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Semana 71

By 9:37 PM

Oi gente!!!

So this is it - we´re on the final stretch (well, long distance stretch. maybe like the last lap of the mile. with one week remaining we can say i´ve got only 100 meters left!).

Transfers this week were so sad - I hate saying bye to beloved companions! Sister Trage went to Sousa, and Sister Barbosa turned senior companion and was transferred to Pirangi, close to my first area.  My new and last companion is Sister B. Pereira, from Minas Gerais! Funny thing is that we are going home together, so this is our last 5 weeks on the mission together! So far it´s been really awesome because we both have the same goals to reach by the time we come home and both have the same fire to work and baptize and have success! Only problem is we have the same difficulties... sometimes we are both suuper tired and aren´t super excited about the same routine, but it´s getting there!

On wednesday I waited alllllll day for her to travel from Sousa, so finally the assistants sent me to be in a threesome with .. Sister V. Lopes and Sister Hernandez!! So I got to spend an afternoon with one of my favorite ex companions and mission BFFS and spend Sister Hernandez´s last day together with her and have a sleepover! That was probably the best part. I AM SO EXCITED TO SEE MY MISSION FRIENDS WHEN I GET HOME! One of the really cool parts of wednesday was watching Sister V. Lopes and Hernandez´s baptismal service of one of their investigators. Almost all of the outgoing missionaries were presente, and the spirit was so strong in that moment as I reflected on the work that each of us has put into this mission, into the people of the region, and into the Lord´s Vineyard here in Rio Grande do Norte.

This week we had an awesome experience with our investigator Elizângela. She and her two daughters came to stake conference last week, and we visited them this week to teach the discussions and prepare them to be baptized. It was an adventure... when we taught the Restoration, everything was going well until one of her other adult daughters (who didn´t come to church and we hadn´t met before) came into the room and started yelling in the middle of the lesson, "this is a bunch of nonsense, I don´t believe a single word of what you´re saying!" and she went on and on and on... of course this happened like right after we taught the First Vision.. Satan works real well. Something always happens when we teach but this was the worst.. however Elizângela said something really incredible after the incidente. She said, "I want to know for myself, and I know that I need to ask God, and not anyone else. I feel that this is true." We came back during the week, marked her baptism, and she passed her interview saturday night. When we went to pick her up on sunday, when she answered the door she told us that she couldn´t be baptized anymore. She said that her pastor came to visit her after we had left and confused her and said that she couldn´t be baptized again and that we were the church of Satan and a bunch of other things. She was feeling really bad about herself and just wanted to do what is right. We calmed her down and told her to just come to church with us and she could feel what she should do. She was really quiet all through sacrament meeting, until we sat down in the Gospel Principles class, when she started to cry. We didn´t know what was happening until we took her to the bathroom to ask what was wrong. She told us, "I know that this church is true! I want to stay here, I feel so happy here!" She had gotten her answer, and we had a beautiful baptismal service afterwards.

To me, the only words that can explain these past few weeks are a quote from Jesus the Christ by James E. Talmage on happiness. He said,

"TRUE HAPPINESS is lived over and over again in memory, Always with a renewal of the original goodç a moment of unholy pleasure may leavea barbedsting, which like a thorn in the flesh, is an ever-present source of anguish. happiness is not akin with levity, nor is it one with light-minded mirth. It springs from the deeper fountains of the soul, and is not infrequently accompanied by tears. Have you never been so happy that you have had to weep? I have."

I have spent my mission coming to know true happiness. True happiness comes when we serve. I was so touched by mom´s story about helping the homeless man this week. We have so much to offer those who suffer, those whom God loves just as much as He loves us.

Another week gone, and another week to come. I love you all, and know this will be an anxious week for Adam that´ll take an eternity to end! The drive to the MTC is a long one... those were the worst 15 minutes of my life. But greater moments are ahead! This is the best decision I have ever made in my life!

Até mais,

Sister Brown

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