Yet another monday has arrived! :) I am super excited to tell you all about my new area!
So the first day was a little rough for me... the house we have here isn't quite as nice as my last apartment. It doesn't have closets and desks and stuff to organize with, so I just felt a little overwhelmed with the newness of everything. Eventually I figured it all out and have my own little system of organization now! Who knew I'd ever be wanting to be organized?! I realized that so many people live with way less than I have! And after a week in this house, it really feels like home for me! I'm happy to be learning these lessons and getting a new perspective in my life. Monday night we taught a lesson to girl. We had a family home evening with her and a family in our ward. Together we are trying to help her out. The family we taught her with, familia Sampaio, have a son on a mission and they are on fire to do missionary work so we love working with them!
Tuesday was awesome! We did weekly planning in the morning which was nice because I got to hear all about the area and the people here, etc.... We set some goals as a companionship which made me super excited for the transfer! Sister Downs is awesome and I know we will have an amazing transfer together. After that we had a lesson with our investigator. He's 20 years old and he is genuinely seeking for truth and is amazing to teach! We taught him with our ward mission leader, Mateus. Matues is he's 22 and is thinking about serving a mission himself. We are working really hard with him to help him see the benefits of serving a mission and hopefully inspire him to go! We also had the opportunity to teach an older lady named Margarita, (which actually means Daisy in Portuguese!) After that we went and saw a ward member who is probably in her 80s or 90s. She asked Sister Downs the past Sunday if we could come and have a family home evening with her. She had big plans for us to watch a church movie and discuss it, and then to have testimony meeting, and then to eat cake. We told her we didn't have time for the movie but we could certainly share our testimonies and eat some cake. She had her grandson there and his mom over too. It was really amazing! The grandson went with us afterward to teach someone but they weren't home. He's 16 and is always going on visits with us and when he goes with us he learns the names and addresses of the people we teach and then goes and visits them on his own! He's so awesome!! That day I had a nasty fall in the street. I was walking and there was a chain that was pretty low so I decided to step over it. My first foot made it but my second caught on the chain and down I went...it was really embarrassing but it was also really funny!
Wednesday we had Zone and District meetings! All the missionaries in my zone are super nice and welcoming! I'm excited to get to know them better! We then visited Luisiani. She is about 15 and was recently baptized. She loves the missionaries!! Shes really fun to teach. Every time we visit her she has a little letter she wrote for us haha. After seeing her we went searching for a referral. The problem is that we didn't have an address. We talked to the lady who lives in the 1st house on the street. She didn't know the guy we were searching for but we got to teach her! She moved to this house about 5 years ago and before she moved, her son was taking the lessons from the missionaries. She said he was interested in being baptized but when they moved, he lost contact with the church and hasn't been back since! We set up a time to see them this coming week! After that we went looking for new investigators. We found a really cool family! They were all standing outside because someone had just gotten robbed. The police were all there and so we asked them what had just happened. They told us and then we explained who we are and we were able to teach them! The grandma had tons of questions and the mom of the family was listening really intently, so they definitely have potential! That night I also tried din-din. Its a brasillian popsicle type of thing. They mix the popsicle ingredients and then put it in a little plastic baggy and then freeze it. it was pretty delicious!
Thursday we had a meeting in the morning with the primary president, who just happens to be the Bishop's wife, and they just so happen to be our next door neighbors! haha. We talked with her about some of the recently baptized kids in primary and how we can help. That afternoon we taught a lady, Zilma. She's preparing to go to the temple. She's been a member for about a year and hopes to go in August!! After that we picked up Luisiani and went to an appoint with Lucas. He was baptized recently and we talked to him about general conference. Luisiani stayed with us til about 4, so she basically tracted with us for 3 hours! She's so awesome! That evening we visited a teenage girl named Brenda. Shes a really amazing person! Her mom passed away about 3 years ago and her dad is living in another city, So she lives with her aunt. She has a really rough life, but shes always smiling! We helped her with some personal progress stuff that day. We knocked on doors and didn't have much success. It's hard because here people will talk to us because were Americans and they think its cool, but they don't have a lot of interest in the church, so we really have to search to find the people who really want to learn!
Friday was great! In the morning I studied some really cool stuff that helped me realize how I can more fully fulfill my purpose here and how I can overcome my fears of speaking the language. I read a quote by President Hinckley talking about recent converts and then the manual I was reading talked about how my experience of living in a new country, speaking a new language with new people can help me have empathy for people who were recently baptized. I thought that was pretty amazing and it helped me see that even though this is hard, there is always always, ALWAYS a purpose in our trials. I read some stuff that helped me see how I can study the language better and it was just really good. Then in comp study Sister Downs told me that my portuguese is really a miracle because she didn't speak at all when she got into the mission and that I'm doing really well. I felt a lot better about everything after that! The rest of my day was super awesome! I felt the spirit so strong when I taught! Before, I was so nervous that it was keeping me from feeling the spirit, but now I can really teach people and communicate what I am feeling to them. It's amazing to see how powerful the spirit is because without it, I literally can't teach people here! That day we taught a family we had met Wednesday night. the son is 15 and has tons of interest but his mom said he can't learn. It was seriously so depressing!!! I dont know if I've felt that sad about not being able to teach someone before. I could just see how prepared this boy is! But the good news is that we teach an english class here and his mom said he can go to it. So the seed was planted, I just need to have more faith! We then visited a family who was baptized in December. We are going to help their daughter with the Faith in God program! That night we taught them how they can study the scriptures as a family. It was really cool! We then went and taught the family we met Wednesday night, but sadly they didn't have very much interest. They were more excited to have Americans in their house than anything else. But there was a new guy there who is 18 and he actually has a lot of interest in learning. He lives in another area so different missionaries will teach him, but it was still good to see that there was a reason we were led to talk to them.
Saturday I got to teach my first English class!! It was so much fun! We teach with 2 other American Elders. We taught about telling time and numbers. At the end of each class we practice singing in English and the students sang a song called The Great Pretender by Queen. It was pretty entertaining! In the afternoon we taught a man named Marcio. He's a neighbor of a member and we taught him in the member's home! His wife left him recently with his 2 sons so he really needs help right now. This member is super awesome and helped him see how the gopsel will help him out! We will teach him in 2 weeks because he has to travel for a bit but when he gets back he wants to meet again! That evening we had a Relief Society activity about missionary work and then we went and visited Larisa. She has a strong testimony. We are helping her with her personal progress. She's super sweet and we helped her plan a family home evening lesson so we are going back tonight and shes going to teach it to us and her family!
Sunday was great! The ward here is awesome. We had our investigator, Neto attend church today for the 2nd time. We also had a lady come to church who has not ben coming for 5 years, but that day she decided to return! It was really cool to see. We taught our investigator Luceane in the afternoon. Shes really cool! Her aunt is Mormon, so growing up she always saw the book of mormon but she never went to church or learned about the gospel. Now we are teaching her and she's really prepared! We left her with the book of mormon and she's super excited to read it so we will see what happens! That evening we had meetings in the church and one of the members who is 28 is trying to decided if she wants to serve a mission or stay home and keep dating the guy she's with right now. She received her patriarchal blessing that night and when we saw her she came running up and crying and said she will serve a mission! It was so cool!!
I am so happy to be in this area! It's a great ward and I have an amazing companion! I love you all tons and tons and hope your weeks are amazing!!