This week has been really great, although it rained every single day here in Porto Alegre. It’s just a lot of liquid. Wow! I wake up every morning with wicked sweet lightning bolts striking down every 30 seconds and loud thunder cracks . It’s pretty cool and different.
Well this week we have been trying to work a lot with less actives and with members of the church (getting references and everything). All of the members are rather excited that we’re here because it’s been about 5-6 years since they last had Sister missionaries. I hope that we can continue working well with the the members because the work goes so much more smoothly.
We had interviews with President Cruz this week as well and I was able to get to know him better. He spoke to me a little bit about how he did this last transfer. Immediately when he arrived in the field, he had to make the transfer. He told me that he fasted and prayed for inspiration and with a limited knowledge of the missionaries he made the transfer. He said that when he was looking at the board of our pictures he chose the five sisters who would be training the newbies and he felt distinctly that I was supposed to train. I am so grateful for this opportunity to train Sister Q. She is absolutely amazing. I couldn’t ask for a better filha. She is everything that I want to be and we are really rockin’ it here in the Céfer ward together.
So we had a lesson with Lucimara (who is pregnant) this last week and we were trying to figure out if she was able to receive an answer to her prayers about the Book of Mormon. She said that she felt that she hadn’t, but later on in the lesson she confessed that she had dreamed of the day of her baptism all dressed in white. Wow! This certainly was a great answer to her prayer. She then got really excited about her baptism (she even got goose bumps). However she must first get married (which is difficult because she lives in very humble circumstances.) We’ll have to discuss this with the Ward mission leader.
Anyway this last Sunday we took the bus, during a rainstorm, to pick her up to come to church with us. Sadly, she did not answer the door/wasn’t able to come. We then took a bus to reach the church, however without meaning to, we picked the wrong bus and went in the completely wrong direction through a maze of jungle growth. We then had to take another bus to finally reach the chapel. The transit here in Porto Alegre is just crazy!
My companion, Sister Q. is progressing very well with the short time that she has here in the field. She applies everything that we study together during the training and is super apt at teaching and sharing the gospel. We’re getting along really well. The following p-day we will move into our brand new apartment together (halelluiah!)
It’s been another good week. I am seeing more and more little miracles happen out here as the time goes by. My testimony of Jesus Christ is being strenghthened every single day as I see Him work miracles in my life and in the lives of others. He really is our Savior and Redeemer. All those who come unto Him with a humble, repentant heart can be changed. I really truly believe in this. God has given me a wonderful chance here on the mission and I’m extremely grateful for his mercy in my life.
I arrived in Porto Alegre! Woohoo! I’m certainly not in Kansas anymore. Wow. Porto Alegre is very different from Bagé. There are way more people here than in Bagé. Last monday I had to say goodbye to everyone in Bagé which was extremely bittersweet. I then received my filha (daughter or junior companion) on Tuesday at the desk and we were off that very night to our new area.
The ward is called Céfer in Zone Partenon. The members are super helpful and just about everyone in the ward was willing to help us get to know the area better. I am super excited to work my tail off here in Porto Alegre. It’ll be one of my best experiences yet! So my companion is Sister Q. from São Paulo. She is super great. She is hard working, bold, and really nice. I’m so grateful to have her as my companion. My prayers have definitely been answered on this one. She is a blessing to me, to the ward and to the mission.
So unfortunately we are currently not living within the boundaries of our working area. We are living in Nonoai which is about twenty minutes away via onibus (bus). The mission is trying to rent a place within the area that is super cheap, and I hope that we can move there soon because taking the bus so many times per day is really expensive! But it is also cool to live in Nonoai right now because I am living with two other sisters- Sister T. and Sister L. (my old companion!!) It is pretty legit.
So when we arrived here we immediately tried to get our hands on the area book. We subsequently found an old investigator of the Elders’ that had been taught eveything and only lacked a baptismal date. So then we found the address of her house and met this sweet little lady Nelci. She is 65 years old and lives with her husband Paulo. She is absolutely amazing. She’s been going to church for a little over four months and was super ready to be baptized. We then marked the baptismal date with her for the eighteenth of July (this upcoming Saturday). Everything was going smoothly. We announced the baptism in the sacrament meeting, handed out invitations to the members and even printed out the agenda for the day of the baptism. Well that very same Sunday we ate lunch at Nelci’s hous and found out that she is not in fact married. Hahahaha. Can you believe that she is living with her ex-husband? The had gotten married, split up, divorced, and then gotten back together. Well the good news is that she wants to be baptised so bad that she’s willing to do whatever it takes- even if it means re-marrying her ex-husband that she’s living with. This just means that it’ll take about twenty-ish days until she can be baptised due to the delay of getting married by the law. It’ll be really amazing when the day of her baptism arrives.
Anyway everything is absolutely great her in Porto Alegre South Mission!!
This week was really jam-packed with things to do. First we had a conference in Pelotas with our new mission president this last Friday. Presidente and Sister Cruz seem really nice. Presidente Cruz is funny, yet he also is super spiritual. We got to know them a little bit and see a bunch of other missionaries that were there as well. I got to see Sister G. and Sister R. again along with other missionaries that arrived with me on the mission at the same time.
I think that Heavenly Father is really looking out for us missionaries because this week we were short on money and without food at home and yet we did not starve. It reminded me of a scripture in the book of Matthew 6 that goes, “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we beclothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your Heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
We managed to not starve to death because on Saturday we went to celebrate a birthday in the ward at Irmã Santa’s house, and we also had dinner at Lucia’s house that same evening. Irmã Santa made the b-day cake and we also ate mini hot dogs there. For dinner Lucia made really yummy lasagna for us. It was a serious mini-blessing that we witnessed here in Bagé.
The other thing that happened this week was Lucia’s baptism!!! It was so very special. We were visiting and preparing her this whole week to get baptized this Sunday. When we went over the baptismal interview questions with her she mentioned that she might not be living the law of chastity. However the following night our zone leader came to do the actual baptismal interview and she left the interview really excited for baptism, and extremely excited to start a new page in her life. The following Sunday (yesterday) they announced the baptism and she was baptized the following evening.
The ward was so dang supportive of Lucia on the day of her baptism. Almost the whole ward showed up! Without asking, the members brought lots of cake, filled the baptismal font and gave lots of encouragent for Lucia. Overall it was an extremely uptifling experience for Lucia and for everyone in the ward. Lucia seemed super happy during the whole meeting. She really is changing her life by being baptized in the true church of God. From the very beggining she started to read the Book of Mormon, pray and go to church. Her conversion was a quick one. She gave up coffee really quickly (even though when we were teaching her about the word of wisdom she told us that she always needed her cup of coffee in the morning and before bedtime.) She is an absolutely amazing person and I am so glad to have met her and shared the gospel with her. Did I mention that it was me who decided to knock on her door the very first night? Que felicidade que o evangelho me traz!
So today we received the news for the following transfer and will in fact be leaving Bagé. I am going to open a new area in Porto Alegre (an area that was previously Elders). I will be opening it with a new missionary which means I am going to train a new sister! Woohoo! Haha. I will be a mother (on the mission). All of this put together means a whole lot of responsibility for me. Wow. I am super dang excited for this new part of my mission. It will be such an adventure working in the very heart of Porto Alegre. I have heard that this zone is really at the heart of the city and that never before had there been sister missionaries there. I’m nervous, and excited all at the same time. Pray for me! I am going to work my tail off in this next area and my new daughter and I will batizar até o pó! Haha.
However I am very forlorn to be leaving Lucia and all of the other wonderful people I met here in Bagé. Bagé will always have a place in my heart.
Wish me luck in Porto Alegre! Amo Vocês!