Monday we spent most of our preparation day just relaxing! It's different here because they have tourist attractions and stuff but we can't do anything because its too dangerous. A lot of people get robbed when they are doing touristy stuff so its against the rules. Napping is always a nice thing to do on "P" day, so I enjoyed that!! When p day ended we went to the house of a family who was baptized recently. They have a 10 yr old daughter and we are helping her do stuff to get her Faith in God award. We are memorizing all the articles of faith with her and its a lot of fun! They are a super sweet family so we had a nice visit with them. We then went to a family home evening that a sister in the ward planned. She invited a lot of her family and friends. It was really cool! Definitely the most organized family home evening I've seen here yet! It was a lot of fun!
Tuesday morning I woke up feeling really sick. I wasn't feeling great on Monday night but I wanted to just wait and see how I felt in the morning. I ended up having to take some medicine called leite de magnesium. It worked like a charm! That afternoon we went to our appointments. The fist visit one of the ladies was sick, so it wasn't the best visit. We talked to lots of people on the street that day and had a pretty good amount of success! We taught a lady named Darlyene. Shes really really cool! Last Sunday was her first time in church after 5 years. She was planning to go on a mission but some things happened and she stopped coming to church. But she really wants to come back now and is an amazing person so we are excited to help her! We had a lesson in the evening with a man named Luciano. We brought his son's primary teacher with us so we could explain the blessings of primary. It went really well! It was our last lesson of the night and when we left it was raining. The member who was with us walked all the way home with us just to make sure we'd be safe! He lives on the opposite side of town from us and had to work early the next day so it was so nice of him to do that! I love the members here!!
Wednesday was good! A little rough but thats life!! We had zone and district meetings which were great. In the afternoon we had a lesson with an investigator. We marked a date for baptism with him for August 3rd, which just so happens to be his birthday!! And we didn't even know that before! He's excited and it will be a great day for him! After that we taught a girl who we met last week, PAMELA!! I got so excited when she told me her name! She's really cool! She's 14 and really, really sweet. We then taught our investigator Angelica. She has a baby due in September and has a lot of interest in the church. We then had a lesson with a guy we met on Tuesday. The member we brought lives next door to him so at least now he has a friend in the church! After that we had a family home evening. A ward member invited us on Sunday and we really had no idea what to expect. We planned on teaching about missionary work since we thought it would just be he and his family. Well, we got there and he had the lesson all planned. The Patriach of our stake was there along with a guy we didn't know. It was a very simple and sweet family home evening! The family was baptized about 3 years ago and they are still learning how everything works. Funny story, the patriarch has a really great singing voice and he sings SUPER loud! So all of us were singing normally and the patriarch wasjust belting the hymns. It was so cute! It was cool because at the end of the lesson we set up a lesson with the guy we didn't know. So now we get to teach him! We ended the night contacting a referral we got from a member. her name is Carolina. she is 17 and had a baby about 3 weeks ago. She's really sweet and so we just set up a time to go back and teach her since it was pretty late.
Thursday was great! We went to the church early in the morning because one of our favorite ward member´s son passed away and we heard the funeral would be that morning. Sadly we got there and it had ended. They do things so differently here in Brazil!! But we were able to see the members and give them our love and support. Afterwards we came home and studied for a bit and then left for our interviews with Preisdent Bonini!! Before interviews we ate lunch at Burger King and it's never tasted that good before! Or been that expensive...seriously its like 40 reais for a meal. But the interview was nice! President Bonini talked a lot about his vision for the mission and for every missionary, so it was really cool! After the interview we went back to our area and it was raining like I've never seen before! It was pretty cool! We taught a member who would cme to church every week, but she always has to work on Sundays. After that we taught an investigator, Rosalene. After that we taught a person who was baptized recently. She is trugling with different things in her life right now. Hopefully our visit helped.
Friday was sooo incredible! In the morning we went and taught Carolina, the referral we got from a member. She is seriously GOLDEN! And she's just super sweet, so I am really grateful I get to teach her!! The lesson with her was unlike any other lesson I've taught in my mission. She was listening so intently and she had tons of amazing questions! After teaching her about Joseph Smith and how he was so confused about which church was true she asked ´´So which church is true?´´ And then she started asking all these questions about baptism and asked ´´What do I need to do to be baptized?´´ It was just like the stories in the Ensign!!!! It was so cool! She's so sweet and she really just wants the best for her new baby son, so it's amazing to get to teach her! We marked a baptism day with her in that lesson for the 3rd of August but she didn't come to church on sunday so we have a new goal for the 10th of August. After that we taught our investigator Neto! We brought some members with us and they helped so much !He is still apprehensive about baptism, but I think that everything will work out and he will be baptized this sunday. We did a ton of contacts that day with not much success. We visited the members whose son passed away and had a really great visit with them. We sang some hymns and talked about the plan of salvation! I'm so grateful I have knowledge of that plan! They have a son on a mission right now. They were worried if they told him about his brother he would want to come back home. It's a tough situation and one I dont want to imagine! But we told we both would want to know if something like that happened.
Saturday was another great day! We taught Carolina in the morning and it was an equally amazing lesson as the one on Friday! She told us ever since we started visiting her she has felt something different in her life! It was so exciting! Afterwards we taught english class which is always fun! The afternoon was pretty rough! Almost all of our appointments fell through so we were just talking to everyone but no one seemed to want to listen. We had a good lesson with our investigator Angelica and taught her about the plan of salvation which was cool since she's having a baby soon! I think it was extra special for her to hear about this plan when she's about to bring a baby into the world! In the evening we knocked the door of a house that Sister Downs had felt like she needed to knock on for weeks. We met a really sweet family and we are going to go back and teach them later on this week!
Sunday was good, but rough! Nobody came to church which was so sad because we really really thought that they would! But people have their agency...thats just life! We taught gospel principles and it was fun! My first time teaching a class in Portuguese! I think it went pretty well! In the afternoon we taught a girl who was baptized in 2009ish but stopped coming to church. She's super cool and her husband is not a member and is a really sweet guy so we set up a time to come back and teach the whole family next Sunday! They are a really sweet couple and I feel like the husband will accept our message! We also taught Darlyene and made some goals with she and her daughter to get them started on the journey back to church! That evening we had some meetings in the church and then went to teach a lady Wanderley. We found her that afternoon because we were looking for the house of an investigator we had planned to teach but both Sister Downs and I wrote the wrong address!! But it turned out to be all right because we knocked the house next door and met a lad that wanted to have some lessons. She was baptized about 10 yrs ago and stopped going to church. Honestly, I think last night was the saddest lesson I've ever taught. We talked to her about her story and history in the church and she said that she loved the church but that she was always fighting feelings of unhappiness. Everyone said to read the scriptures and pray but she never could shake the feeling of not feeling completely happy. We asked her how she is now, if shes happy. She just cried and cried and said no. I think she has depression but they dont really diagnose people with that here, so its so hard! I felt at a loss for words because I know the gospel has made me happy. She told us she will return to church eventually but shes just not ready right now. It was the saddest thing! She doesn't want us to come and visit her but she appreciated us stopping by. Agency is definitely the hardest part of a mission!!
So yeah, that was my week! I am loving my new area, loving my new companion! Loving life! The language is still hard but I feel like I'm really learning a ton! People can understand me most of the time. I'm going to start a count of how many people tell me to wear sunscreen. I wear sunscreen every day but I also sweat like crazy so I'm always a little red!
I hope you all have an amazing week!
I love you so, so much!