Saturday, March 8, 2014

March 3, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

Fastest week of my mission thus far. I feel like I am running a marathon and absloutely love it! We are teaching a ton and trying to strengthen the people here in Icoaraci.  Sister Felix and I have set a ton of goals and are giving our all and I know that success is around the corner.  This week was full of spiritual experiences and miracles.  Literal miracles. One cool moment was on Monday afternoon. We went to the "orla" (river docks here in Icoaraci) to take pictures and see a few historical sites with a few members of the ward.  At the docks, we saw a cruise ship and tons of tourists from the USA!  An elderly couple passed by smiling and waving. I smiled back, but thought nothing of it. A few minutes later this couple walked over to us and started speaking English. My companion/ members and other sisters with us all started looking at me.  I tried to speak English and couldn't!  I tried to translate, but everything came out in Portuguese!   This couple was from Salt Lake City, UT and were members of the Church. I tried my best to speak with them, but my English was awful.  They could not understand completely! It was honestly a little embarrassing. I couldn't remember the basics of English... A little bit later the members with us starting joking with a man saying "give me money" or "hello". He responded laughing in basic Portuguese.  They told me to speak English with him. I tried again and it was awful.  (I think my sister Nicole could have done better haha). He was from Australia! He lived in Texas for a few years, Angola, and now Australia.  I ended up talking to him about the Church, sharing a little mess and explaining the purpose of my mission I tried my best to speak fluently. SO HARD!  He took a picture of my nametag and was interested in learning more, because he has met a few members of the church at work. Never know.... :) Skyping with my family in May will be interesting. 

It is crazy how I grew up speaking English and after 9 months I have forgotten how to speak my native language. It really is an example of when we don’t practice our talents, or use our knowledge, we lose them. It is like our testimony. If we don’t share it, study and pray to strengthen it, it will become weak or we will lose it. I know that the Lord gave each of us personal talents and experiences so that we can help those around us. We each have something special and unique to give and need to search to know what our talents are and then share them. 

     This week I reflected a ton about the early saints and the sacrifices they made for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They journeyed across the USA pulling wooden handcarts, starving, freezing, and loosing many loved ones. Even through all of their hardships, they were humble, Christ-like, and remained true to the faith. I am so grateful for the example and sacrifices they made for me. I am here in Brasil because of their self-less sacrifice, faith and trust in the Lord. It is like Alma taught his people at the waters of Mormon, (Mosiah 18:8-9) ", as ye are desirous to come  into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one  another's burdens, that they may be light; yea and are willing  to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as a witness of God at all times and in all things and in all places..." The early saints truly were God's people and were willing to trust in   him 100% and serve one another with every ounce of energy they had.  This is how we should each live our lives. I am trying to help everyone that I can, serve, comfort, and love, mourn, laugh, lift up the sad, and bring the truth to those who are ready to accept the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. This is our purpose. This is my goal and I know that all this are possible through our Savior Jesus Christ. I love my Savior and His gospel!

I hope you each have a wonderful week!

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