It´s soo good to write today! I feel like the weeks where we have transfers or something new, our preparation day takes forever to get here. My new area and companion are awesome! Way different than my other area and other comp, but awesome nonetheless!
I´m going to change the format of my emails now and you´ll understand why when I tell you more about my new area. Normally I would send you an email with what we do every day, but I think you guys would get tired of reading about knocking doors all day!!
So, Jardim America. It´s the smallest area in the mission. We´re here with 1 other companionship of sisters (who I LOVE!!). Because it´s such a small area and there have been many, many challenges. President Bonini was going to close the area this transfer. He told Sister Machado (my new comp) to make a really detailed record of everything and that he would be closing the area. But then when transfers happened, Sister Machado got the email that she was going to stay, and the other Sister here got an email that she´d be training a new missionary! So we´re all here now and we know that there has to be a purpose for why we are here! There has to be at least one person we can help!
Now onto my companion! Sister Machado. She´s from Southern Brasil. She´s full of energy really fun to serve with! It was a little hard to adjust to at first, but I am really loving serving with her. She has been out 7 months on her mission. She´s an awesome teacher and her attitude is really helping me stay positive! She really believes there is someone here for us to help! She speaks English fluently and loves to talk in English. I think I speak more english with her than I did with Sister Downs! The other sisters in our house are Sister Galarza and Sister Vicente. Sister Galarza is from Argentina and is a convert to the church! She is training Sister Vicente who is from Peru. She went to BYU and speaks English really well! We are having so much fun together!
The work here is very different. I´m not sure why, but the people here just don´t seem to be as open and interested as in my other area, but we keep trying! We´ve aready been able to teach people that were not willing to listen before, so I have a lot of hope! We tract a lot. At least 3 hours a day, but most days tracting is all that we do. We have some awesome investigators right now though! One is Terezinha. She is so sweet! She´d only been taught 2 times before I got here and has a ton of potential. She´s wasn´t having a lot of faith in God before we started teaching her. Yesterday in our lesson she told us how happy she is that we met her and that she knows God sent us to her. She works on Sunday mornings when we have church, so she goes to the other Ward that meets later in the day. We are working on helping her find a new job so that she can attend church in our Ward every Sunday. Please keep her in your prayers that she can find a new job! There's also Edilma and Sámia, who I´ve only taught once but it was an awesome lesson! Edilma is married with 2 little girls and Sámia is her neighbor. Sámia lost her mom when she was younger and has a lot of questions about after this life. We taught her the restoration and towards the end she was like ´´I have a questions. how can I know what church really is true and what path God wants me to follow?´´ She´s awesome and I´m excited to be able to teach her!
The ward here is awesome!! The members are always trying to help us out and they really love the missionaries. Our bishop is CRAZY about missionary work! His name is Fernando Araujo. He´s been a General Authority (70) and also a Mission President. He´s so cool! He and his wife are always helping us out and lunches in his house are delicious! He buys his food at Sam's Club so he has american stuff like peanut butter and Hershey´s Syrup. They gave us a box of pancake mix this week too! I need to be careful here, haha. Yesterday in Fast and Testimony meeting, 44 people bore their testimony. FOURTY FOUR! I´ve never seen anything like it. As soon as Bishop announced that it was time to bear testimony, there were about 15 people aready getting out of their seats to bear testimony. It was so cool! I´m excited to be working here.
My first days here were rough. I was so stressed that we weren´t teaching many people and that I wouldn´t really help anyone here, but after a few days I saw that even though I may not help as many people as I would in a different area, I´m still going to be able to bless the lives of people here. It´s the quality, not the quantity that counts, right? I´ve been studying a lot about faith this week and I was reading a lot in Ether 12. I especially love in Ether 12 :4 which says;
´´Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.´´
If I really believe in God, I will have hope and not get discouraged! I´ll work my hardest, even if I don´t see many results at first. This week just reminded me of how blessed I am to have the scriptures and prayer. I wouldn´t survive with out them! Whenever I´m feeing down, I just read a few verses and forget about everything that I felt was going wrong.
Being here has reminded me of how much I have left to learn! Even though I only have 9 weeks left (but hey, who´s counting!?) I still have so much I can learn and so much I can do to bless peoples lives, including my own. I don´t want to just shift into neutral because I´m on the downhill slope, I want to keep working super hard until the end!
I love you all so much and thinking about you helps me stay motivated and focused. I remember how much you guys are sacrificing to help me here on the mission and how missionary work has blessed and influenced our family and it helps me stay positive and keep on keepin on! Have an awesome week! Pray for me! Love you tons!