Tuesday, February 18, 2014

17 February 2014

Hello Dearest Colleagues,

On the mission, even though every day we have the same schedule, no one day is the same as the next. There is always some sort of adventure or miracle or interesting occurence. 

One of the highlights of the week was when we visited Cristina, who recently started coming back to church. She is so sweet and has such love for the church, especially the pioneers and the church books and resources. Now she wants here whole family (husband, four children) to come to church with her. We have a Family Home Evening marked for this week with them! She is so energetic and treats everyone with such kindness. She made us cuca goiabada, which is bascally a coffee cake with goiabada (jelly made with goiaba) which was delicious and she said she considers us basically her little sisters and is so grateful for what we did for her, which we told her was really what Heavenly Father did for her. He was the one that prepared her heart and that put her in our path and seriously, she was so ready to come back to church. We are so lucky to know her. She is so excited to start serving and having more activities in the ward and such. She is truly a miracle in this area. 

Also the other day I had a fashion mishap. I left the house and was walking alongside my companion when suddenly I looked down and gasped. Instead of my adorable sister missionary shoes, I had on my addidas slides. Woops. It was too late to turn back so I did my visits with a navy blue skirt pencil skirt and black addidas slides. As they would say here, I was definitely not ´super fashion´ (but in a brazilian accent). I don´t have any complaints though because they are wonderfully comfortable.

Also, newsflash for the world- yesterday we had a time change! I don´t know if it is worldwide, but here the time went back an hour. There is that little trick with spring backward or forward or something and fall back but with the seasons all opposite here I am left even more confused. And in our little technology starved missionary world, we had no idea the time was going to change, and no one decided to tell us, so we showed up at the empty chapel at 8:00 with 3 energetic children! It was kind of surreal because we had no idea what was happening.I found it quite amusing. We live super close to the chapel, but it is against missionary rules to let people in our house, so we took the children to the front of the house, put out chairs, and told them to sit and behave while we made pancakes. Soon our neighbor Ana, who has been coming to church  with us, joined them. So we had four kids on our front patio-Felipe, a 12 year old with a big mouth, Vitória, his sister who is preparing to get baptized, Ana, our neighbor, and Micael, who recently got baptized but does not have family support. They are all super adorable. I brought out juice, but Vitória said she wanted water, and then Micael also decided he didn´t like the juice and wanted water. And then they were bored so I brought out uno, and then we brought out the pancakes and they ate but Vitória wasn´t hungry (until halfway through sacrament meeting). And then Micael dropped a pancake on his pants so he needed a rag to wipe off the butter. And then Felipe said he wished we would sit out there and converse with him. And then he decided he was bored and started heading off to church alone. But we got him to come back. It was super fun and exciting. Hats off to all parents who have to get children ready for church. But seriously these kids are amzing! With no support from their families, they know where they need to be on Sunday. Felipe got ordained to be a deacon a couple weeks back and he has been helping Vitória learn about the church. He has been going to a ward in the city with his aunt, but since he lives in our area, the bishop told him he should start coming here, so that´s why we came and helped him find the church the first week. I love to remember the scripture in 3 Nephi 17:11-25 where Jesus invites the children to come unto Him and blesses them one by one. There is a reason why we are asked to become like little children. It is because they are incredible examples of seeking to follow Jesus Christ with humility, no matter the sacrifice. They have so much energy to do what is right. 

Be like little children! This means also be happy and smile more!

Love you all,

Sister Smith

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