okay first off, i sent you guys a letter about a month or so ago, so if you didnt get it then houston we have a problem and ill have to send letters from a different envelope pouch thing. also package update in case i ever get one here, for christmas it’ll need to have arrived in maceio by december 10 because thats when we have christmas conference in maceio and when id be able to get anything like that.
but back to the good stuff. this week was kinda sad tbh. we are teaching lots of people that learn of gospel truths like god loves them, the book of mormon is true, we have a living prophet, they need to keep the commandments and go to church every week, but then use their agency wrongly and choose to not act on the witnesses they receive. i sure am not a fan of agency this week. but sister barbosa said something in our lesson with katia who is a single mom all ready to be baptized but her member bf kinda messed things up. she said that we cant put in her heart all the feelings and inspirations the spirit has given to us. and even if we could, we wouldnt because we fought for this spirit and knowledge of the spirit that we have. we fight for it every single day as we study for 3 hours every morning, as we choose to not follow temptation, when we chose to serve a mission, we literally fought against the adversary to have the level of conversion we do and she wouldnt give that up for anything. i was in amazement because that is exactly true. the gospel is something you have to experience for yourself and feel, no one can convince you of it!
im also learning about how really amazing and great the book of mormon is. it changes peoples lives! its amazing because sister barbosa taught me, you dont need to put your hand in the fire to know that it burns, because someone before you put their hand in and it burned. just like in the book of mormon, we already have examples of what happens when you doubt the power of the lord, or murmur against him, or need guidance and turn to the lord, or your family needs to be strengthened. we already know what happens so we dont need to pass through the same afflictions to know the result. and we can take strength from the stories in there because we know the good results too! that book is great. What’s sad is that we teach every single day, almost every single lesson the power of reading every day and praying morning and night. thats what we teach to people investigating the church but then we go to all the members house for lunch and ask if they’re doing those things and they say no! it just breaks my heart! theres about 3 youth in the ward that go to seminary every day, and the one girl thats the firmest in the branch said shes never read the book of mormon ever... i was like are you for real. (but she also said shes embarrassed to wear a skirt that goes down to her knees but thats a whole separate can of worms that is an issue here). its like the smallest things can make or break your testimony of the gospel and the strength you gain every day.
But on a happier note, today is Dia das Crianças! (Kids Day). everyone gives presents to their kids and theres little trampolines and balloons everywhere. but somehow i got jipped because i definitely sat at the 1 foot tall kids table every year for christmas eve dinner but no one gave me a present today... Oh and big news, i started the bottom pinching tradition during fotos here in brasil so that is a win for the walkers. zinger.
update on maycom: he is ready to be baptized but now his dad doesnt want him to be, so that put a damper on things. but his dad works all week except sunday and on sundays he is lets just say less than capacitated to have a coherent chat with... we are praying for him. its still so funny to me how different things in brasil are. the people here, especially in the northeast, are SO trusting. we meet people in the street and within 3 minutes we have their name, address, phone number, age, marital status, days they’re at home, and their favorite color. everytime we do it i think of when mom accidentally put our address on facebook and everyone freaked out at her hahah. and i think of dad always freaking out saying not to give personal info out to anyone *cue dad saying ´´oh im sure, freak out *crinkled finger movie arm quotes**
its also funny with the language, because I’m pretty good at understanding what people say now. i just dont always have all the words i want to respond. but people can actually have a real conversation with me now and dont just look at my companion the whole time. but its funny theres one lady in the branch who still thinks i dont know a word of portguese, so she always talks with big hand motions and makes her eyes really big when she talks to me and talks really loud like that will help me understand better haha. sometimes i play dumb and make her do lots of ridiculous arm movements until I ´´understand´´. then i repent.
but things here are going pretty well! we´re hoping this week the lord will help us meet lots of new people to teach because most of the people we were working with have reached some sort of bridge and got stuck progressing. but i know there’s other people here ready for us. the people here are so open! We just have to have the courage to talk with everyone. i love you guys. I’ll talk to you next week!