Hope you had a wonderful week, I know I did! It was very humbling as well. On Monday after P day ended the people we had dinner with couldn't be there to feed us so they had us pick up our meal. We went to the house and the kids babysitter who is really good friends with my friend from colege that I met at BYUI! It was such a crazy coincidence. After dinner we had an appointment set up with a lady who I told you about in my last email. She was not home and isn't answering our calls so who knows what the deal is there. We did a lot of tracting around her apartment complex and even got a return appointment. We ended the night teaching our first lesson in portuguese. I was SO nervous for teaching in Portuguese, but the lesson went amazing. She is so sweet and her husband is an amazing man for her. She doesn't really know anything about the gospel. He hasn't taught her because he doesn't want her to feel pressured into joining a church, he wants it to be her choice. She told me she agreed with everything I taught her that night, but she just wants to know more about the church before she gets baptized (duh). I felt like I spoke pretty well, and her husband said he was very impressed with my Portuguese. He served in Sao Paulo and worked in Brasil for a bit after his mission. But really it was the Spirit that was speaking and helping me to teach. And the gift of tongues is definitely real!! So beginning on Monday of this week my companion and I just really began bonding. I've been praying to have more of a connection with her and it finally began happening on Monday so that was really great. I got your package and letters on Monday which was so great! thank you so much for everything, it was all perfect!!
Tuesday was another great day! We had zone training which is basically where we learn what the zone leaders learned from the Mission President in their meeting. After the meeting, the Elders that serve in Leesburg with us said "we're going to Carolina Brothers, follow us." so we followed them. it's this bbq place! It was soo good. After lunch and the meeting, we tried visiting some of our potential investigators and had no success until we tried finding this guy, but he doesn't live where he said he did. The guy that does live there is from Congo and was very interested! We set up an appointment with he and his mom for Saturday. We had dinner at a ward family. They have like 5 kids I think but only 2 of them were there to eat with us. They are a very interesting family. They have a bunny, rats, beetles, and all kinds of other creepy animals haha! They are really sweet though. After dinner we tried visitinga guy. He is like 40 years old but still lives with his mom. So when we knocked on the door his mom answered and basically told us to buzz off and that he thought that we were members of his grandmas church (which totally isn't true!). It was ridiculous because this guy is 40 years old and his mom is still running his life! We have to try to catch him outside of his apartment now haha. So after visiting there we decided to visit a family. we knocked on their door and there were lights on and everything and we heard like 5 different people come up and look through the peep hole, and then we heard yelling and the garage lights flicked on and off, but we waited on the porch for about 5 minutes and no one answered!! It was so weird.. After that we visited the home of a couple. She said he has a sweet spot for sisters so that's good. They have these 3 HUGE dogs. They are so cute. Their house is kind of out in the country too. it's very beautiful.
On Wednesday we had a meeting called launching leaders which is taught by one of the senior couples. They are so cute! It's a leadership course and I got a lot out of it. It was basically about finding balance in our lives during our missions. After that we headed out to tract and check on people. This was the hottest day I've experienced here, 97 DEGREES!!! Plus humidity. I was dying....so sweaty and so gross. But so fun! we met 2 potentials and we set up an appointment with him for Thursday. Then we had dinner with the a family at Pei Wei which is a branch of PF Chang's..that was really good. plus they had one of those cool touch screen soda machines like at 5 guys! haha After that we had our appointment. We're always apprehensive about return appointments because the majority fall through, but he was home! he said he didn't have much time, but as soon as we started talking with him he really opened up. he said he's felt like he really needs to be meeting with us. he told us more about his past.they lived in baton rouge. then (Hurricane) Katrina hit. they had nothing and he began selling weed. he one day realized this wasn't what he wanted, a series of events led him here to Leesburg where he's been ever since. he asked us today if we've been members our whole life. I said yes but then shared with him my conversion process and I was so grateful for the process it took me to get to this point. I love sharing that with people and helping them realize that we are normal, human people who are out here because we want to share the happiness that we have through the gospel. He said the closing prayer in the lesson and we set up another appointment with him for today.
Thursday was so awesome! We had addiction recovery class and then headed to our appointment, who then cancelled, because he got called into work. so we tried visiting a less active member, who wasn't home. then we had dinner with Bishop's family. I love how the spirit is so strong in their house. they are an amazing couple and bishop is so good at fulfilling his calling. They were telling us how they still haven't gotten any mail from their son in the MTC! can you imagine? It's been like 3 weeks!! He's their first missionary too so it's been hard for them. But after that we had the assignment to speak at a relief society activity about missionary work. We had to call and reschedule our return appointment with this guy, luckily he was out of town, but he called sistmy companion "baby" on the phone, we were laughing so hard! But I was so glad to be able to be at the activity. I learned a lot.(a hilarious lady in our ward) told us a story about her sons first YM (young men's) activity. she went to pick him up and she got there early so she went in to see what they were doing. she found them playing basketball and as she watched she realized that her son was being totally ignored and left out. she looked around the gym and saw the bishopric and ym leaders watching the boys and not noticing what was going on. her first instinct was to be mad and to go up and try and fix everything, but then she had this overwhelming feeling that the people ignoring him truly didn't realize their mistakes. she watched her son angrily leave the gym. as they drove away he said " i never want to go to YM again." she pulled over and told him that she saw what happened and that she hurt so badly for him, but that he had to choose if he was going to learn from this experience or not. she told him he now had the responsibility to help those who are lonely and left out, or he could just have his own little pity party. so often we blame others for people leaving the church, or for our own emotions. in reality it is often ourselves not being able to look outside of the situation! I'm not just here to teach, I am here to learn, and my companion is a huge part of that. she and I have begun to get really close, because I'm finally putting away my pride and selfishness and letting her in. it was me all along who was keeping this companionship from bonding! A lady in the ward also talked about that same son who is now on his mission and some issues he has with his companions. A lot of what bothers him is passive aggression. I think I kind of struggle with this and so I've been learning to be more direct in my communication and it's been so so helpful!
Friday was such a fun day!! We had an appointment set up with a woman before the baseball game, so we headed over there and kind of went over how her Book of Mormon reading is going and how her praying is going. She said she had only been able to read a little, but that she really likes reading it, even though it is a little difficult. it's so nice teaching her because she has her husband's help and support through this journey. We rode to the Nationals game with some members. Both the dc north and dc south missions were there so there were about 500 missionaries! Can you believe it?? I got to see a sister from the MTC which was so fun!! I talked to a lot of missionaries in our zone and mission so that was really fun. We got home at 1 am, and then woke up on Saturday at 630 am. NEVER AGAIN. I was so so so tired. Saturday started out rough because we had set up an appointment, and when we showed up at his house this lady was sitting on the porch smoking and she was like "yeah, he isn't interested. he's been too paranoid to leave the house the last 2 days because of you two." we told her we were sorry and that he seemed interested and he could have just told us he wasn't interested. she told us that we're a cult and that women are not equal in our church and that we all have to have 10 kids and all this crazy stuff. we told her to go to mormon.org next time she does research and she was like "no way that's biased." haha!! funny because other websites aren't biased at all right?? anywho....after that we had our appointment, the guy from Congo, and his mom. well they didn't show up. we had dinner with an older couple in our ward. they are so funny! He has a very dry sense of humor. He reminded me of Grandpa Peahson a bit. it's so cool though, they've only been married for 4 years! they met in the DC temple and got married 1 month and 2 days later. they first met in the Philippines when she was graduating from high school and he was in the Air Force. when they met in DC, they were both widows. She had felt impressed to move to Virginia and she knew right away that she was supposed to marry him. I love their story though, it's so cute!
Sunday was amazing as it usually is. But I was so nervous for my lesson with and i just knew I needed to have the spirit with me really strong and so Satan was trying real hard on me to get me to be contentious and everything. On Sunday I had probably the most unpleasant experience I'll have here in the states, which was showering with a broken water heater!! I have a feeling I'll actually enjoy that in Brasil. church was wonderful as always. the girl who spoke in sacrament meeting today is heading to Brasil Tuesday, she actually got her visa! relief society was all about being unified and we talked a lot about families. it's funny because before my mission i was never that excited for marriage and kids, but now that I'm out here and have met so many different families and seen so many different parenting "philosophies" I'm so excited for what my family will be like and i have a lot more ideas of how i want things to go. i don't know what I did to deserve you guys, but I'm so glad to have you! after church we had the plan of salvation lesson with a woman. i'm not as comfortable with this lesson as i am the restoration. Her last church believes in reincarnation and has some different views on Christ, so we'll do a more in depth lesson next time. we told her we've been praying and feel like she'll be ready for baptism on October 12, and she said she'll pray about it and let us know!!! Yay for my 1st baptismal date invite!! I love how excited her husband is for all this. i wish i could have taken a picture of his face when he heard her agree to pray about baptism. he was just beaming. and you could tell how badly he wants his family to be together forever. it's kind of funny that non members can help their spouses return to church! I'm just so excited to see where things go with them. there is so much love in that tiny family! they have 1 little boy, who is 2 years old. he's so adorable and speaks "portuglish." haha! after dinner we went to the farewell. her parents asked us to come because there would be non members there. so crazy enough one her dad's co workers that is a non member is from Sao Paulo! We got to talk in Portuguese and i told him more about missions and he says Fortaleza is so hot, but it's the most beautiful part of Brasil! I feel so blessed to have these opportunities to speak Portuguese so much here. I love the ward and the people here and i know i'm here for a reason!
I had to take another cold shower this morning, but we got the water heater fixed when the office opened this morning! who knew the polar dip and girls camp would be mission prep!? :) It's rainy and a bit chilly here today but it'll warm up real quick. They say the cold doesn't hit til October ish so I'm good on clothes and stuff for now! i'll definitely let you know if i need stuff or need to go buy stuff. looks like you guys are having a lot of fun! I'm so glad. I love hearing from you each week and sharing my experiences with you guys. I love you so much and am so grateful for all the prayers on my behalf. I know that I am being led and helped by angels every day! Have a wonderful week and pray for missionary opportunities for yourself! LOVE YOU!!!