I got so many emails this week! thank you!!! it was wonderful to have so much encouragement. I am sorry that I do not have much time and cannot respond to each email, but know that I deeply deeply appreciate the written encouragement. Sometimes, I wonder why I was blessed to have so many people to support me. I see many people that have no hope, or few people that care about them. I have so much joy in my life because of two things, my family and the gospel. But together, I have the deep abiding joy that I read about in the scriptures. Sometimes this Brazil business is really hard, and I am not thrilled. But I always have joy in my life. That makes all the difference in the world. That is why I am here, because I have an indescribable peace in my life that everyone deserves to have. I have also seen examples and evidences of people who have changed thier lives because of the gospel, and I am further encouraged to keep going. If I don´t have many who listen, it doesn´t matter, because I have found out why I am happy. If just me, that is okay.
As you can probably tell, from the ´just me´ talk, Amanda´s baptism didn´t go through. She was baptized into the 7th day Adventist church when she was 12 years old, and she had a great confirmation that she needed to be there. Now, she is waiting for something bigger than what she remembers to be baptized. She is expecting something grand. I don´t know how to help her, but I know that faith is required. She is so smart, and she reads the Bible everyday. She reads everytime we give her an assignment in the Book of Mormon, this girl has so much potential! Hopefully, she can find the faith to realize that this gospel is a good idea. Sometimes, I just want to ask our investigators if they realize why they keep letting the missionaries return. It isn´t because we are fabulous, it is because we have the truth. And it feels good. hmph.
This week was my companion´s birthday, the ward members have been very sweet to her. They love her a lot. That is a sign of a good missionary, when the ward that they are serving in recognizes their service. She is a great people person and Sister Borges has done wonderful things here. Grandpa this week talked about a missionary´s smile. That is so valuable! If we are to ask the members to be aides in our work here, we need to show them that they matter. Anyways, Sister Borges is great at that. Kids love her. The lucky girl has 7 nieces and nephews she is a natural. I made her pizza for her birthday, it was pretty fun. I finally cooked something! Oh, how I miss measuring cups.
This upcoming week warrants a Happy Thanksgiving! I hope that everything is delicious and fun. On Thursday, we have a zone conference, a second best but doubly wonderful spiritual feast. I am very excited to see what a zone conference is like in this mission.
This last week we had 31 lessons. That is more than I have had my whole mission, and few of them sadly were with the same person twice. We do not have many people tell us no the first time, but then they avoid us after that. OH the subtlies of passive agressiveness. It knows no culture. It is hard not to get our hopes up when we get to see the same person twice! But, I know that any steps made to be closer to Christ are worth our time and our effort. We have also had a difficult time recently with people who aren´t married. I should be a wedding planner. Hey we have a Bishop who will marry you for free! But the paperwork costs 100$r. hmph. again. We have three or four couples who are just awesome, but the idea of getting hitched is putting a hitch in their getalong.
I must close, but I love you all! I am thankful for my wonderful family this week and I hope you have a happy thanksgiving!