Oi querida familia e queridos amigos!
Este semana foi útimo! Conference was amazing as always. all of the Americans (and Australians) got put in a small little side room to watch in English. It was cool because the sister from Australia (Sister Cameron) is the niece of one of the music professors at BYU (Bro. Howard) who is also in the MoTAB. Small world.
On quarta-feira () we got to go street contacting in São Paulo. We took the ônibus down to Paulista Avenue (a business district) and got to proselyte. On the way up there (the bus ride was tipo 30-40 min) I talked to a guy named Anderson who worked at a law firm down town. He spoke a little English and was excited to practice it with me. He already had a Book of Mormon because he has LDS friends and I when I asked he said he would accept a visit from the missionaries!
When we got to the streets, Sister Cummings and I (Did I mention that I am no longer in a trio- the second week a new sister came to our district so now Sister Piper is with Sister Soressi) walked down Paulista and turned left after a few blocks. Outside a store window, we saw a young woman with a stroller and another girl. We decided to stop and talk to them. We found out that the girl´s name was Luaira and that her little baby was named Alessantro Kaique. Luaira´s younger sister was named Kevelin. They were really nice and very patient with our Português. It was pretty clear that they were going through a hard time. When we first came up to them, they thought we were going to give them money, but I said that we didn´t have money, but we did want to share a gift and a message with them. We gave them a Book of Mormon and talked a little bit about it. We shared the joy that can come into their lives as a result of reading, praying about, and living the concepts found in the Book of Mormon. It was a really cool experience for me because just minutes before we left for proselyting, I finished the last page of the Book of Mormon. I had been working on reading it for a couple of months now and was really excited to finish again. I definitely felt the spirit when I testified that I have read it and that I know it is true and that I know that it can bring peace and joy into their lives. They said they would be willing to accept the missionaries so we took down their phone number and address. They lived in Tiradentes, a city that is kind of far away, but we reassured them that we have missionaries everywhere! There is actually a pretty cool story in Brazilian history behind the name Tiradentes, but I don´t have time to go into that now. If you are curious, you can google it.
Another highlight of the day was on the bus ride home. I decided to go sit by a woman probably in her 50s. Her name is Branca and she lives really close to the CTM (Casa Verde) so we had a lot of time to chat. She owns her own art shop downtown and loves what she does. She lives with her two daughters who are 25 and 30 years old. She is a non-practicing Catholic and part Spiritist (Spiritismo). She loves Christmas and Easter and cooking and cinnamon and butterflies. It was amazing to me that I was able to understand basically everything she said and to speak back conversationally. I can see the hand of the lord in preparing me generally and specifically to be able to do the best that I can. For example, I had randomly learned the words canela (cinnamon) and borboleta (butterfly) in the last couple of weeks, and then she used them in conversation and I knew exactly what she was talking about! Anyway, I she has a Book of Mormon and I gave her a part to read. She told me her favorite Isaiah chapter for me to check out. She gave me her information and I passed it on to the missionaries in the area. I am so grateful that I was able to understand the people and hold good conversations. The tender mercies of the Lord truly are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mightly even unto the power of deliverance (1 Ne).
The people here are so nice! Everyone is super friendly even if they are in a hurry.
Well the time is fast approaching and I just want you all to know that I love you! Keep in touch and have a great week!