This past week was incredible, definitely the best week of my mission so far. I don´t know why, but this week, I felt more love for everything here than ever before: the members, our investigators, the random people on the street, this crazy town, and my mission in general. One night, Sister Coelho and I were just reminiscing about all of the funny experiences we´ve had together here in Sousa and laughing. I couldn´t always say this, but now I can truly and honestly say that I love this crazy little town. :) Transfers are, and it´s almost certain that either Sister Coelho or I, if not both of us, will be transferred. Stay tuned for big news next week.
The most exciting news is that Fábio got baptized! He is absolutely incredible. His baptism started out a fiasco when we discovered the baptismal font completely empty and dirty, when it was supposed to already have been filled. We were going to have to postpone the baptism, but tons of members immediately volunteered to help us fill the font using buckets to speed up the long process. Fábio was able to get baptized and everything was perfect. A young man who just got home from his mission baptized him and immediately befriended him, for which we were really grateful. And I really can´t describe adequately how wonderful Fábio is. We feel so much love for him and feel so blessed to have found him. He is elect.
We also saw a miracle with Mariana this week. She went to the young women´s activityand church , for the 3rd time. Even though she immediately became friends with the other young women there, all along, she´s been hesitant about baptism. However, , she told us she wants to get baptized, and she wants it to be before either of us gets transferred. If everything works out, she´ll get baptized . I absolutely adore her. (I´m going to send pictures of her and Fábio)
Cilene and Daniel are also still progressing wonderfully. I feel so much love for them and they are just the cutest little family. They have so much faith and are so kind. I wish I was eloquent enough to express how great they are, but you´ll just have to trust me. They´re amazing. :)
Other good news from this week is that I talked in my sleep -- in PORTUGUESE. The only thing I said was "Eu não sei" ("I don´t know"), but hey, it counts. :) I also am starting to be able to give people attitude in Portuguese, which makes me really happy. Overall, I´m just feeling more capable of contributing to conversations and understanding people´s jokes and plays on words, and I´m really grateful. This week, I also got to see a quadrilha, or a traditional Northeastern Brazilian dance that they do during the month of June. They wear super big frilly dresses and colorful clothes and it´s super cool. I´ll send pictures of that too.
I want to share a quote from a talk I studied this week by President Uchtdorf: "Being able to see ourselves clearly is essential to our spiritual growth and well-being. If our weaknesses and shortcomings remain obscured in the shadows, then the redeeming power of the Savior cannot heal them and make them strengths...We must approach our Eternal Father with broken hearts and teachable minds. We must be willing to learn and to change. And, oh, how much we gain by committing to live the life our Heavenly Father intends for us." I´m trying to stop judging others and instead focus on myself and turning myself into who my Father in Heaven wants me to be. I love this quote and know that even though it´s not fun to look at our weaknesses, that God will help us to improve them if we´re willing to be humble.
Everything is awesome and I feel so incredible grateful to be here, more than ever before. I always felt blessed to be here on a mission, but I felt it this week more strongly than ever. I´m starting to feel that deep love for my mission that I´ve always heard about, and I´m truly seeing miracles here in Sousa, a town that I didn´t even used to know existed. Being a missionary is wonderful :)
The pictures are of me and Sister Coelho at Subway, us with the quadrilha dancers, us with Edna (a young woman in our branch who is awesome), me with Cilene and Mariana, and us with Elder Baccarin and Elder J. Santos, taking a selfie in the elevator at their apartment complex. I´m going to send more in a following email :)
The next 3 pictures are of us filling buckets and dragging them to the font, then of us with Fábio and Vitor in front of the church, then of Fábio and Vitor in the font (Fábio is the one on the left -- I don´t know why, but Brazilians don´t like to smile in photos), then of a random guy with a parrot who showed up while we were eating lunch :)
Sister Amy Weatherford