Another awesome week has passed by! This week was a lot of work, but was amazing as always!
On Monday we went to the market in the big city where they have tons of shops and touristy stuff. It was a ton of fun! We found a place close to the beach with an AMAZING view! But of course nobody had a camera because we don´t want to get robbed, so it will just be a nice memory for me! Maybe one day we will all come back and see the beach here. From what I´ve seen it´s so pretty! After p day ended we did tons of contacts as always and then had a family home evening with some members and a recently baptized member. It was nice because one of the members gave the message, so it was just like I was having family home evening back at home!
On Tuesday morning we found this awesome new girl to teach! She was pretty shy at first, but by the end of our lesson she had opened up to us completely! We had to ask a lot of questions to really get to know her and know about her life. We asked her if she reads the bible and she said "yes", and that she first read it last year when her son was still born. After that we taught a lot about the Plan of Salvation and how she can see her son again. One good thing about not having tons of lessons to teach here is that I appreciate the lessons we do have and feel the spirit so strongly when I'm teaching! So I will count that as a blessing. :)
Wednesday was awesome! We had district meeting and it was so good! We were talking about our areas and the struggles we have and how all we can do is give our all and really have faith and the miracles will come. One Elder talked about how he spent 7 and a half months in one area and he hardly taught anyone, but looking back on his time there, he realized that he was able to help one family in particular and that that made it all worth it. It was a good reminder that it´s not always about the quantity of people we´re helping, but the quality too! We ate lunch that day with a Sister in the ward who is sooo fun. She and her husband were Mission President's in Brasil and just got home four months ago. She was showing us the hula hoops she has and she showed all of us up by hula hooping for fifteen minutes straight!!!!!! This lady is 65 years old! haha! She is great! In the evening we taught one of our investigator's. We talked with her about baptism and she said she wasn´t sure because she still hasn´t come to church yet. She feels like everything we´re teaching is true and she just wants to go to church to make sure that it´s really what she wants to do. She also said that her mom isn´t a fan of the idea of her being baptized, but that she would be baptized for sure if she liked the church! We ended the night teaching Leonardo. He is so good! He said that ever since his baptism, things at his house have been going really well and there´s way more peace there. I´m glad he´s seeing the blessings of his choice to be baptized!
Thursday was so good! We went back to teach an investigator. Her husband was there and when he saw us he was like ´´I´m a member of your church!´´ He was baptized when he was about 16 or 17 but stopped after one year. He said he really misses the church and wants to go back with his wife and son. It´s so cool to see how the Lord is working with them! They didn´t get to come to church this Sunday, but if he´s not working next Sunday, they will for sure come. I´m so excited about them! After that we visited a lady I´d never met before. She is a member but isn´t attending church. She always sends her 10 yr old son to church though. At the end of our visit we asked her if we could help her with anything and she said she was really needing our visit and that it helped her so much. That was so good to hear! In the evening we taught a girl in the Ward. Her dad saw us in the street Tuesday night and told us his daughter was a member and he wanted her to start going to church again. We went to teach her and turns out the entire family are members! As of right now she is the only one with a desire to come back to church. We´ll keep working and with time they will all come back for sure!
On Friday we had an awesome lesson. We taught about the word of wisdom and miracle of miracles, she doesn´t have a problem with anything! Not even coffee! Here is a funny story: We were using the pamphlet to teach her and showed her the picture of Joseph Smith. She was like ´´Wow! He's so good looking!´´ We just laughed and she was like ´´seriously, you guys don´t think he´s attractive?!´´ I´ve never had anyone think that Joseph Smith was attractive before on my mission. haha. She told us that night that she´d for sure be at church Sunday, even if she was sick and in a lot of pain!
Saturday there was an activity at the church for the community. They had pediatritians, dentists, people to cut hair, and a lot of other services for people. There was also a big event at this government building across the street from our church, so we went there and did contacts in the morning. We met Joseph Smith there! We stopped this guy and were talking to him and he was like ´´Ask me what my name is.´´ So we asked and his name is Joseph Smith. haha turns out he is a member. In the afternoon ALL of our appointments were falling through. we were also trying to find a member to go with us to a lesson and so we decidd to try Irma Claudete. She was cleaning her house and at first said she couldn´t come. But I think she saw how desperate we were. So she said to just give her fifteen minutes and she´d finish everything and then go with us. I mopped while she did the laundry and Sister Machado rested on the couch because she wasn´t feeling good. We went out to our lesson and it was awesome! It was with this new lady we met. She already goes to a church where she´s pretty active, but she said she´d like to learn more and visit the church! After the lesson Claudete told me that my portuguese is so good and that she understood everything perfectly! It made me feel SO good! I still have tons to learn and improve on, but I feel so blessed that Heavenly Father has helped me pick up the language.
Sunday was really really good, but a little discouraging at first! First of all, one of our investigators didn´t come to church. We went by her house in the morning and her mom told us she was sick so she wouldn't come. We went back later in the afternoon and had a really good lesson with her. We talked about our purpose as misionaries and that now she just has to act on what she has learned, because that´s the only way she´s going to know if she should be a member of this church or not. If she doesn´t come to church this next week we will have to stop teaching her.
This week I learned a lot about my true purpose as a missionary and how to strengthen my area. It´s been a great transfer, but a hard one too! At the end of each week and each day I´ve been wondering why we haven´t been seeing very many results of all of our work and if there was something that I was doing wrong or something that was missing. Yesterday and today I read 2 really awesome articles that helped me out. The first one was about this sister missionary who was basically in the same situation as me and what she learned during this time where she wasn´t seeing much success on her mission. She learned to look for the small miracles in every day and really thank the Lord for all He is doing. She also learned to just give her all and give the rest to the Lord. This transfer I´ve been feeling so stressed out and like I have to be this perfect missionary because I have been out a long time, and so, of course I should be perfect by now, right?! But there really is no such thing as a perfect missionary, or a perfect person (besides Jesus Christ). All that I can do is honestly give my all and seek to bless and serve others, and the rest is all up to the Lord. I realized that I can´t be frustrated about the results of my work because it isn´t MY work, it is Heavenly Father´s and the results are up to Him. I love this quote that the article had from President Hinckley. ´´Do your best, your very, very best. say your prayers and work hard and leave the harvest to the Lord.´´It´s so simple but it´s hard to remember when you´re a stressed out sister missionary :) So this week I´m going to focus more on really developing my faith and trust in the Lord and His will!
As time goes by, I keep thinking about all I have learned and am still learning on my mission. I can´t believe how many things have changed and how blessed I have been during my time as a missionary! Everyone thinks of a mission as so much sacrifice and work, but when I look at all the blessings I´ve received and will receive, I realize that I can never give enough, or thank Heavenly Father enough, or work enough to really show how grateful I am. Heavenly Father is so good! My family is so good! My life is so good! I don´t know how I ever have a reason to complain!
I hope you guys have an amazing week! Love you all so much!!