Wow what a busy week. It´s hard not to have P-day for 10 days but its worth it when you get to go to the temple!!!! Oh what a tremendous blessing. I just love the temple. It has been such a void the past few months but thankfully that void has now been more than filled! What a tremenous blessing it is to have a temple in my mission, in my zone! I loved hearing and doing everything in Portuguese, it was just so beautiful. It was the spiritual "pump up" I certainly needed. I could definitely go on forever about the blessings of the temple but please just remember to go as frequently as possible! Who would ever want to miss out on the wonderful blessings we can receive there??
I don´t even know where to start. The Lord is truly opening the windows of heaven and pouring out blessings upon us and the area. Or at least the memebrs have been giving us references, haha. But not JUST references, SUPER GREAT references! Please allow me to share a few of our tender mercies and experiences from this past week! We met a young woman named Pricila this week who knows a member in our ward. She was very impressed with him and he struck up a conversation about the church....and then we come into the picture! When we arrived at her house she was very accepting. We didn´t know what we would teach but felt very prompted to start with the Plan of Happiness. instead of the Restoration, as we usually would do. After about an hour of conversing she told us that she was a little in shock. Earlier that very day she had been pondering about what the true meanining of Happiness was and where she could go to find it. As soon as my compaion said "We are here to teach you about God´s plan of Happiness for you." She felt very touched and surprised. We confirmed that that already was an answer to her prayer and she got extremely excited. We will continue meeting with her and she can´t wait to go to church this Sunday! We also met a brand new family from a different member of our ward. I guess the brother in our ward had done something nice for this man in the hallway of their apartment even though he didnt even know him. The man was SO impressed by the example of the brother in our ward he immediately asked if he was affiliated with a church....then we came into the picture! Despite my weaknesses, we had a great lesson with them. I unfortunately got a little nervous because the Father has studied 6 years of theology so I got a little distracted and felt that he would already know everything I would say. When I don´t concentrate, I don´t speak Portuguese as well as I should, and most importantly I don´t have the spirit. As i was attempting to explain the Apostosy his wife suddenly said "I don´t understand a single thing she is saying." This really hurt my feelings. It was quite a humbling experience for me because I learned that I still have a LOT of learning to do! I need to rely on the Lord and not be complacent but to always practice and be striving to do better. I tried to speak slower and clearer but ended up just getting emotional and started crying right in front of everyone. I have never done that before. I´m sure the little kids were freaked out. Even though I was utterly embarrassed as I tried to bear my testimony as clearly as I could through my sniffles (funny enough the wife told me she could understand me better haha), maybe it is what they needed because we ended up marking baptismal dates with the entire family. WOW! We left feeling very happy and I was grateful for the lesson from the Lord.
Okay. WOW! That was long. Why did I choose to include all of that? Because really what it all came down to the members of the ward, their examples, and willingness to give references to the missionaries! We need to always remember that people ARE watching us! Our every move. The slightest thing we say, the tinyest thing we do could have such an impact on a persons heart. I was very grateful for these brethren in our ward and their examples which allowed more people to be taught the beautiful message of the gospel.
In other news we have Luis´ baptism this weekend! He is so excited and so prepared. We have so much love for him, as his missionaries of course. I feel so honored to be a part of this work. This is a once in a life time opportunity and I know that no where else at no other time will I get to have these experiences. Sorry I talk so much! But thats just me isn´t it? The church is SO true!!! Love you all!
P.S. They don´t celebrate Thanksgiving here, so I kind of forgot about it! But Christmas is fastly coming, and its going to be a hot one! Who thinks of 90 degree weather and water melon on Christmas?! I sure don´t. As of right now though our goal is to have "O Natal Branco" or a White Christmas......which means....baptisms on Christmas!!! Da hora né?! Beijos! Tchau!