Oi queridos, tudo bem?
Just another week in the life of a sister missionary here. Hiking some hills, teaching some people, new experiences and old ones too, and of course the ups and downs of missionary work. We discovered a new fruit this week! It looks exactly like a tomato, but it one of the most sweet and delicious fruits I've ever tasted. I just can't remember the name...Started off the week with a great hair cut, probably the best I've every gotten, definitely the most I've ever paid! We were in hurry to get it cut before p-day ended and no one was open. Found a place, ran in sat down and enjoyed the experience, chatting with the cabelheiras...until I got the check and ended up paying $75 reais (about $42) to get my hair cut and dried! Well needless to say we laughed hysterically to relieve the shock and it will be a very long time before I cut my hair again. My companion thought it was particularly ironic because I'm a very "stingy" person and told her that paying $2.75 for 10 pães de queijo (little balls of bread and cheese) was ridiculous. She then proceeded to calculate that she could ahve bought over 250 pães de queijo for my haircut. Oh the joys of being a gringo :)
Then we had a rather distressing lesson with one of our investigators. He's been coming to church and reading the Book of Mormon and everything, really searching and it's been great. Well at church he brought us a list of questions that he found on the internet (probably some anti-mormon stuff) and brought them out during our lesson, in a few words, the Spirit was lost and tears were shed. But testimonies were borne and we'll keep working on it. We went back and had a great Spirit filled lesson on getting answers through prayers and the Holy Ghost. He wanted us to go to his church with him because he's been going to ours. (He loves his church and goes everyday! It's really neat to see that dedication, what if we all had it?) So we went with him to do a visit and it was quite the experience. In my short 21 years of life, I've never been to another church, I've never needed to. And I'm glad that I was privileged enough to be raised in the Gospel and have this truth all my life. It was so loud and strange, the Spirit was missing, and the truth was missing. But the people were nice, and you could see their faith. I'm grateful for the article of faith that says that we all claim the privilege to worship as we will and give others the same respect. It was really refreshing to renew the quiet, peaceful Spirit this sunday. Sadly he didn't come to our church this week, I hope he doesn't give up on searching for the truth. He's such a great investigator with a lot of faith.
We have some investigators that are really progressing. One of our investigators even started going to seminary! But she studies at night, so she will have to start doing the lessons at home. But she is really getting involved in the young women's and everything! Another one of our investigators continues to accept all of the committment and live them everyday. She's staying strong and not drinking with her family, even when they make fun of her. And when we taught her about keeping the Sabbath day holy, she said that it would be so great to have a day of rest! We love her and are seeing how the gospel has the power to change lives. The only thing is that her husband doesn't like it at all. He didn't let her come to church this week and said that if she went she would come home to find him gone :( It makes me so sad. We just keep praying that his heart will be softened.
This week's theme is patience, the capacity to support/endure with calmness and hope, even when the little things go wrong. It's the Lord's way of testing us and He knows what's best. As we are patient, the Lord will surely bless us with the capacity to overcome. (See Mosiah 18 then 24). My companion is really helping me become a better missionary as we both strive to be more like the Savior.
I know tha the Lord answers our prayer, sometimes in a instant and sometimes it takes years. This week we had a neat "instant response" moment. We had planned to have a family night with some investigators and everything was all set up. But when we call the investigators, they said that they wouldn't go because it was raining, and that they wouldn't come to church the next day too. No persuasion was working. So we tried calling all of our other investigators, to no avail. So we decided to put into practice our patience and just go with the flow. We walked to their house anyway, as the rain stopped. When we arrived on their doorstep we said a little prayer that they would feel the desire to go the FHE with us. When came to the door, she told us that she had just barely changed her mind and felt the desire to go and in that exact moment we rang the doorbell!
I know that the Lord is watching out for all of us. He is involved in the very details of our lives. And whether it is an instant response, like this one, or one that takes years to work out, He will ALWAYS respond to our prayers. So confide in Him, trust Him, and be patient with Him. He knows what's best.I love you all. I know that this is the true gospel and work of the Lord.