Monday, November 30, 2015

Week 40 Santarém Natal, Brazil

This week was great. Several members, including our ward mission leader, went out with us to help us teach our investigators. Carina decided she wants to get baptized, but her husband (a less-active member who is coming back to activity) needs to get divorced from his first wife and they need to get married before she can get baptized. It´s been really rewarding to work with their family and help them get active in the church. We also got to do a service project, cleaning the house of a woman in the ward who is pregnant but can´t stay on her feet very long since her pregnancy is hazardous.
As for investigators, Rose didn´t go to church on Sunday. Again. But when we went by, Isaque came up to me and told me that they´re working on convincing her to let them get baptized. And before we left, Lauane begged us to read a scripture with her. Those two kids are angels. :) They also tickled us to death before we left, and Lauane pinned me down and put lip gloss on me. They´re really cute. Jessica went to church, finally, for the first time on Sunday! And we´re teaching a young woman named Janaina who is super smart and said she´s going to read the whole Book of Mormon. She couldn´t go on Sunday, but she´s progressing really well.
We also were immensely blessed on Sunday. On Saturday, literally no one we went to visit was home and we were super discouraged. The expectation in the mission is to have 3 investigators in sacrament meeting, and we thought we weren´t going to have any. We picked up Jessica on Sunday, who went, and then when we showed up in the chapel, to our surprise, Jadsom (the husband of a recent convert, Edineide) was there, along with two other non-members that their member friends had brought to the meeting. I felt so blessed and felt that the Lord had seen our effort on Saturday and did a miracle for us.
I have also never played so much piano as I played on Sunday. I accompanied the hymns in our ward, accompanied the hymns and the entire Primary program in the other ward, and accompanied the hymns for the other ward´s elders´ baptism. I loved it! I love playing piano and love being able to serve here in Brazil by playing. Our bishop came up to me and told me that I can stay 5 more transfers here if I want. :) Plus, the Primary program was beautiful. It´s already cute in the United States, and it was made even cuter by the little kids speaking Portuguese, which is still weird to me. I love the simplicity of the Primary music and the kids, yet the powerful testimony they bear of Jesus Christ.
And lastly, since Thanksgiving was this past week, I just want to share a few thoughts. I studied the story of the 10 lepers this week who were healed by Christ and only one of whom turned back to give thanks. Sometimes we forget to be thankful and our focus is on what we lack rather than on our blessings. A Greek philosopher once said, "He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has." President Monson taught that sincerely giving thanks not only helps us recognize our blessings, but it also unlocks the doors of heaven and helps us feel God´s love.
Even though this area has not been easy, I´m truly thankful to be here. I´m thankful for everything I´m learning, for the members here, for the experiences I´m having that are preparing me for the rest of my life. I´m immensely grateful for my family members, who mean everything to me. I´m grateful to be a missionary and I´m grateful for the gospel and the hope and peace it brings to my life. And above all, I´m grateful for my Savior. He truly is the light, the life, and the hope of the world. He gave His life to serve, to be our example, and to atone for us. As it says in the Living Christ, "God be thanked for the matchless gift of His divine son." I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving and got to reflect upon the abundant blessings in each of your lives.
All my love,
Sister Amy Weatherford

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