Friday, May 16, 2014

12 May 2014

Woohoo! So Mother´s Day was yesterday (obv) so I got to talk to the family!!! It was wonderful. We talked at Lilian and Rogério´s house and, true to gaúcho tradition, of course had to have a churrasco afterward with what I think was giant roasted ox ribs. The whole piece of meat was enormous.

This week was super awesome. During Ward Council Tuesday night, Irmão Ricardo was recounting how the quorum helped integrate Geovane during his visit to church, and then he told us a story that Geovane had shared that he had not shared with us. Ricardo said that Geovane was very communicative during the lesson and that he shared an experience of how he was recently dealing with some legal difficulties where he was completely innocent but there were many complications and things just weren´t going right. One day, two sister missionaries (us) came knocking at his door and asked to share a message. He said that since that day, the whole situation took a 180 degree turn and everything seemed to fall into place. He took that as a sign that he should come to church and maybe listen to our message. That was so cool to hear. 

Also, for the first time ever, I walked into my bedroom one morning and saw a salamander on the wall! I had seen some on outside walls before but never inside a house. It was pretty awesome. I wanted to capture him and release him outside, but before I knew it my companion had killed him. Poor little guy.

PAUSE- just got the news that I am being the other side of the ward!!! My new companion is Sister Foutz and I just love her and I still get to be in the same ward as Sister Melo and we are going to do great things and I am so happy!!! Okay back to the letter. 

Also, this week we needed someone to help us out and Nina, a young woman in the ward and daughter of our mission president, offered to get out with us. It was a great day! First, we weren´t finding anyone at home, but we finally found a less active member at home and then we were going to visit Cleisé, but as we approached her apartment, we saw a woman sitting on the stairs a couple doors over. We went and talked to her and it turns out that she was locked out of her house and said, yes, certainly she has time to hear our message! Sometimes I think Heavenly Father is really clever. Her name is Izabel and she was very receptive to the message. Afterward, we asked her if she knew anyone who needed a message and she thought for a minute and then said that she knew a man, Nilton, who lost his wife a couple months ago and perhaps a message would help. However, she did not know the address. She told us to go up those stairs on the other side of the park and it´s an apartment on the ground floor. That was helpful, but upon arrival at the top of the ancient stone stairs, we faced a view of a bunch of apartment buildings, with quite a few of them on the ground floor. Being two story buildings, just about half of them fit that description. Nevertheless, we went forth and while Sister Melo knocked on a second-story door, Nina and I rang the doorbell of an apartment with an open window. An elderly man answered the door, and I don´t know why but after saying hi, the first thing I asked was "Are you Nilton?" which would be pretty awkward if he wasnt, but he said yes! We explained how we had just talked to Izabel and would like to share a message with him. He was about to leave to pick up his granddaughter but wanted us to come back another day!

We had some other great experiences and lessons, and to finish off a great day we happened to pass in front of my favorite laundry places. We do laundry at home, but I like this laundry place because it is run by 5 friends and they are hilarious. One day we were talking to a couple of them about the church and gave them pass-along cards. About a week later 
(this week) Pablo, a very excited man from Uruguay, called us over as we passed by and said, come look! We entered the laundry place and he showed us his desk where he had placed the pass-along card with a picture of Mary and Jesus on the wall. Then he showed us his industrial washing machine where he had placed another of the same picture. I think he took one of his friend´s pass-along cards, but it was great to see that he was so excited about the cards. 

We seriously had an awesome time with Nina. When we work with members, there is a different energy. Thanks for all you guys do to help the missionaries in your area. I came up with my new motto:
"It´s always better with a member."

Although at first, no one was home that day and it didn´t look so great, we ended up continuing and had one of my most memorable days on the mission. 

May we always remember to stand a little taller and be a little better. I love the quote from Elder Eyring´s talk "Act in All Diligence." I think I have quoted that talk before. I just like the talk. Anyway, he says "When I find myself drawn away from my...duties by other interests and when my body begs for rest, I give to myself this rallying cry: "Remember Him." The Lord is our perfect example of diligence in priesthood service. He is our captain. He called us. He goes before use. He chose us to follow Him and to bring others with us." Whenever it gets hard, or even when it is easy, Remember Him. He is our brother and friend and Savior. 


Sister Smith

Me at Guaíba, where we have meetings every other week

Sister Melo and me during our last few days as companions. She is really talking to heart Pres. Hinkley´s suggestion to stand a little taller. 

Also, I attempted to make chocolate chip cookies but it didn´t go so well the first time. No, they are not chocolate-chocolate chip. Just chocolate chip. They should be a nice golden brown. The second time worked out a little better. Yes, these are chocolate-chocolate chip cookies so the darker color is natural, don´t worry. 

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