Happy New Year!!! I hope you all are making goals and enjoying your time off from school still :)
This week has been a bit of a whirlwind!! Many highs and lows. On Tuesday our energy cut out.. which is kinda a normal thing here in Brazil. But after a few hours we knew something was wrong. Let´s just say we have been without power since Tuesday and our air conditiong burned up so we don´t have air conditioning!! Luckily a member gave us another fan so I am surviving :) Apparently someone is coming out to fix things tomorrow. I am just praying everything gets fixed :)
Christmas was good!! Definitely a lot different than normal. Here in Brazil they celebrate on Christmas Eve. We went to a members house and ate lots of yummy food and just hung out. Skyping was THE BEST!!! I am already counting down until Mother´s Day :) haha.
Sunday I gave my first talk in Portguese!!! I was pretty nervous but it went better than I thought! I spoke on hope and obedience, two of my favorite attributes of Christ :) Also on Saturday I started to feel pretty sick.. head ache, achy body, sore throat. I got kinda worried that I had dengue, but I wasn´t running a fever. On Sunday I woke up and felt a lot worse so after church we thought it was best if I went to the doctor. A member drove us to central Manaus and I got checked out... I don´t have dengue (thank goodness!!!) just a virus. I am trying to rest up and take medicine.
Saturday we had the baptism of Daniel!!! It was probably one of the most spiritual expierences on my mission yet. I forgot to tell yáll but when he met the Sisters, he was in school to be a pastor!! He has completely changed his life around. I know he is going to be a great leader in the church. He is even thinking about serving a mission!!
A can´t believe it is 2016 this week!! Please pray that I start to feel better and we get our energy and air conditioning back soon!!!
Read Scripture: Doctrine and Covenants 58:3-4, 16
My goodness this week was busy!!! Sister Benicio doesn´t mess around. We work from 6:30 am until 9:30 everyday. Every night I literally fall into bed and don´t even have enough time to think before I am asleep. I love it, but I am exhausted. Since I stayed in the area and she is new, we spent the week walking A LOT, talking to our investigators, introducing her to members, etc. She is literally the most amazing missionary. She is so powerful when she teaches and just has a special gift where people trust her quickly. I think it is because she is real with everyone and isn´t afraid to bring up or talk about things some missionaries would be scared to talk about.
This week we had a miracle!!! There is a guy named Daniel. He has already been taught by many different Sisters. When arrived in this area a month ago, many people told me, ``Good luck with Daniel.... he won´t be baptized.`` He has some problems that prevent him from being baptized, but I felt really strongly that he was going to get baptized. He comes to church every Sunday by himself and no one invites him.... WHAT INVESTIGATOR DOES THAT, RIGHT?? Well I hadn´t told Sister Benicio anything about Daniel and he shows up at church on Sunday. Sister Benicio arrives and just starts talking to him. Keep in mind I hadn´t told her a word about Daniel or any of his problems. She just starts asking him questions about EXACTLY THE THINGS HE IS STRUGGLING WITH!! We sat down and talked to him for an hour and he commited to be baptized on SATURDAY!! Afterwards my companion goes, ´´I have no idea why I asked those questions but I felt really strongly I needed to ask.`` It truly is a miracle and it is all because my companion followed the promptings of the Spirit.
This week I also had the chance to go to the Manaus Temple :) It is BEAUTIFUL!! I hope one day you all can see it in person!!!
The language was a big struggle this week. My new companion makes me answer the phone, pass numbers, teach way more in lessons, and just talk more. It is REALLY good but at the same time I saw how much Portuguese I still need to learn. It all kinda hit me, and I was kinda down. However, like Sister Benicio told me, ``you have not even been here for two months in Manaus... you have 15 more months to learn and speak... You are doing great.`` Sometimes I am really hard on myself and just want to be fluent, but it doesn´t work like that hahaha. I am learning patience yet again :)
I hope you all have a wonderful week!!! Merry Christmas!!!
I love each of you!
Whoo my first transfer in the field is down!! My companion was transferred, and I received my second ´´mom´´ or trainer! She is the best!! I can already tell. She is from São Paulo and doesn´t speak any English either, but it´s all good. She only has two more transfers left in the mission, so I will probably be with her until she goes home. She seriously is the best and has already trained many times and been a Sister Training Leader. Together we are going to work so hard!!
This week we also had our mission Christmas conference! Since Manuas is such a big mission it is impossible to get all the missionaries together, so the conference was just all the missionaries here in Manaus. One of the perks of serving here in the city is that you get to come to these kinds of things (but I still wanna serve in the middle of the Amazon at some point during my mission!!!!). It was fun to celebrate Christmas with a lot of other missionaries. But it really got me thinking about the true purpose of Christmas, Our Savior Jesus Christ. I have been thinking about what I personally can give to Christ this Christmas. I challenge yáll to ponder that too and I would love to hear what you guys come up with :)
Also this week we had a baptism of two boys, twins :) Thei!r dad is a member in our ward, but their mom isn´t a member and they live with their mom. Since they are over 10 years old we were able to teach them and they really wanted to be baptized! It was really special to see a father baptize and confirm his two sons. He is now remarried and now his family can be sealed in the temple!!
This week I will have been out for three months!!! It has been going by pretty slow but I as I look back I can´t believe I already am in my second transfer. Next transfer I won´t be a little trainee anymore :/ I have no doubt this where I am supposed to be. I am finally beginning to be somewhat comfortable with the language. I realize that all the people I couldn´t understand AT ALL when I arrived... I can now have converations with. I am still learning and there are many words I have to ask about or look up but I am improving!
I love you all and pray specifically for your needs every day!!! Feliz Natal!!!
Drink some hot chocolate for me!!
Another week in the books! Some weeks in the mission are so busy and your constantly running around and some are a little slower. This week was a little slower for us. We are just trying to work with our investigators, but also we are contacting a ton on the streets. It is difficult because after lunch here everybody sleeps!! But for us we want to work... so we will go to our investigators houses at about 2 or 3 but everyone is always asleep!!! And then at night we have more appointments then we can handle. But tudo bem :)
This week I got sick for the first time as well. I learned to just be SUPER careful about what I eat!! Sometimes though you just have to eat what the members give you. Thursday we had a lunch with a family that we have gotten pretty close to here. They always love to joke around and play pranks because I am American. We walked in, sat down at the table and I look down and a giant raw fish is just sitting on my plate. Then the sister feeding us said, ``Oh this is my favorite type of fish I had to go to 10 markets just to find it. I hope you like it!!`` I guess I looked scared to death because the everyone in the room started busting up laughing!!! It was all a joke and they hadn´t actually cooked the fish yet, but they wanted me to think I had to eat this fish raw! My companion was in on it too!!! Hahahah
This week I was really focused on prayer and learning more about prayer. I tried to make my prayers more meaningful and really make them more of a conversation with my Heavenly Father. I am so grateful for prayer because we can literally communicate with our Father in Heaven. I promise that he hears us when we take the time to kneel and prayer. I also learned the importance of listening and thinking after we pray as well. The Spirit will testify when we take the time to stop and listen.
Other than that I don´t have too much to report. Thank you for the prayers <3
Only 18 days until Skyper!!!!!
Have a great week!