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Semana 54

By 12:04 PM

Sister Brown and her companion Sister Muria at the Mission Office in Natal

So this week was transfers, and I was transferred back to Rio Grande, to Caicó! My area is Vila do Príncipe, and yes, I replaced Sister M. Baker (so close... may she rest in peace (AT HOME!) On this note, EVERYONE here thinks that I look exactly like Sister M. Baker. People didn´t even recognize that I was a new sister until I introduced myself, super funny). I also received some awesome news with the transfers... I´M A GRANDMA!!!! My "daughter" Sister Gallo was called to train and open an area! I am super proud of her - she came to the mission ready to handle everything!

A little bit about our area in Caicó - it´s another area interior of our mission, so it´s real easy to talk to people because everyone´s on the streets and it´s a humble area. We are covering two areas and it is just us two that live in our apartment. Yes, there has been RAIN rain rain and we have been soaked these past few days, but I sure am happy and we can´t complain because the people and land need it so much.

Sister Brown's new district

Caico zone leaders? Not sure what is going on with their hair...

Caico zone

Lunch! Looks like Sister Brown can now make stewed tomatoes!

I won´t lie, it was really hard to leave Sousa... it was the area that I confronted my hardest challenges of the mission, but the area that I grew to love the most.  I learned how to overcome discouragement, have hope when things don´t seem to work out like you want, how to serve other missionaries, how to motivate others when you yourself need the motivation. It was a huge transfer of learning and growing, and I was super sad to leave! 

It was hard to adjust to Caicó, I´m still adjusting. Our area has some huge challenges with bringing people to church, and yesterday no one came to church with us. I was super disappointed and felt like our week´s work went to waste, when a ward member came up to me and said, "Thank you so much for playing piano in sacrament meeting today. It has been so long since we have had music, and the Spirit it brings makes all the difference." To me, that was another small reminder that not all acts are gone to waste, and that sometimes we don´t recognize our influence in the lives of others.

Funny thing that happened this week: I got a card from mom in the mail, dated March 2nd of 2015. One year ago.. it got sent to the CTM in São Paulo after I already made it to the mission field and it finally got to me!

Tomorrow we have mission leadership conference in Natal, and the trip is much shorter this time, only 6 hours! On Saturday the secretaries called me and told me that I needed to renew my visa in Natal on Monday.. So yesterday after church we travelled to Natal and today I renewed my visa here, so today I´m in Natal again! Wohoo!

Mission leadership conference: Sister J Baker, Sister Hernandez, Sister Brown

Sister Brown and Sister V Lopes

I don´t have much to report about the work from this week because it´s been a few days of us trying to create a new teaching group and adjust to the new companionship. My companion is Sister Muria, she´s from Rio Grande do Sul as well (my third companion gaúcha). I have felt a little overwhelmed with our area because we are starting from zero and have real problems with bringing investigators to church, but I feel like the lessons I learned in Sousa and the difficulties that we had there will help me in this area. As I have seen time and time again, nothing is impossible when it is the will of the Lord! Everything is in His hands, and we just need to work diligently, follow the Spirit, and do what is asked of us. I am confident that this transfer will be successful if I choose to make it so!

One thing that I have learned to appreciate on the mission is the necessity of water. Serving a mission in the driest, poorest part of Brazil has been a really humbling experience. The past few weeks have been an answer to everyone´s prayers as we have received relatively huge amounts of water. My entire mission I have walked every day in areas dry, arid, dusty, and brown. No signs of foliage or life. Everything looked bleak and deserty. But after the rains came, within just a few days EVERYTHING was dressed in green - the ground became covered with grasses, trees produced green leaves, and everything became vibrant with life. It was as if all of those seeds in the ground were dormant, waiting for the one thing that could awaken them - water. Água. And, as promised, when the water came, they bloomed!

Sometimes, our faith is like those dormant seeds. Or, the faith of others. Sometimes people forget what they once believed, and choose to let their plant of testimony die. But the faith is always there. The seed rooted in the ground will always exist. The FACT that we are sons and daughters of an All-Mighty God will always exist. That is a fact that we all know internally. Some people have just forgotten that that seed of faith exists! But once we add water, cultivate our plant with the right amounts of water, sun, and soil here and there, we can carefully see those seeds bloom and come to live a vibrant life. The gospel truths and principles will never cease to exist. Even if we are passing a barren desert in our lives. But we only lack a little something to remind us that we have a seed that is waiting for water so that it can bloom.

Well that´s it, love you guys and have a great week!

Sister Brown

Sister Brown with her beloved companion (who was done with her mission and traveling around with her parents), Sister S Lopes!

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