Hello my amazing family and friends!! I cannot believe that we are already in the middle of July! The weather here is so crazy. One day it can be burning hot, sweating all day, and the next we are drenched with rain and shivering cold!! São Paulo is way more bipolar than Utah!! But our week was awesome!! I love my companion!! She is from Manaus, Amazonas (another manauara!) and is 23 years old, even though she looks 16! She joined the church six years ago, and her sister is the only other member in her family. She is so sweet and so excited to work!! She loves to talk to everyone and their dog, and is so positive about everything. I am in heaven!! The poor thing is freezing cold here. She has not even felt wind or cold her entire life and did not even bring a jacket! The members have been awesome to give her a lot of winter clothes.
This week we have been doing a lot of cutting investigators and finding new ones. It is really sad to stop working with the ones we love so much, but we need to use our time wisely and continue on! The members are still giving us references, which is great, and we have a few great people that we know will progress beautifully. E and L are very excited to be baptized this Saturday!! I cannot even explain the change I have seen in them. When I arrived here, they had no hope at all. I saw not one inch of happiness in their eyes. But now I am so happy to say that they have had a great change in their hearts. They have felt the power of Christ's redeeming love through keeping the commandments. We have helped them get married and have helped their children be baptized, and now they will be able to see the blessings of making their own covenants! They live in the smallest house that I have been in, here in Brasil, but they are so happy and they love each other so much. When I got here I never saw E and L laugh with each other, touch each other or hardly talk. But now I can see that they are in love. This gospel has really changed them. The elders that worked with them from the beginning are so happy to see them progressing!! It has been 6 months of work with a lot of different missionaries!
I think that this week has been the most stressful of all in my mission!! I find myself so tense and worrying about every little thing! I am so human and I have many weaknesses! But I have a strong and firm testimony of prayer. I know from experience that every time I turn to my Father in Heaven and I humbly kneel before Him to plead for help, He strengthens me, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Every single time. I am nothing without my personal connection with my Heavenly Father. I love to teach others to pray. In our lessons, we need to not only leave our investigators with a prayer but we need to teach them to pray. Our church is a very active church. There are so many pastors and preachers that sit at the front of the congregation and do everything: yell, pray, and sing praises...but they do not teach. We are a teaching people, a doing people. We need to act to be better and to learn. This is why we need to lovingly encourage our investigators to pray. Even if they need to copy our words to say a simple prayer, they need to learn that they have their own way to talk to their Heavenly Father and to receive personal revelation.
I am so grateful to be here. Really I am learning so much. The Lord is stretching me and molding me into a better, imperfect person. Sometimes it is uncomfortable, stressful, and difficult, but it is so necessary!!! I love you all so much, and I wish you all a wonderful week!!