Oi família, friends, everyone once again,
Unfortunately, I am in a totally different area so I don’t know if I will have time to email everyone, ugh why did I choose to go to "Super P-day?" ha-ha just kidding... it’s just a hot and stuffy LAN house...My week was spectacular. I learned a LOT in such a little time. We ended up going to Campo Grande on Tuesday. We were supposed to arrive around 5 or 6 PM but our bus arrived late and not only that, it BROKE DOWN on the way there :p It didn't surprise me one bit cos I am in BRAZIL and these things do happen. I wish I could send vids but I took some SUPER hilarious videos of me and Sister Pence in the bus; it’s amazing. So we got there in one piece around 9:30 or 10:00. Even though we did basically nothing that day, we were both exhausted!!
Wednesday was so amazing during divisions. I was comps with Sister Gonçalves; she is actually from Santa Catarina (can’t remember where) and we both have a LOT more in common than I thought. We worked hard together and we saw a lot of miracles unfold. Sadly, we didn't see ANY macaws but the miracles make up for it. The first contact/ lesson was very moving. In the end when she prayed, she started to cry because she was thanking the Lord for sending us her way when she really needed help. It moved me since no one has really said that to me on my mission so far. Then the second person we visited was just as amazing. Her name is Raquel and she has no religion. So we started with the first lesson. When we started with the usual "Heavenly Father loves you" she started to cry. She was crying because she never knew that or felt His love. Her willingness to learn and to be baptized is the reason why I am serving a mission!! Why haven’t I found many people like her on my mission?! Oh wow it was amazing to see her faith. The best part? We were lost after teaching her so when we passed in front of her house an hour after teaching, guess what? She was reading the Book of Mormon!! AAAAHHH I KNOW RIGHT?! Sister Gonçalves and I celebrated by splitting a "bolo de fubá" (which was not the best idea...) but we taught the rest of the day, made contacts and enjoyed everything that was happening!
Thursday was great. I did another division with Thais. We visited Thalia and her family. We taught them on Monday as well. Thalia's fam is super inactive and we are trying to reactivate the fam and baptize her. She's at a point where she is deciding which religion she wants and here we are like "uh US" Sister Pence and Vilhena visited 14 year old Gauges Gabriel and he accepted the baptismal invite for THIS SATURDAY! Let’s hope this one works, one Saturday in the transfer!!!
Friday was weekly planning, and we also knocked down a LOT of lessons that day. We did a lot with a member and we also were very productive. I am at my happiest whenever we do our best being productive.
Saturday on the other hand was hard. Right after lunch, the ZLs wanted to change our cellphone because it was "too old" so it sucked up our afternoon, appointments dropped, we got one lesson in but then I started to feel sick. Not. Good. So we called it quits so I could rest.
Sunday was good to an extent. Church was amazing and even though the lessons were great, the weather was rainy, stormy and the spirit strong. But the Little Espiritu was sick... I bore my testimony and I don’t remember what I said but I was all jumpy, happy, and perky to share my joy with everyone despite my illness. I truly felt like myself for the little moment I was up there. Funny how I don’t recall a word said, but I felt super perky and ... me. Lunch was good, but it left me feeling sick... Galhinada :( also the members who fed us were really rude. The Irmâ was like "Oh these people shouldn’t be baptized if they don’t show up, like Paulo... why did he choose to be baptized" and I was taken aback! Paulo has his struggles (Pence RC) but we can’t judge him... I just said "he has his struggles, he is in a rough spot" and all she said was "well what is it?" and I couldn’t say anything else. Then her husband is like "we need to excommunicate all of the members in our ward who are inactive and making the church look bad" and I was already angry at his wife, so I said "Hey why don’t you go out with us and visit all of these inactive members? They DO need your example" but he just scoffed and kept on ranting about his wacky ideas. Why are the members so rude to inactives? I want to help all of them. Sure some of them don’t really need our help, but members like this couple make me really sad... Please, help all of the inactives you can.
I am grateful for being a missionary here. The work is tough and I have WAY too much room for improvement. I know I am not the best of servants for the Lord, but I wrote down a list of things I can improve on so that I can be a better instrument in the hands of the Lord :) I can’t believe he has so much patience with someone like me, imperfect. But if He is blessing me, then I must be doing something right :)
I love Nephi's Psalm in 2 Nephi 4. Read it please; I feel like I can relate to him a lot. Have a great week! I love you all SO much!
-Sister Mariana Espiritu