So I sent this email on Monday, but I didn't know that wouldn't send because I attached too many pictures. Well here is the original email. Except this isn't all true anymore! I was going to stay in Townsend, but my visa has come instead! I leave next Wednesday from Billings at 6:00 am. It is a very bittersweet time because I have grown to love and adore my companion and my area very much. I am borderline freaking out because I just don't know enough Portuguese! Anyways, I suppose I get to call my mother and dad next week in the airport, and President Gardner said that they will be sent my flight itinerary.
I am really going to Brazil! I have made it to the next step! I just can't believe it.
I love you all, pray for me as I pack:)
I got my transfer information, I am not transferred:) I am staying in Townsend with Sister Van for her last transfer. She goes home at the end of this six weeks, and she is getting excited to go home. We are at totally opposite ends of the spectrum, which actually gives us both good perspective. She doesn't want to go home, and I am homesick. Or She is totally jazzed to see her family and I can't imagine leaving before I am ready. The balance is good and things are great. I am sometimes jealous, but I have so much left to learn and I have yet to get to the next adventure. I have too much to do! At the end of this transfer, I will have a year left. Hopefully, I can spend that year in Brazil, huh? Keep praying for my visa, and warmer weather in Montana. there isn't snow here just yet, but it has been in the 40's and 50's.
We went to church in White Sulpher Springs yesterday. The branch had about 14 members there. The town has about 400 people,and we are only there every other weekend, so it makes it tough to find investigators that can stick it out with infrequent visits. The Lord understands our restrictions, and I hope and pray that we can find some more work there. We tracted into a Woman who said that she was Catholic, great! we thought. Any religion is great! We told her to have a nice day and offered her a pass along card that has a picture of the Savior. She told us no thank you because she knows that He wasn't white. You do not hear that one everyday in rural Montana. The seminary teacher in Townsend says that she has trouble with racial comments about terrorists all the time while they are studying the old testament, good thing the descendants of Ishmael are not here with us I guess.
The ward in Townsend seems to be doing well. The Ward Mission leader is bound and determined to gather the lost sheep. He has asked every auxiliary to focus on five less active members of the ward, and work on just a few at a time. Every leader in the ward is starting to get involved in member missionary work. That is something to be totally jazzed about! Brother Mitchell is tireless, even though he is 78 years old. He has been hospitalized twice in the last two weeks with heart problems and he has atrial fibrillation? I hope that he doesn't get discouraged now that he is having to take it easy. Bless is heart, literally! but now that he has involved others, the work will still continue to move forward.
This week I had stroganoff with raisin bran on the top. We thought that they were corn flakes, but nope there were raisins in my noodles. That tops any captain crunch berries, huh? We have had some real winners for dinners lately, including a twice baked potato where the horseradish had been accidentally tripled.
Sister Ricks is also staying in Helena, so we are still in the same district, which is a blessing because we can still practice Portuguese. I am getting nervous about my language skills slipping. I practice an hour a day, and I know that the Lord understands that I can't control my visa, so He will make up the difference. Nevertheless, I am pretty darn worried about how on earth I am going to meet my mission president in Teresina who doesn't speak English. The gift of tongues and lots of faith I suppose. I know that it will all work out in the end, but this waiting thing is harder than I initially thought it was going to be.
We have been having a good time this week sharing general conference messages with everyone. President Uchtdorf's forget me not talk sure has been a hit. That man sure knows how to give a classic, doesn't he? I am so thankful for prophets and apostles who say things so eloquently that can touch the hearts of many. It is so important to forget not that the Lord forgets not us. I needed to remember that for sure this week as I got all worried about my visa. It has never been in my hands, since the minute I decided to file mission papers, this has never been in my hands. How could I ever think that I was forgotten? I sure wasn't.
I love you all lots and lots, and I miss you!
Have a great week,
Love Sister Smith