July 7, 2014
Hello family!! I am SOOO happy right now. I got all of your loving emails, all of the support and everything I needed to hear today and it made me so happy to know that I am not alone... well I already knew that but the reassurance is just amazing!!
So y'all know how my week was since I talked to you guys on Thursday. It was SO great to hear you guys and to get that motivation to keep going, well lemme tell you about what I learned while spending my time "working" in the mission office this weekend:
I'm not made for the office. It's a dull, beige place where your dreams are shattered. Not that I am complaining, I helped Sister Davis a LOT! We got at least 3 weeks of work done in two days and she ended up being caught up with everything! It made me happy to see her relieved. She said "God sent you to the office to help me, I am so thankful for your help!" And it made me feel GREAT to know that I was able to lift her burdens... but my mission wasn't made for office work. It was like the Garden of Eden if you will... a place where I felt no joy nor sorrows, I felt like I was in LIMBOOO. It was fun being with Elder and Sister Davis though, also the Executive Secretary AND Financial dude. It was like a mini-vacation with my mission grandparents and brothers. But I didn't have the same joys that the mission field brings. I longed to find people to teach, to contact... and I leaped at every contact opportunity I could when we went out.
Also, the Davises were AMAZING! I helped Sister Davis cook dinner at home. Friday night I taught her how to make mom's rice (with some shredded carrots in there) and it turned out to be the best rice dish I made to date. SO GOOD! We also made some chicken wings with curry. YUM! Also, a branch leader came in the office on Friday and asked the Davises to give a talk on Sunday night for their fireside... problem is that Sister Davis doesn't speak a lick of Portuguese. So I offered right away to be her translator. It made her burden much lighter and she seemed really happy to have me translate her talk. She isn't a person who is good with words (so she says) but her talk was great.
Saturday afternoon the President called saying that I was to go to my new area ASAP 'cos it was hard for Sister Vilhena to get around on foot. So I packed up once more and found myself in Morada da Serra. I just spent the evening unpacking and chatting with Sister Vilhena. Then I found out that I couldn’t translate for Sister Davis anymore because it was too far... it made me sad, but then we found a way to get me over there. So in the end, I went to the fireside and it was the best spiritual experience I had this week. So I've never done any sort of translating for anyone (like a talk) before but it was neat. President and Sister Reber ended up showing up last minute (surprise guests) and it was such a neat experience, being up there translating for Sister Davis. The Spirit was so strong in that meeting. I felt so happy to be up there. I felt like one of the Olympic people who translate for the audiences! :p Seeing the audience at the fireside was great. Every once in a while President Reber nodded at me which made me feel good about my translation. Afterwards, they came up to us and told us "good job" also, he told me that I translated everything perfectly. Go team Mission Office!! WOOOOO!! :) It was fun!
I am grateful to be back in the field. It's not easy though. The girls I live with now are much different from the Campo Grande girls. But I've been putting the EXTRA effort to get to know them and it’s been helping. I still don't know my companion Sister Silva that well, but she has treated me well. Sister Martinez is from Argentina... but it's been nice :)
The Lord put me in the office for a reason, other than helping Sister Davis. He taught me that I am not an office person, and he also taught me that if I do give up, I will feel the melancholy I felt while I was typing away at some documents. He wants me to receive the fullest joys that the mission brings, and He has an important work for me to do. That work cannot be found in the office or the grocery store, but out in the neighborhoods of Cuiabá. Under the blazing sun, toiling to find the elect. That’s where the fruits of the mission are. I don't want to be the best missionary; I only want to be a disciple of Christ and do the Lord's will.
I love you very much and I cannot express my gratitude for helping me and fasting for me. I wish I could hug you all but I can thank you all individually through emails and letters! I gotta get going now, but until next week! SO MUCH LOVE!!!
-Sister Mariana Espiritu