Well I am officially in Vila Sabrina for another transfer! Which is wonderful!! But my companion is not, Elder Mussin went back to the Interior part of the mission, and my new companion is Elder De Oliveira!! He is seriously so great! He only has two more transfers left on the mission and already served here in Vila Sabrina and so he is psyched to be back and I am psyched to learn from such an experienced and good missionary. It has been super busy, which I love, this last week. We have been continuing teaching our investigators and visiting and teaching a ton of people that my companion new from before. So it has been great! We are teaching this woman right now who has been wanting to be baptized for 7 years, but never has quit smoking, and boy are we working hard to help her. She has been improving and has such faith right now to stop and be clean so she can be baptized, it has been so cool for me to see.
The Portuguese is coming along! Haha I have been feeling pretty confident and a ton of people have been saying they think I have been out for a year already! But then of course I have A LOT of experiences that remind me just how dependent on the Lord I have to be. Haha I have ´humble´ days. Like yesterday. Haha these are days when I have no idea what is happening and I feel like I can’t say anything at all! Well yesterday we were teaching this young woman for a second time and when we asked her if she had prayed to confirm that this was the true church, she apparently said that she was not going to read the Book of Mormon and that nothing would change her from moving churches. Well I heard that she wanted to visit our church before she read the Book of Mormon. So I responded accordingly and bore testimony and everything of the Book of Mormon, well then it got really awkward when right before leaving I asked when we could return to see how the reading and praying went... haha oh. my. gosh. Thank goodness I have a great companion, and that this doesn’t happen all the time. Haha I just laughed about it when I clarified what happened with my companion, but it was such a good reminder just how much I have to learn and how much I need to rely on the Lord.
This week I also have been really focusing on teaching with the Spirit, a renewed effort! I have been praying so hard, seriously constantly: in the house, while we are walking, during lessons, everything. I pray that I can speak with the Spirit and help create an environment where the Spirit can testify to these people. It has been so helpful, I have felt many times when I have said things that I normally wouldn’t say, and when I know they felt the Spirit as well.
Last night we had a good lesson with a family of all women because their spouses died, and in the past they accepted baptism but last night they said they can’t say yes or no right now. Well I was super bummed but I was able to bear testimony to them that this gospel is not just this life. That we are talking about eternities here. That they have loved ones who want to be sealed to them forever and that I am so grateful that I know that I am part of an eternal family. It was so powerful to feel the Spirit and to know that families really can be together forever. Basically I am so grateful the Spirit can speak to these people, because so often I can’t!
My birthday was great!!! Haha I didn’t get your package mom before, but I got a ton of letters last week which was great! I actually have your package sitting on my lap right now, we haven’t gone back to the house yet today so I haven’t opened it, but thanks so incredibly much!!!!!!!! My birthday was so great. One of the best I have ever had. Why? I wrote this in my journal, but because it wasn’t about me at all!! We taught 9 lessons that day, which was truly a little miracle for our little area!! I absolutely loved it, it was crazy hot, we walked all over, and I was so tired by the end, but it was truly wonderful. I am so grateful for this opportunity to forget myself. It is just great. But, I did go all out and buy a Snickers bar and saved it for my birthday. So I ate that. And it was pure joy. Haha I took a picture of myself with the wrapper so I will send that in the future!
On Sunday our Stake did splits with all the missionaries with the leaders of the Stake for like 2 hours, they had the conference issue of the Liahona, 5 pass along cards, and a ticket to a stake theater event thing soon for a family to go together, and we went on splits with the leaders and it was so great! Our stake is working so hard to motivate the members to be missionaries and to help in this work of salvation because that is what it is, salvation! And I love being a part of it! Today we got to go to the temple!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They even had some of the new changes that started in the US, it was so great. All in Portuguese too! But I understood a lot and felt the Spirit so strongly, and just an overwhelming sense of the love God has for me! And so grateful again that I have an eternal family! So it was great!
Our Zone got totally changed! Now we have 2 companionships that are of older missionaries, and the other 6 are training, 2 with the second transfer of training (me and another American) and the rest are new missionaries! We even have one trio with the other American in the second part of training who has another new American too! Haha all the other new missionaries are Americans too except one from Cape Verde. So this Thursday I get to have splits with one of the new Americans and we are going to work in our area, I am so excited! His name is Elder Macarthur from Star Valley, WY. I am really excited to work with him and have a great day in our area!
For the package for Christmas... I don’t think I need anything! Haha maybe just food... I can’t think of anything else! And yes we can listen to church music of our choosing on Preparation Days now so I am excited for that!!! Love you all so much, I had a great week! Happy Birthday Dad!!!!!!!!!!! I hope you get my letter in time for your birthday! Love you all!