoró. "Hey Sister, there´s someone here that wants to talk to you." He passed the phone. "Hey Sister Brown, this is Aldberto, I just wanted to call you and say that I just got married to Maria!" When I heard that I BURST into tears as I had the most beautiful opportunity to talk to both Maria and Aldberto after their wedding. They expressed their deepest gratitude for changing their lives, accomplish their dreams, and progress towards getting sealed in the temple. They are 100% firm in the church ever since we started working with them in October. I received further notice that Aldberto was baptized on sunday, and also their friend Damião that we were teaching with them. That was one of the most beautiful experiences of my mission that is finally coming full circle. So YES, mom, there was a "Mafia wedding" in Mossoró this week! Oh how I wish I was present...

This week we spent a lot of time helping the other sisters, going on splits, etc. I think in the next few weeks we will have to go on splits in Pombal and help out the other sisters. To answer some questions mom - as STL we still have our own area and everything like normal, we share a branch with the zone leaders. Along with having to take care of our area and baptize and close weekly pattern, we help out the other sisters with their pattern and key indicators as well (lessons, baptisms marked, new investigators, etc). Generally we go on splits on a needly basis with the sisters who live in our apartment with us, but the sisters in Pombal live like 3 hours away so when President calls us we go help for a week.

Tomorrow we have mission counsel in Natal (all of the zone leaders and STLs) and this afternoon we´ll take the 9 hour bus ride to Natal, and tuesday night we´ll come right back to Sousa. It´s really exhausting but only happens once a month.

Sousa is super dry - we´re out of water this week, and everyone says it´s been YEARS since they´ve seen rain. I´m really missing the snow and cold weather, especially during the Christmas season...

There´s a scripture that defined my week that I wanted to share with you, in Mosiah 7:33 -

 33 But if ye will turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and put your trust in him, and serve him with all diligence of mind, if ye do this, he will, according to his own will and pleasure, deliver you out of bondage.

In Portuguese, the scripture says that ye will not turn to the Lord but RETURN to the Lord, which to me carries a different message. All of us, at one time or another, needs to return to the Lord. We stray from the path, need to correct our trajectory every once in a while, and then TRUST that we are following that perfect path that God defined. We also all suffer our own bondade - maybe a bondade of sin, of sickness, of loads to carry. But the cure lies in RETURNING to our Lord and trusting in Him completely. In Him lies the cure.

I love this work. I feel a great responsibility and respect every morning when I put on my nametag and carry the mantle as His servant. There is power in the Atonement. The scriptures are our eternal guide.

I´ll talk to you all next week, se cuida e tenha esperança por um mundo melhor!
Sister Brown

Sousa is known as "Dinosaur Valley". I don´t know why yet. Must have something to do with fossils but they have statues of dinosaurs all over which is kinda weird but makes for good pictures!

We did a service project and helped some members build a coral for their horses

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