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Semana 73

By 10:16 AM

Olá família!!!!

I can´t believe how the time is flying.. it seems like towards the end of the mission I have learned to really appreciate and value time. You know, time is something so relative. Science´s definition of time is something invented by man in order to measure the passing of events. If we didn´t have time, there wouldn´t be a way for us to measure anything in this world. Our progress, our capacity to grow and change, and our sensibility to recognize these changes. If there were no time, how could we ever manage to achieve our dreams and our goals? Or, in the greater scheme of things, how could we reach our divine potential? Time allows us to measure our progress and the changes that we make happen. President and Sister Soares have talked a lot about the importance of measuring and planning our spiritual progress. As the day approaches for me to end my mission, I realize how precious time really is.  While our time is relative to the Lord, we must prove to Him our love and dedication while we can. I hope I can continue to do so these last few weeks.

We had our last mission leadership conference with President and Sister Soares, which was also my last. They talked about the power of example and the importance of changing our mission culture. I had the chance to bear my testimony as one of the outgoing missionaries. As I have reflected these past few weeks, I have realized that my testimony is just a collection of small, tender mercies from the Lord in my life, testifying that HE is my Father and the God of all things, that He sent His Son to pay for my sins and the sins of the world, and that He restored His gospel by calling Joseph Smith a prophet to translate the Book of Mormon. These, along with many other spiritual experiences I have collected, have become the greatest treasure in my life.

This week was one of the more harder weeks I´ve had in a while. We were on splits with the sisters from Santarém again, and I worked with a new sister who has just 3 weeks in the mission field. It was a humbling experience for me to be reminded of what it´s like for a new missionary and how the adaption process can be dificult. Not only that, but we received a lot of rejection. It just seemed like no matter how many hundreds of people we contacted this week, their hearts are hardened, the apostate churches of the area have completely blinded their eyes, and no one cares to know of God´s restored gospel. But even in the moments when someone yells at you and tells you to never come back, or when people aren´t willing to give up the horrible things of this world, I can still remember the love that the Savior has for these people and for me. My testimony that I have obtained as a missionary doesn´t waver. I am eternally grateful for the things that I have learned to be true, because they are the anchor in the storm, the armor in this never ending battle with the adversary. 

Sunday was a miracle day this week. We spent the morning passing by everyone´s house, but no one was home or wanted to come with us to church. We arrived at the church with faith that the Lord would do the rest, as we had done our part. As the meeting started, we ended up with 6 investigators. Rosmar and Cristina are a couple we have been teaching for a little while, who didn´t go to church last week because they didn´t have any clothes to wear in public. They are extremely poor and have a 1 year old baby. They want so badly to be baptized, read the scritpures together, but don´t have any money to take a bus to the registration office to be married. So this week we organized ourself a little better, and found a family that gave them clothes to wear at church and are going to give them a ride to the registration office to get them married! They came to church yesterday and absolutely loved every second. Rosmar told us that his older brother, who passed away, had been a member and even served a mission. He went to primary when he was little and remembered the Spirit. In that moment, I knew that it was his brother that had guided us to them. The veil is so thin on the mission. Miracles are wrought on both sides, as we both bring about the Lord´s work.

The other tender mercy from this week was reading mom´s email when Natalie told her that she was the English tutor for my new mission President, President Colleoni. I couldn´t hold back the tears when I realized just how marvelous the Lord is, how He is aware of every one of His children, and how He inspires His missionaries and Presidents and the places they will serve. It´s always hard on missionaries to change presidents, and our entire mission is anxious to meet President Colleoni in just two weeks. But just as I know that President Soares is a man called of God and his calling here is inspired, I know that President Colleoni is as well. I am anxious to be able to report to him of my work here and proudly delcare that I have done my duty and served my Lord to the best of my ability.

I love you all! Have a great week! Adam, this is your last week in the MTC. Work hard and take advantage of every moment to learn! Like dad always says, "be a sponge!". 

Até mais,

Sister Brown

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