That's right everyone, we killed a lot of our goals this week! We've been really struggling with our goals this last month, so the first week of the year, we weren't going to let that continue. So what did we do? We made some really great goals, prayed really hard, and then worked until we crashed. Oh what satisfaction comes from putting your mind to something, working really hard, and improving! Needless to say, this week was full of experiences, good and bad. We visited a less active of 10 years this week, and when we showed up he not only had read the chapter we assigned but 12 more! And then he taught us the lesson. He has a great spirit, I hope that he can continue with this desire. On the other hand, we had a less active that we've been visiting for a while now who refuses to do anything--read, pray, hope, believe--really frustrating. It's so sad to see how people's attitudes can be scarred by experiences in the church. But we need to look past the fact that people are imperfect and remember that the Lord is perfect and we can always put our trust in him. One of the lessons that we learned this week, is how important our purpose is. As missionaries, it is our responsiblility to help others increase their faith in Jesus Christ by INVITING them to repent and make committments. The work really changes when we are focused on our purpose and always inviting the people we are visiting to change their lives for the better. And the guidance of the Spirit is SO essential. Don't hesitate to follow the promptings and guidance because you never know if missed opportunities will be made up.
Among other things, this week I've been especially grateful for my family, their strength, support, and for teaching me right from the start. I've been so disappointed with some of the fathers here. We are visiting one less active family where all but the 16 year old daughter is inactive. And the father has started drinking again and is in denial that he isn't living right. And while we were there this week, he threatened to take away church (the thing she most loves) from his daughter because she was staying up really late watching TV. While most 16 year olds are out roaming the streets doing who knows what, and he has an amazing daughter firm in her faith and living right. I can't believe that anyone (especially a member) would take away church as a punishment. It's so wrong. Another one of our investigators, a mom and a daughter, are really doing great! They are reading and praying and coming to church. The only problem is the dad. One night he saw his daughter reading the Book of Mormon and he threatened to burn the book. But she is staying strong and true. Oh it makes me so sad. I am so, so grateful for a loving, righteous father who shows me the way and helps me to live it--thanks Dad!
Other great things this week. We continue to make american breakfast for people here, which is quite fun. Everyone is loving the Danish Pancakes (I think). One sister,Simone, has even started making them for herself on her own. I saw my first banana tree this week...really cool! We found some really great families, I know that the Lord is leading us and guiding us to people here. One day we were trying to find a person that we contacted in the street. I wrote down the address "RC" and we were close so we went there. The house that we thought was hers, wasn't but there were two nice ladies that tried to help us. I invited them to hear our message as missionaries of Jesus Christ and this sweet lady accepted immediately saying who's to say that the Lord didn't lead us to them and that they were meant to hear the message we had. It was really neat. Looking later at what Sister Petitta had written for the address...it wasn't even close to RC. I know that the Lord led us to this family and that he is always aware of and watching out for his children. He knows you individually. He loves you. Trust in Him.
I love you all,
P.S. Who'd have thought we'd be hearing all the hype about Mitt Romney all the way in Brazil?