Monday, June 1, 2015

Week 14 Sousa, Brazil

Interior Zones Conference

This week, we had a fantastic conference with half of the mission (all of the missionaries in the interior zones) and we got to hear from Elder Mazagardi of the Quorum of the 70. Not only were the talks inspiring, I also got to see Sister Thomson, my wonderful MTC companion, and Sister Savage, another girl I met at the MTC who arrived at the same time as Sister Thomson. It was so nice to talk with Americans again, since I´ve been surrounded by Brazilians for 6 weeks :) It was also nice to be able to tell them that things are going to get easier, since I remember how overwhelming everything was at the beginning. 
We have two elders in my district who are going home after this transfer and they are unbelievably trunky. In our district meeting, we sang a hymn called Bela Sião, which talks about the "belas portas de Sião" (beautiful doors of Zion...hmm, that doesn´t make sense, but that´s what it means). Anyway, they replaced "de Sião" with "da avião" (of the airplane). They are ridiculous.
This week was honestly kind of hard. Sebastião has absolutely no faith in himself that he can quit smoking, and he hasn´t been coming to church. We both love him and he´s hilarious, but I think we´re going to have to stop teaching him since he´s not progressing. We had a lesson with Cilene this week about the law of chastity (yeah, awkward) that was so great and she was excited about living the gospel, but when we visited her the next day, she was totally discouraged because her husband doesn´t want to get married right now and she said she feels like she can´t come to church if she´s breaking that commandment. We tried to tell her that she needs to come to church and that no one there is perfect, but she didn´t want to come. No one wanted to come to church this week; everyone either complains that it´s too far away or they have something else to do, and I just wished we had people here who are willing to make sacrifices. I also realized this week through a variety of experiences that I have a lot of things I need to improve, and I felt inadequate. It´s a good thing I have 15 months left to learn what I need to and become the person I want to be. It was a good week, though. We visited a recent convert named Luzia who I absolutely adore. She gives the best hugs and always calls us "princesa" or "amor" or "linda" and she is just so sweet and made the whole week better.
Also, I survived my first sacrament meeting talk in Brazil. I´m sure I said lots of stupid things and probably no one understood me, but no one was laughing, so that´s good. :) I also got to play the piano again and it made me happy.
Our conference with Elder Mazagardi this week talked a lot about using our time wisely and serving with all of our heart, might, mind and strength. President Soares talked about how we´re more than just cool young people who share pretty words about Jesus Christ; we´re literal representatives of Him. Elder Mazagardi highlighted the fact that in 2 Nephi, it says "take away the sins of the world" rather than just "forgive the sins of the world." I also read a scripture about how Jesus Christ, when He visited the Nephites in the Americas, cured all their sick and did all manner of cures among them. Both of those things made me realize that the Atonement really does cover everything. It not only forgives our sins, it completely takes them away. The sacrifice Christ made for us is infinite, and I´m so grateful for Him. I´m grateful that through Him, I can be forgiven of my faults and I can overcome my weaknesses.
I hope everyone had a lovely week :)
Sister Amy Weatherford

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