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Semana 48

By 3:54 PM

Olá família!!!!!!

What a blessed week of the year! I don´t think it matters where you are in the world, the magic of Christmas brings us miracles upon miracles.  

Transfers were this week.... I WAS TRANSFERRED! Sort of... my new companion is Sister V. Lopes (from my MTC group, LOVE HER. She´s from Mato Grosso do Sul). I didn´t have to change apartments or even change rooms, but I did change areas. Me and Sister V. Lopes are OPENING AN AREA in the other branch, branch Estação. We switched areas with the district leaders , so we spent this week in a race to learn our area.  Our area is MASSIVE and SUPER FAR from our apartment (1 hour to arrive in the area) but has so much potencial. The Lord blessed us with so many miracles this week that I´m excited to share.        

First miracle of the week. It RAINED!!!!!!! I haven´t felt any water fall from the sky since I left Natal, and  it was the first time in 4 years that Sousa had rain! There was nothing better than air full of the smell of wet ground and listening to the thunder. We were so excited that we ran out into the street and took a rain in the shower, danced in the street, took pictures, and said many prayers. I have NEVER been so grateful for rain in my life!! It didn´t last long but it was a tender mercy from the Lord. Really I have begun to understand that the heat and dryness of the climate here in the Nordeste is in part because of the wickedness of the people. I think that whatever challenges we have is in part because of our wickedness and ignorance to God. But I really believe that God is merciful and we received blessings of the rightous in heart this week.     

 Other miracles: Sister V. Lopes and I really had to humble ourselves to the hand of the Lord this week, because we really were dependent on His help to show us whom He had prepared for us to find! We contacted some people this week that I am really excited to teach. We had people stopping us in the street, telling us that they were looking for a church to frequent, people telling us that we were sent by God to answer their prayers, and we even got 4 references this week from members which is super unusual. I´m anxious to see this area progress!

Another miracle: this week I got a letter from Emanoel (my convert from Natal) and I would like to share parts of what he wrote to me.

" ...I was baptized 5 months ago this week, but it feels like years. I can´t imagine myself without the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am firm in the church, blessing the sacrament, going on visits with the sisters and doing what I like best, baptizing! Sister I sometimes think how I would be if I had not met you and Sister Coelho.. and then I feel the presence of the Spirit telling me that it HAD to happen, and that you two were angels sent to rescue me from where I was....I will receive my patriarchal blessing and on December 19th I will baptize my dad in the temple (who died when he was younger). I can´t believe this day is here. I want to tell you that I miss you so much and I know that you were an instrument of Heavenly Father to rescue me from where I was. I will be grateful to you and Heavenly Father forever."

There is no greater happiness than what the gospel brings, and this is just a little window into some of the experiences that I have had here on the mission.

This weekend was District Conference, and a member shared the story of the 3 Little Pigs.  Just to remind you all how it goes:
 -3 little pigs built houses. one of straw, another out of sticks, and the other out of bricks.
-along came the wolf who wanted to eat the pigs
-he blew the first house down, and the first little pig ran to the house of his brother.
-the wolf blew the second house down, and the two brothers ran to the house of their elder and wiser brother.
-the wolf huffed,  and puffed, but couldn´t blow the house of bricks down, and the little pigs were saved.

The member then shared the scripture in Helaman 5:12, which reads,

"And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."

Sometimes we just have to take a step back when the winds come to blow us down (which they will), and remember where our foundation is. Hopefully we have prepared in the first place. Sometimes, we aren´t prepared and we do fall down. But unlike the story of the 3 little pigs, we won´t get eaten by the wolf. We have a Savior to help us up! And then we have learned for the next time around, that our foundation is in Christ. I´m so grateful to remember Him this time of year. This is our first Christmas of 3 separated as a family (I am planning on the next two with Adam on the mission), but there is no place that I would rather be, and there is no greater happiness than to serve HIM.

Pray that everything works out on Friday. If not, I´ll call you guys or skype on Saturday or whenever we get things resolved. Just a little bit longer! Love you all!!!!!!!!!!!

Sister Brown

Sister Carvalho finished her mission and went home - it was a bittersweet goodbye!

Always sad to part with good friends...

Sister Lopes and I are trying to make healthy shakes:

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