Hello family! I am so blessed to have a family who knows me so well. I got two updates that Kansas won the NCAA tournament. I knew that they would win this year. Seriously. I knew that since I was serving a mission they would win. The one year I didn't fill out a bracket...but I'm so glad you gave me that update. Thanks! Thank you all so much for the many updates this week. Wasn't Conference wonderful? I just loved it. Especially being a missionary. It was so much more meaningful for me.
Well this week has been a week of conferences. I spent probably half of my time this week up in Miratejo, which is where the Irmãs of Almada live and where all of our meetings as a zone are. We had zone conference on Friday, which was so great! We were with two other zones and so I got to meet a lot of great missionaries and see some old friends from the MTC. I learned some great things about working with the members to move this work along and there was a great talk from one of the zone leaders that really got me thinking. He talked about how the prophets always say "come unto Christ" not "go unto Christ." For them to be able to say "come" they need to be where Christ is. As a missionary, my purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ. Thus, I need to make sure that I am where He is and that I have the Spirit guiding me in this work. Food for thought.
While at zone conference we discussed our upcoming CTMM (MTC for Member Missionaries) that we will be doing a week from Sunday. I also met Elder Marriott, who I think Jen knew in the MTC. He lived in my same neighborhood area in Brazil. Crazy. It's a small world in the Church. Irmã Terry gave her training as well. She talked about manners, which I think was good for some of the elders to hear. She is a really funny lady and I think we all enjoyed the advice she had to give to us. President Terry talked to us about the trial of our faith. He recounted a mission story where he had to search for months to find even one person to teach (and he was in Brazil), but that they were greatly blessed in their efforts. I love President Terry and am so blessed to have him as my mission president.
The next day was Saturday and our whole morning plans blew up in smoke, which is pretty normal. so we ended up going over to teach Leo (Leu). It was my first lesson in the stairway! We talked to him about testimony and we've been teaching him for about four months now. I asked him if he had prayed to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet. He still hasn't, so we're going to be working with him on that. Having a testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon is everything in the gospel. Without it, there is no progression. It is so important to have this testimony. I have seen this with a lot of our investigators. Those who have this testimony are making so much progress and coming so much closer to the Savior.
Then we rushed over to teach Celeste. Everything was going well and we were just waiting for our bus to get to her apartment in Arrentela. So we waited. and we waited and we waited. The bus never came. Oy veh. Finally another bus came and we got over to her apartment. When we got over there she was a wreck. I really think that we came into her life at just the right time for her. We were able to give her someone to talk to and to leave a talk with her about the Atonement.
Then we headed up to Conference for the weekend. We stayed up with the other irmãs for Saturday and Sunday, which was fun. I love those irmãs. I LOVE CONFERENCE! So many of the talks were exactly what my investigators needed to hear. My intent in going to conference was so different this time because I went listening for what they needed to hear, as well as what I needed to hear. But there were so many things that were said that were exactly what they needed to hear.
We watched conference with our whole zone of missionaries. Elder Baldwin is in my zone and he worked a lot with John. We were able to watch conference in English, so it was basically just us missionaries down in the basement watching conference. We made lunch for the elders on Sunday and that was AMAZING! I got some gooood recipes from that. I love my zone and we're all getting together today to watch some movies (all missionary appropriate, of course). It's really nice to mix it up with different people, plus the elders make me laugh really hard.
Monday we went back home and ended up getting caught in the rain and SOAKED. Irmã Brady could ring out her shoes and her skirt. I just smelled like a wet dog. I don't know which was worse for us, my smell or her wetness. But we knocked doors and had some...interesting experiences. There was a man who wanted us to debate with him. He knows that his church isn't true, but doesn't want to change.
Yesterday we had interviews with President Terry and that was another time for the zone to get together, since the schedule is usually behind. Irmã Terry brought cookies and we laughed at the funny things that she says that you would never think she would say. She really is the mom of the mission.
We've had some good lessons with investigators and members. The members help out SOOO much when they teach with us. I wish that every lesson we taught we could have a member with us. wow. What a difference. Ana is progressing wonderfully and is really close with the ward already. She's such a blessing for us.
Oh, I forgot! When Elder Bednar told us that members should be doing the finding and missionaries doing the teaching, there was a cheer from each of us during conference, as well as some good fist pumping. That was GOLD for us as missionaries to hear.
Things are GREAT here! I love this work and being able to teach and talk with God's children. I am so blessed. I can understand pretty much what everyone says, except the Cape Verdians. Fogo! they talk sooo fast!
I love you all! Have a great day! Good luck with finals and everything else!