Monday, December 23, 2013

23 December 2013

Hey everybody! Kieren had her birthday and Christmas is coming up so it was a big week. I really enjoyed this letter because you could see how happy she is. Everybody if you missed her birthday it was the 21st and I know she would love a shout out from all her dear family and friends. Much love to all this special season!

Dearest Family and Friends,

I hope you are all ready for Christmas because it is basically here!

This week-Happy Birthday to me!!!! My Birthday here on the mission was fantastic! In the morning I got a call from Sister Castro (mission president´s wife) wishing me a happy birthday from her and the family. My companion was super nice and remembered and helped make it a special day. For part of companion study we watched some of the documentary of President Monson´s life. He is truly an inspiring man and amazing example.  Iam so glad to have the guidance of a living prophet and to learn from his example. After a day of normal work, including making contacts in Praza Tamandaré with Felipe (a 10 year old boy from the church who dressed up like Santa and was super adorable in giving out pass along cards and candy) we went to the Sister´s apartment in Cidade Nova and had a surprise pizza/cake party! We also had a fantastic lunch with Rosane (a sister in our ward) and I loved my presents from the family! At church yesterday a bunch of people wished me happy birthday and I got calls from some of the other missionaries in our zone. I definitely felt special and remembered and it was a super great day :)

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Yesterday we had Encontro de Corais where all the ward choirs meet and have a grand presentation. The chapel was overflowing with people! It was great to see so much support for the activity. But the best part of the night was probably when Miguel Janes and Caroenne walked in. Get ready for a long back story.....
So. last transfer Gisela and João Arthur (remember, the guy in a wheelchair -see picture above) were having us over for lunch. We asked them if they knew of anyone we could teach or who needed a visit and João Arthur mentioned Miguel Janes, a less active member. We noted his name, but he did not have an address, just a phone number. We thanked them, said goodbye, and went on with our day. The next time we saw João Arthur he mentioned Miguel again but we hadn´t visited him. Fast forward two or three weeks and I have a new companion, Sister Hodnik. During a visit with our ward mission leader, Elizandro Castro, he also mentioned Miguel and pointed out where he lived. By then I was like, we definitely have to go there. We went, but he wasnt home.  We decided to start using the ward directory more and one day I was just looking through the directory and saw Miguel´s name and also Caroenne, who is his daughter, who we found out was also a member. So yesterday we went there and they let us in and they were super nice and had some pretty hilarious relatives visiting including twin aunts who aren´t afraid to speak their mind. One aunt, Nilza, told us she thought we were older than 21 and 22 because we were using old lady clothes hahaha. But anyway, we had a great conversation and it was after church was over, but we invited them to the choir thingie. Normally people don´t actually come to things, but the first surprise was when they said they would come and the second was when about 30 minutes in, they both actually came!!! We were so happy to see them, especially after so many people hadn´t shown up to church that we were expecting. So basically we are going to work with them and help them come back to activity. Miguel has a lot of questions and Caroenne has a lot of things she doesn´t want to leave behind just yet, but they are both such kindhearted people and we are excited to work with them. They talked to a lot of the members who were at the choir peformance and it looks like they have a lot of friendships in the church that will help them feel welcomed.
Chrismas is in two days!!!! Woohooo!!!! I have super cute tree that my family sent in the apartment and Priscila(investigator) and Jonathan(member) showed us that they already have presents under their tree for us (we are having Christmas dinner with them :D)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all! Remember Christ and why he was born. We celebrate his birth not just because he was born on this earth, but because of what he did his entire life and especially how he overcame death. He knows exactly how to help us through all of our trials and loves to rejoice with us when we are happy :D
Isaiah 41:13

Love you all!

Sister Smith

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