Ahhh this week was so busy! Monday-Thursday we were running around getting everything ready for the wedding of our investigator. When we went to the Registry office to pick up the wedding document, we were told it wouldn't be ready and signed by the judge until the next TUESDAY!!! After throwing a respectful fit and asking to speak to the judge himself, everything turned out fine. On the day of the wedding, I was so nervous that no one would bring food or the bride wouldn't show up, but everything turned out better than I had hoped. There were tons of people, lots of food, and they were so happy! Afterwards they just kept thanking us over and over. It was a really awesome experience.
Then Saturday our investigator was baptized, and we had lots of people come out to support him! It was a great baptismal service! Sunday, he was supposed to be confirmed but it was pouring rain and they live super far from the chapel. It was 9:10 and he hadn't shown up. I called and he said that if the rain stopped he would pay for a motorcycle taxi and come. I sat there in the middle of sacrament meeting praying like I never had before. Time passed and the rain was just getting stronger. It was 9:50, and I lost all hope. Then, as the last speaker was finishing, our newly baptized member walked in soaking wet! I began to cry because the Lord heard me. He didn't stop the rain like I asked, but He provided a way for our newest member to get to church. I learned that many times the Lord hears and answers our prayers but not always in the way we want :)
Almost everyday I am drenched because of the rain, but I am so grateful for the gospel that gives me an eternal perspective on life. I know that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me. I am so grateful for this knowledge.
I have to run. Thank you for the prayers!!! I love you all with all my heart :)
P.S. Morgan coordinated everything you see in the wedding picture from the dress, cake, hair, makeup, flowers, party favors, etc. She said it was so much fun!
So this week was great :) I am feeling a whole lot better and a lot of funny things happened. The big wedding we are planning is this Thursday!!! We are doing the bride's hair and makeup, we found a dress that fits perfectly! A lady in the branch is making a three story cake, and the branch is doing a big dinner for them. I am praying everything turns out :) Then Saturday is the baptism!! I hit my 6th month mark!!! WAHOOO! Weird to think that this time next year I will be home, because I remember what I was doing this time last year and it feels like yesterday.
I have already come to love the people here, but there is one family in the branch that I have already become super close to. Their dalmatian dog had 8 puppies a few weeks ago and now all of the puppies have spots except one She is completely white. They named the white one Bailey (because I am super white compared to the people here) and are going to keep only her :) hahaha I will take a picture with the little puppy this week so y'all can see next week. She is sooo cuute!! And my comp is mad because the family didn't name a puppy after her!
Funny story of the week:
My companion, our ward mission leader and I were walking at night to visit an investigator. We were walking on a dark road that only has forest on either side. I look down and see a snake slither under my foot!!! I screamed ``cobra (snake)`` and ran!!! My companion then screams and runs the opposite direction. I turn around to see our ward mission leader (a bi,g manly man) jumping up and down and screaming like a girl!!! My companion and I were laughing for a good hour after and still haven´t let him live it down. I just wish we could have gotten his reaction on video.
I am doing well... it is crazy to see all the ways I have changed in just six short months. I teach Gospel Principles alone every week, and I don´t feel a bit nervous like I used to before my mission. Talking to strangers, eating weird food, and speaking Portuguese are completely normal now :) I am happy here and just trying my best to be better everyday.
Love y'all lots!! Have a great Spring Break!!!!!!
This is my favorite fruit here....the Goiaba!!
So this week was a bit hard for me. Itacoatiara is only 5 hours from Manaus but REALLY different. My first lunch appointment on Tuesday was at a member´s home... they live in a little house made out of wood and it does not have a back wall. You just look right into the literal Amazon. We ate fish that he caught for us, rice and beans. I didn't know; however, that I was drinking the tap water. I am so used to the members in Manaus that buy giant jugs of Mineral Water, but here NOOOOO! They just drink straight from the tap. Well let´s just say that I have been sick alllll week. I am still getting used to the differences here. I also learned my lesson to bring my own water from now on.
The Branch I am serving in is small (90 people), but all are super friendly!! I just wish y'all could visit for one Sunday because it is really funny the things that happen... these people here want to serve but have never visited a real ward before so a lot of things happen that really shouldn't. Other than that things are good here. We have an investigator and less active that are going to get married on the 24th of March!! We are planning their wedding and baptism!!! I am super excited about that.
Moving to a new area is hard because you have to learn everything over again aka EVERYONE'S NAMES!! And the names here are super different but it is all good :) I really can´t complain because we have a great house, great ward mission leader, and we have lunch everyday!
I miss you all so much and thought a lot about you guys this week! I hope everything is well at home!!
Have a great week :)
This week sooooo many things happened..
First I was transferred to a smaller city 5 hours outside of Manaus called Itacoatiara. I traveled by bus through the Amazon!!! It was the coolest thing. It was straight forest and rivers... SO PRETTY!!! Itacoatiara is a lot different than Manaus. Only 8 missionaries here and 4 branches. It is not as dangerous as Manaus (thank goodness). The internet is also a lot slower, and it is literally a tiny city on the Amazon River. However... Mom don´t worry they have markets and everything I need :) My new companion is Sister Olortegui from Peru!!! She is so sweet and likes to run wahoooo!!! Finally a companion that will run with me.
It was soooo hard to say goodbye to all the people in my previous area. I did not realize how much I really loved the members, recent converts and investigators there until I had to say goodbye. L. Miguel that was baptized a few weeks ago told me that he will serve a mission and that we changed his life completely. K also received the Melchizedek Priesthood yesterday!!! Then our bishop and his family made me a special lasagna and gave me earrings and a few others goodbye gifts. It was really hard to say goodbye, but I am ready to work here in my new area!!
I also had the chance to go to the Manaus Temple two times this week!!! We took a family I have been teaching and taught a lesson there at the temple. It was really spiritual, and they loved it!! Sister Benicio left today to return home :( It will be so weird not to have my "mom" here in the mission. She was my STL (sister training leader) last transfer so I was always talking with her and now I can´t just call anytime I want. But I am also super excited for her as well.
I need to run because it has been a crazy day with traveling and everything... I haven´t even had enough time to unpack yet. I hope you all have a wonderful week! You all are in my prayers!!! Also I ask that y'all say a special prayer for me here... I am little nervous because the area here was having some trouble and hasn't been baptizing. There are hardly any investigators, so we have to start from ground zero. I am going to be Senior companion, and I feel a lot of responsibility :)
Boa Semana!!! I love each of you!!