Friday, December 9, 2011

Elder Bednar part 1

Dear Family,
Well the biggest thing on my horizon is the fact that Elder Bednar is coming to Teresina this weekend! Happy birthday Korin, I get to hear from an apostle:) I am pretty excited about it. Our travel plans are kind of crazy. We leave Sobral at 3 am on Saturday, and will arrive at about 8;30. The meeting starts at 10 and will go to 1, and we get back on a bus to come home at 5:30. So hopefully, we will be home by midnight. Lots of travel, but for a very worthy cause. I can only imagine the logistics that President Dias has had to go through to get this to happen. We have a pretty big mission, and the idea of getting all 100 missionaries together is nuts. This is the first mission wide meeting since the mission began almost three years ago. I am pretty excited.

Our investigators are just like a roller coaster! We are supposed to find 15 new people a week, and get 10 of them to sacrament meeting. The goal is lofty, and we have fallen short both weeks. The hard part is that there are so many people to teach that if they don´t show interest after the second visit, we drop them. I don´t like it, but our time is better spent finding others... I guess? This is direction from our mission president, and he knows best for our mission so I won´t question it. So it is very hard to get to know someone, assess their needs and then never see them again. We had a girl, Leidiani, set for baptism date, and all the sudden she avoided us and then we dropped her. One day, she was five days away from baptism, and the next, we won´t teach her again. Woah! This place moves lightening fast. We have a new investigator named Ana Paula, also a teenager. I really hope she comes through and starts to progress quickly, I like this one:) She seems to be prepared to hear the gospel, I hope and pray everyday that we can touch her life with the change that only Christ can bring.

Last p-day was Halloween which doesn´t mean anything in Brazil. Except that all the stores close. It is kind of like a labor day? huh. So, today we went shopping for the first time. We went to all the stores with made in China stuff that is cheap and gaudy. I have to use up some of the stuff from my toiletries suitcase so I can start accumulating souviners. I mailed some letters last week, but the post office guy said that to get from Sobral to the US, it was going to take 25 days. I have no idea why, and I don´t think they take that long to get to Teresina. The catch is that I only get my letters from the office when my district leaders have meetings or other administrative stuff, so like one or twice a month? Not sure, I don´t really trust elders, especially the ones that I don´t fully understand because they speak Portuguese too fast. hmmm.

I reread my last email. my companion isn´t 14 sorry, typo on an international keyboard! she is 23 right now. her birthday is next week. Sister Borges works really hard, and she knows the people here really well. I have come to the realization that it doesn´t matter how I am treated, it matters how I treat people. I had a thought one day of, you know she is a daughter of Heavenly Father, and is in pretty good standing seeing as how she is a missionary right now. I better stay on my toes, and treat her like the precious being that she is. Most days, I remember, and the other days I pray to remember that. The language barrier is discouraging, but we can always communicate through service and kind actions.

It is still hot here, and everyone is decorating for Christmas already. Trees and all!
Well, I love you! Hope you all have a great week!
sister smith

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