Another great day at the Campinas Temple! Fabulous! I will recap the week starting with last Wednesday. Last Wednesday was an amazing p-day filled with many treats! I use p-day as my cheat day, so I always look forward to it among many things. Last Wednesday via email, I received the very sad news that my dear friend Tiare Giron had passed away unexpectedly. Tiare had been a very good, loyal friend who always has my back for all 4 years of high school. She was an amazing girl who always smiled and had such a bright future ahead of her. (Mom it would be nice if if you could post a memorial instagram post for her from my account, even though it is late. She was a dear friend and it is the least I can do from Brasil.) The news of her death made me very angry, sad, and confused. Wednesday night and Thursday were the worst times I've experienced so far on my mission. I prayed for help to calm my heart and mind, which was full of many questions and doubts. All of Thursday, I had lost the Spirit and could not learn, teach, or understand anything during the day. I felt horrible and was really struggling. On top of that, my companion and I received a new elder from the Provo MTC who is now in our companionship as our 3rd member. His name is Elder Mayfield and he's from St. George, Utah. Elder Mayfield does not know the language, culture, or much of how things work in Brasil yet. He asks many, many, many questions. Being in a bad mood already, my patience was being tested to the all time max. In the beginning I was not as kind and patient with him as I should have been, but as the days have passed I have learned to love this Elder very, very much. Elder Stevens and I were progressing so much, we were starting to teach lessons to investigators in Portuguese without any notes or anything!
But God had other plans and decided that I needed to be cut down a bit. God decided that I needed to be challenged, I was forced to my knees. Through all of the frustration and sadness of this week, I thought of one of my favorite Conference talks, the one about the current bush.
The current bush wanted to grow big and tall and strong and it did, but then the farmer cut it down and the current bush was very sad and didn't understand why the farmer would cut it down. But the farmer told the little current bush that he had to cut him down so he could grow into what the farmer wanted him to grow into, not what the current bush thought it wanted. The farmer knows what is best and cut the current bush down so it could grow into something better than it ever imagined. In this story we are the current bush and God is the farmer. Thinking of this story brought tears to my eyes and comfort to my soul. God knows best. Through much sincere prayer and faith, I received an increased testimony of the plan of salvation concerning Tiare's death. This comforted me and I know she will see her family and loved ones again. This profound and true message needs to be shared with the people of Brasil. I was able to bear testimony of this experience this past fast Sunday, which was another amazing, humbling day.
I will now share one of the most amazing experiences of my entire mission so far. Friday we went out into the heart of Sao Paulo and went proselyting!!!! We went proselytising and I was SUPER NERVOUS!!!! It was crazy! We rode a public transit bus downtown and it was wild. We all stood because that is socially acceptable in Brasil for us young people. We just held on the railing for dear life as the bus flew down bumpy streets dodging motorcycles and abruptly stopping! It was like a Disneyland ride, but for real!
We got to an area downtown and every person went out with 2 Books of Mormon each. All 3 of us in our companionship gave all of ours out! Everyone in our district did! It was so cool! I really enjoyed my experiences handing out my 2. The first one I gave was to a woman with a baby in a stroller. I did not speak a single word of my own accord. The Holy Ghost took over 100% and fluent, perfect Portuguese came out of my mouth, telling her of the truthfulness of the book of Mormon and what the word it holds can offer her life. One of the most spiritual and crazy things of my whole life!!! THE GIFT OF TONGUES IS REAL!!!!!!!!!!!!
The 2nd one I gave out was to a muscular, intimidating Sao Paulo police officer with a horse. This encounter was much more difficult. I got all my words out, and it seemed like he understood, but it was very difficult. But I talked with him, and told him about the Book of Mormon and he took it!! That is what matters!!!!!! It felt so good to be in the city doing that, feeling that sweat drip from my brow, that concrete jungle Sao Paulo wildness!
It made us all so pumped to get into the field. It was a great, exhausting amazing day!!!! Also, I will leave the CTM on the 19th (13 more days finally!) and since mail takes about a week to get here, make sure you send it so there is enough time for me to get it. Once I get my new address in the field, I will send! Letters make a world of difference for morale and keeping spirits high, please send me some:)
I love you all soooooooooooooo much!
I'm very blessed, loving it!