Friday, December 9, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Dear Family,

This last week has been a busy one! I hope that dinner was delicious, shopping was safe and fruitful, and that the chocolates are done and beautiful! Phew, that is a lot to do. And this is just the beginning of the holiday season, good luck:)

We had zone conference this last week. We traveled to Parnaiba, a four hour bus ride on Thursday afternoon, and a seven hour ride back on friday night/saturday morning. I have now seen the Sobral bus station at almost every hour of the day. Zone conference was good, I met an elder who has only been in Brazil for three days. Someone who speaks less Portuguese than I do. It makes me wonder how the members here deal with us, they are so patient.
My companion continues to be patient with my language, but everyday is getting a little better. My mistakes have moved beyond the basic stuff, and I am learning more and more how to communicate. Sometimes after I speak, people look at my companion for translation. Or sometimes, she looks at thier confused face and asks them if they would like a repeat. Learning a language like this is humbling, but I wouldn´t trade it for the world. Sometimes I feel blind and lost, but never before have I needed to rely on the guidance of the Spirit to literally lead my by the hand. It isn´t easy , but this experience is invaluable.

Yesterday, we had seven investiators come to church. It was pretty cool. Oitavio is our newest and most promising investigator. The second time we taught him, we asked him if he would pray, and he asked us if we could kneel with him. And then we asked if we could come back to teach him and he asked what time the next day would be best for us. Oitavio is 21, and is recovering from a drug addiction. He lives at home with his parents and older brother and they are all so supportive of him in his recovery. His mother is a gem, she won´t come to chruch but she is welcomes us with open arms because we love her son. His baptism will still be a ways away, because he needs to get rid of any remaining habits first. But the second day we taught him, we asked him about prayer, he told us that with every prayer, it gets better. His desires change. I have high hopes for him, because I can see his sincerity to change.
Amanda, our investigator who is afraid to change, well she is still afraid to change. She has stopped coming and says that she only read in the Book of Mormon because we asked her to. Comparing Amanda, who is so smart, and has percieved success with her current religious state, and comparing Oitavio who needs spiritual healing from the Savior, it amazing how humilty makes a difference. And how change doesn´t need to be scary, it can actually be sought after.

Sister Borges and I continue to work and walk and talk alot everyday with new people. Everyday, when she prays she always says thank you for one more day. I was thinking about that and how one more day, everyday is a gift in our work. For everyone., One more day is a priviledge, what are we going to do with it? I love it.

I have not much time, but I love you! Happy holidays!
Sister Smith

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