Your email is better than all the pão de queijo in the world. And that is saying a lot because I really do love the cheesy bread here. Thank you so much for lifting my spirits with your stories, jokes, quotes and insights. I really do miss you all so much and think about you often. You are such a wonderful family - thank you.
Yesterday Celma and Gisele were baptized. With Geralda not getting baptized last week, Elder Sloan and I were anxious to not have Celma and Gisele fall through. We brought members with us to all the lessons and were constantly thinking and trying to prepare for any questions or concerns they had. They were blessed and protected by the Lord. Celma has 5 other kids and most of them are giving her a really hard time for getting baptized. One son isn't talking to her because of it. But Celma is firm and resolved and was stalwart through it all, reading the Book of Mormon and finding answers to her questions without our help. Celma reminds me a lot of Grandma Bowler and Gisele is the same age as you Annie! Her birthday is in two weeks or so and she will be 13. The Young Women in the branch here are really reaching out to her. Giselle makes the third member of the Young Women here in Riacho. It was such a blessing to be a part of their baptism yesterday. They are very special and they are a tender mercy of the Lord.
Brazilians enjoy eating pancakes - just not in the way that we do. They use them as main courses loaded with meat, cheese and vegetables. It is interesting but good. Also, the secret to any good Brazilian dessert is a lot of condensed milk. Simple but very effective.
Everyday we study, practice lessons, study Portuguese, and then go out proselyting. We talk to people on the street, knock doors, and right now are working on having more family nights with members to invite non-members to learn more. We have lunch with a member everyday - just for an hour - and we have to be in our house by 9:30 at night. We walk everywhere except when Elder Sloan needs to interview someone in the area next to us and then we take the bus. We live about ten minutes from the chapel. After getting home at night we plan for the next day, I make some chocolate milk and we study and are praying with lights out by 10:30. I am doing well - just trying to focus my mind completely on the mission and learn how to teach with more clarity and power. It is humbling and hard work to be a missionary but I am really grateful to be here. Hope that answers all your questions! Give me a list next week and I will try to be better. I love you and am so grateful for you!
I am doing well - just trying to up my dedication and passion for this great work. I really want to be more dedicated and a more efficient and powerful missionary. My teaching needs to improve - I haven't gotten the knack for asking really good questions yet. But I am working and studying and this week I will be focusing a lot more on how to be a more dedicated and powerful missionary. The Lord deserves the best and I really want to give my best to him.
One thing I have been learning is how to be calm when things don't go according to plan. I think I have been learning this lesson my whole life, but especially out here you don't know what is going to happen during your day so you can't be too occupied with trying to have everything be perfect. At times, my tendency is to freak out and panic, to try and do what I want to do. But I am trying to focus more on relying on the Spirit and I have learned that you can't rely on the Spirit if your stressed and worried. I think about the times when I went repelling with Bro. Francis - If I freaked out and tried to go down the mountain my way, I couldn't do it. But if I trusted in the ropes, had faith that they would hold me and leaned not to my own understanding but to the Spirit and the unseen, I can easily descend and receive the satisfaction of accomplishing my goal. Anyway, these are my thoughts this week.
I know that this Church is true and I am so grateful to be in the service of the Lord. I love you all!